Thursday, October 4, 2012

Nike or Saucony? And A Guarantee To Burn Up That Last Quarter Mile

One month to the minute until the New York City Marathon, just about, and I'm trying to decide what shoes to wear. My trusty Nike Pegasus, or my minimalist starter-shoe, Saucony Kinvara's? 
I bought the Kinvara's in July, and they are oh so so so sweet. 'Comets,' Greg from Predawn Runner calls them. Putting them on is like grabbing a tiny pair of wings and strapping them to my feet. I wore them for intervals, for a half marathon, for a 16 mile long run and I swear they take 10 seconds off each mile with the same perceived effort.

But I've only ran maybe 20-30% of my total mileage in them. New muscles need to adjust, form needs to be worked on, and even though I am running in them, ready to face it, I'm feeling like  Luke ready to face the evils of Darth Vader, saying "I'm not afraid, not afraid..." and Yoda always seems to appear to me and says.....

Yes, the words of Yoda and the feedback I have received from those with wisdom greater than mine is that when you tire, your form will fall apart and your legs will get hammered and my historical calf problems will crack. This is from shoe store folks, faster marathoners, and googling message boards. Unless I'm running some sort of sub 3 hour time, to be on my feet that long with these tiny little beauties is not too smart.

Yes, like Icarus who also enjoyed his wings but got a bit too bold, flew too close to the sun, and had the wax melt and he fell to his doom, I imagined myself with the same fate in the last 6.2 miles with this tiny pieces of cardboard strapped to my feet and wasted legs and crushed spirit, and hearing the voices of those wiser than me saying "I told you so..."

So, I did buy the new Nike Pegasus 29's, and the only difference I notice in this new version is they are much more flexible out of the box, and they are even 'mushier'. "Mush, mush, mush" it feels like to run in them, compared to the saucony's, which feels like I'm running on one of those airport moving-walkways, cruising way faster than I can even believe and with a silly smirky grin. 

Here they are. Easily the Ugliest shoe you've ever seen.
Compare these to the flashy exciting brilliance of these pair of wings.
So, there I was, stuck in the middle.
In the end, I want to choose comfort and safety in those last miles, and let my legs do the work and not the pair of wings.

Besides, I have developed a whole new secret strategy.  Proven to work. My secret, given to you for free.  Simply put this song at the end of your playlist, and  any pair of shoes will become...
.       Hydromatic

    And they will "burn up that quarter mile" to the finish.

The Jade Rabbit on Amazon

STRAY on Amazon


Rain said...

Ugly is relative.
(Saucony makes some pretty cool looking shoes! Kind of hard to compete!)

And I love you stuck in the middle there! Looks just like you!

Greg Strosaker said...

I think you are choosing wisely - I faced the same dilemma last year (Kinvaras versus Nike Lunarfly's) and opted for the Lunarfly's, as I had more confidence in them. This year, I've done a 20-miler in the Kinvaras that felt better than it did with the Lunarfly's, that's why I'm opting for the K's.

Cait the Arty Runnerchick said...

CURSE YOU!!! now grease is stuck in my head!! bwahaha. can i say this totally nike biased runnerchick is happy u went with the choice u did! ;) i also have to agree that they are the wiser choice (and c'mon don't be a chick and base ur shoe choice on looks!! juust kidding!) and anyways...i feel a PR is in the works, don't u want mr. nike to be there with?
PS- okay, i luv the little version of you between the shoes! haha....bustin out the art skills, are u?

Darin Armstrong said...

Hello Mark,
Just a quick message to ask if you would be interested in a ‘mutual’ following on twitter. I am currently following you now and am awaiting for your follow-back. (#FYI I do RT’s ‘anytime’ for all #Triathletes #Cyclists #UltraRunners #Marathoners #FitnessProfessionals who follow me on Twitter and have something important they want mentioned for support…)

All the very best for the rest of 2012 and beyond Mark. Look forward to hearing from you…


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