I never thought it would happen to me. I thought I was better than that. I mean, it only happens to “other people”, right? To people in movies. Or college. I just never saw it coming. Maybe that was the problem. It must have looked pretty pathetic, too, considering I wasn’t even wearing a shirt and carrying my shoes in my hand. Just trashy. Hmm, maybe now would be a good time to back things up a bit.
Now that I’m full-on smitten with triathlons, I’ve gotten a little crazy getting myself fully immersed in every way possible. Just ask Ev if she’s tired of me “working on my training plan” yet. I’ve purchased new clothes, researched potential races, and bought a few books on the subject. To round things out as a runner-turned-triathlete, I recently ordered some triathlon-specific* running shoes. To some this may be ho-hum news, but to a runner it’s a big deal. I’ve grown very attached to my Brooks Adrenalines (now currently on my 6th pair and 12th pair of Brooks shoes overall). It feels like I’m cheating on my old shoes with a newer, sexier model.
Well those newer, sexier shoes arrived over the weekend and I took them out this morning for what I thought would be the beginning of a long and meaningful relationship. Apparently these shoes had something less romantic in mind, happy to take me out for a
quick spin and leave me damaged on the side of the road. I slid my sockless feet into these bad boys and headed out the door for a 4 or 5 mile loop. A full 2 ounces lighter, but still a “support” shoe, I was excited to see how they’d compare to the burlier Adrenalines I’ve grown to know and love.
The first two miles were great. It took a little getting used to the no-sock feel, but I forgot about it relatively quickly. As I rounded the halfway corner however, things got out of
hand foot pretty quickly. At first it felt like a small stick or rock got inside the shoe (though I’d later find nothing there). Very shortly after the initial rub it felt like the phantom small rock morphed into a cluster of razor blades. I was looking to fill my soul; they were looking to eat my sole.
I noticed my form starting to suffer as I tried to avoid pressing down on the blister on the inside of my right foot and all I could think was “this is how people get injured”. So I checked my watch and figured I could make it to 3.5 miles and then walk the rest. Once across the final intersection I took off my shoes and walked home barefoot. And of course, this is the one day I see someone I know and have to stop. I tried to play it cool, but we both knew what was going in.
I’m not sure if it was just because a) I hadn’t run without socks; b) I was wearing brand new shoes; c) the 80+ degree humid morning; or d) all of the above, but I’m hoping once my foot toughens up a bit I’ll be betterfasterstronger. Despite the searing pain from the blister and shameful walk back, you have to admit that these shoes look awesome. I present to you the Zoot Ultra Ovwa, from the side:
And from above:
For now I’ll give these shoes their space, and hope they call soon. If not I’ll be forced to confront them for another spin around the block, desperate for better results.
p>*Part of what makes them “triathlon-specific” is the no-tie laces and the no-need-for-socks insides. I can save time in transition fiddling with socks and laces altogether.