Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Nostalgia Ain't What It Used To Be

I'll be the first to admit that I'm a pretty sentimental and nostalgic person. Maybe the time of year has me feeling more this way. With that said, it probably comes as no surprise that I feel a touch of sadness when I retire a pair of running shoes. Go ahead, challenge my Man Card status. But remember — I have a wife and two daughters, so I'm outnumbered hormonally and influenced estrogenally (I think I just created a new word).

Yes, my very first pair of Brooks Launch are now officially retired. They carried me for 306 miles of memorable running, including several half marathons (one of them being a PR), many long runs and tempo runs, and one 22 mile pacing adventure during a 50-mile ultra. Throw in some track sessions and a 5-mile race PR (the day before that 22-miler) and you can see why I'm nostalgic and a bit verklempt about pulling these babies from my current rotation. Or maybe you can't. And I'm okay with that.

 The end of their "run" was Saturday's 5k with my daughter (and frequent running partner this year) Natalie. At least it was a fitting and memorable end. A "Launch Retirement Party" is forthcoming.

But fear not! I have in stock one more pair of my favorite running shoes of all time (unless my new Brooks Pure Flow dethrone them), ready to pick up where the first trusty pair left off. And yes, they're the original red and orange color scheme (which I still prefer over the new bland colors).

Imelda Marcos, eat your heart out.


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  2. Retire them, but don't throw them out. Prior to my conversion to more minimalist shoes I'd routinely run 500 miles in my Brooks Adrenalines, which like the Launch have a lofty 12mm heel-to-toe drop. The Brooks Pure Flow has a much lower 4mm heel-to-toe drop, which, if you are an over-striding heel-striker (as 90% of runners are per Pete Larson and his recent runblogger.com study) you risk a calcaneus fracture. So, advise you transition gradually, working simultaneously to significantly increase your cadence, as through doing so and by incorporating a slight forward lean from your ankles you will significantly improve the odds of a successful transition. On the other hand, since running in a lower heel-to-toe shoe such as the Pure Flow requires greater activation of your calf muscle, owing to your heel-spur you may not be a good candidate. Hence my original recommendation... don't throw out your trusty Launch - you may need them!