Yesterday my new skirt from runningskirts.com finally came! I was a little shocked when I opened it up, though, because the color was totally different from what I had expected. They recently got a new shipment and the old one was more of a navy blue/baby blue combo and this one has navy/turquoise. Runningskirts has good customer service, and they apologized for the color difference and said I could exchange it. I'm debating whether or not to keep it but have to admit it is definitely growing on me.
Today I had planned to run 7 miles, but was enjoying myself so much, ended up tacking on an extra out-and-back for 8.2 miles. Both of my shins have been acting up so it's time to retire my current running shoes. I've been using the New Balance 767's for about a year now. When I was training for the Goofy Challenge I got two pairs going in the rotation so that I'd have a different pair to wear for the half vs. the full (just in case it was raining). Both pairs of shoes reached 350 miles each this week. I've read you should be able to get 300-500 miles out of a pair of running shoes, but I find I start to have problems somewhere around 325. I guess my running mechanics are pretty tough on shoes. I had a pair of brand-spankin' new NB 767's hanging out in the shoe closet that I bought during a New Balance mega-sale many months ago so got those puppies out today.
I have this personality characteristic that I like to refer to as loyalty. This is of course, a euphemism I've created. I'm the type of person who goes to a restaurant for the first time, orders something that turns out great and keeps ordering that same dish every single time (even though I know other things would probably be just as fabulous). When I go to work, I park in the same stall every day. When I go to a gym I use the same locker at every visit. I tend to stick to the same running routes once I become familiar with them.
Running shoe selection, for me, is very important. I suffered from knee pain many years ago when I was running in NB 765's. I went to JackRabbit for the first time and they fit me into Asics GT-2100's. The knee pain miraculously disappeared. I then developed a crippling case of shin splints while training for my third marathon. I did some tinkering with different models at this time, but finally bit the bullet two marathons later and got custom orthotics. A year ago JackRabbit refit me into the 767's which I've been running happily in ever since. I try very hard to not let myself go through more than 4 pairs of the same style shoe before being refit. I don't want to become one of those people who search far and near for long-ago discontinued running shoes. I don't want to ever get into a mind frame that I have to be wearing a certain model of shoe to have any chance of running health. I've since let myself get up to 5 pairs of the 767's.
For the first time, I managed to acquire every available color for one shoe model
I've reached sort of a crux here. The 767's have been replaced by 768's. When my much-loved GT-2100's were revamped into GT-2110's I went into JackRabbit and after some treadmill analysis was told that the new model would certainly not do. So I'm not going to just switch blindly over into the 768's. I also do not currently have a local running store I trust to go and get shoe advice from. Also, I've had pretty good luck with these 767's in combo with my custom orthotics. My shins are just about always tender to the touch, but it has not flared up to the extent I experienced back in 2006. Back then I was unable to even walk without pain for something like 2 months straight.
But with the introduction of my latest pair of 767's I've come to a point where I'm forcing myself to let this model go. I could probably find some smokin' deals on the now retired 767's but I'm going to resist the urge. So I've got 350 or so more miles of running before I have to find myself a new running shoe. I took the above class photo as a remembrance before I start donating them off to recycling programs or Shoes-for-Africa organizations.
The one thing I love about new running shoes is comparing them to the old ones to show just how much damage you've done. You can tell just how much of the treads I've been leaving behind on my various running routes. I can only imagine what's happened to the cushioning as well.
One last note, I recently discovered this race series called the Skirt Chaser Race Series. How much fun is this?! Women get a three minute head start. Then the men (called skirt chasers) get to take off. I am so bummed that the only location remotely close to me is taking place on the same day as the 50K I'm hoping to run. Maybe a road-trip on day? Maybe next year they'll have a location in Northern California. Fingers crossed.