Yes, friends, it was so bad that I can't even use a real word to describe it.
Everything about it was just painful. My legs felt like bricks. It's been a long time since my legs felt this heavy. In addition, all of the joints in my legs were aching: my ankles, my knees, and my hips. It is extremely unusual for my joints to hurt, especially my knees. And I was just exhausted. All that I wanted to do from the second my alarm went off at 5:30 am was go back to bed and I just wasn't able to shake that feeling.
It was supposed to be a tempo run. Instead, it was a completely schizophrenic run.
Oh, and it was also a mile too long. That's what happens when you don't plan adequately and decide to try some new trails on the fly.
I honestly don't know why I was achy and tired this morning. So, I'll do what all runners do and find something to blame. First, I'm going to blame the weather.
I've certainly run in worse conditions (thank goodness it was cloudy), but the humidity was just really getting to me today.
And I'm also going to blame what I believe is the culprit behind my leg pains:
|I'm lookin' at YOU, PureCadence 2!|
Yes, I did just reference Titanic.
It took me a while, but last year I discovered my Jack Dawson in the form of the Brooks PureCadence. After I wore out my first pair, Husband bought me my second pair for our anniversary... and literally the day after they arrived, I broke my foot. They sat in my closet until January, when they were baptized on the vita course and became known as "My pinks."
You get the point. I loved these shoes. Correction: LOVE those shoes. My pinks helped me PR all those springtime races and then some. They went to Italy with me, carried me through Pompeii and Positano, then to my favorite gelateria in all of Rome. When I got back, I continued to wear them even though I knew they were on their last legs.
And then the WORST THING THAT CAN POSSIBLY HAPPEN TO A RUNNER HAPPENED TO ME.
THEY CHANGED MY SHOES.
And I didn't realize they were changing them until it was too late to buy 10 pairs at the sale price.
Around the time of the Monument Avenue 10k, I knew I would need to get another pair, but after reading the abysmal reviews of the PureCadence 2 on the Brooks website, I was reluctant. At the 10k Expo, I stopped by the Brooks booth just to try them on and ended up letting the guy talk me into buying a pair. I bought his story that the only thing that had changed about the shoe was the upper.
Over 100 miles later, I don't believe him. These shoes are not my Jack Dawson. They are my Cal Hockley.
I held onto my pinks until Marathon training started. On one of my first outings in the the PureCadence 2 was the first day of MTT. You know... the day when I body surfed the sidewalk during mile 2. I should have known then that these shoes were bad news.
As the training cycle has progressed, I've almost fallen on my face a few more times (abnormal behavior for me, I swear); my foot has started to feel wonky; my up until now completely fine socks started to slip back into the heel of the shoe (annoying!); and then my knees started to hurt.
I can't attribute any of this to an increase in mileage; in fact, up to this point, my weekly mileage is still below what I was doing back in March and through April. The only thing that has changed is the shoe.
Even before this morning's horrible run, I was seeking out an alternative. Yesterday, I chatted online with a Brooks specialist to get some recommendations for a shoe that was slightly more cushioned than the PureCadence. He recommended the Ghost or the Launch. I was intrigued by the Launch, but it is apparently sold out just about everywhere (I guess because it is THAT good). I filed away the information, thinking I'd wait a little while longer to start the whole trying-to-find-a-new-perfect-shoe-dance.
But after this morning's run, I'd had enough. This afternoon after work, I headed directly to my local running store, Road Runner (not to be confused with Road Runner Sports) in Carytown and asked to try on the Ghost 6 and the Mizuno Wave Rider 16. I've heard lots of people rave about the Wave Rider and figured I have nothing to lose.
So, about five minutes after walking in, I walked out having blown a wad of cash on a shiny new pair of Brooks Ghost 6s.
I'm giving my legs a much needed rest day day tomorrow and won't run again until Saturday's 11 mile MTT run... sooooo I won't be trying them out officially until next Monday.
Here's to hoping that these Ghosts do the trick, though I must say that they are not nearly as good looking as my pinks.