Saturday was an epic run day for me. It started out with a fabulous long run of 20.11 miles. The skies were clear, it wasn't too hot, I nailed my marathon goal pace miles (7 miles at 9:03 for miles 13-19), and my legs felt fantastic. When I was done, I took my mountain bike out for an easy spin to keep my legs from getting stiff. Then I showered, changed, ate, and headed out to the Crossfit Games in Carson, CA.
I saw thru Twitter that Jeremy from Altra and Patton from the Natural Running Store were going to be at the Crossfit Games and since I'm a big fan of their companies and their commitment to running, I couldn't pass up the chance to meet them.
I bought my Altra Intuitions in May and the first time I put them on, it felt completely right. It felt like my body instantly knew it was in the right shoes. My feet loved the wide toe box which gave my foot plenty of room and everything else fit perfectly: the heel didn't slip when I ran and the fit across the top of my foot was great. Running in them was fun and kind of freeing.
One of the things that I noticed about Altra is that they don't just want you to buy their shoes. They want you to be the best runner you can be: running injury free and with good form. Their website has a lot of information on making the transition and form and if you haven't checked it out, you should: www.altrarunning.com.
And then there's Patton! I bought my Intuitions from the Natural Running Store and I have to say it was definitely one of the most fun purchases I ever made! First, he contacted me after I placed my order to make sure I'd chosen the correct size. I have never had that happen before. I'd always figured on having to return things if they didn't fit but after talking with Patton, I was sure I'd picked the right size and I was right. Then, not only did I get the Intuitions super, super fast but in the box was a personal note from Patton and an energy bar. It was like Christmas for a runner. And then I got a follow up video message from Patton thanking me for my purchase. I have all my stuff delivered to work since the office where I live is closed before I get home and my co-workers were completely floored by the Natural Running Store's level of customer service. It is so rare to find a company that is so caring and makes you feel special! My second purchase was the same and I plan on feeding my shoe fetish with shoes from the Natural Running Store in future. I encourage you to check them out too: www.naturalrunningstore.com. They also have videos and a blog with lots of info to help you with form and running.
The other thing I love about both companies is that they are also very encouraging to runners (and crossfitters) on Twitter and Facebook. I think both companies are a fun presence and they add a lot to the running community. Although sometimes I wish Patton wouldn't post so many cool shoe photos. It makes it really hard to resist them!
I'm excited about where running shoes are going. I love that there are so many options out there for runners now, that they are getting lighter & more foot friendly, and that we can make informed choices about what we choose to wear. Both Altra and the Natural Running Store are leaders in that area. If you aren't already, you should follow and/or like them:
Natural Running Store
Jeremy & Patton: I had fun meeting you both! Thank you for the shirt and I hope you enjoyed your visit to California. My only regret is that I forgot to get your autographs. ;)