A Cardinal Sin

I’ve committed a cardinal sin in race preparation. I…dare I say it…bought a pair of running shoes (sharp intake of breath from the reading audience). And, not only that, I confess – please don’t hate me – I ran in them (even sharper intakes of breath, accompanied by exclamations of intense dismay). I know, I…I was weak!

They were on clearance. Mizuno Nirvana 8s. An avid wearer of Vibram Five Fingers for more than two years, I don’t know what came over me. I was thinking about the advice from people who say, with ultras, it isn’t a bad idea to have a different shoe at the end with a bit of cushioning. Not that I’ll need them for the 50k, I think, but what about a100k? Or a 50 miler?

I had to run too. Just a little – enough to stretch my legs out, open up, and move. It felt good. These Nirvanas will never replace my Vibrams or running barefoot – nothing beats that freedom – but I can see training with these and having them for when I’m fatigued and my ankles start to roll in too much. I do like the way the shoe hugs my arch and yet leaves room for my toes. Much better than my Altras, which have left me blistered, and even my Vevos, which (other than the wonderful sock-like insert of the Ultra), have soles so hard I feel like I’m wearing cleats.

We all have our weak moments. Today was mine. Please forgive me!

(Shhhhh – I think I’m going to run again. Don’t tell the taper police. It just…feels good, you know? Under 6, I promise!)


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