A moment of silence for my running shoes.
They were good shoes. Nothing special, but significant because they were my first serious pair of running shoes. Sure, I’d owned previous pairs that I would haul out once every couple of months or so in a half-hearted attempt to get “in shape.” But I was never emotionally invested in any of them the way I was invested in these shoes.
These shoes have carried me a long way, many, many miles. When we began our journey together, they carried me a mere 2.25 miles, but at the time that was a reason to be proud. Over the months we went further and further together, a little at a time, exploring and expanding the boundaries of my physical and mental toughness. They’ve been witness to both moments of victory and moments when I wasn’t sure I could keep going.
But I think we grew the closest, emotionally, during the winter. My shoes and I pounded the sidewalks no matter what kind of weather assaulted us. Armed only with a pair of those rubber shoe grippy things with the spikes on the bottom, my shoes dragged me through every variety of snow, slush, ice, and mud, and I never fell once. (I did once trip over a crack in the sidewalk, but that was of no fault of my shoes.)
Don’t get me wrong, our relationship wasn’t perfect. My shoes, like so many pairs before them, abused my arches and left countless blisters in their wake. And strong and valiant though they were, they were no match for the sneaky mud puddle. Nothing made me more miserable than to feel the cold water seeping through my shoes and wetting my socks. (Seriously, I hate wet socks. I can handle a lot of physical discomfort, but wet socks instantly turn me into a Super Bitch.)
But for better or worse, they were my shoes, and they were good to me. And now, over 500 miles later, their time has come to an end. I know they would have liked to carry me through my next major milestone, a half marathon in September (I hope,) but they just won’t make it that long. They’re dirty, they’re tired, I can see both of my big toes through the holes, and worst of all, they’re starting to hurt my feet. And so they are laid to rest in my big bin of second string shoes in the bottom of my closet, where they will find new life as “painting shoes.” Rest well, sweet running shoes.
Meet my new running shoes.
I drove aaaaaaall the way to Utica to get them. (About two hours, give or take.) Why did I drive aaaaaaall the way to Utica to get them? Because I was actually hoping that my new shoes would be a different brand, one that the closest place they’re sold is in Utica. Obviously, I did not end up with that brand, (something having to do with my arches and where my foot locks in, I don’t remember it all,) but I was fitted with these instead. (Which is cool with me. I don’t pretend to be a running shoe expert.)
Due to the shitty-ass weather lately, I’ve only been able to take them out for one run, but they’ve definitely got potential to be just as fantastic as their predecessors. They’re so springy! And not in a squishy kind of way, in a way that felt like they were driving me forward with every step. I felt strong, and even though I kept telling myself to take it easy and go at a comfortable pace, I ended up running faster than I have in a good while. And I felt good. (Minus the part where they make my feet go numb even though I have them laced as loosely as I can without them falling off. This is pretty worrying, but I’m hoping it’s the kind of issue that will remedy itself as I break them in. I hope.)
Whatever issues my new shoes have, I know that I can get them worked out. (Or taken back to the shoes store for help and maybe a new pair.) Regardless, I still have a lot of miles to cover, and I’m very excited to get started.
(As soon as it quits fucking raining.)