A solid understanding

When I was in the fifth grade, my feet went through a mysterious growth spurt.   All of a sudden I was sporting size nine sneakers with my smidgen-midget frame.

“You don’t have big feet!” my dad would console me.  “You just have a solid understanding.”  Under.  Standing.  Get it?  And people wonder from whence comes my penchant for puns.

At that point, everyone was probably thinking that my height would catch up and I’d end up as a tall, or at least normal-sized, human being.  But alas, my body never got the memo and I topped out at 5’3″.  Oh well.

What does any of this have to do with anything?  Nothing really, except to serve as an elaborate preamble to an exciting (t0 me) but perhaps rather dull (to you) announcement: I got new shoes!

And I’m cheating on my beloved Ghosts.

This wasn’t a planned infidelity.  It a rash act, a heat-of-the-moment decision.  I went in to my local TAF with every intention of picking up a new pair of Ghosts.  But then, of course, I got to chatting with the guys there.  Enter: a very nerdy running shoe conversation, because I am a running-shoe nerd, and the casual revelation that they had the new Adrenaline 11s , fresh off of the delivery truck.

Would I like to try them, just for kicks?  Of course I would!

Back in my running-store-employee days, I sold a lot of Adrenalines.  Objectively, I think it’s a superb shoe.   For the amount of support it offers, it’s amazingly lightweight and responsive.  And relatively inexpensive – excellent shoe, excellent value.

I’d never run in them myself, though.  I have a weird stride that’s not exactly neutral, but I’m not an classic over-pronator either.  Neutral shoes have always done me good, and the one time I flirted with a higher-support shoe, I hated it.  And in general, I hate shoes that feel stiff, heavy, overly cushy, or bulky in the heel.  Which most support shoes do.

So when I slipped on the spankin’ new Adrenalines, it was mostly out of nerdy curiosity.  I was surprised when they felt great.  In fact, they felt a lot like my beloved Ghosts.  Light, flexible, simple, easy.  Well…okay then.  I’ve often wondered if my Achilles issue would benefit from a more supportive shoe.  Let’s give them a shot.

I’ve run in them a few times now, alternating with my old shoes, and while I can definitely tell that it’s “more shoe” than I’m used to, they’re not bad.  And my Achilles is indeed doing better…although it’s one of those situations where there are too many variables (time off, much lower mileage, diligent Stick action, no speedwork) to really pin it on any one.

Although I can’t say I won’t go back to my Ghosts next time around…I can now say that I’ve found a support shoe that I don’t hate.  And if you are an Adrenaline fan, definitely check out the new 11s.  In terms of responsiveness, I think they’re a big improvement over the 10s.  But I’m curious to hear what other people think!

Aaaaaand that’s way too much nerdy shoe talk for one post.  Right?

Today’s EAT: Was lazy.  California Pizza Kitchen from the freezer.

I actually dislike CPK restaurants.  I ate dinner from there almost every night for the first two years of my working life, as it was the only place in Downtown LA that stayed open past 6PM and delivered.  Total burnout, even now, nine years later.

But their thin-crust frozen pizzas are about as good as it gets for freezer meals.  Lots of toppings and spices, and a very reasonable calorie count.

Today’s DRINK: Another holdover from the Thanksgiving stash.

If I could drink wine like this every night, I’d be a happy little camper.  As much as I love my TJ’s cheapies, there really is a difference.  Not that this 2005 Sandholdt Petite Syrah is exactly a bank breaker – it’s a $20 bottle – but it’s a big step up from the under $10 crowd.  Very smooth, just a little fruity – I tasted strawberries and apricots – and not too dry.  Love.

Today’s RUN: Seven today.  My longest run in a month!

And very pleasant along the new (ish? I think?) Rocky Branch Greenway that runs through the North Carolina State University campus.  Relatively flat, nice soft surface, no traffic interruptions?  New favorite spot to run!

Today’s QUESTION: Are you monogamous with your shoes – or do you stray once in a while? I’m kind of enjoying my little affair. 🙂


26 responses to “A solid understanding

  1. lifeisbeachykeen

    I have a monogamous relationship w/ my Nikes. But now, you have me thinking about an affair. Hm. It is almost time for new shoes, I even told my husband last night that I needed new shoes soon. He was not thrilled.

    I like my Nikes, they have worked well for me, but whose to say something else wouldn’t work better. To have an affair, or not to have an affair?

  2. shoe nerds unite! I used to run in Adrenalines. but I left them for Asics…then New Balance…then back to Asics… I’m a shoe ho fo sho.

  3. I hope you had some ranch dressing to go along with your pizza! 🙂

  4. hahah solid understanding. i love it. i’m going to use it (i have big feet too) 🙂

  5. After my Asics (that I’d worn for a decade, through all sorts of revamps) started giving me blisters, I switched my shoes up a bunch and ended up in PT for the worst shin splints ever. But now I’m fine again, and settled in to new Saucony’s.

    And I’m also going to be using that understanding joke ALL THE TIME from now on.

  6. I’ve been schizo the past two years as far as shoes go (and as far as mental disorders g0 too). Nothing worked for me, so I went from shoe to shoe to shoe. I’m like the damn Baby Bear: too much cushion, not enough cushion…and then I happened to find these rinky dink little adidas that I am in love with….juuuust right. And they’re light as a feather. When I put on my old Asics now, I feel like I’m stepping into concrete. (BTW Tracy — they gave me blisters too!)
    But now that I have some real thin orthotics that work for me, I can almost wear any basic neutral shoe and the inserts do the work for them.
    And now I am rambling…

  7. I was 100% a Nike Girl. Then I decided to try some other shoes–hated them all. Until I got a proper shoe fitting at a running store. I was told to buy Brooks Ravenna and I LOVE LOVE LOVE them! They are such wonderful shoes!

  8. All I wear are Adrenalines so I can’t wait to try out the 11’s. I had some issues with the 10’s, the 9’s were a good shoes, the 8’s were awful and the 6’s were fabulous since they were my very first “real” running shoe.

    I plan to hit my local running shops sale tomorrow to pick up a pair of the 11’s. I can’t wait to see what improvements have been made between the 10’s and 11’s!!

  9. I’m a serial same shoe buyer. I ran in the same New Balance’s for years until they stopped making them. (Ok, I wore them until I couldn’t even find any more pairs to buy online and hoard in my closet.) After that I went through a shoe identity crisis where I tried out many shoes that just didn’t work or worse yet injured me. I’m back to my serial buying, this time with Mizuno Wave Creation 11’s. I’m starting to loosen up though, I got crazy and bought a different color for my 4th pair.

  10. Ran in Saucony Grid Webs when I first started running in high school.

    They they revamped the shoe too much and lost me, so I switched to Nike Pegasus. Been faithful ever since, and stock up on size 10 women’s whenever I see them. Though I do have a little fling going with my Nike Frees, too.

    • The Pegasus is just an awesome shoe. Probably one of the best shoe values out there.

      I also had a little thang on the side with some Frees…but I’ve stopped running in them since I started having crankle problems. Hoping to pick them back up soon though!

  11. I’ve been monogomous with my Asics 2100 series shoes for awhile, although I wouldn’t be opposed to trying something new. Love those CPK frozen pizzas, the spinach and artichoke one is my favorite.

  12. I’ve been straying for awhile. I first ran in Nikes, liked Nike Pegasus best, then switched to Asics, then back to Nike, and now New Balance. I’ve actually been happily wearing the NBs for almost a year and am trying to find a 3rd pair. (They’re discontinued now, so I can probably still find them on clearance online, but I’ll have to look for new ones or try the updated model soon.)

  13. Ahhh thank you for this post! I was a little unsure what to do with the updated adrenalines… should I still try to buy my adrenaline 10s or go out on a limb and try the 11s? I definitely like to stick with what I know, so I’m glad to hear you like the 11s! OH HEY did you know the east side running company had a groupon going the other day? Yea. I bought it, so I’ll be stopping in there any day now for new kicks! Definitely going to try the 11s (and the ghosts)

    • Yay! Tell everyone I said hello!

      The 11s definitely feel a bit more flexible than the 10s. (I actually tried them on side by side.) Just a smoother ride, and less bulky feeling in the heel, which was my main complaint about the 10s (certainly compared to other support shoes, they were not stiff or bulky, but compared to the Ghosts they were.) I’ll definitely look for your Strands post on the 11s, I’m curious to know what others think! 🙂

  14. I’m easily sold on anything promising me anything beneficial. I seriously want to buy a pair of expensive sweats because they promise to make my butt look cute. I wish I were kidding, but I am a grown woman with a graduate degree and the self-knowledge that I am easily swayed and yet, I cannot resist. Same thing with shoes. Every damn time. But now, because of persistent injuries, I want to go more minimalist (although I over-pronate) and focus on improving my footfalls. Yep, I’ve drunk the barefoot Kool Aid too. Sigh.

  15. i wore brooks glycerins forever, but about a year ago i switched to the asics gel landreth – and i have had a lot less in terms of pain/injury issues, so i think i’ll stick there! they’re also wayyyy cheaper.

    i would be interested in your objective running store opinion of my selections!

  16. oh, and when i was growing up i had the opposite problem: i was short, but my feet were even shorter. i had to shop in the kids shoe section WAY longer than i wanted to (they didn’t have as cool styles there back then). now i’m a 6 and i have to say i’m happy with how things turned out. i can usually wear the floor model shoe!

  17. I never understood the whole fascination with CPK. Sure, it’s decent, but I swear as soon as I walk through the door I gain 5 lbs of grossness. I don’t think I’ve found one menu item there that doesn’t make me feel all used and disgusting afterwards…

    Wow… I’m feeling harsh tonight!

  18. Go, go days working as an economic consulting analyst. I, too, had many 5 cheese pizzas and a bottle of sparkling water during my years working in LA too. Imagine that. =)

    I don’t run, so I have no opinion about running shoes. One of these days though I am expecting my Vibrams to arrive – something about barefoot running… I dunno.

  19. Ha ha…for the longest time I’ve equated finding the perfect pair of running shoes to dating. I used to be strictly an Asics gal, but they messed with the equation too much…made the heel units too “busy.” I wear the Brooks Defyance as my regular trainer and love them-I believe they are the neutral version of the adrenalines. As for faster shoes, ever since the DS-Trainers broke my heart, I don’t think I’ve found my one perfect shoe…

  20. +1 to Jacqui’s comment about the east side Running Co. Groupon. I snagged it and am going to stop in this weekend! I’ve been lovin’ my Ghosts, but I might take the Saucony Kinervas for a spin…

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