I ran 15 miles on Saturday and it was glorious. Which was actually quite shocking to me as my previous three long runs pretty much sucked. In fact my runs sucked so much that I was beginning to doubt my ability to actually make it to the Twin Cities Marathon in October. This was depressing as it’s taken me over 10 years to get back to distance running and I’m now invested both mentally and physically. Failure is not an option.
But I was hurting. A lot. In fact last Saturday, by mile 8 of my 14 mile run I was actually crying as the pain in my feet was so bad. And the crying from the pain turned to self-doubt that I was a failure. Maybe I could not really run a marathon anymore. Maybe I wasn’t in the shape that I was in my 20s and 30s and pre-kids and maybe distance running was a stupid idea. Maybe an almost 45 year old woman should forget this dream. Maybe my body can’t carry me that far anymore.
But I decided all of that was bullshit.
My feet should not hurt that much…no matter how many miles I was running.
And I finally placed the blame where it belonged, not on my ability – but on my shoes. My damn shoes.
One of the things I love about running is that the gear is pretty simple – you don’t need the fanciest running clothes or even a gps or expensive equipment. But you do need good shoes. And the right shoes for you. Do you need stability or cushioning? Narrow or wide? Is there a brand that always works for you? And getting fitted professionally at a good running store is key.
I’ve been a Nike running shoe girl for 23 years. It’s all I’ve ever known and my Air Structure Triax have been amazing – great stability, cushioning, narrow but with a comfortable toe box. I love them. But then Nike stopped making my shoe. How dare they?
So I bought a pair of Brooks Adrenaline in May – one month before my marathon training started. It was hard to buy a brand that I was not familiar with, My feet were scared….and by the beginning of July I noticed how fatigued my feet would get so early in my runs and pretty soon it was painful. And then I could almost feel the pavement and noticed the tread was completely gone. Only worn two months and barely 200 miles by someone lighter than 120 pounds – these shoes wore out and hurt my feet. And the final straw happened last weekend when I sobbed on my long run.
I was frustrated, disappointed and sad – and headed back to my favorite running store last week with my shoe woes. They agreed that Nike had failed me and needed to bring my shoe back, and they apologized that the Brooks shoe did not hold up as it should. They assured me that many people loved that shoe. So we switched gears again, and they had me try the Asics Gel Kayano. It has stability and cushioning and comes very narrow.
And yesterday I ran 15 miles in my new Asics and I felt like I could’ve run 10 more. I had no pain and felt great even after my run.No fatigue at all.
This gave me the mental win I needed – to realize that now I have the right gear – I mean shoes – to take me through the rest of my training and complete the Twin Cities Marathon in October. Because I know I can. And now my feet agree with me.
What running shoes do you love?