Yet another reason to frequent your local running store: they don't just clear their shelves for new models like chain stores do. In fact, if they know it's the shoe you want or need, they have no problem letting you walk away with last year's shoe instead of trying to convince you to shell out major dough for a sneaker with updates that you don't really need.
With that said, I would have bought anything with rubber and laces for $60 so long as I didn't have to run another step in my now tread-less Asics GT-2140's. Luckily, what I got for my money was last year's Brooks Adrenaline 9's.
The shoe: pretty good. I mean, I didn't expect to strap them on and start sprinting at a 6 min/mile pace. The thing is, it's kind of hard to gauge the quality of a shoe when you haven't broken in a pair of sneakers in well over a year. So all that "smooth ride" and "great transfer of motion" stuff that people write about kind of escapes me when my big toe (yay, more toe issues) feels like a knife is being driven into it because the top of the shoe has yet to be bent, twisted, and worn into submission. Also, my feet went numb on the first expedition forcing me to stop and re-lace my shoes to prevent any possible amputation situations.
On a more positive note, me and my new kicks logged 16 miles in 3 runs so far this week. So while I'm not making money doing real gear reviews (because I'm not spending the money on it, and that shit ain't free, unless someone wants to send me stuff, but I'm pretty sure I have to advertise or something on my blog...) I feel like I'm getting back to having a pretty solid base. Time to start looking at upcoming races in cities that I can easily drive to, since flying and hotels are kind of out of the question if I have to factor in the cost of entry. Which brings me to my next point...
Why is racing so friggin' expensive? I mean, the swag bag is cool and all, but if I kindly decline the t-shirt and free goo, can I please just pay for my bib and chip, which - let's me honest - can't cost more than a few bucks a piece. Yeah, I know there's the cost of hiring police to monitor the course and other venue expenses, but still, I can't justify flying and paying for lodging on top of a $100+ race. Which leaves me all depressed when I read race report after race report that I can't join in on the fun on my part-time server salary.
I worry that if I don't race I'm not a runner, despite the miles I may log. Why does it seem that you're not taken seriously in the running community if you don't cross at least a dozen finish lines a year?