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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