My favorite pair of shoes has always been the New Balance 790's. They're super light, feel like a slipper, have a low heel, and have decreased dramatically the number of times I roll my ankle when trail running. And they look pretty cool. After today's run, however, they're no longer my favorite.
As you know, friends at New Balance, the shoe features something you call "Rock Stop" (which you've apparently copyrighted) in the forefoot of the shoe. It isn't included in the heel of the shoe, and I guess I wasn't aware of this...until today, when a STICK WENT STRAIGHT THROUGH THE HEEL OF MY SHOE AND INTO MY FOOT.
Now, I know it's called "Rock Stop," and not "Stick Stop," but I would assume you'd agree that if it's strong enough to stop rocks, a stick should be no match for it. Unfortunately, after today's run, the scoreboard reads Stick: 1, My Heel, zero.
I know what you're thinking, NB. You're thinking to yourself that if a runner uses a more minimal shoe such as the 790, they better be the kind of runner that lands on their midfoot, and doesn't heel strike, therefore eliminating the need for Rock Stop in the heel. I'd agree. And I do land on my midfoot, except when I'm running steep downhills, where it's nearly impossible to not heelstrike. Here's a photo of the stick (the part sticking up is what did the damage), which after removing it from my flesh, I carried it along for the remaining 9 miles of the run:
This photo shows the weak point in the shoe, where perhaps some "Rock Stop" could help a bit:
When it happened, I somehow managed to NOT fall down the hill, hopping on my left foot before finally bracing myself on a tree to see what the heck happened. After removing the stick, I limped a bit but felt fine for the rest of the run. As soon as I was done and back in the car, the foot started to throb. "Not Good..." were my first thoughts.
After taking off my shoe and noticing a dark stain in the heel, I was really hoping it was dirt. Nope. That's blood, folks:Inside puncture hole:
A bit of ice and the heel is feeling better. However, I know it would feel a LOT better with some sympathy from you at New Balance in the form of running-related apparel.
I look forward to hearing from you. That is all.
For the run, Garmin reads 14.77 miles, with a 158 AvgHR. As I had mentioned, Garmin reads short in on trails, so I'm going with the Wisconsin DNR's measurement (risky, I know). The chart here says I ran 15.68 miles. 8:02 pace. I'm definitely happy with that.
Considering the terrain I was running on, I'm pretty happy with the pace! I'm not exactly sure of the terrain of the IAT at Chippewa, but I'm hoping it's tamer than the trails I was on today. Then again, I'm sure there are going to be sticks up there too, so who knows. :)