Is there anything in this world better than shiny new shoes? I don't think so. I have had a pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 10's since last summer, and they have served me well. For a while, I tried switching them out occasionally with Nike Frees to build up my strength in my calves and feet, but I haven't run in my Frees or anything else in several months.
When I was training for the Bentonville Half Marathon in the spring, I started getting blisters on my right foot any time I ran more than 4 miles. At the time, my shoes weren't worn out yet, and I don't know what was causing it, but I've been very much looking forward to getting new shoes in hopes that it would solve the problem. My old Brooks have somewhere in the neighborhood of 330-ish miles on them, so I helped myself to a shiny new pair on Friday!
I love the color, love the fit, and they felt great walking around the store. The sales guy told me all about some new technology that Brooks used in the Adrenalines this year, something about a gel that's firm when it should be and will also be soft when it needs to be. All I really absorbed is that this year's model is available in better colors. Red! So I have been impatiently waiting until Trea and I had the time and energy for a run during the long holiday weekend. We got up early yesterday with plans to run 6 miles.
We had a thunderstorm over night, so everything outside was damp and the day wasn't hot yet. More storms were coming, so the clouds spared us from the sun and we were hoping to finish up before we got rained on. We tried a different route, so I was extra excited about the change of scenery. I set out in my shiny new shoes and felt good for about 2 minutes. I looked down at my Garmin, and I was barely moving. My feet felt like lead. I couldn't figure out what was wrong. The weather was perfect and I felt good, but I just couldn't make my legs go. Pretty soon, my feet started to cramp, along with my calves.
I made it only half a mile before I had to take both shoes off and stretch my miserable cramping feet. That helped for a while, but I continued to have to stop and walk. At one point, a few of my toes went numb and I was getting angrier and angrier. I wanted so badly to run. The rest of me felt good, but my feet refused to cooperate. Also, I had just spent a sizable chunk of cash on shoes that seemed pretty useless.
Halfway through the run, I gave up. My feet were cramping again, so I just turned around and started walking back toward the car. Fuming. I still didn't feel like I should be finished running and was so frustrated. After walking for a few minutes, my feet had calmed down, even though I hadn't. I took off running again, hoping to at least make it a four-mile day. About that time, there was a rumble of thunder and the skies opened. Fantastic. Just when my run couldn't get any worse. I looked around for a place to take shelter so my iPod wouldn't get ruined, but didn't really want to stop and sit out the storm. So I kept running...and realized a cool rain shower felt kind of nice. I stowed my iPod in my SPIbelt with my sport beans and ran listening to the rain in the trees. Surprisingly, my feet felt OK, and for a few minutes, everything was peaceful.
We ran by a little creek through a park and saw a HUGE bullfrog hopping down the path in front of us. As we got closer, he took a big leap and jumped over the tall bank into the creek, making us both giggle at how silly his giant feet and legs looked when he took a dive. My awful run somehow became a happy run, and I learned that when it's warm outside, I love running in the rain.
We finished up at 4 miles instead of 6, but it felt like enough for my feet. I'm still not sure why a new model of the same shoe would feel so awful, but I'm hoping I just need to break them in or get used to them. I'll give them another try before giving up. And hopefully it'll rain.