But now that I've become a cross training advocate, I don't go through the running shoes like I used to. Plus I have an uneasy feeling that I should be using my barefoot shoes more. So it's been a good two years since I got new shoes. In that time, my brand (Mizuno) has gone through two new generations.
Here are my pretty new shoes:
|Yes, they are RED!|
I don't feel sad that I'm not a marathon runner anymore. I don't miss the days at the track doing speedwork. I like doing something different every day and I think it's better for my body. But getting new running shoes always reminds me of those days when running felt easy. There were ten mile runs that went along the Red Cedar River, through the woodlot and out onto the farm roads. There were 22 mile trail runs in the hushed corridors of the Elwha, on the Olympic Peninsula. There were the runs where a pilot named Bill buzzed me in his SuperCub, opening the window and screaming down to me that if wanted a ride, come down to the dirt airstrip. There were the times I saw panther tracks (Florida), bears (Alaska, the Sierras) and a wolf (Idaho). I had names for some of my routes: The Dreaded Pictograph Loop. The Playground Route. The Hunt Club Run. There were my running companions, who made me faster or just shared the miles: Juls, Roger, Jen, Ken, Brian, Julie, to name some. On my feet I explored the boundaries of each new world. It was how I combatted loneliness, anger, and sorrow. Running gave me confidence, purpose and hope.
It still does, but I share the love now with other things. My first run in my new shoes was only three miles, a short snowy jaunt through the park. In the old days that would have just been a warm-up. But there was yoga to attend, a trip to pack for, and a man to kiss hello. Balance in all things.