Before I even start writing here I must take a moment to log yesterday’s run on my shoe mileage spreadsheet…
So to be totally honest, I was not really looking forward to writing this one. But lucky for me when I toss around ideas to write about my husband sometimes gives me that little push to get it on paper. I don’t remember where I first heard the term “rookie mistake,” but it strikes both of us as funny, especially when used in the right situation. I guess it’s most funny when used for silly things that end up being nothing more than slightly inconvenient. “You forgot to use bodyglide yesterday and now you’re a little chafed? Rookie mistake. You forgot to bring your swimsuit on vacation? Rookie mistake. You forgot to bring our refillable popcorn bucket to the movies? Rookie mistake.
As we all know or have heard over the years, we are supposed to replace our running shoes every 300-500 miles or 200-300 miles for the more minimalist styles. I have worked at two specialty running stores, am a certified running coach, and have been running for 29 years. I think this somehow relates to the story of the cobbler whose kids don’t have proper shoes…
Anyway, I tend to rotate 3-5 pairs of running shoes when I am training. Usually I have 3-4 pairs of training shoes and one pair of trail shoes in my rotation at any one time. I like to let my shoes completely dry out between uses. I use my running shoes for my own training runs, when I am coaching, and when I go to the gym so 3-5 pairs might seem like a lot but when the shoes are getting wet a couple of times a day, it does take some time for each pair to dry out before the next workout. Plus, I’ll be honest, I love all the cool colors that the Brooks Adrenaline comes in now! I have been known to match my shoes with my outfit pretty regularly.
This past year I have not tracked the mileage on each pair of shoes as carefully as I have in the past. Normally I would at least make a note when a shoe reached 3-4 months of use to keep an eye on it. Lately I have been dealing with some calf and Achilles tendon pain, hamstring tightness, and blisters. I have treated it with massage, acupuncture, and chiropractic adjustments in addition to stretching and yoga. For the blisters I have tried different socks, different anti-chafe products, and changing my socks and shoes in the middle of longer runs.
I spent most of my birthday money on a couple of new colors of Brooks Adrenaline so I have quite a few pairs “in the queue.”
It’s not like I don’t have the new shoes readily available when old shoes are ready to be retired. Sadly I just wasn’t paying attention to the very important details of how many miles were on my shoes! I decided this week to retire two pairs of my older training shoes and break out the new neon lime and purple Adrenaline 13. I went for one 6 mile run and my feet and Achilles felt much better. After a couple more runs in the new shoes I realized that many of my aches and pains and probably blisters were from running in shoes that were past their prime. Rookie Mistake!!!!!
I share this story in hopes that others will learn from my mistakes and avoid aches and pains that really can and should be avoided with just a couple of minutes worth of time each day spent tracking shoe mileage, whether on a spreadsheet, training log, or a simple index card. I have definitely learned my lesson and now have a pretty color coded spreadsheet to track the mileage on each pair of shoes. Run Happy!