Thursday, November 03, 2005

Adidas Forever

Adidas Forever
21 October 2005

I am loyal to Adidas. I have been wearing Adidas running shoes for the past seven or eight years and buying the same kind for the last three years. They work for me. I trained and ran an Ironman in Adidas… injury free. I have put hundreds of city street miles on my shoes over the years, and my feet have remained pretty happy throughout. This year should be no different as I have been training for the New York City Marathon. We all know that I am a bit of a procrastinator, and I really should have bought new running shoes a couple of months ago… but I didn’t. That was my first mistake.
The second mistake came when I discovered that there were no sporting goods or running stores on this island full of runners that carried my shoe of choice… Adidas Supernova Cushion, so I decided that maybe I could get away with another highly favored shoe among runners worldwide. I went and tried on Saucony and Asics. I liked the lightness of the Asics and thought they couldn’t be all bad if so many runners preferred them. It was hard for me to veer from my norm and betray my loyalty to Adidas, but I needed the new shoes as the marathon was, at that point, just over a month away. I took my little shoes home and ran intervals in them totaling about six miles. They felt great at first, and I actually had faster split times than ever, but toward the end of the run I became aware of a nagging pain in my left foot. I figured it was just a reaction to the new shoes, which is normal, and shrugged it off. However, by midday my foot hurt so bad I could hardly walk on it. I was limping around the office and limped my way home from work. That night on my way home, I thought I wasn’t going to make it the half a block to the subway. And that’s when the panic set in.
I had called my dad earlier in the day to get his thoughts on the situation. He suggested that it was a reaction to the shoes and that the new design and style had different pressure points than what my feet were used to causing a little pain and discomfort. He advised I run the next time in my old shoes and rotate to ease into use of the new ones and that the pain would disappear in a couple of days. But when I could still hardly walk on it on Monday, I decided those new Asics were nothing but trouble and needed to go back from whence they came. So I returned them and ordered my Adidas online. I had learned my lesson and will probably wear Adidas for the rest of my life because I am too afraid to change. Some say it’s ok to change but you have to start from square one running three miles at a time in the new ones. When you are me and run nothing less than five or six at a time, running three is not an option and carrying backup shoes to switch into at mile three is also not an option. And since I run year round… that doesn’t seem like it will ever happen.
The pain in my left foot persisted. My new shoes finally arrived and my feet rejoiced. I ran intervals in them and then needed to do a 20-mile run last Saturday. I decided that since the marathon was three weeks away, I needed to wear the new shoes, especially since my old ones probably didn’t have any cushion left for a 20-mile run. Mistake number three. I could feel that dull pain in my left foot with every step, but I concentrated on my music and the views around the island to ignore it. After about two hours of running, I met up with a friend in Battery Park to run the remaining seven or eight miles home. We stopped briefly to stretch… mistake number four. That dull pain in my left foot suddenly became excruciating and incapacitating. I thought I wasn’t going to make it home. But since I am not one to throw in the towel early on a scheduled run, I decided that if I just ran eventually the pain would go away or my foot would become numb. It worked for about five miles. The pain came and went, and the whole time I was cursing those stupid Asics and vowed my loyalty to Adidas forever. The last two miles were painful. Not because it was 21-miles but because my feet were screaming. I ran through the pain and just bit my lip all the way home. My feet were very angry and let me know it for the rest of the day.
At that point, I thought I may have done some serious damage to my beloved feet. It was not an option to drop out of the marathon, so I just resolved myself to running 26 miles in pain. Yes, it would suck, but I would still prevail… Sure I might not be able to walk for a week, but at least I will know that I did what I set out to do, right? I was worried. But then, magically my feet felt one hundred times better on Monday morning. I no longer had that acute pain in my left foot, and I ran like a speed demon. I can say now that I have very little foot pain at all, so the only pain I should be feeling during the marathon is back, joint and muscle pain as expected. Yippee!! Three cheers for Adidas! Long Live the Three Stripes Forever!!!

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