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    • quickisstrong

      I remember almost every pair of racing shoes I've ever gotten. Such an important decision since this can contribute to you having your best PR ever or the worst blister of your life. The best pair I ever had was in spring of 2002 while I was smack in the middle of college. I'm not sentimental about too many materialistic things, but I still have these shoes. I probably will always have them. They are tucked away in their silver nike sling bag and taking up valuable space in the garage. But I don't care. These shoes helped bring me to State that year in the Steeplechase. They were obnoxiously florescent and felt like a feather. They were stained with my blood, probably contributed to a lost toenail or two and made me feel like I could kick it in that last stretch faster than anyone. They were also the last pair of collegiate race shoes I ever wore. After that year, I took time off to find my love of running again and when I found it, by then, I was long graduated and working in the real world. But whenever I see those shoes, they make me feel something. Even 15 years later. That's why they're my favorite and that's why they still are tucked away in the nether regions of my garage. For that moment here and there when I stumble across them and remember when I had the coolest last name for a runner. Quick.

    • Chris

      That was seriously the most inspirational story about running shoes I've ever read. It made me think back on all the shoes I've loved but, sadly, tossed.

      How did you get into Steeplechase? I've known just about every other kind of runner but never a Steeplechaser and always wondered who gets into it and why. I mean, it sounds a lot more interesting than just running loops around a track for two miles.

      I love the obnoxiously florescent shoes. Why be boring? My problem is when I find wonderfully obnoxiously florescent shoes like these Hokas, the men's versions are usually toned down. Pheh. Here's the women's style:

    • Vilen

      My racing years can still be counted on a single hand, but through this time I've ran quite a few pairs. Nike was my favorite brand when I was just getting started. I found them to be good for road running, but wanted to get into a zero-drop craze. Since then I actually fully embraced zero-drop benefits and all of my running shoes are now those.

      Once I got into trail running, the Inov-8 had a nice selection of shoes that were super minimal. But over the last 2 years I switched over to Altra. Really loving the Lonepeak 3.0 model for trail running and even on a treadmill. They have a nice cushion, lots of traction for trail running and yet are still zero-drop. For races I mostly use Superior 3.0 which have slightly less cushioning and give me a better feel for the terrain.

    • Vilen

      Zero-drop shoes are great for improving running form. This is a term that essentially describes your foot being parallel to the ground just as if you were running barefoot but some cushion. Most shoes have a slight decline so your heel is higher than your toes (usually measured in millimeters like 6-9mm). Here is the official language from Altra's website:

      Zero-Drop places your heel and forefoot the same distance from the ground to encourage natural, low-impact running form throughout your run.

      I've been running with zero-drop shoes for a few years and definitely saw my running form improve.
      P.S @bstrong the bottom of the show looks pretty cool too.

    • quickisstrong

      Every summer I would spend one week in Eugene at the University of Oregon for track camp. I got to run on the very track that Pre ran on, I ran loops in the cemetery that the track team would run and I got to sit in the stands of Hayward Field. Basically the highlight of my summer was spent running in Oregon. The last year I attended, they introduced steeplechase to us. Steeple was just opening up to women to compete and we were going to learn first hand on that infamous track. At the end of the week, there was a meet for us to compete in several events and this is where most of us got to compete in it for the first time in our careers. I loved it and to be honest, I felt bad*ss. It's an intense event and when you are used to running endless lap after lap, this was a fun way to break up the monotony. I'm not sure if my love for it was due to the actual event itself or the experience of where I learned about it. Have you ever been to University of Oregon? If not and you ever get a chance to go, you should visit it. There's something magical about that place for any runner to experience. Maybe this is the wide eyed younger version of me, but to this day, if I watch a movie about Pre, it makes me either tear up or want to lace up.

    • Chris

      Have you ever been to University of Oregon?

      Liz, Jeff and I did a marathon there! Liz called it the greatest day of her life except for her wedding day. We finished on that hallowed track. Chills.

    • Chris

      Erin, it’s funny, I was in the garage and realized that like you I had a pair that I love stashed for decades. In my case, however, they’re boots that I wore when scaling some big peaks in the winter. We used to care for them with special boot wax, and you looked totally hip and badass at the same time if you strode into a cafe wearing them.

      I can’t let them go because the memory of scaling Mt. Olympus on New Year’s Day in them to start the year with a bang is something I will always cherish.

    • quickisstrong

      I love that! It's interesting that we put sentimental value on something as simple as a pair of shoes but it is probably due to the journey that they helped carry us on. They'll continue their reign in the garage for who knows how long. I know mine will stay there for quite some time. :)

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