The RED shoes had a pretty illustrious life, having spent most of their time running in jungle trails, and in the badminton court, and off the beaten track, got bashed up hiking up Gunung Irau and spent a washing machine of a time in the rapids of Sungai Kampar.
The replacement pair, the Urahas, had no less of a crazy time as well. Other than the usual trail running and badminton court action, they were stuck (purposely) in the sand dunes of the Dubai desert, spent almost everyday for two weeks being worked out in a Dubai gym (because the owner can die running outside in Dubai's summer heat), walked the streets of Bangkok just like its predecessor and this year alone participated in 5 10 kilometer road runs (well 4 runs and a walk).
The end was near for the Urahas when it came to a point whereby my left knee was in a world of hurt right after my third 10km run and it became a common occurence after that. Hills (uphill and downhill), left hand bends and even roads that tilted to the left became my running banes.
At first I thought it was just over-stressed from all the pounding or from the nature of the course, but come to think of it, I wasn't a stranger to that kind of road conditions (especially going up and down hills), and I probably have a harder time running on gravel/earth trails compared to running on tarmac.
Then I happen to read a small article in the Runner's World magazine (the mag makes for good reading for runners). Quoting directly from the magazine:
"Running is bad for your bones and joints."
FICTION. Lots of people assume that the high-impact nature of running must take a negative toll on your bones and joints. Yet scientific evidence suggests the opposite: High-impact activities such as running, can help increase bone mass, thus improving bone health. In addition, numerous studies have concluded that running does not increase the risk of joint disease and osteoarthritis-even after sveral decades of participating in the sport. Physiologists agree that humans were built to run. So when we run with proper form, and a good pair of running shoes - our bodies are strengthened, not town down as we log the miles. - Jeff Galloway, Runner's World August 2007 issue.
So, having crossed out my form and road conditions for being factors for my knee pain, it was time to focus on the shoes. The rest was easy, I went out and bought a new pair yesterday and broke a long standing tradition of sticking with Adidas for my running shoes.
The new Asics Gel-Cumulus 9 pair, felt VERY GOOD when I hit the trails this morning. Sure, they were a little stiff since they haven't been broken into yet, but they felt so good...and there wasn't any pain in my knee.
The colour scheme that I chose was purely for nostalgia though, it reminded me of the Red Adidas shoes I had. Bright shiny red apples...anyone?