Thursday, November 07, 2013

It (Don't) Gotta Be the Shoes

Remember those early 90’s Nike commercials featuring everyone’s favorite anti-Bad Boy, Michael Jordan, and Spike Lee (aka Mars Blackmon) ruminating on the secret to MJ’s success? 

“It’s gotta be the shoes!  It’s gotta be the shoes!”

No, it WAS the friendliest ref’s whistle known to man but that’s neither here nor there.   I did a lot of b-ballin’ back in those years and, although I avoided Nike like any good Pistons fan – and human being, in general - would, I admit to being overly selective about my choice of footwear.  Maybe it really was all about the shoes?  Why take the chance?  I mean, if a celebrity, barely disguised and using a pseudonym, tells me to do something, I normally do it no questions asked.  That’s always been my policy.  Even if I feel uncomfortable doing what Carlos Danger has asked me to do with that rolling pin.

This shoe-fixation has carried on into running.  When I first started as a naïve, newbie runner, I wore Adidas Response (I know, right?)  Never mind that I was a bit portly around the midsection and could barely maintain a solid half mile of non-stop running, it had to be the shoes.  Certainly wasn’t ME.  Nope.

So, off to the specialized running store I went for the expert advice.  And so they recommended the Asics GT line.  Woooo, I thought I was personally fit with a shoe just for my stride and body type!  Little did I know that everyone was running in this, the #1 selling brand.  Turns out, that was more like going into Hot Topic, telling them that I have no innate musical discernment and unsure of my sexuality, and happily walking out with a One Direction CD. 

It’s been Asics GT-whatever’s for years now.  And they’ve been good shoes.  I have moonlighted with different brands from time-to-time and, you know what, they’ve all been varying degrees of “good shoes” too.  For years, I thought I HAD to run in Asics GT-whatevers or I just couldn’t do my best.  Maybe it’s a product of getting older, not liking unexpected things on my lawn, and no longer feeling the tug of misplaced loyalty and trusting fealty. 

I recently ran the Dances with Dirt in an old pair of Mizuno’s and I barely noticed any difference in comfort or support.   My current pair of Asics have long since expired their Run By date.  There’s almost no padding left.  I feel almost like a barefoot runner except minus the desperate need for attention and faux enjoyment.  I was going to ditch the shoes but my inner cheapskate won out.*

I remembered that several months ago some trusting company had sent me a free pair of Ortholite inserts to try out and review on my blog.  (Yeah, how’d that work out for you?)  Well, I inserted them into my dead Asics last night.  They went in smoothly like a lubed up rolling pin.  After a nice tempo six miler, I felt like I was running in brand new shoes.  Nice and bouncy and comfortable like a less methy Tigger.  I don’t need new shoes now!  Maybe I don’t need new shoes ever?

Turns out, it’s gotta be the inserts!**  It’s gotta be the Ortholites!

I always new Mars Blackmon was full of shit.

Happy trails.

(Were you just Ovaltined?  I think you were Ovaltined.)

*If you knew what we spent annually on soccer in this house, you’d guffaw.  Loudly.
**Take it easy, Carlos.

In the last two months, I’ve completed two races.  Will I ever post a race report or photos?  Will I ever post again?  One can never tell…


Viper said...

I haven't run any races in more than a year, but I've been getting really annoyed with other peoples' really long race reports. I don't need a three-part saga about your marathon. It's not that interesting. Keep it short and waste my time in a more pleasing manner. Thank you!

Jamoosh said...

Yep, definitely need a Viper-centric three-part race report (the night before report; the pre-race report; and the actual race report) and for good measure, you can throw in the obligatory post-race report on how much you ate, drank and have not run. Why not also tweet incessantly on how much like jello your legs are for three days afterward too and then follow that up with the "hallelujah, I finally ran again post. Viper would appreciate these things!

Xenia said...

A crummy commercial? Sonofa...

Unknown said...

Don't forget the crucial 4th part of the recap - the recovery and what's next??