Saturday, January 10, 2009

Snowstorms and shoes

Gah. We are supposed to have this ridiculous snowstorm today here in New York. Personally, I veto that idea. It really interferes with my plans for a 6-mile run and a 10-12 mile run. It should be said that in my position, a fair number of runners would have planned their run around the anticipated start time of the snow. When I went to bed last night, the forecast said the snow would start around 9 a.m. and although I am capable of getting up in the morning, I *never* feel good when I get up in the morning to *run*. And the longer the run, the less good I feel. The exception to this, of course, is a race, for which I have generally had time to prepare myself mentally and physically. But as I got into bed last night, I have to say I just didn't really like the idea of getting up in time to fit in 90-120 minutes of running before 9 a.m. or thereabouts. So I scrapped that idea. It turns out, though, that now the snow isn't supposed to start until around 3, which means I actually have plenty of time to do either six miles or twelve, depending on what I feel like doing. The smart thing would be to do the twelve miles and get them out of the way so I can do the six tomorrow at the gym just in case the weather won't allow a run outside. We'll see if intelligence prevails over lazy. Sometimes I just don't feel like doing long runs on Saturdays, no matter what would be more commonsensical.

This brings me, in a roundabout and entirely unconnected way, to shoes. I returned to my apartment yesterday after a run (in my running shoes, obvs) and changed into my most-recently-discarded pair of running shoes to do some at-home weight training. It then occurred to me--do other people have this weird mania about what shoes they wear? Or, more specifically, about when they wear their running shoes? I checked my closet last night and realized I had three old pairs of running shoes just sitting there, doing absolutely nothing other than collecting dust. But I hold on to them anyway because at some point, I may want to engage in some sort of activity that could (potentially!) necessitate old running shoes. Or running shoes that I would no longer wear to run in because they are sufficiently used up as to be damaging to my feet, ankles, knees, hips, etc. And clearly I would never use my current pair of shoes for that sort of thing. That would wear them prematurely!

Essentially, the instant my running shoes hit their somewhat arbitrarily determined mileage limit (which is contingent upon any number of things, including, first and foremost, how many miles I have logged in them, the amount of money in my bank account, foot [arch, especially] pain that has come out of nowhere and can probably be remedied by new shoes, joint pain that is the same as the aforementioned foot pain, etc.) I deem them no longer acceptable to be worn during a run. BUT! they are perfectly fair game for any other sort of activity. When I stop to think about it, this seems pretty silly. If the shoes are no longer good to run in because they won't provide the support, stability, cushionining, etc. that I need during a run, what is it that makes them acceptable for other activities? Activities they were never designed to take me through in the first place, I should add. My retired running shoes go from miles of pavement to careers in weight training, walking, and cardio machines.

Could this be a reflection of my particular snobism toward running, maybe? Related to the fact that I have always felt, deep down (and not to say that this is correct because my own personal research has shown that it is not necessarily the case), that running is vastly superior to any other activity and, therefore, anything that is no longer good enough for running is still sufficiently superior to any piece of equipment required for anything else that it can do any other job better than something that may actually be designed to do that job? Or is it just the fact that I don't care enough to go out and buy "crosstraining" shoes, or whatever? I mean, they can't possibly be that different from any other shoes, right? How can one shoe be so multi-purpose?

I'm interested to hear how other people treat their shoes. Does anyone recycle them? I feel like this is what I really ought to be doing with those pairs that are taking up valuable real estate in my Manhattan-sized apartment (and by that I don't mean it's the size of know?) Does anyone else have the same cooky attitude toward them that I do? Inquiring minds (and by that I mean mine) want to know.


SueWho said...

I can't really comment about shoes since I am on my first pair of running shoes; however, when it comes to not wanting to wake up in the a.m. and run, I can definitely relate to that as I am sure almost everyone else can too. Even though I am basically a morning person, the thought of getting up out of bed and going for a run fills me with a sense of dread. But I just go ahead and get on with it and do it anyway because that's really the only time I can do it. So sometimes you just have to do it because it's what you have to do and you don't have any other options. Don't worry, you will get it all figured out eventually!

SueWho said...

Oh, and as an addendum to my comment about getting up and running even though you don't want to - after you do it of course you already know this but you feel great!

jlou said...

I have a whole shoe rotation system, and I'm the first to admit that it's totally stupid. I wear new shoes when I run on the treadmill. These shoes never go outside during this phase. At some point (I never know when to replace shoes) I get a new pair and the replaced pair becomes my outdoor running shoes. Not good enough for me to run on inside but good enough for me to use outside? Ya. Makes no sense. Next time they get demoted, they turn into lawn work shoes. Who wants to buy new shoes to wear for that? I think the problem for me is that even after a pair of running shoes is shot, they still often look brand new. I feel like I should get more use out of them even though logically I know appearance means nothing.

chris said...

1. New shoes are for running.
2. Once I decide they are old (and it isn't always based on the number of miles on them), the become my cross training shoes.
3. Finally, they become yard shoes.

Otherwise, I take the old shoes to one of the local running stores. They clean them up and take them twice a year to Africa.

I have never bought a pair of shoes specificlly for cross training. Not sure where I would even begin.

The Alien said...

I'm exactly like you with running shoes, I have 2 pairs sitting on my closet that are no longer good enough for running. But one pair is perfect for hiking (why get trail shoes when I have used running shoes!!) and the other pair are my 'Weight Training' shoes, because you know.... there's no way I would use my current running shoes for weight training!! thats what crazy people do!!!!