The Mezamashii Project

Several weeks ago, I received a rather cryptic email from someone named Sally claiming to be emailing on behalf of Mizuno and asking for my physical mailing address, but she said she couldn’t really tell me why yet–only that Mizuno wanted to send me an invitation to something.  I was a little skeptical, but I gave her my PO Box information and pretty well dismissed it.  Quite a bit of time passed, and I had almost forgotten about it when I received this in the mail just a couple of weeks ago.

The Mezamashii Project is Mizuno’s way of putting their money where their mouth is.  They believe that their shoes create a more euphoric running experience, and they are willing to put free shoes on feet to prove it.  As a founding member of the Project, I was invited to select any pair of Mizuno shoes for free. Now I’ll be honest here. I used to wear the Mizuno Wave Riders.  They were the shoe that a running store put me in when I had my first gait analysis done back in 2010.  I went through three pair of them.  And for the majority of that time, I had ITB issues.  To deal with those issues, I made some changes, shoes being one of them.  I switched to the Brooks Ghost line, and I haven’t had any issues since.  Since I changed shoes at the same time I introduced other preventative measures (i.e., foam rolling), I can’t say with any certainty that the shoes had any bearing on it whatsoever, but I was still a little hesitant to return to that specific shoe.  After researching the other neutral shoes and talking with Mizuno’s fit specialist, I decided on the Wave Enigma.  The bonus?  THEY’RE FREAKING PURPLE.

The way I saw it, even if I hated them for running, I still had a kickass pair of purple shoes to wear.

I’ve taken them out on a few short runs, and honestly I believe short runs is all I’ll ever use them for.  When I first switched to Brooks Ghosts, the difference that I most noticed immediately was the wider toe box.  I didn’t realize how constricting the Wave Rider toe box was until I switched to something that wasn’t.  When I walk and run, my toes kind of splay out.  With the Wave Rider, and now with the Wave Enigma, they don’t have room to do that.  Even though the width is perfect through the heel and midfoot, my toes feel scrunched up.  I don’t think these beauties will ever see any long run action.

These little piggies need their space.  And a pedicure.

Even though they’re not exactly for me, thanks so much to Mizuno for allowing me the opportunity to be a part of the Mezamashii Project and to try out a new pair of shoes!

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Give Up the Ghost?

When I started running, I didn’t know what the hell I was doing.  (Well, actually, some days I feel like I still don’t, but that’s neither here nor there.)  When I bought my first pair of shoes, I went to Hibbett and bought the first pair I tried on and liked that were a decent price.  They were Nike Air Pegasus.  And I ended up in a podiatrist’s office with tendinitis in my foot.  That actually turned out to be partly because my hips were out of whack and causing a weird stride, but we couldn’t rule out the shoes contributing, too.

So then I went to a running store and was actually fitted for a pair of running shoes.  They did their thing and watched me do my thing and put me in Mizuno Wave Riders.  I thought those were gonna be The One because the foot pain was no more.  And then I started having knee pain and IT band issues.  Was it the shoes?  Maybe.  The training?  That’s a good possibility, too.  But I switched shoes anyway, just to see.  I changed over to the Brooks Ghost 4s.  While I did like the wider toe box better, I just didn’t LOVE the shoe.  I can’t put my finger on what I DIDN’T love about them, but I just didn’t.  After I had run in them for just a little bit I decided I would try another one next time.  But you know what?  They are nearing end-of-life, and I haven’t had any pain, injury, twinge, not even so much as a tickle the entire time.
So what’s a girl to do?  Stick with the Ghosts, which she admittedly doesn’t love but which her legs apparently do?  Or give up the Ghosts in search of The One?  I’ve been drooling over the new Ruby Red Mizuno Wave Rider 15s for a couple of months now.  I mean COME ON.  They’re RED.  But what if the IT band/knee problems from before actually WERE related to the shoe?  Ugggghhhh…
Ultimately fear got the best of me.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?  I’ve been making too much progress to piss it away and end up injured all because I wanted a pair of ruby red slippers.  
These will be here Tuesday.  They ain’t red, but I do love me some pink, too…