Tag Archives: running shoes

Bloody no longer trusty running shoes

13 May

So my running shoes are stained with blood now. Before you panic, no, I did not get seriously injured nor step on some innocent creature. I’ve been wearing the same running shoes since January and have never had any problems with blisters or weird rubbing. But since yesterday was warm, I decided to wear thin socks. I’ve worn these socks before, but they’re not my go-to. About 2 miles into my run I felt something on my ankle. I stopped, thinking a rock or leaf had gotten into my shoe, but instead noticed the skin was peeling off and getting irritated from rubbing against the shoe. This is a problem I’m all too familiar with with flats and heels, and well, pretty much any shoe that is not my running shoe. But my trusty trainers have never let me down like this. I tried to push on, but the pain was starting to get to me. I ripped my sweat tissue in half (yes, I always carry a tissue in each pocket — one for sweat, one for snot. Gross, I know) and attempted to use it as a cushion between my ankle and my shoe, but it didn’t do much. I then tried to vary my gait by running on the tips of my toes. This relieved the pain, but seemed like a sprained ankle waiting to happen. That, and I looked feckin ridiculous. Like this pug:


I gave up and clicked “workout finished” on Mapmyrun then pseudo-limped the mile home. It seems I now need to add Band-aids to my emergency running kit (which so far just consists of a 20p coin in case I need to use the loo in the park. But considering how anti-paying-to-pee I am, it would have to be a super big emergency.)

I got home and drenched my bloody sock in Oxyclean, but didn’t bother to clean the back of my shoe. It feels like some strange badge of honor. But now I’m in a conundrum. Running shoes are supposed to be replaced every 500 miles, and so far I’ve put 334.99 on these ones (yes, that is the exact figure from Mapmyrun). I wasn’t planning on buying new shoes until I’m back in the US in July. So here’s hoping I can make these bloody shoes survive for the next 2 months with the right socks and Band-aids.

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If the shoe fits…

30 May

baby giraffe running

Yesterday I bought the final piece for my running kit: new shoes.

(Side note: I enjoy the British word “kit,” as in “Neil has forgotten his PE kit and is forced to run about in his pants.” (“Pants” meaning “underwear,” of course) and “Stella McCartney unveiled her design for the Team GB Olympic kit.” I think the closest American English word is “uniform” or “outfit.”)

I went to Runners Need, a specialist shop in Camden, and did something I’ve never done before — I shopped without looking at prices. In the past I only bought trainers from a discount store, and only if there was an additional sale. Fit didn’t matter as much as price and color. The last pair I bought are white with light blue so as to draw the least amount of attention. They have to be at least five years old, so after experiencing some lower back and heel pain on my last run, I decided I needed an upgrade.

I went to Runners Need because they offer free gait analysis to see whether you need a neutral, stability or motion control shoe. Those words don’t mean anything to me, so I definitely needed to see the experts. The manager, Sam, was incredibly friendly and helpful. He videotaped me running on a treadmill to observe the way my ankles move and how I hit the pavement. He gave me stride tips and brought out shoe after shoe for me to try. I ended up going with a pair of Asics that are bright purplish magenta with neon yellow laces. So much for shoes that don’t stand out. I chose them based solely on fit and comfort, but cringed when I finally asked him the price. They are the most expensive shoes I’ve ever bought aside from my Tory Burch flats. But I decided to look at them as an investment in my health (and also I’m less likely to crap out on running if I’ve already spent a substantial amount of money on my kit. I also bought some running shirts and a jacket the other day).

“You’re a better runner than you think you are,” Sam assured me. “You should breeze through Couch to 5K.” His passion for running exuded from him and was contagious. By the time I left the shop I was convinced I could conquer a 5K or more. Why not a 10K? Or a half marathon!

… I was obviously forgetting about my inner 300-pound fat man who smokes. I started Week 2 of Couch to 5K in my new shoes that afternoon, which involved running for 90 second intervals, an upgrade from Week 1’s 60 seconds. I couldn’t do it. It was the longest 90 seconds I’ve ever experienced. Feeling a bit defeated, I decided to give it another go this morning. I had to “run” back to the store because I found my shoes cheaper online and they offer a price match guarantee. I made it through each 90 seconds this time, but barely. When I wanted to stop, I thought about Sam, the store manager who doesn’t really know me yet believes in me, the fat guy running ahead of me who never stopped, and giraffes. Not because giraffes are good runners (are they?), but because I always end my run by the zoo so I can peek at the giraffes and zebras through the fence. It’s going to take some time and effort to get my inner fat man into shape, but I just have to keep at it — if anything because I bought the kit.

(I saw this on Reddit yesterday and can completely relate. This was the caption: “My sister decided the Couch to 5k program. This was day 1.”)

c25k day 1