I am turning into a real Carrie Bradshaw with the Asics shoes. See those above? Those are my new Gel Kayano 16s. They number them, like comic books, so you’ll know which ones are awesome. (Unfortunately, since new models come out every year, if you’re a big fan of the 8′s you’d have to hoard them on eBay or something.) I chose to get the shoes above not just because they are uber-bad-assed looking, which they are, but for a more scientific reason: red shoes make you run faster. As a five year old, I suspected the “red shoes make you run faster” hypothesis had merit. Years later, I both theoremed and lawed that shit when I ran a 4.3 forty in my first ever pair of Nikes (red swoosh). (Those shoes were a rare case of me complaining until my mom bought me something 10x more expensive than we would normally buy. They were $40 – prior to that I was sporting off-brand Kangaroos from Wal-Mart that went for $5.99. I fell down on a newly tarred street the first day I was sporting the Nikes, I shit you not. Hiding that shit from her was a coverup on a scale that would make the Watergate conspirators envious.)
See those ones below? Those are my backup Gel Kayano 16s. You’re probably thinking “wait, that’s just a second photo of the same sweet-assed shoes.” You’re probably thinking incorrectly. See, I’ve completely revamped my shoe cycle. Due to what doctors have told me is a non-gigantism pituitary disorder, I have a mild torrential sweating problem. Much like the Tourette’s guy in the spin class, it’s not a condition I embrace. I’d previously worked within the frameworks of a two shoe system – one set of running shoes for walking around in, another set of shoes for actually running in. When the running shoes finally got worn out, the walking shoes would get promoted up to running, and I’d buy a new pair of walking around shoes.
That system served me well for years; I learned the basics from watching my buddy Ala Majala’s 3-sock system in college (rotate a funk sock out for the clean sock when the odor from one of the main socks gets prohibitive, third socks starts to smell relatively better, repeat as needed). But since I’m running a couple of races this spring, I’ve had to somewhat increase my daily activity level from sit-on-my-ass-all-day to sit-on-my-ass-most-of-the-day. Accordingly, my “running” running shoes are frequently soaking wet from the, uh, gland condition. (It’s not fatness-related, I can assure you.) Putting on already-wet running shoes is not for the faint of heart or the hygiene of good.
So the three shoe system was born – I will alternate two pairs of running shoes. The problem is, I have been loathe to actually run in the 16s because of their awesomeness. They have fucking asymmetric laces! What fucking losers are people with symmetric laces! It reminds me of when I got my first slider phone, the feeling of superiority from hearing that whi-zish when I opened it and the satisfying thunk when shutting it. (Too bad I left that thing at Stone Rose the first week I had it and had to suffer through a Nokia candy bar phone for two years.) Sunday, I finally managed to put them through a 6-miler in Central Park and let the red tendrils do their work. (Who needs a swoosh when you can have those Asics tendrils or whatever the hell those things are?)
Of course they came through: I managed better than 9-minute miles and I had several things working against me. I was hungover, dehydrated, improperly carbed, my knee still hurt from falling on it the other night (although the burritos broke my fall a bit) and fat. So maintaining a 9 minute mile pace was a strong effort. Undoubtedly the shoes had a significant role. It could also have been the socks. Or the shorts. Or the shirt (UPF 50+, blocks 90% of UV rays!). I realized after gearing up that I looked like an Asidiot – generally I shy away from wearing completely-matching logoed up outfits. Subconsciously, I had even matched my shirt to my tendrils. Sure, I looked like a tool, but I felt like a superhero. Keep up the good work, Asics.
If you catch a glimpse of a large red and black blur this weekend at the Colon Cancer 15k, you may have just been chillified.