Monday, October 27, 2008

Shopping karma

I've been in the market for a pair of trail running shoes for awhile now - the Salomons that I did the Tahoe Rim Trail on in the summer of 2007 were pretty much thrashed even before this year. I bought a pair of Asics trail shoes in June of this year, ran just a couple of times on them, then did the TRT 50K with them. The sole had started peeling off after that, though, and Sierra Trading Post was nice enough to let me return them. I really liked the Salomons, though - the fit, the lacing system and all, and have kind of been biding my time until I thought my wife would let me get away with buying another pair of running shoes.

Just happened I was at REI last Saturday, looking for some shoes for my son - couldn't help drooling over the rack of Salomon trail runners. But wow, the ones I liked, the XT Wings, were $120! Even more for the Gore-tex version. I think I'd still be in trouble for that. A couple of racks away, though, was their "garage sale" shoe rack - stuff that had been returned and was marked down. And what do you think was there?

Barely used - the clerk remembered that the customer had said he only wore them to the gym, and they looked it. (Weird place to wear a great pair of trail shoes, but whatever.) Size 13, perfect. Marked down from the new $120 price to $59.95, then down again (!) to $29.95.

OK - when does that ever happen? The exact thing you were just looking at is two racks away, at 75% off? Awesome.

So that was Saturday. Sunday was the 24-mile run from Tahoe Meadows to Spooner, and of course I tried them out. Probably tempting fate to do such a long run for the first time out on them, but I don't think my old worn-out pair were up to it, and I was pretty sure about the fit. Wore them around a little on Saturday night, popped them on Sunday morning and headed out.

They felt a little funny under the left toes after about 3 miles, but nothing too serious. At about the 9 mile mark, I could feel a hot spot on my right heel, but I didn't have any first aid stuff, so I thought it best just to ignore it. It was worst on the uphills - it was a relief when we finally started the last big downhill, 4 miles from the end. I could feel my toes pushing to the front of the shoe and my heel pulling away from the back. Ahhh...

There they are, covered up by my dirty girls...

After finishing, I found a good quarter to half-dollar sized blister right on the back of my heel. Unfortunately, my only change of shoes was back at the trailhead, so I hobbled around in a very loosened pair of shoes until we made it back to my car. Wow, the shower at home was painful, too - salty, soapy water pouring into the blister. Shudder. Here's how it looks now - wearing Birkenstocks with no heel around for a few days. I guess that's shopping karma - such a good deal, I had to pay for it with some pain and skin. Oh well...

2 comments:

SnowLeopard said...

Dude, that looks nasty! Medical tape on the back of your heel (when it heals) on your next run. That's my advise. Hasn't let me down yet!

Robert J Miller said...

Turi, have you ever worn Sport Science clothes while running? I thought might like the men's running clothes we sell. I really like Sport Science gear while doing triathlons. Keep up the good work.