Will Run For Wednesdays: Purple Sneakers & A New Speed Work Infatuation

This week, in honor of Will Run For Wednesdays, I’m running for things that don’t usually make their way into my repertoire: new sneakers that aren’t decidedly heinous in color and an unwarranted need for speed!

(Don’t worry, my fellow ugly sneaker wearing sloths. Neither will probably last very long.)

So, my new running sneakers finally came in the mail and, I have to say, they’re probably the most attractive pair I’ve ever owned.

Also, I don’t deal with change well.

My usual routine when replacing my sneakers is to search around for the cheapest pair I can find, also known as last season’s style. Because I go through running sneakers so quickly (I can typically feel the difference after about 4 months, or a maximum of 400 miles), I really couldn’t care less what they look like, as long as they’re my trusted Asics Nimbus 12s.

Apparently, however, that incarnation of my beloved sneaker is officially out of style, which makes me somewhat of a running antique. For proof, here’s how a recent interaction went with a sales rep at Union Square’s Paragon Sports.

Me: I need a pair of Asics Nimbus 12s.

Shoe Expert: You know they’re up to the 14s, right?

So yea, that happened. At any rate, I told this super unhelpful salesman that I’d consider his proposition, and left the store without purchasing anything of worth. By the time I got home and scoured the web though, I realized that the shoe man happened to be right. I couldn’t find a single pair of Nimbus 12s in my size (not for a wide foot), which meant I’d have to concede and purchase the 13s, or last season’s, as opposed to last last season’s, instead.

On Tuesday morning, I took my new purple babies — arguably the prettiest pair I’ve ever laced up — out for a spin. I felt like Cinderella.

For some reason or another, Tuesday morning’s run felt a lot like a race; I can literally break it down into how my body was handling the distance and speed at every twist and turn. The only thing I can attribute this to is the fact that I’ve been changing up my routine lately. Whereas, for several months before the summer I was running between 30 and 40 miles a week, I’ve recently taken it down a notch and begun to incorporate other forms of exercise along with — gasp — just a wee bit of speed work. Overall, I think it’s positively affecting my performance.

Anyway, here’s the breakdown.

Mile 0-1

My warm-up felt a lot stronger that usual, and I could immediately feel the difference that wearing new shoes can make. Each step felt more cushioned. My shins felt protected. Plus, every time I looked down, I vainly swooned a little at how perfectly purple my feet looked.

Mile 1-2

I started to get a little tired here, not because I had been running for any significant amount of time but because I always get a little winded at mile 2. I don’t usually hit my stride until at least mile 3.5, so I never expect the second mile to be anything to highlight. At this point, I simply try to lose myself in the moment and the music, and maintain a steady, strong stride until I hit the Inventor’s Gate at 72nd Street.

Mile 2-3

This is usually where I hit the bottom loop of Central Park, which was especially gorgeous today thanks to the lack of sun burning my skin. Conscious of how my feet were feeling in my new sneakers, and determined not to get a blister or shin splint (it can take a few runs to get used to the new feel, after all), I stopped here to stretch out my piriformis muscles and glutes, my hips and ankles. It’s not that I wanted to stop necessarily, but I knew that it was the smart thing to do.

Mile 3-4

This is somewhere around the bottom of Central Park and where I’m forced to re-enter the real world. I’ve just finished the last somewhat significant hill of my morning and can generally look forward to cruising downhill to flatter land. In other words, my body was very, very happy, and I began to pick up my pace. To be honest, this isn’t anything monumental. The quicker pace just feels natural due to the downward slope.

Mile 4-5

When running along Manhattan’s streets, you tend to be at the mercy of the cars, the commuters, and especially the traffic lights. This morning was not the best in terms of beating the lights, but rather than sulk about it, I decided that, because I was feeling pretty great and because I didn’t hate Saturday’s speed work, I’d take the opportunity to be productive in that final mile home.

With each green light, I sprinted through the streets. A few blocks later, I’d be trapped by a red and a horde of suits. And as soon as red turned green again, well, you get the point. In the end, I managed to turn the traffic lights into somewhat of a fun game, and before I could get mad, I was walking into my apartment door sweaty and satisfied.

While slightly unexpected, I guess that’s the point of Will Run For Wednesdays — to set some new goal or intention for the week, or to break out awesome new running sneakers — and to see how far you can push your body and mind. Now, go out and do it.

  • What will you run for this week?
  • Do you ever use the traffic lights or other environmental factors to your advantage while running?
  • Do your sneakers usually come in the worst colors ever too?

17 thoughts on “Will Run For Wednesdays: Purple Sneakers & A New Speed Work Infatuation

  1. I had the exact same pair of Asics for 5 pairs in a row–colors and all. I switched it up for one pair, daring to go with a mostly-black-with-teal-accents style, but now am back to white and turquoise.

    I, too, scour the net for the cheapest pair of Asics. Although I’ve tried a few styles…

    P.S. You make me want to run with my camera. Do you use your phone or just carry a point-and-shoot?

    • The black and teal were so pretty! I’m happy with my purple ones for the most part, they’re definitely a lot nicer than my last pair, which actually looked like they came from an elementary school boy’s closet, both in color and size.

      I carry my iPhone. It’s one of the best parts about that device, and one of the reasons why I bought it! It fits in my hand, takes pretty decent photos while on the move, and plays music.

      • I can’t keep the phone on an armband, I find it more comfortable to hold…though I understand why someone would not want to carry their possessions in their hands for sure.

  2. YAY NEW SHOES! I just got a new pair, too (the new line of Saucony Hurricanes, I think), and they’re white and teal. The old ones were pink and white. Either way, they’re comfy. 🙂 Also? I took mine for an inaugural run last night, and it was awesome!

    To answer your questions: This week, I wish for running intelligently. I have a 10 mile race this weekend in Baltimore and am a bit nervous for it. I just don’t want to die. 🙂

    I often use environmental factors to push myself – like, last night, I told myself I wouldn’t stop until I got to a certain light. It was hard, and uphill, but I did it!

    And this weekend, on the Great Shoe Purchase (we took my parents to get decent walking shoes at the running store, so they are encouraged to get out and walk in shoes that won’t hurt them), the sales person found two pairs for my dad… the first was a standard white pair. The second, he looked at my dad and was like, “These are almost identical to the others, just a different brand. They’re a bit loud.” It was in that “You’ve been warned” voice. He opened the box and they were HOLY NEON! We giggled, because we totally couldn’t see my 63 year old dad wearing them around his suburban neighborhood. 🙂

    • The thought of pops in neon sneakers is amazing. Wonder what mine would say if I replaced his boat shoes with a pair of tennis ball yellow ones. Hmm.

      I actually do that in the park often; I’ll tell myself I’m going to run a bit quicker to a certain tree. It’s amazing what you can push yourself to, because often when you get there, you wonder whether you could maybe keep it up to the next tree, and the next!

      • Okay, that first paragraph totally made me laugh outloud. Thank goodness no one is around right now. 😉

        I was so very tempted to keep running to the next light (about two blocks or so), but it was so humid that I was like, “Don’t kill yourself today. That’s Saturday.” So, I was smart. But, also started running sooner than I intended after I caught my breath.

        Hooray for learning we are stronger than we think we are!

  3. Isn’t it the coolest thing in the world when a quicker pace starts to feel more natural? I’ve never been speedy but pushing myself to do more fast/short runs has gotten my body more used to quicker paces. It’s awesome!

    PS – I love those new Asics! I’m wearing a pair that’s 2 seasons old too, but hey, they feel good and I dont particularly want to pay $100 for this season’s pair! No shame.

    • No shame, until the salesman is all – um, they don’t make those anymore. OK, still no shame. I kind of laughed. It does feel great though! Today, on the other hand, was tough. I’m still getting used to those post-speedy day runs. They’re a lot harder than you’d think!

  4. LOVE the color. I was so nervous that when my Mizunos eventually needed replacing I wouldn’t be able to find Wave Inspire 7’s in my size, so I already bought a new pair. Even though I have at least another 250-300 miles on the current ones. And now I’m starting to think maybe I should buy a third…but it feels a little too strange to have a bombshelter supply of running shoes in the house :\

    btw – read your post regarding track workouts…timely for me! I’ve been wanting to head to the local track and give it a try, but for some reason I feel totally intimidated by the idea of it?!

    • My biggest regret right now: Not purchasing all 3 size 7 Asics Nimbus 12s at Paragons’ last warehouse sale. They were $60 each! Next time, I am actually going to stock up like the true lunatic I am. Gotta spend money to make money, right? Or something like that.

      The track completely intimidates me. Of course, it’s only been like once since I’ve been there. I ran past it today and actually laughed at the idea of it. That said, it’s amazing how you get such a solid workout in such a short period of time, so in terms of efficiency and changing up the old running routine, I definitely recommend it.

      • thanks for your input! i’m going to give it a shot…after i research it to death online, that’s pretty much my standard when starting something new. it’s an effective procrastination technique 🙂

  5. I hate how running shoes always seem to be white and blue! Drive me crazy. I hate blue. I like my shoes to me dark colors for some reason. Your purple ones are very pretty

    • I’m with you! They rarely make these in grey/black, but I usually just settle with the white anyway. Super stoked!

  6. Pingback: Not So Low-Maintenance After All: New Sneakers « Will Run For Glitter

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