New shoes (to run my victory lap)!

Guys, I got new shoes! My feet are now proudly paired with a pair of Altra Instincts, the color of which demands to be recognized.

An aesthetic complaint I had about the Dyads that I’ve run in for many miles was that they are drab. Standard black and white…sometimes a splash of subdued blue…blah. Plus, I had to buy super double extra wide in them so my paddlefeet could fit comfortably.

Well the Instincts are just as blue as can be. And they are the shape of paddlefeet.

As I mentioned before, Altras have appealed to be because they are shaped like feet. This renders them somewhat odd to look at, and according to the guy at the store, that turns some people off. They don’t want their shoes to be weirdos.


Personally, I don’t care. As soon as I started reading about how wide the toe box was, I had to try a pair. First trail shoes, and now road shoes – I’m all set! My toes have all the room they need.

Another distinction Altra holds to is that their shoes are zero drops – allowing your feet to run more naturally.

Illustrations of this drop business so I don't have to use words.
Illustrations of this drop business so I don’t have to use words.

Dyads have a 10mm drop. The Altra Olympus also has a zero drop, but maybe I didn’t notice it as much because they have a lot more cushion, or because I mainly run trails with those (cuz they be trail shoes), I don’t know. But I was shocked at how much I felt the difference zero drops make in the Instincts. Not a bad difference – just quite different. Runners with a more aggressive heel strike might have problems transitioning to zeros from 10mm, so if you’re one of them (and are considering zero drop shoes), see if you can try out these shoes before buying them. You might want to be careful when transitioning.

Another hint is to keep an eye out for sales (as if I have to even say this). According to the salesperson I talked with, “Altra keeps coming out with new version after new version, but really the main difference is different colors and design.” I got both of my Altras on discount because they aren’t the newest version. I’m not really a shoe elitist, so I likely wouldn’t notice small differences between versions anyway.


Aside from running, I can occasionally be found playing floor hockey with an intramural team at the university where I work. I just finished my second season, and I’m surprised at how much I enjoy it, to be honest. I’ve never been a sports person, and have never really felt the drive to win, win, win. Floor hockey has apparently changed all that. The competition feels really good (and it’s a good way to get some sprint work in!). It’s a really tough workout some nights, since I fit it in with my regular workout. Anyway, our tournament just ended, and my team is the reigning champ! We tied, but our team won in a shootout. Hurray hockey! I busted myself up pretty good. Some highlights were me falling hard on my right knee almost immediately, bowling over several opponents, and diving headfirst into the goal to avoid smashing my team’s keeper (and captain). So I have a busted knee (swollen, tender…but run worthy!), a bruised middle finger, and a sore left arm. At least I have all my teeth.

Maybe we're old. Maybe we're ragtag. But we're definitely champs!
Maybe we’re old. Maybe we’re ragtag. But we’re definitely champs!

Thought for the week: Motivation

This week, I came across a Facebook post in a group I’m in (1000 miles in 2015). The post was a call for motivation, and the range of responses was amusing.
– Think of all the people who are immobile and can’t move even if they wanted to. (Kind of a bummer…)
– It’s not work; you just get to go play outside for a few hours! (There’s unicorns out there!)
– Go for it, you got it, ra ra ra! (Go find your unicorn!)
– Fine, don’t run. But you’ll feel bad later for skipping it, and it’ll be your own fault. (Unicorns aren’t real.)
– Screw motivation. Cultivate discipline. Discipline will get you out the door whether you “feel like it” or not. (Quit being a baby.)

That last one was my favorite. It’s true that I don’t always feel motivated to run. I have to do it a lot, every week, with increasing distances and difficulty. Discipline is the only thing that’ll get you out the door on cold nights after long days. Nothing else is trustworthy. Motivation is fleeting; discipline is dependable. Go find your unicorn, whether you feel like it today or not!