Shoe Retirement Time Again

That time has come again … time to retire a pair of shoes.

So, I went through the shoe drama I had after I retired the last good pair of shoes – in summary, I’d worn Beasts for years, decided to try something different, I wound up getting injured, went back to Beasts, but by then had gotten lazy and fat, and I’ll never wear anything other than Beasts for running again.

I bought this particular pair of Beasts – a 2014 model that I ordered online – last May, right after we moved to Florida.  Up until about three months ago the running was hit-and-miss, up to a few weeks at a time but then with breaks.  They wound up getting used as walking-around-shoes occasionally, and then I was wearing them when I started Crossfit.  And it turns out that Beasts are AWFUL Crossfit shoes.  They don’t provide stability for weightlifting, the aggressive heel-toe drop puts you up on your toes with heavy weights, and as good as they are front-to-back, they’re awful laterally.  I was trying to use them for something they were never designed to do.  Plus, I wasn’t able to calculate “miles” on them.  The final straw was when a small part of the sole started to come apart – it was time to do some shoe investing.

This morning I did my first run in my new pair of 2014 Beasts, and last week I started wearing Nike Metcons for my Crossfit workouts – and they are much better for that.  The retiring shoes only had 236.32 miles on them in just over a year, plus a whole bunch of Crossfit.  They were good shoes, and my last few rounds with shoes have convinced me that they are worth the investment – you need the right shoes for the right job, and sometimes saving a few dollars makes it harder to do that job.

As I have in the past, I’m going to post a poem that was originally posted on the Brooks Blog about retiring shoes.  They are only shoes, but for a runner, they are the single most important and personal piece of equipment we’ve got.  They deserve a bit of a ceremony, and so…

The following poem can be found in the original blog post here.

Retiring Shoes

By: Stephanie Schultz

The Shoe Retiring Ceremony is held for runners
once every five-hundred miles,
on a Saturday afternoon after a final race
in an old casket factory on the Northeast end of town.

The ceremony begins with the shoes—
bald, wrinkled and tired—
and their moment to say thanks
for the ability to do the job they were made to do,
the miles they were meant to run.

The runner then gets to remember
her ten minute improvement in the half marathon,
crossing the finish line of her first full marathon,
kicking up red dust in the Arches of Utah,
taking an unexpected dip in the Mississippi River.

These memories are then inscribed onto the box
in which the shoes came
and in which they will finally rest—
a box to be displayed on a mantel or bedside table
like a photo of a loved one or a gold trophy

where they can whisper to a new pair of shoes:
Take these feet, these legs
to further distances, to new places.
They are ready for you.

I think it is the shoes…

So, two weeks ago I talked about taking a zero because of self-diagnosed peroneal tendonitis.  Last week I strapped ‘em on and got back to it – and felt good.  The week was a bit different because my family had to travel and I had a couple of days off, so I got to do some short runs on more “fun” courses that I need to drive to.

And then on Friday, I did a 4-mile run along the Bronx River Parkway that really was nice.  I went late morning, the weather was perfect, this is one of my favorite stretches to run.  And I felt generally good and everything was nice.

Until I got out of my car at home.  When I put pressure on my left foot, things basically buckled.  The pain ran from the tendon’s connection with the bone all the way around my ankle up near my calf.

Le <sigh>

So I didn’t get to do my long run this weekend.

Here’s what I think is going on – I really believe it is the shoes.  This is described as an over-use injury, but my mileage hasn’t increased recently and is well below the peak from last November / December.  So I don’t think it is that.  And I never had this problem until two weeks after the half marathon in March … and the only thing that has changed has been my shoes.  I switched from Brooks Beast to the Adrenaline GTS 14s, and I think this is about those shoes.  They are putting me on the outside of my foot.

So what I’m going to do is this – tomorrow, I’m going to go for a run.  Things feel much better, so I think I can handle a short run.  BUT, rather than use my new shoes, I’m going to use my old Beasts.  They’re worn out with 400 miles on them, but they’ll be better than the new ones.  If I don’t have any problem – it is the shoes, and I’ll be acquiring a new pair of Beasts.

And I’ll never stray again.

Shoe Retirement

That time has come again – when there are little aches and pains after runs that hadn’t been there.  When that mileage number creeps up into big numbers.  And when the heels of your shoes look like this:

Retired Beasts

A quick obituary – I bought this particular pair of Brooks Beasts on August 25th at the Westchester Road Runner in White Plains, New York.  They are being retired with 396.34 miles on them – miles that include a half marathon and a Ragnar Relay among seven total races.  My current 5K, 10K, 15K, 10 mile, and half marathon PRs were run in these shoes. And they are stylish and comfortable, to boot.  Thank you, Beasts – you’ve been a great pair of shoes.

While it could be easy to go a bit overboard here – these are, after all, just shoes – I found the poem below a couple of years ago and I think it does a really good job of summing up these feelings.  We don’t take our shoes lightly, do we?  How do you retire your shoes?

The following poem can be found in the original blog post here.

Retiring Shoes

By: Stephanie Schultz

The Shoe Retiring Ceremony is held for runners
once every five-hundred miles,
on a Saturday afternoon after a final race
in an old casket factory on the Northeast end of town.

The ceremony begins with the shoes—
bald, wrinkled and tired—
and their moment to say thanks
for the ability to do the job they were made to do,
the miles they were meant to run.

The runner then gets to remember
her ten minute improvement in the half marathon,
crossing the finish line of her first full marathon,
kicking up red dust in the Arches of Utah,
taking an unexpected dip in the Mississippi River.

These memories are then inscribed onto the box
in which the shoes came
and in which they will finally rest—
a box to be displayed on a mantel or bedside table
like a photo of a loved one or a gold trophy

where they can whisper to a new pair of shoes:
Take these feet, these legs
to further distances, to new places.
They are ready for you.

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