I decided it was time to take up running again because I’m signed up for the Monterey Bay Half Marathon in November. I have run this one before, and the course is amazing. It starts in downtown Monterey and goes along the coast in Pacific Grove. You turn around at the entrance or the 17 Mile Drive. It’s pretty flat too, so it’s relatively easy as far as half go.
I haven’t been running much over the past couple years – especially during the pandemic. Instead I have been biking and swimming a ton. The good news is my fitness level is great. The bad news is my legs are totally unprepared to run.
It’s the weirdest feeling too. It’s like I have forgotten how. If I had to sprint right now, like to get away from a bear or a mugger, I’d be screwed. It feels like I’d trip on the slightest bump in the road. Then when I do run, I can barely walk later.
So over the weekend, I went to Fleet Feet to get a new pair of running shoes. They no longer use those old metal things to measure your feet. Now it’s all high-tech. You walk back and forth on a pad and it gives you a 3D model of your feet and gait. Everything you never wanted to know about your feet is then emailed to you.
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My Feet in 3D
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Fortunately, I didn’t have any foot anomalies like fallen arches or pronation. I do, have knee pain – which I attribute to underworked quads from swimming and biking.
My last pair of running shoes were a slick black pair of Sauconys. I was hoping to get something similar. Unfortunately because of my “test” results, I was relegated to shop the section of the shelve that had what I’d best call “Moon shoes.”
A few years ago, a company called Hoka came out with these shoes that had oversized soles. I remember the first time I saw them and thought I wouldn’t be caught dead in something like that. They looked likes something you’d wear if one leg were shorter than the other. Not something you’d buy in pairs.
Today the success of Hokas means every other shoe company is out to copy their design. I can’t tell whether Hokas have gotten more attractive, or if all the other brands are just as ugly.
I tried on a couple pairs of these shoes, and ultimately went with a pair of Hokas, the shoe I swore I’d never wear. It wasn’t that difficult a decision once you saw what my other options were. The worst being New Balance who have somehow made their shoes uglier and goofier than Hokas. They look like something KISS would wear if they were to ever take up ultramarathons.