New Newtons

16 Feb

I have a thing for Isaac Newton. It started in grad school when one of my professors  suggested that Newton was responsible for the form of modern drama we theater geeks refer to as social realism. Most folks in-the-know credit Henrik Ibsen as the father of social realism but it was Newton, my professor argued, who laid the foundation for the realist structure. Its heavy emphasis on logical causality and scientific reasoning are thanks to the Principia and specifically Newton’s third law. Without Newton, Ibsen may well have written nothing but pot-boiler melodramas: epic and episodic; full of coincidences; lyrical but lacking in thematic heft.

Thankfully, Newton was born. And not only because of his influence on the mind of a 19th century Norwegian playwright but also because of his influence on the feet of a 21st century American one. That’s me.

Today I bought my second pair of Newton Natural Running shoes. Here they are in all their glory:

My ladies Motus in “classic” color combination. They’re a little more subdued than my Terra Momentus (Montentuses? Momenti?):

I bought these back in November. I’d been running in Brooks and was pretty happy but increased mileage while training for my first half-marathon had blasted said shoes right to bits. Since everyone on my tri team is Newton-crazed, I decided to give them a chance.

If You’re Considering Switching to Newton Shoes Please Read the Next Paragraph.

Newton shoes require an adjustment period. Not to be confused with an Adjustment Bureau–Newton the scientist certainly would not abide by that ridiculous set-up. According to the Newton website, that adjustment period should begin very, very gently. You’re supposed to run no more than one or two miles in your shoes at first. Then every other day you increase your distance by ten minutes. And you should alternate between your old shoes and your flashy new Newton shoes frequently. The website explains why:

“Your connective tissue (muscle and tendon) and structure (the fine bones in your feet) need time to strengthen and adapt. Newtons allow your foot to feel the ground as if you were running barefoot. If you increase your running volume too quickly, you may experience calf tenderness.”

Tenderness indeed. I refer to what I endured during the first six weeks with my Newtons as “gravity calves.” This is an homage to Sir Isaac, no doubt, but also an apt description of what my legs felt like post-run: as though they were being dragged down to the earth’s molten core by unseen forces.

I was an ass. Don’t be like me.

Abide by the website’s logic, listen to your coach (especially if he is the brother of a Newton sales rep) when he tells you not to do any more than 20 minutes in your new sneakers and don’t race in them a week after the initial purchase. You may, as I did, feel AMAZING during your runs. You may feel like you’ve been born again. You may begin to delude yourself with dreams of an ultra in some far flung mountainous local. But you will probably, as I did, suffer for such dreams. And if you don’t, I hate you.

I think I have finally adjusted. I still like my Terras but they’re more of an all-terrain shoe and I really only run on one kind of terrain: hard, poured ground. I’m assuming it’s asphalt. I’m not the one to ask. And I’m built weird. I have flat feet but bowed legs so I don’t quite pronate like other flat-footed people. Still, there’s a flimsiness to my feet and ankles. My father blames it on the flamenco lessons I took when I was little. I blame it on my father and his genes. That leads me to blame Charles Darwin for making it possible for me to blame my father and his genes. And then I thank God for Sir Isaac. But then I get confused because Nietzsche killed God. And all of these guys influenced Ibsen so who really is the father of modern realism?!?

WHO CARES?!! What matters most is that I took the new Motus out for a spin today and they felt awesome. I felt awesome. Newtons have changed me. They were worth a month of suffering because running now feels like flying.  I switched to Newtons and now I’m running faster, recovering faster, and really enjoying my runs. Total cause and effect.

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5 Responses to “New Newtons”

  1. Coston Perkins February 16, 2012 at 2:23 am #

    Cool post. 🙂

  2. Mark February 16, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

    I’m considering a pair of Newtons for next running shoe, although at the moment I’m absolutely loving my Kinvara 2’s.

    • mymultipersonality February 16, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

      They’re worth trying but if you’re happy, why switch? I know nothing about Kinvara. I will go educate myself.

      • mymultipersonality February 16, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

        Oh duh. they’re saucony. this is how out of the saucony loop i am. used to wear them exclusively. but lately, they’ve been doing me wrong.

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