Hi! I really liked the microblogging from last week, so here I am again. There are two topics I wanted to address:
- Why do running shoe companies change their shoes in adverse ways? I know “adverse” is subjective, but I was annoyed recently when I ordered and received 2 pairs of Altras – the One v. 3.0 and Superior v. 3.0. I’ve been a big fan of Altras for years. They were the perfect balance for me in terms of zero drop, light cushion, and lightweight. I also liked the roomy toebox. I’ve never ever had to break in a pair of Altras… until now. The new versions of my beloved shoes are so stiff/rigid. The older models had great “ground feel”. I like making contact with and feeling the ground – it makes me feel more connected, and I also feel like I don’t hit the ground as hard. The new “the One” model is especially odd feeling compared to the previous models. In the older versions, I felt like I was wearing a comfortable foam padded sock. The new shoe has a more rigid heel, and it’s also roomier, meaning that my heel tends to slip out of it. The newer version of the Superior has a lot or grip/tread, which is good because it’s a trail shoe, but it’s at the expense of the minimal nature of the original shoe. I saw that Altra is coming out with some new models next year, so hopefully one or more of them will resemble the older versions that I miss!
- CIM was this past Sunday. It brought back a lot of feelings. Some of you will remember that I didn’t have such a great race last year at CIM. I’m not super bitter about it, but it did leave a bad taste in my mouth. In addition to mistakes I made on race day, I’m also realizing that I just didn’t want it bad enough. What were my real reasons for running CIM? At that point in my “Year of PRs” I was super burned out and the only thing keeping me going was the hope of a big marathon PR. Despite my proclamations of process-oriented goals (which did keep me going after the wheels came off), I wasn’t running with passion or excitement. So, the biggest lesson is that the next time I train for and race a marathon, I will need to be invested. I want to be excited about the course and/or run my best. The root motivation can’t come solely from chasing a time goal, because just about every time I’ve done that, it hasn’t been pretty.
There were some pretty amazing, inspiring stories that came out of CIM too. My friend DD ran a 20-minute PR, with impressively steady pacing from start to finish. Elle sneakily ran CIM without telling anyone except her coach and husband, and Boston Qualified! Kris, who had been chasing an Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier for years, finally ran the B standard, finishing 2:42. And many, many more. Knowing how hard everyone worked to get those results is pretty damn inspiring.
OK, that’s all. I ended up writing for 30 minutes, but it is what it is. 🙂
I just tried on one of the Altra 3.0s this weekend! I was NOT a fan. Though to be fair, I had never tried on an Altra before. I thought the padding felt weird in this one. Like it was supposed to be comfy but my feet were like ?????
YES!!! They feel terrible, especially compared to the 2.5s. Now I’m having anxiety letting go of my old shoes even though I should retire them.
Thanks for the links to all the inspirational stories. I love the energy at CIM — such a great event. This year was particularly special with the perfect conditions, US marathon championships, and a super deep field: http://www.letsrun.com/forum/flat_read.php?thread=8566999
Thanks for the link!
Thanks for the shout out!
I love these little mind bites (aka microblogging).
Thanks! And congrats again!
I was sad when Newton changed the Fates. I started with the original version and the II’s and III’s just don’t feel the same 😦 I still wear them, but like they say, there’s nothing like the first.
Yep. I feel sad every single time I put on the new shoes.
Gaaaaah why do they do this to us. This is probably the main reason I spend too much money on shoes — I’m always terrified a company is going to ruin my favorite shoes & then I’ll never find anything I love as much ever again.
Dude. I thought Altra was the one company who had figured out how to actually improve every shoe they came out with. Until the 3.0s in both of these models, I’ve only experienced better things with each version. It’s super disappointing.
Have you tried the Altra Escalante? I used to wear The One also but have now switched fully to the Escalante and worn it happily in several races, including Comrades. It’s slightly more cushioned than The One but at the same time incredibly light, with a canvas upper (love the lack of heavy materials). Great shoe, which as you’ve alluded to here means the next iteration will probably be a mess – so I just bought a new pair before they release v2.0. 🙂
I’m intrigued by the Escalante, but I thought they looked a bit squishy. I’ll reconsider them with your glowing recommendation. Thanks!