I recently felt some pain in my right hip after my Gasparilla race. I took two days off to rest and then went out for an evening 3 mile run, which I did not finish. Frustrated and concerned I called my sister who advise that I take another day or two off and book a massage to work out any kinks. I voiced my thoughts on the possibility of news shoes. My current pair, the Saucony Ride 5, are coming up on a year and are closing in on 300 miles. My sister informed me that running shoes should be replaced roughly every 300-400 miles, but because I was only feeling the pain in one hip and not both there is a probable chance it could not be the shoes.
When I returned to my training my hip pain was just about gone, post-massage; but then my legs started to feel like deadweight, slowing me down on time. With a month left until the half, I decided to look into a new pair. I knew I would need time to break them in before running the race and my Ride 5 are still in decent shape to get me through a few more long distance runs before it’s time to retire them.
I purchased my Ride 5’s at my local Fit2Run where I did a gait analysis to determine that I am a neutral runner, meaning I do not need any additional support. I decided to return to the store in hopes of finding my next pair of shoes.
Upon entering the store was greeted immediately by an associate, Cheryl was her name I believe, and asked what she could assisted me with. I explained my situation and came prepared with all the information regarding my current shoes. I also bought a pair of my running socks with me to try on with any of the prospective shoe choices. My running socks have a bit more cushion in them leaving less room in the toe and heel area, so I wanted to be sure I was fitted correctly with the right size. The friendly associate asked if I would be interested in upgrading to the Ride 6. The Ride 6 is the same style and built, just with a few modifications. Currently, it is among the lightest neutral training shoe of it’s kind, weighing in at 8.8 ounces and features an all-new PowerGrid™ cushioning technology from heel-to-toe.
Going in I was open to anything and everything, but knowing how comfortable and well fitted the Ride 5’s were I opted to go with the Ride 6. Part of my reasoning includes that I have spent so much of my training and mileage increase in my Ride 5’s that I don’t want to knock myself off course with a different shoe style.
The associate bought me a Ride 6 in my current size of a 10. I happily put the shoes on and walked around the store, jogging a bit on the “track” they have. Immediately I could notice difference between a fresh pair of shoes and a pair that has 300 miles on them. When the young woman asked what I thought of them, I expressed my love for them and that these were “the one.” However, I did have to express my concern for the size, to which my toes were right up in the toe box.
I have been extremely thankful that I have made it this far in my training without any blisters, or worse, lost toe nails. I owe it all to an investment in good running shoes and running socks. Some of my runner friends, and non-runner friends, may not know that your foot does swell up when you run, especially a long distance. You need to allocate for a little bit of “breathing room” in the shoes for that particular reason so you can avoid those painful blisters. So I was sure to voice my concern of that when trying on the shoes. The helpful associate searched the back for the next half size up but unfortunately none were in stock and bought out a 10.5 in a different style. This did not help as the shoe wound up being too big in the sides as well. Another associate, Harvey, was called over to assist and urged that I go up to the next size. He went on to explain that he has assisted several customers with this shoe in particular and that they too ran into the same issue as me. Meaning that along with the improved modifications, the shoe downsized. The solution, check the database to see if this particular size was located at another local Fit2Run or have the size special ordered for me. Unfortunately, none of the other stores had my size either so the shoes were ordered and I did have to wait just over a week for them to arrive.
I immediately had to take these babies on a “test run.” I told myself to take it easy and slow, that there was no pressure for a specific time though I did bring my watch so I could keep track of the distance. As I set out on my 3 mile run, the shoes felt light as a feather and conformed perfectly to my feet. As I reached the mile 1 marker, my watch read 10:20. Whoops, so much for an easy and slow run. I told myself to slow down and I did, to 10:33. By that point I did not want to make mile 3 a slow one, my legs were not tired and it honestly did not even feel like I was running a 10:30ish mile. I focused in on my pace and tried to stay consistent in my speed, not pushing to fast nor slowing myself down and mile 3 came in at 10:23. What was even better was that post-run, my legs felt stronger than ever and there was no pain in my hip. I am so happy that I made the investment into these shoes and I’m even more excited to see how much more my training will progress from here.