Monday, July 25, 2011

Travel Rants & New Shoes!

sleepy on ferryIt's difficult to put into words how happy I am to be back home. While a great time was had by all at the wedding, I think we may have set some kind of record for number of travel snafus in a 48-hour period.

First, we barely made our train to the airport on Friday afternoon. Then our plane was delayed for engine trouble, so it left an hour late. Then Sea/Tac closed our runway just as our plane was about to land due to the plane in front of us hitting a bird, so we landed ten or fifteen minutes late. We'd planned to meet friends at a pub on Bainbridge Island, but because we got in so late everyone was leaving before we got there. Then we thought we'd just stop by anyway for a post-travel beer (they were supposed to have excellent beer), but then it turned out that they closed an hour before we could've gotten there. (Seriously, what bar closes at midnight on a Friday?)

You can see how excited I am by all this, after five hours of planes, trains, boats, automobiles, and hauling rolling luggage up and down various hills in SF & Seattle. I asked to just sleep on the ferry. This is apparently not allowed.

Saturday morning, we were supposed to meet friends for brunch in Seattle, but it turned out that ten minutes after we'd gotten off the ferry, they'd gotten back on it going the other way. We decided to go back to the Island early enough to stop by the pub for a beer before getting ready for the wedding, but then the ferry was delayed nearly half an hour due to a fire on the Island, so we didn't have time. Then, to top it all off, although we made it to the ferry and then the train station on time Sunday morning, the train came 20 minutes late, meaning we arrived too late to get on our plane by about 10 minutes.

Oh, and also, hot airport tip? Don't deal with the self-service kiosks. The self-service kiosk was HAPPY to offer to rebook us on a flight four hours later, on stand-by, for a nominal $75 per person. Screw you, self-service kiosk. The wonderful, wonderful gate agent we managed to talk to took pity on us and booked us on a flight only two hours later, with confirmed seats, for no extra charge. With extra leg room. Don was so happy and relieved I thought he might cry.

But anyway. The running part.

I am tired of just talking about how injured I am as of late and would instead prefer to talk about something cheerier and more exciting. You know what's super exciting for a runner?


Even though my Asics Kayanos currently only have about 360 miles on them (they usually make it to 500 with no problem), they've felt rather hard and un-cushiony lately, and I can't help wondering if that's playing some role in this whole Achilles tendon drama I've got going on. I've actually been pretty happy with the Kayanos overall, but since I don't know what's causing the pain and want to leave no stone unturned, so to speak, I'm going to try something different, just to see if it makes any difference.

For years, I ran in Brooks Adrenalines, then for some reason I switched to the Kayanos a couple of years ago. Recently I've read several good reviews of the new Adrenalines, and since I know I've run successfully in them before, they seemed like a better place than most to start. (Not to mention the fact that they also appear on Palo Alto Medical Foundation sports medicine podiatrist Amol Saxena's list of recommended running shoes).

So I started shopping around. At first, I was psyched that a bunch of places seemed to have the Adrenaline 10's on clearance (since the 11's just came out) & were selling them in the $50-70 range. Unfortunately, they've apparently been on sale long enough that all the mid-range sizes (like 8) are sold out. (If you happen to be a size 5 or 13, though, get out there -- there are some serious deals to be had.) If you want a size 8, it appears, you'll have to pony up the $100 for the Adrenaline 11's.

At first, this annoyed me a little. Then I learned a few things that compensated a little:

  • I'm a Roadrunner Sports VIP, so I can get 10% off, plus free shipping (most of the places selling the cheap 10's were online, so even if I was a size 5 or 13, I'd still have to pay shipping).
  • I never used the additional 10% coupon they give you when you first join the VIP club, so we're up to 20% off.
  • Whereas the colors left in the 10's are pretty limited (pastel blue and green, mostly, and this weird black model), the 11's come in RED!!

The first red shoes I had were my first pair of Kayanos. At the time I wasn't used to such flashy, attention-grabbing shoes, and to be honest I thought they looked a little spaceshippy. But then they grew on me. As did racing in red. These days, I've sort of adopted red and black as my racing colors -- for some reason they make me feel super fast. :) (You can see why I was so ridiculously excited when I got my Mizunos; I didn't choose them for the color, but that's definitely how I knew it was meant to be.) But the last few times I've bought my Kayanos, I've gotten them on sale where only a few colors were available (not including the red ones).

running in red

I'm having some trouble using my VIP ID on the Roadrunner website, but they have a store in San Carlos, and since I'm planning to be down that way on Wednesday anyway, I'm going to stop in and see if they happen to have a pair in the store. (If not, hopefully I can at least get my ID straightened out so I can get them online.) I'll be super excited to (re-)try a new shoe, and doubly excited to have them in red. :)

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