Running shoes retire too

End of the line

Today’s run (street): 3.75 miles

In today’s NY Times Well section, there is an article entitled, “When to Retire a Running Shoe.” It’s a subject of great debate, because the answer can be different with every runner. The article doesn’t provide an actual answer, but it does support my view that a shoe’s cushioning level makes little difference in terms of protection. Golden Harper, the man who created Altra running shoes, suggested that a runner knows when it’s time to replace, “You get a sense for it,” he said. “Nothing hurts, but it is going to soon.”

I think about that as I consider which shoes to wear during my upcoming race. My Kinvara 3’s are nearing 500 miles. Though they have held up exceptionally well, I know that this was when my original Kinvaras came to their useful end. The other concern I have about the Kinvaras is that, despite their light weight, they’re a little soft as a racer. I’m trying to decide whether to run in the Spira XLT’s that are a little more responsive (but have their quirks), or the Brooks Pure Drift prototypes that I use primarily on the treadmill.

Today I ran in the Kinvaras around the neighborhood and I felt like I was running close to top form. The numbers didn’t back that up, but I still did better than average. It may have been the stiff winds coming from the west that slowed me down, or the fact that I left a little in reserve through most of the run. I plan a more aggressive approach on Saturday. I’ll run tomorrow then rest. I hope this rain moves out by morning so I can finish my taper with a street run.

A big change provides more time to run

If it’s all the same, I’d prefer a Garmin 610

Yesterday’s run (treadmill): 3.1 miles
Today’s run (street): 3.4 miles

After 20 years with my company, I am about to take early retirement. While I’ll miss all my office friends, I’m excited to be in a position to retire while I’m still in my prime. My big decision now is what to do next. I can do something completely different, or stay in familiar territory. I’m in no rush to decide. Besides having more time to spend with my wife and kids, I’ll be able to run longer distances on weekday mornings. No more train schedules to meet.

Yesterday morning, the winds were still blowing at speeds over 25 MPH. I decided to stay indoors and did a progressive speed run on the treadmill. Today, despite the cold, I got outside and ran around the neighborhood. It may have been the lack of work stress that pushed me along today, or the fact that I had to be home in time for a business call, but I achieved my fastest overall pace in two months.

I’ve been overwhelmed with correspondence and calls related to this change, so it hasn’t exactly been relaxing. But it has been energizing. Perhaps I’ll restart my Runner’s Tech Review blog now that I’ll (possibly) have more time. I’m going to need a new pair of running shoes soon. Brooks, Saucony, New Balance, are you listening?