Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New Running Shoes!

When I used to run a lot, it was a once-a-three month event: the arrival of a fresh pair of shoes. I always felt faster in a new pair of shoes. Those shoes carried me through swamps in the Everglades, across desert mesas, up mountains, and in the dense rainforest. They leaped over rocks, scaled cliffs, and crossed streams. They lined up at the start of 5Ks, 10Ks, and beyond. Sooner or later they broke down, to be relegated to more mundane tasks like wood hauling, bike riding, and walks.

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.


  1. Amen to diversity of activity! I've had years where I considered myself just a cyclist, just a runner, etc. Now, though, I think I'd get bored if I limited myself to just one activity. Bike today, hike tomorrow, run or snowshoe the next day - the important thing is just to get outside and have fun! And like you said, I think it's ultimately better for the body to not just be doing the same thing all the time.

    Nice shoes, BTW. :)

  2. I really love adding diversity to my activities. I'm mostly a hiker and runner though(occasional biker), but I like to diversify within those things by doing faster workouts and slower ones. Can't bring myself to run in circles on a track though :)

    It really is all about doing what you like best. I'm glad you've ignored pop culture's obsession with the marathon to do it your way.

  3. Definitely nice shoes.

    As a cyclist who has been amassing bike gear for years, I always thought it was so lame when my ex-boyfriend would go on and on about his shoes. I mean, they're just shoes. I admit that now I get it. I love my squishy Hokas. And my winter runner friend Anne in Alaska enlightened me on the fact that their thick padding also does a great job insulating feet from the cold snow. Not that I need that where I live, but it's nice to know.

  4. Variety is the key, I believe. Having said that, I do admit that when I bike, row, or swim, I feel a bit of guilt that I am not running.
    Those shoes rock. Don't you think red, an agressive color, makes one feel stronger and faster?

  5. I'll second Ewa, Those Shoes Rock!
    I remember when I used to buy men's shoes because I could get black ones and all the women's shoes were white (gag).
    Once I got a professional evaluation/fitting though (at a good running store in Seattle), and the women's shoes where less puky, I found a brand/style that worked well for me. Unfortunately, as you mentioned, those shoes don't necessarily stay around forever and when you go to buy them again they don't exist! So I started buy 3 pair at a time. I still have a nice shiny (orange!) new pair waiting under the bed (I also tend to wear a pair long after I should retire them...).
    Variety is the key though, Much better for the body, I agree.

  6. Red shoes! Click your heels three times and make a wish--very cool, Marre.

  7. I have a favorite pair of Nikes that I bought two yers ago for my first Tri. Unfortunately I waited too laste last year to buy and they were out of my size in my town. I opted for another brand and I hate them. So I started shopping early this time (just before Christmas). I am lucky and they still are making the Nikes I love.

    I was a runner in HS. Loved it more than anything. I took almost 20 yrs off though and just came back into it 2 yrs ago. I remembered then what I loved about it. Running is my unwind time. Just me and my route. I love being able to zone. I am also loving doing Tri's now too. Maybe because it is a lil of everything I love to do.

    Love the red. I am a total pink girl and they actually made my shoes in pink or blue this year. Last year it was blue or bright green.

    Happy running to you.


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