I’ve been on the hunt for new running shoes for the NYC Marathon for several weeks now. Ever since they were introduced five years ago, I’ve been running in Nike Frees, and I love, love, love them. The knee and hip pain I used to suffer from has all but disappeared thanks to those shoes. Back in July I went to my new favorite local running store – Rogue – and picked up a new pair of Free 5.0s. While I was there, I talked to the salesgirl about what shoe I should switch to when my mileage got higher. She recommended the Free 7.0, which has a bit of a firmer sole and a teeny bit more support. In hindsight, I should have grabbed a pair in addition to my 5.0s.
Three weeks ago I went to Rogue for a pair of size 10 Free 7.0s. And they didn’t have them. I tried on a pair of men’s shoes in the equivalent size, and they felt awful. I was so desperate that I broke down and bought a pair of size 10.5 shoes, even though I knew they weren’t right. A day of walking in them confirmed my fears. There was no way I was going to be able to run a marathon in the shoes.
I went back to Rogue and asked them to order a pair of size 10 shoes for me, but the guy wasn’t optimistic that they’d be able to get them. So I started searching on my own. Turns out that not even nike.com has the 7.0s in my size. Apparently, Nike is getting ready to introduce a new version, so they aren’t making any more of the shoes. Damn.
Back to Rogue I went. And I probably drove the poor salesgirl insane. She pulled out every pair of shoes in my size that were similar to the Frees in terms of cushioning and support. I’d try on a pair, do a lap around the store and declare the shoes too small or too big or too stiff or too soft. Unlike Goldilocks, I never found a pair that was just right. I ended up with Nike Lunarlites, which are pretty minimalistic, like the Frees, but they have a stiffer sole. They are almost just right. I’ve run in them several times, and while it wasn’t instant love like with my Frees, I do like them. Mostly.
While I was at Rogue, I chatted with the two young kids (probably in their early 20s) who were working. I was feeling pretty good about myself – hanging out at the running store comparing training notes with the cool kids. When I mentioned that I was getting ready to run the NYC Marathon, the young man who was working looked up and said, “That’s awesome, ma’am.”
And my ego deflated immediately. The young man wasn’t being rude or snarky; he was just being polite to a woman who was old enough to be his mother.
On a more positive note – the change in the weather is making me feel like a kid again. I feel positively frisky when I head out for a run in the mornings. Saturday I knocked out 12 miles without a problem, laughing and chatting with friends the whole way. I just hope the weather holds through next weekend’s 18-miler. It’s my last long, long run before New York (I ran out of time to fit in a 20-mile run), and I want cool weather for it.