For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved getting new shoes. Whether it was a new pair of basketball high tops or a pair of football cleats, I loved the process of shopping for shoes growing up. The older I get, the more I like finding great deals on shoes!
For the runner, shoes are perhaps the most important piece of equipment we buy. If you’re like me, once you find a pair of running shoes that fit and perform well, you keep coming back to them again and again.
Several years ago, I bought a pair of Nike XC Waffle Racers that weigh less than 5 ounces each. I had worn them for only a couple training runs before deciding to wear them for the rugged Lead King Loop 25k trail race in Marble, Colorado. The race begins with ½ mile of flat dirt road before climbing 2900 ft. over the next 5 miles. Once at the top of the climb, runners begin a brutal 10 mile descent on a rough jeep road filled with scree, bowling ball-sized rocks and tough footing en route to the finish.
The shoes felt great on the climb to the top. In fact, the only real experimenting I’ve done with them was primarily uphill. Unfortunately, I learned one of the most painful lessons in my running career on that mean descent. I began feeling some blisters forming at around the 8 mile mark. This is a dreadful feeling when you still have over 7 miles of rough terrain ahead of you.
By the 10 mile mark, my feet were in shear agony. These shoes were made for tame, soft and grassy surfaces which I was reminded of with every painful step. By the 11 mile mark, I was tip-toeing over and around the rocks. Not only were new blisters forming, but my heels felt like iron rods were being driven into them as they absorbed the impact of the crushing descent.
I began running through every cool puddle of water I came across in order to gain some short-lived relief. Creek crossings were a glorious sight indeed! Somewhere in the last couple miles I think my feet went numb and I just tried to push as hard as I could to get the torture over with. With only 200 yards to the finish, I glanced down and noticed blood oozing out my left shoe near my pinky toe. Not good.
Upon finishing, I proceeded straight over to the nearby Beaver Lake where I soaked my battered feet for about fifteen minutes in the ice cold mountain water. When it was all said and done, I ended up with 7 blisters, 2 badly bruised heels and a humbled spirit. I wouldn’t run another step for over a week as I hobbled around.
Not only is it important to buy properly fitting shoes, it’s also important to test those shoes on a variety of training runs and specifically on the type of terrain you’ll encounter in upcoming races. I failed on both accounts as I bought the shoes online without trying them on (a great deal, I might add) and didn’t test them out like I should have. Sometimes we have to learn the hard way…dang!
One year later, I returned to the Lead King Loop with more cushioned trail running shoes and a built in rock plate for added protection. I ended up 3rd overall and my feet were in great shape post-race!
May you learn from my mistake and have more bliss than blisters!
In the nearly 8 years that my wife and I have lived in Colorado Springs, never have we seen the amount of road construction currently taking place. Whether it’s a main road or side street, there’s no part of town missing out on the “fun”. And it’s not just re-paving or patching potholes. Whole lanes are being ripped up with miles of digging in order to replace underground pipes of all varieties.
At first, I thought all the “weed” sales (pot is legal in Colorado) might be producing the influx of tax funds for all this construction. But a running buddy of mine made me aware of a bill that had passed in the last couple years which freed up an enormous amount of funds for these projects.
Turns out the city has a certain amount of time to spend the money. Based on the number of orange cones and “ROAD WORK AHEAD” signs, it looks as though no penny is being spared.
Millions of people are about to be disappointed –– they don’t even realize it.
Maybe you’re one of them.
Right now, around the world, people are setting new ambitious health goals and resolutions.
And yet, according to Inc Magazine, approximately 80% of New Year's resolutions fail. Most of them buried in an unmarked early grave by February.
Why is that?
How is it that despite all our best intentions and genuine desire to live healthier and be fitter, the most we can hope for is a depressing 20% success rate?
So to help you kickstart your New Year with a healthy lifestyle we are going to breakdown why most goals and resolutions fail and what to do instead.