Hey guess what? I got new shoes and my feet are MUCH happier!
My Nike Dual-Ds, the running shoes that I had come to love, were starting to give me sore feet and blisters. There didn't seem to be any cushion left in the heel and considering I've put about 220 miles on them since February (and who knows how many miles on the treadmill in the two years before that), I figured it was probably time to replace them.
Since I temporarily lost my mind and I decided I was going to run a half-marathon, I thought I should make my shoe purchase at a store where they might have a good idea of the best type of shoe for me. So I headed over to the Fox Valley Running Co. And let me say, they were fabulous.
First the woman measured my feet (and apparently one is slightly bigger than the other - but don't ask me which one, I forget) and then had me run on the treadmill while she videotaped me. After watching the tape, she talked about how my feet hit the ground when I run and said that a neutral shoe would be best for me. I then got to test drive about four different pairs of shoes outside.
And let me tell you, the pair I ended up buying, a pair of Asics Gel-Nimbus VIII, are like heaven! First off, they look space age, they look like they could do the actual running for you. But did I mention how comfortable they are? No? Well, they are. I hardly feel like I'm wearing a pair of shoes and there's a bunch of cushioning in them, so my feet don't hurt. And so far, I haven't even had to worry about blisters or sore feet that result from the "breaking in" process. I took the shoes out for a 4-mile spin on Thursday and ran a 5K in them Friday and my feet are fine!
While shoe shopping, I also picked up a pair of socks and a water bottle thingy for my long runs. The past few weeks I've realized that I needed to find some way to bring water with me on my runs of 5+ miles, since I was dying of thirst by the end of the run. And it wouldn't be good to finish a 6-mile run and then die from thirst.
Kudos to the folks at Fox Valley Running Co. for helping me find what I need. I'll definitely go back there and recommend it to others.