9/10/11 – 15 MILES
My training this week took a major nosedive. The much cooler temps coincided with a horrible bout of asthma. After my Tuesday run with Bill, which I barely stumbled through because of breathing issues, I didn’t feel well enough to run. I kept telling myself, I’ll run tomorrow, but tomorrow’s asthma was just as bad as the day before’s. When Friday rolled around and I only had one run under my belt for the entire week, I began to have the unsettling feeling that maybe I wouldn’t be able to pull it together for Tulsa, maybe I would have to bail.
My mileage is very low. I’m 10 weeks out from the race. It all depended on today’s 15 mile long run.
It was a great run. The temperature was around 67 degrees at the start (almost 20 degrees cooler than we’ve had since May!) and it was just a good, all-around run on one of my favorite routes. I could definitely feel the effects of taking 3 days off from running, but it wasn’t so bad. I think I can still save my marathon, though it probably won’t be my best time by any long shot. And you know what? At this point, after 6 marathons, after Boston, after passing the half century mark, I really don’t care. I don’t have anything to prove anymore, and it’s okay if I just go out and run the race, do the best I can, and cross the finish line in one piece.
I sound like a broken record, but I’m still working on running for enjoyment and not the end goal. I miss those days of not being tied to a training plan, the days when I couldn’t wait to get home from work so I could lace up my shoes and head for the lake. Now it seems I’m always guilt ridden because I’m not sticking to my plan, or my mileage is low, or the heat is beating me down, or whatever. The fantastic weather we had today reminds me that this is what running is all about, this is how it should feel, to run because it feels great, because it’s a beautiful morning, because my friends are there, and because we can. What else is there really?
Stats: 15 miles @ 9:39 pace – 67 degrees at the start
Feet are a runner’s best friend. I was going to say shoes, but know that a lot of people don’t run in shoes these days. Plus, if there’s something wrong with your feet, chances are it will affect how you run. Common sense, right?
When I first started running I was told that I needed a new pair of shoes every 500 miles. This sounded good to me, and I’m not one to argue about having to buy a new pair of shoes, so I started tracking my shoe mileage. A few years later, when I had some minor foot issue, everyone told me that 500 miles was too much, that I needed a new pair every 300 miles. This sounded even better, and I religiously started getting new shoes once I hit the 300 mile mark.
Then I met Michael.
Michael tends to not believe anything anyone tells him at face value. Anytime he hears the word “should” he pretty much goes out of his way to do the opposite.
This should be evident by looking at his running shoes.
Neither one of us is sure how long he’s owned this pair of running shoes. There was another pair before these that he bought when we first met, but they have long since bit the dust. The pictured pair have been around a long time. Obviously.
Granted, Michael doesn’t run long distances. A former triathlete and half Ironman, he doesn’t enjoy running long like I do. He tends to run 3-6 miles here and there, whenever he feels like it, and he’s happy with that.
I’ve also always read that you never wear your running shoes for anything but running, and you need to let them “rest” for a day to let the cushioning go back to its optimal shape. Which means you should have two pairs of shoes and alternate them. Michael has one pair of running shoes and wears them for just about everything but work. In addition to running in them, he walks the dogs, works in the garden, mows the grass, AND plays touch rugby every Sunday morning in them.
In essence, he’s broken every shoe rule you can break in those shoes.
When I switched over to wearing Nike Frees two years ago, I wondered if the old 300 mile rule applied to this type of shoe as well. They are decidedly more minimal than the Asics I used to wear, and I suspect they only need to be changed when the soles really start to wear down. I generally tend to change them anyway around 350-400 miles or so, and haven’t noticed any difference or problems.
All of this makes me wonder if the 300 mile rule is a bunch of hooey? Is this merely an arbitrary number the shoe manufacturers have come up with to convince us it’s time to peel off the bills, or do injuries increase with more mileage on the shoes?
As for Michael, we finally got him a bright and shiny new pair of shoes this week. Let’s see how long it takes before they look like the old pair.