I have to admit when my wife commented about the concrete being an issue near mile 7 during the Lincoln marathon, I was bit surprised. You see, I was in fear of this course, knowing that it was a mixture of asphalt and concrete along with the fact that I was running in trail shoes, I expected the course to take it's toll on me, not her. My shoes were newer ones so I hoped that they would work but they were still trail shoes. Imagine my additional surprise when I looked down at her shoes and saw fragments of rubber at the back of the shoes. I thought to myself, OMG. We still have 19 miles to go. I did have the good sense to not make a comment, other than "yes, this concrete is hard", I am sure I also mumbled how much I like my trails.
As anyone who knows me a bit, they might know I am a bit preoccupied with shoes and probably were wondering how could I let my wife's shoes get so bad. Then again, they might say something like "so does your wife un-retire her shoes too, like you do"? Oh yeah, I see Wayne made that comment. The answer to that question is no with the caveat that I think she puts in more miles on her shoes than I do.
A long time ago, I learned my lesson about running in worn out shoes, ok learned may be an overstatement, I should have said something like I experienced this issue awhile back, I think it was in the late 90's when I decided to start Twin Cities Marathon in an older more comfortable pair of shoes, I was so beat up at mile 13 that I asked my wife to grab a pair of newer shoes which I had in the car. Some might ask, why I didn't start in them, that's easy they were newer and I wasn't sure I liked them, after I switched out shoes at mile 20, I could not believe the amount of cushioning they had. It was like running on air, granted it lasted all of a 1/2 mile before the other 20 miles came back to me and said, idiot, you will continue to pay for this mistake.
So my guess is that this race will be my wife's lesson learned and she will probably adopt my strategy, always have 2 or preferable 3 pairs of shoes you can run your next race in. In her case, she actually did have a couple of options but none were good, one was a pair of Nimbus's except they had caused other pain and she had an almost brand new pairs of Grid Omni's, except they only had 10 or 20 miles on them and she wasn't sure they would work either. So my advice is of course always have a few pair of shoes that work (meaning you can run long in them) in your shoe running rotation and make sure you retire your worn out shoes. Let me repeat that, make sure you retire your worn out shoes.
Now I would like to to say that with the lessons I have learned I would have worn the new shoes, but alas that would only be true if I had remembered my lesson and although I seldom make the same mistake twice, it has been known to happen. Note to self, remember, make sure you retire your worn out shoes and with that reminder, 3 pairs of my shoes have entered retirement and don't worry I will be donating them so they should actually be gone fairly soon. Of course I might just grab them for one more run like if it's raining out, hey it is, time to run.