Honestly, I'm surprised my feet haven't rebelled and just refused to run.
My shoes? They're bad. As in they probably should have been replaced about 300 miles ago. But I've been putting it off. Once I hit the 100 mile mark for the year at the end of February I told myself, "You must get new shoes. Now."
And at first I was going to wait until I got my tax return back. But the feet were hating me last week. So I changed my mind and decided to get some new ones this weekend.
And it just so happens it was the grand opening celebration for Fleet Feet Fox Valley.
I hear grand opening and I think, ooh, maybe a sale.
But then I heard they had a fun run organized for Saturday morning. Just a 2-mile loop on a trail near their store. And the first 50 participants would get a free long-sleeved technical T-shirt.
Sign me up. I like things that involve the word "free."
So Saturday morning I headed over to the trail. There were about 35 people gathered (score, shirt was mine!) and a good range of runners. From super hard core folks to people like me to some who were just starting out with running and would probably be walking the trail.
The run was good. A little icy in places, but a good run. I even met Chelsey from DailyMile.com - my first Internet/blogging meet up - and chatted with her a bit.
After the run (20:49 for 2-miles), I headed over to the store to claim my shirt and pick up a new pair of shoes. But first they had a spread of food for us to dine on - bagels, muffins, yogurt, juice - and then we lined up for the shirts. But we were pleasantly surprised. Not only did we get a long-sleeved technical Saucony shirt, but we also got a drawstring bag and a steel water bottle. Score!
I wandered around the store while waiting for my turn with the shoe fitters and entered my name in the raffles (crossing my fingers and toes that I win the sunglasses!). Then it was my turn for the shoe fitter. She took one look at my shoes and declared they were trashed - remember I told you I probably should have replaced them about 300 miles ago.
I sat down, told it would be really easy. I've been wearing Asics Gel-Nimbus. I love them. No problems. They work great. All I wanted to do was get a new pair. She looks happy. Goes to the store room. Comes back.
"I've got good news and I've got bad news."
The bad news: Apparently Asics didn't make enough shoes last year. They thought with the crappy economy people wouldn't spend money on things like running shoes. But people did. In fact, running stuff, wine and chocolate are the three things that actually saw an INCREASE in sales, she said. Who would have thunk.
What this means for an Asics wearing runner like myself. There's a shortage of shoes meaning stores are having a hard time getting shoes in stock. And my luck? Fleet Feet Fox Valley didn't have an Asics Gel-Nimbus shoes in a size 8 in stock and doesn't have a clue when they're going to get some in.
The good news: The store did have a pair of Asics Gel-Cumulus in my size. Which are like the Nimbus, but one step below. They don't have quite as much cushioning as the Nimbus, which are apparently the Taj Mahal of that style of running shoe that Asics makes, she said. And the better news is that they were about $30 cheaper.
I hesitated for a moment. I love my Gel-Nimbus. They've gotten me through a lot. But the pair I have right now? My feet are starting to hate me for. They're dead. Trashed. Making my feet hurt. Do I try to go elsewhere to find a pair or do I take a chance on the Gel-Cumulus, named after a type of cloud (the big white fluffy ones I believe) and would hopefully feel like running on clouds for my feet. And let's be honest, the Green Bay Half Marathon is in 2 months - the mileage isn't going to be going down anytime soon.
So I took a chance. Bought the Asics Gel-Cumulus, some Gu and a package of Gu Chomps.
I didn't bust the new shoes out for yesterday's indoor tri, I gave my old pair a victory lap. But I did take the new shoes on their first run today. Since I skipped my long run Saturday, I was originally hoping to do my 7 miles today, but my legs were feeling a bit sore after the tri today so I opted for a 3.15 mile run instead.
And the shoes? They felt fabulous. Like I was running on a cloud. This might be the beginning of a beautiful running shoe relationship.