12 weeks to a half: sole mates [week 4]

my new kicks



the author has never received free product n
or kickbacks from any brand/store mentioned in the following (or any) post and only rambles about things she loves. she just rants to her own rhythm, ya know, blogs to her own beat. now, on with the blog.

there is perhaps nothing more exciting for a fitness freak (guilty-as-charged) than getting new sneakers.  and guaranteed, there is nothing more important for runners than having the right pair.  so this past weekend i headed to my local roadrunner store to snag my new set of treads to dominate my last 8 weeks of training.  these are my top tips on picking the perfect pair:

every person’s feet are unique: high/low arches, narrow/wide foot, over/under-pronation, yadda yadda yadda. and then you’ve got things like terrain you train on (concrete, trails, treadmills), mileage (short/long distance), and any injuries you need to take into consideration (knee pain, plantar fasciitis, big toe woes like me).  my top tip is this: if you’ve never been to a specialty running store (roadrunner, fleet feet, snail’s pace, etc.), this needs to be your first stop. they will walk (or, run) you through their specialized process of finding the perfect fit shoe. yes, you may pay a bit more, but they are trained for this whereas big-box stores, not so much. and i beg you to buy them there – don’t skimp to save $15 after they spend the time helping you!  i found my sweet sneaks by going through the “perfect fit” process at my local roadrunner store. none near you? they have this online fitting tool if you don’t have a specialty running store nearby!

i go through shoe phases. in high school it was nike. college i swore by new balance, then i moved onto asics.  and it wasn’t til recently that i found my sole mate (sorry, had to): my mizuno wave rider 16.  for my high-arched, narrow foot that needs a “neutral ride” (see, i learned this after my fitting!), this shoe is the perfect amount of cushion and support without feeling like i’m running on pillows.  i just went through my second pair and proudly crossed the finish line of my first half-marathon in my salmon-pink treads.  my new pair is so sexy, so sleek: bright white with lime green soles and a pretty purple logo, perfectly matching my team in training colors as i #run4momma in the san francisco nike women’s half in just 8 weeks.  they’re so pretty, which leads me to my next point.

if you go in the running store where they take shoe-fitting very seriously, they will either 1) laugh at you or 2) get very frustrated when they bring out the “perfect” shoe for you and your response is similar to mine. “um, do you have those in a different color?” … “yeah, i don’t do blue.” … “how about red, do they come in red?”.  i assure you they will roll their eyes and tell you that the color doesn’t matter, the fit is what matters. and they are 100% handsdown correct. and yet, i still want cute shoes.  now, i won’t choose the wrong shoe because of color, but i will hunt for days before buying them if i don’t love them. you’re going to be staring at these suckers for miles (and miles), and in my humble opinion, if i’m going to shell out a hundred bucks, i better look good in ‘em!  bonus in identifying your “sole mate” like i have with my mizunos, i popped in, looked at color options, told ‘em my size. they didn’t have them in stock so, boom – they’re shipping them to me right now…for free.  out the door in 15 minutes flat!

i trained in my last treads for about 6 weeks and ran my first half (sub 2-hours, thank ya very much) which logged i’m guessing about 100 miles on them.  and now i’ve been training for about 16 weeks but definitely running higher mileage, adding probably another 250 miles. so these poor soles have about 350+ mile on them. rule of thumb: replace your shoes every 300-500 miles, but if your joints start hurting more than usual or your arches are aching, it’s time to trade up. wear warning: don’t wear your running shoes for anything else. not to the gym, not shopping, not walking: save them to save your joints. another tip: after i retire my running shoes, i’ll use those for lifting at the gym where i don’t need as much arch-support. after about another 3-4 months i’ll take them to my local nike store to recyle them – they use well-worn shoes to make playgrounds for kids. see, run, recycle, repeat!

if you’re following the 12 weeks to half lifting lover’s training plan, you’re about 8 weeks out from race day. now’s the time: shop for your perfect pair this weekend and still have about 6-8 weeks to break them in.  you don’t want to sport a new pair on race day: hello, blisterville!  always buy treads at least 3-4 weeks beforehand so you have time to break them in, get used to them, get comfy and cozy. it’s like dating: you’re not gonna introduce them to mom on the first date, you gotta see if they’re worthy. same thing with your shoes: give ‘em a go before the big day.  not lovin’ them? this is why i get mine at roadrunner even though they’re about $15 cheaper on amazon: 60-day “perfect fit” guarantee, meaning i can return them even if they’ve been worn. no questions asked. yeah, try doing that with amazon!

so, i’m curious: how’s your training going?  i’m taking requests for what you want me to blog about in week 6, our half-way point…so comment below and whoever’s topic i choose will win a fitbook from yours truly!

soley yours,

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