the mercury grand marquis of running shoes
with the twin cities marathon smacking me upside the head in 12 days, i picked up some cushy new shoes. actually, i picked up the cushy old shoes i've worn for a decade. i've run on air pegasus for as long as i've driven old jeeps and both have carried me over the same rough terrain.* sadly, though, my pegasus has been tweaked just a bit too much for my tastes this year.
why such loyalty to a particular product? mostly because my feet bore a suspicious resemblance to raw hamburger after running a marathon in other shoes. with the old pegasus, i could buy a pair on saturday, run a marathon on sunday, and my feet stayed pretty in pink.
but putative innovation is a constant in the athletic shoe biz. both novice and elite runners eagerly pay through the nose for the latest and greatest, so shoemakers constantly introduce new models, colors, styles, and the latest must-have techical innovations (silver laces!). by contrast, the venerable air pegasus has changed as little as the horseshoe, making it a staple for ordinary runners since its introduction in 1983.
at 180 pounds, i'm considered a heavy runner (a source of much amusement to my way-larger son -- oh yeah, dad, you're frighteningly huge), so full-length cushioning is good. because the tread wears evenly, i know i'm also a neutral runner -- that is, i don't under- or over-pronate. so, the pegasus works out just fine for me. this, the softest and cushiest shoe, is wonderful for my li'l knee and ankle issues, and its swiss-like neutrality also carries a certain appeal. the cushy ride, long history, admirable safety record, and cheap price are shared with but one other conveyence. that's why i dub the air pegasus the mercury grand marquis of running shoes.
as soon as i opened the box, however, i knew i was in trouble. the color scheme is "White/French Blue/Metallic Silver/Neutral Grey." what ordinary shoe could handle that much color! it also advertised "additional flex grooves and a new, wider fit," which proved too wide for my feet.
so now i'm slippin' around in a too-darn-wide french-blue shoe. for the first time in years i had actual blisters after my training run on saturday! so i'm dealing with some shoe issues as well as the normal bemused marathon anxiety. aside from the start of the academic year, the lad has a nasty cold, which he is absolutely certain to pass along to me in the next few days. oh well, i wasn't likely to win the darn thing anyway. not in these metallic silver gunboats, that's for sure.
ahh, the twin cities is always a beautiful run, hamburger feet or no. lemme know if you're planning to run twin cities and maybe we can hook up for some barbecue and beer afterwards. maybe i just need new socks...
*unfortunately, although the shoes and the jeep are both high value-added products, only the toledo jeepworkers get paid a living wage for their efforts.