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Chicago Running Blog Lyfe Reviews The Long Run Treat Yourself Tuesday

Mama Needs a New Pair of (Running) Shoes!

CONGRATS. You made it through Monday. Any progress on the selfie taking? Good, me neither. Before I get to the main event, did anyone else in the Chicagoland area (or thereabouts) catch that hilarious 10 minute long crazy intense thunderstorm yesterday morning, around 6? And then it cleared up. Ohhhh Chicago. Your weather is always drunk.

Anyhoo, let’s talk treats, shall we? This is a three-parter:

1) Before the marathon, but in preparation for after the marathon

2) At the marathon

3) After the marathon.

Thank you to Becky for hosting this little get together of Beneficial Strategic Selfishness!

Merci, Becky!

Merci, Becky!

Part 1: Before the Marathon.

Ok, girls, let’s be honest. Marathon training can be hell on our equipment. And I mean all of our equipment. Even if you have special underwear (I have particular ones that I wear for super long runs to minimize chafing and odor), and as much as you see advertisements tell you not to wear your cotton stuff when training, you know you are going to. Thus, everything wears out. Or, you just get tired of seeing it and need a change.

victorias secret shopping spree

Enter: Post Remicade Trip to Victoria’s Secret to stock up (thank you to whoever started the 5x$25 deal, you are amazing). 10 pairs of shiny new underroo’s, 1 pair of on clearance yoga pants, and a new shirt later, I’m in business. I’ll spare you going through all of them. But they have been chillin’ in my closet, awaiting their turn in the spotlight. The time is now, my beauties!

Part 2: At the Marathon

I am either all or nothing at Expos. I either go and want to take the samples but buy nothing (yup, totally that person), or I go and get involved. The “involvement” typically only happens when the expos are a manageable size and it is a momentous race. And a credit card other than my own is involved 😀 Well, those happy little qualities came together in the Twin Cities Marathon Expo, and here is what I got!

The race shirt for the marathon was only given to the finishers (soooo exclusive) but it is a Brooks Long Sleeve tech shirt and SO comfortable. LOVE. They gave us socks in our bag, which I thought was fun (it has the marathon name and logo around the ankle). I haven’t worn mine yet, but they look comfy. On the right, I got to have a little fun in a store that is based in Canada but with a few stores in the US: Running Room. They had SUPER cute and functional gear in their own brand, and I picked up what I think might be my favoritest and most coordinated outfit ever. There are great design details on the obliques of the shirt, reflectors down the back, and the shorts have little laser cut outs! I also got my throwaway jacket for during the race from them.

new ravenna 5s

I purchased 3 other things at the expo: a second pair of Yurbuds with the microphone (I had the ones without), new running sunglasses, and the often referenced purple Ravenna 5s. I got these on a little bit of a sale (thus my reason for biting the bullet), and felt comfortable in the expo and as I wore them on and off for the rest of the day (just walking). After the race, I wore them while I was strength training to break them in a little, and then ran about 12 miles total in them the weekend of the Chicago Marathon.

If you may remember, I started feeling a little foot soreness that Friday, and well, running on it didn’t help. I continued to have soreness this week. My conclusion? Transitioning to a new pair just wasn’t going as smoothly–perhaps there was too much stiffness, or just that my feet weren’t used to non-broken in shoes anymore. I new that I could feel the arch of the orthotic when I was wearing them, and they felt more firm than my old ones. but was this something that would go away? Or something that was wrong?

Well, friends, I have unfortunately come to the conclusion that my orthotics do not sit properly in these shoes. And for all of you out there who thought they were pretty, wear a size 8.5 medium, and are looking for an entry-level support shoe at a BALLER price, slightly (ie just enough) broken in to hit the trail running (literally), they are now for sale on eBay.

I ran this weekend in my old Ravennas with just a little soreness on Friday and Saturday and NO soreness Sunday. I rest my case. And thus, we come to…..

Part 3: After the Marathon

Now, I hope you are all sitting down. Forgive me, Brooks (not that you know who I am, or even care, much as that pains me), but I am taking a dip in other waters.

da box.

da box.

**A quick, and totally unnecessary note as to why Brooks shoes are so close to my heart and sole:

  • I have done all of my serious running in them. They have run me through flares, my first races, grad school, my half marathons, my marathons.
  • They fit my feet.
  • I switched to wearing Brooks just a few weeks before I started dating Alex.
  • I have had over 10 pairs in the 6 years I have been in the brand. I had 6 pairs of the Defyances. YEAH.

But right now, Brooks doesn’t really have a lot to offer me. My stride and foot fall have changed yet again, and my option for getting a similar ride (light support, but not too much) with cushion but not the Ravennas just isn’t currently available (the Ghosts have never fit my feet, Glycerin is too much shoe).

So while I was picking up my packet on Saturday, I decided it was now or never. Let’s ask questions. While I did NOT care for the person helping me–he was actually a bit of a d*** and either hated his job, hated me, or had something large, spiked and rigid shoved in an orifice–I was interested in the $10 off of the shoes (from the race) and the fact that I can return them, no questions asked and regardless of condition, in 30 days.

This is what I ended up with:

newton kismet

Still Prettay. And hilariously matched what I was wearing that day perfectly.

The Newton Kismet. After years of being told that I shouldn’t run in minimalist shoes, I am now in the brand that made it a universal thing (sorry, Vibram, you are not shoes, and thus don’t count. Yeah, I said it). But hear me out.

Why I let the curmudgeon talk me into Trying out Newtons:

  1. I’ve always been curious
  2. With my heel lifts in (which I was doing on Saturday, and able to run completely pain free), I am creating a similar midfoot/forefoot motion anyway
  3. This is the more transitional model, with more traditional structure
  4. OMG my feet (with the orthotics) fit them like a glove, and I walk completely neutrally
  5. I have time to play before I start really training again. I can keep the distances short without fear, and I have to transition in them anyway.
  6. They make me feel fast (I WANNA GO FAST!)
  7. I am in the best shape I can possibly be in order to do this.
  8. In 30 days, if I don’t like them? OFF YOU GO, SHOES.

Unless these shoes literally blow my mind and everything I’ve ever known, I see myself coming back to Brooks again in the future, maybe into the Pure Project (way down the road, as the lower drop can spell trouble for people with pasts of soleus/Achilles/plantar issues, as I do). Or maybe back or in and out of a regular shoe. Who knows?

I’ve got 30 days to test drive these bad boys. And if I don’t like them? NEXT!! On to the next date in my quest for a new solemate.

How often/when do you restock your underwear drawer?

We’ve talked about buying at expos and brand loyalty before, so how about this: have you ever COMPLETELY changed courses from what you had previously sworn by?

Does running shoe-buying stress you out?? It does me, mostly because they are expensive, and my body likes to make things “fun.”

Anyone with experience in the Newtons? Do you go back and forth to normal shoes, or run exclusively in them (after the transition)?

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