"New Shoes" ... such an obvious answer
My dear running sluthing friends, solve this mystery:
For the last few months, I found that it took longer to get settled into a run. Every step was uncomfortable. My legs felt heavy, there wasn't alot of spring in my steps. My knees ached while running, my feet were sore. I didn't have any specific injuries or pain after running, but my running itself was feeling less and less enjoyable.
If we were sitting across from each other at lunch and I blah, blah, blah explained this, what would have been your first or second question to me? Oh wise ones, I am sure it would have been, "Do you need new shoes?" or some variation on that theme. And my first response would have been, scoffing, "New shoes....ah come on, I have been running long enough to know and remember when I need new shoes..." And then there would have been a long pause and a mental scan of the bottom of my favorite running pair. And when I got home, you already know what I found. Yep, shoes way, way, way, way, way past their prime.
I get so busy that I forget to get haircuts, go to the dentist, and even do grocery shopping. So, it shouldn't be suprising that I completely missed my regular scheduled trip to the shoe store.
I had a 12 miler coming up and really didn't want to run it in my elderly, beat down Addidas Addistars. I was in a really desparate position. So I said my Prayer to the Running Shoes Gods and ran into the store, and quickly asked for another round of the same shoe - might as well go with a tried and true friend on the eve of a long run. And.....no luck. They were out of both the old model and new model in my size. So I sat down and tried a bunch on hoping for the magic glass slipper that would make me run beautifully for 12+ miles.
I was very skeptical that any shoe could live up to my Addistars. We have had a long relationship together. But in the fitting area, the Saucony Hurricanes strutted its stuff. I was impressed. So impressed that with only a mile together on the treadmill, I trusted the pair enough to take them out for a long afternoon on the trails. And it was wonderful! It was the best run I had in a long time. And no rubbing, no chafing, no problem being too tight here and too loose here. And the many runs since the long one, they are still performing unbelieveably well.
There is the refreshed feeling you have when you run on new shoes and then there is the floating miraculous feeling you have when you find the perfect shoe for your foot. I thought I had found my one true love years ago, but I see now that he was waiting for me all this time.
To the Saucony designers and staff who figured out how to put the stuff together to make this shoe into something that makes me more of a runner - I love you! You are brilliant, genius group of people who I am certain are in need of a raise, a car, some jewels, a long vacation, a cold beer and a dozen chocolate chip cookies. In the Saucony's Manifesto, you say at the end, "It is a good day when we get to run. It is a great day when we inspire others to run." I think your work here is done with this happy little runner.
And back in runnerland, consider this your public service announcement to check your shoes. It is that time of year when mileage adds up faster than think and it is always good to have more than one pair of favorite shoes. Shoes can make the difference between good long run and a long run that is so good that you can't wait to do it all again.
And on a side note...why is it that the obvious answers are only obvious after you solve the problem?