Because of her mother's medical issues, Moon decided not to run, but she did want to meet me at Fleet Feet to look at sneakers. This plan suffered a small hiccup when I arrived at the designated address to discover a Fleet Feet location that was dark, locked, and boasted a sign reading "Grand Opening November 1." Um...
I call Moon with this information and she looked up the address again, confirming that I was at the right place. This seemed deeply suspicious so I called the number given for the pickup location and was informed that I was - get ready to be surprised - at the wrong branch. Turns out that, when you clicked on the link provided by the pre-race email, there was more than one address listed on the page; I was supposed to scroll down and go to the SECOND address listed. Sigh. Moon decided to skip, understandably, since it was 20 minutes further away in downtown Annapolis.
Ah well. I was rather annoyed at the time but since I made it to the pickup location before it was too late it all came out in the wash. I accepted my envelope with bib and timing chip, a long-sleeved unisex tech shirt, and a small duffle bag with some race swag and stuff. I promptly dumped all of this in my car to be examined later and went into the store.
The shop was quite busy, but I managed to snag the last free certified fitter. I don't think I ever got her name but she was super nice, so that worked out. I told her about my occasional knee pain and how switching to my current Nike Pro Fits mostly solved the problem but also made any knee tightness I still experienced migrate over to the other knee. She checked my shoe size, watched me walk, and then went into the back to get some sneakers for me to try.
|Oh my God, shoes.|
Next: a pair of Brooks Ravenna 4. I put them on and noticed immediately that I could feel the tongue of the shoe pressing lightly on the top of my foot. It wasn't remotely uncomfortable, but since I was told at my first shoe fitting that you shouldn't feel your shoes, I mentioned it.
And then I took them outside. And WHEEEEE! I was practically getting airtime, so much bounce did I feel in those sneakers. It was awesome. But the tongue made me uncertain (now there's a sentence for ya), so it was on to the next pair.
I think the next two I tried were both asics (if not, one was a pair of asics and one was something I don't remember). They were both fine but nothing noteworthy, so those were eliminated. I tried the Ravennas again and felt the same bounce... Hmmm.
A new element was introduced: a Super Feet insert. My fitter swapped out the sole of the shoe for a pair of inserts with more support. Immediately I could feel them pressed against my foot just behind my arch, which I noted; I was told that this was where the pressure should be, for maximum effect. So I took the Ravennas out with those and: No. Yuck. My fitter then removed those inserts in favor of a less extreme pair and the bounce was back.
What followed probably drove my fitter CRAZY, but she was perfectly nice about it. I tried the Nikes again. I tried the Ravennas again. I tried the Ravennas with the insert. Then I tried the Nikes with the insert. Then I tried the Ravennas with the insert AGAIN. Then, at my fitter's behest, I put a different shoe on each foot and BAM: I had a winner. The Ravennas it would be.
My fitter had one more offering for me: off-day shoes. They were leather slipper-type shoes, cute, with stronger arch support than afforded than average. But I was already dropping some serious cash on my sneakers so I passed on that one.
Speaking of serious cash, I was a bit dismayed to discover that the inserts were $40. Yeesh. But I was assured they would do wonders for my residual knee stiffness and if there's anything you should spend money to protect, it's your knees. Still, I'm pondering an experiment: run a week or two with the inserts, then a week or two without. If I don't notice a difference, maybe I don't need to buy them next time. Should be worth the anatomical experiment, anyway.
Not to say that I wasn't tempted by the promise of a sports bra fitting, not to mention the racks of running clothes and GPS watch displays, but I managed to stay strong and just buy the sneakers plus inserts. Then it was back to the car to examine my race goodies.
Of which there were quite a bit more than I expected. Some of your usual tchotchkes - pens, magnets, flashlight keychains, lip balm, a protein bar. But then there were three packets of EmergenC (perfect for plane trips to Disney, because airports always get me), a full packet of Fitfood brand whey protein shake mix in Vanilla Delight, a packet of pain relief gel, and no less than four doses of a vitamin mix meant to increase endurance. That will all be quite interesting to try.
There you have it: my packet pickup and sneaker adventure. I'm SUPER EXCITED to try my Ravennas this evening - wish me luck!
And tune in tomorrow for my post-apocalyptic race recap, of course.
Don't forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn's dailymile here and Moon's dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at email@example.com. See ya real soon!