Week two brought its own little lesson for me: footwear is IMPORTANT!!! I ran my first week (of 9 total training weeks) with my existing running shoes – Nike Free Run 2- which I love. I had run up to a 10k in them previously, but wanted new shoes for my Half training which will log many long miles. I went to Marathon Sports in Wellesley and was there for about an hour and a half. A very knowledgeable sales associate tested my gait, took the time to hear my concerns/injury history and chose several pairs of shoes she thought would be a good fit for me. I tried on a pair of Newtons, a pair of Saucony Kinvara 2, and a pair ofNew Balance. The sales associate told me to take a run outside in each pair, to get a feel for them. I did about 5-7 trial runs in total. Some of them I did with 2 different shoes on. In the end, I decided on the Newtons because they gave me extra support where I needed it (n my injured left ankle) while staying on the “minimal” side. They were pretty expensive, and as I made my way to the register I started second guessing my decision. The sales associate said that I could take them home for my next run (4 miles) and if I wanted to swap them out for another pair, I could come back the next day and do so. This was pretty impressive to me. It was that fact, combined with the 20% personal trainer discount, that sealed the deal.
The new sneakers have taken a LOT of getting used to. They are a “minimal” shoe but they are unlike any other pair I’ve worn in the past. The first 1-1.5 miles of each run in them has been difficult; my body is not yet comfortable in them and I feel totally off. I ran 4 miles and the next day ran 6 miles in them. At the end of each run, I felt fine and my ankle tendonitis has not given me any extra noticeable problems. There was one point at which I thought I would have to turn around on my 6 mile run and go home to change back into my old sneakers. As I continued on in my loop (to head back home), I was able to adjust my stride and foot fall so that I felt comfortable. The shoe definitely helps to absorb the heelstrike that happens as a result of my tendonitis in my left ankle. I have decided to hang onto the shoes, despite their $140 price tag. If there’s anything worth putting a little extra money into, its the shoes that will be on my feet for miles and miles (and miles) to come.
Plus, they’re bright orange…my favorite color!