Tuesday Track: 4 easy miles + 3X600 (because of my hard Tues run) = 7 miles total
Wednesday: Rest & Date Night with Austin!
One thing that I, and many many others, love about running is that it is a pretty basic activity to do. You need few items (I saw need as in actually have to have them - there are zillions of running accessories and fun things out there) to just get out there and get going. The most basic item of need is a good pair of shoes, there isn't much else out there that you HAVE to have for running aside of some proper fitting shoes and a proper fitting sports bra.
When I started running my first pair of shoes were a $40 pair my dad bought me off of a sale rack. When I was ready for another pair I didn't know what to do, I had such limited knowledge of what I needed. I went through a couple different types of shoe before I decided that the Nike Pegasus was for me. Now I have gone through countless pairs of them - in all sorts of colors.
I am starting to feel like I am ready for some new pairs of shoes - though many people that I have talked to say something to the tune of "if it's not broken, don't fix it." Yes the Pegasus have been my shoes for almost my whole 4 years of running - but they are starting to feel... not 100% perfect. This may be because my stride is changing or my body is changing or just my brain is changing. But I am desiring a new shoe to add into the rotation.
Now just like I teach my kids in class - when you need to know the real stuff it is important to research - an easy way to research - ask an expert. So here for you today we have an expert!
Sarah has been working at Portland Running Company for the last 4 years and knows quite about getting you into the perfect gear for your body. Here are her responses to a few questions that I had for her.
Tell us a little about yourself and your running life.
I started running when I was 12 years old. I ran track and cross country in middle school and high school, and was a Varsity sprinter at Tualatin HS in the SW Portland-metro area. After high school, I started running longer distances since I wasn't on a track team anymore, and fell in love with it. When I started working at PRC in April 2009, that just excelled my love for it. Since I've worked here, I've run several half marathons and my first full marathon, something any sprinter would doubt they're capable of doing. I graduated from Portland State last June and have had a lot more time to run, and I enjoy it more everyday.
When people come in looking for a shoe - what is the first thing they normally ask about?
If someone comes in to get a new pair of shoes that has never been properly fit for shoes before, they usually ask about our fitting process and how it works. We start all runners and walkers in a neutral shoe, which allows us to see how their gait functions naturally and without any corrections from the shoes. Based on any movement we might see, and feedback from the customer in terms of injuries, goals, and mileage, we help guide them to a shoe that will work best for their needs.
What do you recommend is the first step in getting a shoe?
Going through the fitting process is key. If someone who is experienced in gait evaluation can see you move, they can help narrow down the broad spectrum of shoes to a few good options. It's very important to wear a shoe that will give you the support you need in order to run or walk pain-free, and going through the fitting process gets you there.
What types of shoes are there to choose from?
Shoes comes in all shapes, colors, weights, and styles. We categorize our shoes based on a few differentiating factors. The first is support: some shoes have it, some don't. A non-supportive shoe is called a neutral shoe. A supportive shoe is called a stability shoe. When we take you through the gait analysis process, we can narrow down whether you need a neutral shoe or a stability shoe. From there, we look at how much stability and cushion you need. Some folks need more stability when they walk or run than others; some folks like more cushion as well. We work with you to identify the support you need, and then you have the chance to decide from different brands and feels to narrow down what is going to be the most comfortable shoe from you. At PRC, we carry Asics, Brooks, Nike, Saucony, Mizuno, and Montrail.
How much money should I spend on shoes?
A good pair of shoes is an investment. Plan on spending around $110 for a good pair. They can range a bit above or below that price.
How should my shoe fit? Is it different brand to brand?
Every brand feels a little different, so we let you decide what feels best! We aren't brand partial, so when we fit you we bring out a few different brands that we think you'll like, and let you decide from there. What you're looking for is overall comfort: Is anything bothering you when you're using the shoe? Does anything really stand out? A good fitting shoe should feel like you're not wearing anything, so we let you try on a few different types in order to find that perfect fit.
How should runner's care for their shoes? How long do they last?
Shoes generally last between 300-500 miles, or 6-9 months, if you're using them routinely. This can fluctuate based on how much you're using them, your running/walking style, and the terrain you're using the shoe on. The best way to judge when your shoe is worn out is by how it feels. Because the interior foam of the shoe breaks down before the exterior foam does, your shoe will feel worn out before it looks worn out. Pay attention to what your body is telling you; if you start noticing little aches and pains after having the shoe for 8 months, it's probably worn out. In the meantime, the best way to keep your shoes clean is by spot-cleaning them. The washing machine is harsh on the foam of the shoe and speeds up the break-down process, so avoid it if you can. It's always smart to have a few pairs of good shoes, especially in this climate. That way if you go for a run or walk on a rainy day, you'll have a dry pair to use the next day.
What is your current/favorite shoe to run in? Have you tried out a zillion different pairs of shoes through the store?
I need more stability when I run, and right now I've been using the Brooks Adrenaline and the Nike Structure as my main running shoes. I've tried so many different types though, and the best way to decide what you like the most is to just try some different brands on and see what you like the best!
What about socks - don't those go with shoes?
Absolutely! And a good pair of socks is just as important as a good pair of shoes! The biggest mistake people make with socks is using cotton: STAY AWAY FROM COTTON! When cotton gets wet, it soaks up the moisture and stays wet. You don't want your sock staying wet while you're running. This can cause chaffing, blistering, and hot spots. All of the socks we carry are a technical blend of fabrics: spandex, polyester, nylon, and even wool. These fabrics wick moisture away and keep your feet try and blister free!
Through PRC I have been able to try out quite a few pair of shoes - through special nights at the store and during my gait analysis.
Earlier this year I added in the Montrail trail running shoe (top center) and After talking to the peeps at PRC I have decided to add in another shoe into my rotation. I have adopted the new Mizuno Wave Rider 16s (bottom center in picture) as my "fast shoe". They are still a neutral shoe but are a little lighter, less cushioned and therefor more responsive than my Pegasus. I have been wearing these on the track and for tempo runs and have loved them.
If you have any other questions about getting shoes or any other thing about running gear make sure to swing by Portland Running Company or hit them up on their Facebook page.
What is your perfect shoe?
Do you wear more than one pair/brand?
*** Stella & Dot Winner announced later today!***