an athlete photographer's blog

Shoe Drama

Sometimes when you say “I can’t” what you are really saying is “I won’t.”  Now that you realize this, change it to “I Will.”  – The Picture Runner

The Run
4.24 miles

The Picture

On the Path

The Recap

Within our family circle, it is well-known that I am the worst at getting up in the mornings.  I mean THE WORST.  I can hit my snooze like it’s nobody’s business.  I’m well-practiced at it.  I can get up if there is somewhere I need to be, but if I just say, Oh I’m going to get up early and do XYZ, then don’t count on me getting up.  I just Can’t.  I’ve tried.  My husband has heard it a thousand times.  The night before I will give brave speeches about how I’m getting up in the morning.  I mean it this time.  I really do.  And then morning comes and…..snooze….

So you can imagine the response I got last night when I said, I, Alexia, do solemnly swear to get up when my alarm goes off the first time.

“Uh, huh…”

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let me backtrack a little so you get the full story.

Last Tuesday, I vowed I wouldn’t run again until I had bought myself some new shoes.  Well, I didn’t get over to Manhattan Running Company until Friday.  I really wanted to make sure I got the right shoes and I was determined to get something so I could run that afternoon.  First thing the guy asks me is,

“What shoes are you running in now?” I don’t know.  Running Shoes.

Seriously, I really don’t pay attention to the name of my shoe for more than three days after I buy them.  That sort of information just clutters my brain.  Walking in to buy running shoes without this information was my first mistake.  No, actually walking into a running store to buy running shoes in jeans was probably my first mistake.  So with two strikes against me, I’m pretty sure I got classified in his mind as a Non-Runner.  So he went into this whole talk about stability shoes and neutral running shoes.

“Do you pronate?”  I don’t know.  I don’t think so.

Again, clear evidence I’m not a Real Runner.  Who doesn’t know this stuff?  Strike Three.

So he watched me run on the treadmill and watches my gait.  I’m a neutral runner so the neutral shoes will work.  Yeah, that sounds right based on how the shoes look.  He brings out a bunch of shoes.  I can’t seem to tell.  The Brooks seem ulta-roomy.  The Mizunos seem ok.

“Do you want to try the Asics?”  Eh, not really, they haven’t worked in the past.

I try the 7.5 in the Brooks and the 8 and then back to the Mizunos.  Pretty sure I’m going to go with the purple Waverider Mizunos.  The Brooks Ghost just doesn’t feel quite right.  Look at me learning the names of the shoes.  Yep. Winning hearts and minds over here.  Finally, decided to try the Waveriders out on the treadmill.  I run a few minutes feeling like a spectacle with my wide-leg jeans rolled up and flapping all over the place, not to mention my daughter chattering next to me.  I try to really stride it out on the treadmill.  They seem ok I’ll get the Mizuno Waveriders.

As I check out, I ask the girl about the return policy.  She says, “Seven days. Indoor use only.”  Eek, indoor use only.  Ok.  Well that sort of stopped me in my tracks.  I had had visions of lacing up the shoes and running down the road to test them out.  Now I would have to be really certain these were the shoes for me before wearing them outside.

Around the corner

Unfortunately Friday afternoon got filled up with other activities so I went to bed planning on running Saturday morning.  Again, I did not get up early and I woke up with a pinched nerve in back.  It was just a little tweak so I wasn’t concerned.  I put on my new shoes and went down stairs to test them out.  I jumped and danced around the basement.  I jogged and did high knees.  I skipped and hopped.  I did not like them.  They didn’t feel the same.  So now I’m looking at my old shoes which are Brooks Ravennas.  Oh and later I discovered they are Brooks Ravenna 4s.  Whatever.  They feel better than the new ones.  At this point, I’m super annoyed and I’m so frustrated that I have to return shoes.  I told my husband that I’m in a very bad mood and so I’m going for a run.  And he said, “Yes. Please do.”  So I went for a short 3.25 mile non-picture run.  My ankle/calf started hurting again and I was more frustrated about the shoes.  Why was I so upset?  This was ridiculous.  I can go back and return them.  And then I realized my pride had been injured.  I walked into the running store, my favorite store!, and didn’t even get recognized as runner.  I must not be working hard enough.  All the people in the store looked like serious athletes.  I wanted to say, I’m serious too!  Aren’t I??

So I plan to return the shoes before gymnastics on Tuesday.  Sunday goes by and the pinched nerve in my back is really painful.  It doesn’t hurt when I walk, but it is a stabbing pain if I step wrong.  By Monday, it dawns on me that my pinched nerve showed up the morning after running on the treadmill.  I never run on treadmills because they aggravate my hamstrings.  I decide to do some yoga stretches and ice my back.  It helps.  I decide to do it again on Tuesday morning.  It helps more.

Tuesday Shoe Return Game Plan: 
1. Wear running clothes.
2.  Know the name of the shoes.
3.  Try on Brooks Ghost again.
4.  Do not run on treadmill.

I walk back into the running store and tell them I want to exchange my shoes.  I just didn’t like the Mizunos and I’d like to go back to what I have.  I’m about to triumphantly tell the name of my shoes, when the guy leans over the counter and says, “oh the Ravennas?  Sure we can pull out some Ravennas for you.”  Oh they still make the Ravennas? Great!

I try them on.  They still feel wide in the toebox.  The girl this time explains to me that, “Brooks added the extra room for more comfort as your foot heats up.  It may take you a little bit to get used to but it’s really the same shoe you had before.”  She wins me over.  I buy the Brooks Ravenna 6s and I’m happy.  Oh and I saved $9.  Bonus points!

But I still didn’t run in them.  I want to try them out in the basement first.  During Tuesday gymnastics I decide to just run in the old ones without my pack.  Now that I have a recovering pinched nerve, I decided to run with just my little point and shoot, a Canon Powershot, and my phone.  I want to give my body a break from the extra weight, but I still want to be a picture runner.  I was just going to do a gentle run to see how it felt.  And what do you know?  No ankle pain and no back pain while running.  It was a great run.  And with the point and shoot, I was able to get some running shots so that’s pretty cool too.  The smaller camera is easier to balance on little places.

So then, last night (Tuesday), I was contemplating my training and my time management (or lack there of).  I’m going to have to take a break from running with my pack for a few weeks.  I’m going to have to find time to do daily yoga because I know it’s good for me.  I’m going to have to be better about my gym workouts.  I’ve been skipping a bunch of them because the days get busy.  I need to be running more days too.  I’ve been frustrated about results, but I realized I had become one of those people who complain about results they didn’t get for work they didn’t do.  I’ve said for a long time I can’t work out in the morning.  But I used to say I can’t give up grain and I did.  Maybe some of these I Cant’s are really I Won’ts.  If I’m actually saying, I Won’t get up in the morning, that doesn’t fit with my goals at all.

So before bed last night, I figured out what I would eat for breakfast.  I told my husband (for accountability), that I, Alexia, do solemnly swear to get up when my alarm goes off the first time.  Mentally, I told myself, I Will get up in the morning. 

And I did.  I really did!  I did my yoga and once I was all loose, I did my weightlifting.  I felt great!  So accomplished!  Here I am with my yoga buddies the last two days:


Who knew that the wrong shoes, a little hurt pride, and a pinched nerve could be a good thing?

I feel like I’m back on track and I’m ready to do the work I need to do to get the results I want.  And now I have new shoes!  Call me the Brooks Girl.  Yay Ravenna 6!  Run Happy!



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2 thoughts on “Shoe Drama”

  • Great post! Glad you got the right shoes–so important!
    I hate getting up early too, but with my new job I’m going to have to. You inspired me 🙂 I Will get up!

    • Thanks Vanessa! It is hard to get up. And I know deep down that my days are better when I do get up, but for some reason all those thoughts fly out the window in the morning. Hopefully I can do the same tomorrow.

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