A step in the right direction

Had a near perfect run this morning. Four miler. No foot pain. No hip or groin pain. No anaerobic stretches. No fatigue. Giving my new shoes, Saucony Hattori, another chance. My first outing with them was my recent 8 miler, which can best be described as a set-back. Since my feet were begging me to quit six miles into that run, I couldn’t give the newbies a very high mark. Today I’m thinking they could be the best shoes I ever bought, at least for the running style I adopted after reading Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run almost two years ago. With the above problems at bay, I was able to concentrate on my form and my foot strike. I will never be a barefoot runner (except on the beach) and my Vibram Five Fingers are viable on smooth surfaces only. But I’m a true believer in the wide toed, mid foot strike, quick lift style I gleaned from McDougall’s book. And though the new shoes have a thicker sole than the Vibram’s, there is zero angle from my heal to my toe and I can still feel my feet spread to grab the ground. How was my pace? As the great Caballo Blanco said to McDougall, “Think Easy, Light, Smooth, and Fast…When you’ve practiced that (Easy & Light) so long that you forget you’re practicing, you work on making it smooth. You won’t have to worry about the last one—you get those three and you’ll be fast.” Pace be damned, give me “Easy, Light, Smooth and (someday) Fast”. As for the shoes, the words of legendary distance coach Arthur Lydiard set the standard. “Shoes that let your foot function like you’re barefoot—they’re the shoes for me”. For me too, and maybe, just maybe I’ve found them.

3 thoughts on “A step in the right direction

  1. Garry – have you read any Harry Potter? In the first book he goes to the wand store for the first time, to try to find the right wand. He picks up many different wands and he feels nothing and they do nothing. Then he picks up the RIGHT one, and he feels warmth spread up his arm and it's as if the wand is in the exact place it's meant to be, and they all know that this is his wand. That's how I feel when I shop for running shoes. I try on many different pairs and they are just ok. Then I get the right pair and it's like I want to take off flying right out of the store.

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  2. Jessica-I love the Harry Potter analogy. I totally believe that wands and running shoes adhere to the same exacting standards. And the image of you “flying right out of the store” is inspiring indeed.

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