A week after I wrote about when to retire a pair of running shoes, I retired my running shoes.

On paper, it seemed like they should have been good for a few more months. I figured Iíd put less than 250 miles on them when the manufacturer indicated an average runner should get twice that distance.

But then I did my first 8-mile run and got a bum knee and unusually achy tootsies for my trouble. Back at home, I took off my socks, looked at my bare feet, and asked what the problem was. I swear I saw my toes twitch in the direction of my Nike Pegasus.

The well worn Nikes looked back without apology. ďLook, girl,Ē I could hear them say. ďYouíre not the average runner. Youíre twice the size and twice as slow. You take twice the footfalls to cover a mile. Iíve done my best, but frankly, youíve put me through twice the punishment in half the time.Ē

I couldnít argue with that, though I had never considered it until that moment.

One of the first things I did when I started to run was learn how to carry on conversations with my body. I talk to every ache, refusing to believe I have to accept it.

When I got plantar fasciitis a few months ago, I found some strengthening exercises, started doing them that very day, and a week later I was free of pain. I keep up those exercises so it doesnít come back, and it hasnít.

When I came home from training runs feeling as if the tops of my feet were bruised, I suspected my high arches. I found a lacing technique that skipped a few eyelets to make room for my feet to grow upward as they swelled. The problem was solved.

So I wasnít willing to accept that an 8-mile run should feel the way it did. After a frank but honest tongue-lashing from my shoes, I decided a second trip to Second Sole was in order.

Michael Dilisio, owner of the Merriman Valley running shoe store, took a full two seconds to determine my Nike Pegasus were broken. They are a lighter, more flexible shoe - something I really wanted after feeling too confined in some substantial and firm footware I had tried. But that also contributed to them wearing out more easily, he said.

I walked out of the store with a pair of Brooks Glycerin in my hands and $120 less in my pocket. As before, Dilisio told me to try them out for a couple of weeks and return them if they didnít work for me.

The very next day, I took them on a five-mile run. They felt fine. No bum knee. No achy feet.

Then I wore the Brooks for the Goodyear 10k, and about 4 miles in, I recognized an old pain that I hadnít felt since April. My feet were swelling, the tops of them pressing into the unyielding shoelaces and bruising my flesh. If I had been flexible enough, I would have kicked myself the final 2 miles of the race. I had not re-laced the Brooks the way I had re-laced the Nikes to allow for my high arches.

ďIím sorry,Ē I told my feet later that night as they whimpered. ďThat was lazy of me. I knew better.Ē

My feet took a full two days to forgive me. Monday morning, after fixing the laces, I took them out for a 3-mile spin. Iím happy to report we are on good terms again.

I hope my experience may be of help to some of you if you need it.

If you weigh more than an average runner, whatever that is, or if you take shorter than average steps, whatever that is, or if you opted for a lighter shoe style over the sturdier kind, just know your shoes might be wearing out faster than you think.

How will you know? Your body will tell you. It might take a little effort to understand the language itís speaking, but trust me. Youíll know when itís talking, and it will benefit you to figure out what itís trying to say.