Posts Tagged ‘New Shoes


mine’s a half

The new running shoes arrived this week. I took them out for a 10k test run (hahahahahaha!) midweek and they seemed to perform as expected. I’m always surprised at how tight and stiff new running shoes feel in comparison to my old pair that have been through hell and high water (well rain and a little bit of mud) and have moulded to the shape of my feet.
Today was to be my “long run” of the week and with the Royal Parks Half Marathon only 3 weeks away, I felt I’d better get prepared. And what better way to prepare for running 13.1 miles than by going out and running 13.1 miles. So following what was basically last Sunday’s route with a few extra bits, I duly completed 13.1 miles (21.1kms for the Eurocentric amongst us) in 2:05:26. I thought I’d planned the route in my head pretty well but realised on the way back towards my house, that I was going to come up about 2 and a half kilometres shy of the full distance so had to incorporate all manner of loops and detours.
It was an easy run and only began to feel slightly more difficult around the 16km mark. Then it got less and less pleasurable by the metre which the distance miscalculation only aggravated as I could have run 2 kms in one direction and been home instead of executing a seemingly random set of loops and swirls to extend the run to the required distance. Still, the new shoes did the trick and I have some new and strangely placed blisters to add to my collection.
Finally, the Royal Parks Race pack arrived this week containing this years top. The top from the first year was excellent – nice burgundy colour, made of bamboo (eco-friendly, wicking etc.) and is probably my “top of choice” for a long run. Last years t-shirt didn’t even get to the charity shop but went straight into the bin as it was an horiffic lavender colour with a slogan on the reverse that looked like it had been dreamt up and subsequently designed by a 7 year old girl. So there was a certain amount of expectation for this years design. When I looked at it in the bag, the first thing that struck me was that it was orange. Although quite a nice orange. And it was made of the nice bamboo, wicking material so doing well so far. It also has the RPH logo on the chest and looks quite stylish. Good. Unfortunately, it then succeeds in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory by having an awful white and purple design on the reverse that appears to be a footprint containing a silhouette of someone running through some leaves. The script at the side reads, “I believe in leaves”…

Ooh, the front's not bad...

... and the back... oh, bugger!

Soundtrack to this post: Klaxons – Echoes



It’s that time again where I have to invest in some new running shoes. I noticed the other day that part of the sole on one of my shoes was completely worn away and I was running on the foam. Obviously it is nice to have new, sweet smelling and comfortable running shoes every once in a while but shopping for them always disturbs me. I’m not a particularly difficult customer as I generally stick to the same make and model that have served me well (Saucony Pro Grid Guide). A quick search on Google indicates that I need to spend upward of £65 which although a not a massive amount of money still seems like quite a lot for something that I only wear for about 4 hours a week. Fortunately, the website I usually use has the model I want, in the size I need for £49.99 so hastily order them before somebody else requiring a size 9 and a half decides they want them. So they are on the way to me… just as well because todays run was a hellish, disheartening experience, more of which later…

Whilst out on todays run, which incidentally was able to be executed at lunch time due to working from home today, I very nearly ran slap bang into someone. Not entirely my fault but it did serve to annoy me for the remaining 5k of my 10k lunchtime bonanza. I was running along the pavement and notice a large 4 wheel drive pull into a parking space near the shops up ahead of me. Out steps a woman, a very large woman, who is managing to lock her car, talk loudly on her mobile and stuff what looks like an entire sandwich into her mouth all at the same time. She then proceeds to weave left and right across the pavement in front of me in a seemingly random manner making it very difficult for me to be able to pass her. She lurches to the right and I seize the moment and nip past her on the left hand side at which point, she tuts and ducks into the bakers. This managed to annoy me on many levels at the same time – I am out running, exercising and trying to keep myself in shape only to be thwarted in this attempt by a clearly very overweight woman not looking where she was going and yet I probably pay the same for my life insurance as she does even though she obviously has a less active lifestyle which could be taken as an indicator of her being less healthy and more at risk of becoming sick. And the tutting!!! Now I don’t want to be too harsh here as she may have had some medical condition that contributed to her being the size that she was although I suspect that no condition exists that causes the sufferer to become impatient, uncoordinated, rude and greedy and resort to driving an entirely unsuitable and uneconomic vehicle to the cake shop. Athough this was the spark for an interesting thought… some insurance companies will charge a lower premium for people who take regular exercise so surely there is a gap in the market for an insurance company to subsidise me in the purchase of running shoes… Hmmm!

Still, after the cake shop incident, I carried on my merry way but it was a struggle. At 7km, my left shin / knee began to feel numb, just as it was doing at the beginning of the year before Lisbon. It seems to be brought on by me upping the mileage too quickly and I am aware that, with exactly one month to go to the Royal Parks Half and very little distance under my belt, upping the mileage is exactly what I am having to do. I finished the 10k in 57:12… not a bad time for me but for the last 500m, the bottom half of my left leg had gone completely numb and it felt like it was about to give way. It wasn’t painful but just felt very, very wobbly. And both feet were tingling with pins and needles. I sat on the kerb, pissed off… really, really pissed off. It isn’t the end of the world but it is annoying and I hope that the numbness in the left leg and tingling in the feet is really just a sympton of running too far on worn out shoes. I’ll find out soon enough when the new shoes arrive. Until then, I have 1 more long run scheduled for Sunday where I shall attempt 10 miles and then the trainers will be put in a box until I can give them a proper send off at Grim in December.

Soundtrack to this post: The Tiger Lillies – Bully Boys


knee supports and new shoes

Early Start – Would You Mind Getting Out Of The Car Please Sir – Exterminate

In the last 10 days, I have had the unusual opportunity to skate. Twice. Once on ice and once on roller skates. Now, it is unusual if I skate once a year, let alone twice in less than 2 weeks which might be why my left knee region is sore and it hurts when I walk up and down stairs. Which is bad news as it feels very similar to the Iliotibial Band problem I have had in the past, so for now, I’m back to wearing a knee support whilst running and hitting the foam roller twice a day.
Fortunately, my lovely new running shoes have arrived. The Saucony ProGrid Guide 2… an updated version of the ProGrid Guide that have served me so well. First impressions are that they are lovely and supportive and cushioned although that may be down to the shocking disrepair I let my last pair get into. I know that when I ran in them yesterday, there was none of the soreness in my calves and the balls of my feet so it looks like they are doing the trick.
Yesterdays run was a welcome antidote to the days events. Nothing makes me feel so sluggish as getting up early in the morning or having to spend prolonged periods of time in the car. So waking at 5.30 am and being on the road by 6.30 am for a 300ish mile round trip to the Midlands left me feeling weary and jaded. Fortunately, a run usually invigorates me and wakes me up so as soon as I arrived home, I threw on the tights, many layers, my lovely comfortable, supportive new running shoes, a fluorescent jacket and (a new addition to my winter running attire) a head torch. The pavements were still largely untouched by salt and looked pretty treacherous so I opted to run on the road again. 11.3kms covered and only 1 uptight car driver as opposed to about ten times as many the last time I attempted to run on the road because of the snow. And I have a theory that it was the head-torch that made all the difference. After all, who would argue with what appears to be a 5’9″ day glo Dalek running towards them.

Soundtrack to this post: Florence And The Machine – Drumming Song


happy feet

First Of The Month – Gold Is SO Last Year – Is It A Bird… Is It A Plane

Forgive me Father, for I have sinned. It has been 5 days since my last post and people will begin to think that I have become lazy. But I haven’t, I’ve been very active but just didn’t run until earlier today. Admittedly, I didn’t do much on the 1st and 2nd of July as I thought I’d give my legs (or more specifically, knees) a rest but there was a cycle ride in there somewhere and the trusty weights got a thorough repeated-picking-up-and-putting-down on Friday evening.

At the tail-end of June, I’d noticed a tendency towards sore calves and my runs were becoming HARD WORK. On closer inspection, my running shoes had had it so I ordered some online. I’d never ordered shoes online before but found the same model as my existing shoes for little over half the price I’d paid for my last pair back at the beginning of January. And, as I’d had my running style analysed and tried a number of shoes the last time, I figured sticking with what I knew was a safe option. My only reservation was that my last pair were a fetching white and navy blue. My new pair would be “black, grey and gold”.

Gold… Hmmmm.

At best, they could resemble the kind of footwear a Marvel Superhero may wear, at worst something ostentatious like Michael Jackson would choose if he were a) interested in running and b) not dead.

When they arrived, I was a little wary of opening the parcel for fear of going “Oh… My… Giddy… Aunt! I am NOT wearing those” but they are actually very nice. The gold is not too noticeable amongst the grey and black but the acid test would be when I took them out for a “test-run”.

lovely new trainers

lovely new trainers

8.30 this morning, I was bounding along the streets in them.They felt marvellous. I’d not noticed how worn my previous pair had become until they had begun to hurt me. In these, I felt light on my feet and there was noticeable support as they hit the floor. My knees and hips suddenly felt fluid again instead of being jarred each time I clumped the pavement. I only attempted 4 miles as I have been caught out before by getting excited by a new pair of running shoes – heading out on a ten-miler to test out new shoes only results in blisters on unusual parts of your feet in my experience…

So… I am very happy with the shoes so far, the price was good and they arrived in 2 days. They have made running pleasurable again and they make me look just a little bit like a Marvel Superhero.

Soundtrack to this post: King Of Rock – Run DMC

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