Lessons learned

This weekend I learned one of those valuable runner lessons I likely should have either learned or just known years ago.

I will preface the story by explaining that, even though selecting running shoes should be an intentional and delicate process, that has definitely not always been the case for me.

It’s probably a miracle that I wasn’t injured running several half marathons and a marathon in shoes I wasn’t properly fitted for. But I finally did it right when I was fitted for my Brooks Glycerin 9’s and I have absolutely loved those shoes ever since.

Leave it to me to make yet another rookie mistake by assuming that, just because I like a certain shoe, I will like all of the models that follow it. When my parents asked me what I wanted for Christmas last December, I asked for a pair of Glycerin 10’s I had only seen online and never tried. I was psyched when I opened them up on Christmas Day even though my plan was to wait to use them for a while because I still had some mileage to go on my 9’s.

More and more over the past few weeks, as my workout distances and weekly mileage have been scaling up for the first time since using my new 10’s, I have been realizing that these shoes are all wrong for me. It is hard to explain but this version feels noticeably heavier and stiffer and some changes to the inner arch support in this model have started to make me pronate when I didn’t before.

Glycerin 9's on the left and 10's on the right. 9's have hard plastic support evenly across the arch and 10's have a bigger one only on the inner arch. Boo.

Glycerin 9’s on the left and 10’s on the right. 9’s have minimal hard plastic support evenly across the arch and 10’s have a larger amount only on the inner arch. Boo.

Of course, since the shoes were purchased months and months ago, they aren’t returnable or exchangeable. So at the conclusion of my first week of marathon training, I was left with one pair of shoes I can’t stand running in and can’t get rid of and… well… that’s pretty much it.

Even though I had not financially prepared myself to invest in a new pair of shoes, I knew that continuing to train in the Glycerin 10’s would be a stupid move. I went to visit the amazing people at Bull City Running Company who graciously spent a ridiculous amount of time putting me through all the tests, watching me run up and down the sidewalk in about six different pairs of shoes, and understanding when my indecisive self took forever to decide between my two favorite pairs. Seriously, if you are a runner in the Raleigh-Durham area go see the people at Bull City Running because they are phenomenal and so is their store.

The end results of my running shoe fiasco are 1) a tired credit card and 2) the Nike Zoom Elite 6. Be prepared, the pictures you are about to see may blind you…

If a car hits me while I'm wearing these and claims they didn't see me... they are lying.

If a car hits me while I’m wearing these and claims they didn’t see me, they are lying.

My parents should be proud. These are by far the best running shoes to represent UVa. Especially if you want to represent UVa while attending a rave.

My parents should be proud. These are by far the best running shoes to represent UVa. Especially if you want to represent UVa while attending a rave.

I am down with colorful, fun running shoes but have not usually gone for all out neon. Unfortunately, they were out of the more subtle black, purple, and lime green color scheme that I would have picked. I better work on becoming super speedy because I don’t think there is a way to wear these and not draw attention to myself.

So, lesson learned: Don’t assume that just because you like one model of a shoe, you will like all the following models. If you do make this assumption, it is not advisable to order the new model online and not try them out until months later when you can no longer return them.

Oh, also, I managed to rear end someone in route to buying my new florescent shoes. It was a right turn on red situation and the mini van in front of me was stopped and then appeared to be driving forward as if to turn right on red. So I, already in the stopped position, looked left to check traffic and proceeded to turn right on red directly into the back of said mini van because they had for whatever reason decided not to turn. I know it is my fault since whoever rear ends the other person is pretty much always at fault. So I am not complaining or being accusatory… just wondering why one would act like they are turning right on red when traffic is clear and then not do it.

So, lesson learned part 2: When turning right on red, it is best to check to see if the person in front of you is going, then check traffic, then check to make sure the person in front of you is actually going… and then, I don’t know, probably check traffic again.

Have you ever had problems with a new model of your favorite running shoe? What are your thoughts on neon running shoes? Ever rear-ended someone?


13 thoughts on “Lessons learned

  1. It may “technically” be your fault, but I really think it’s theirs! And you are so right about the shoes…you just never know if the next version will work as well. I dig the new colors!

    • Thanks! They’re growing on me, I just don’t usually go for shoes that draw so much attention! In Brooks’ defense, I did email them about my problem and they gave me a 25% off code to help me buy a new pair of shoes. Unfortunately I tried on like every pair of Brooks at the running shop and none of them felt right. I may put it toward a pair of Pure Flows later on because I really want to try them but they are way too minimal to do long runs for marathon training in.

    • Thanks girl! Yeah, new shoes are no joke budget-wise. I like to remind myself they are well worth the money to stay injury free though 🙂

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