For the Love of my Running Shoes

It’s almost time to retire my trusty pair of New Balance Borocay. I’ve had them since March, and they’ve got around 350 road miles on them. The lined purple upper is starting to tear. The white of the sole is no longer pearly. The sole just doesn’t support my foot the same any longer.

I spend all day convincing people that it’s time to replace their shoes. And it’s not a lie. I know better. I know when it’s time. I can feel the aches and pains in my feet starting. I can feel the fact that they just aren’t the same any longer. The still have some little life left in them, but for the sake of my body, it’s nearly time for them to go.

They’ve been through so much with me. This is the first time in a long time that I’ve felt such affinity for a shoe. This is the longest I’ve run in one pair – a testament to how much I’ve enjoyed them. They ran me through some of my marathon training, and consequently through two marathons in a row. Yes, I wore the same shoes both days. They ran me through the puddles a River Bank this year, they have run me through any training I’ve done since.

They still have some of their sparkle, some of their sheen, I still love the lines and contours, blue N that fades to green, the teal color of the lining, the purple of the upper.

It’s not that I don’t love new running shoes. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of slipping on a new pair of sneakers. The swish as your foot slips in, the soft, cushioned feel. They joy of the first run in something new. It’s only then that you realize the true need to replace.

But I’ve always gotten attached to good pairs of shoes. I used to be one of the kids that would wear huge holes in shoes and refuse to throw them away because they had been such faithful friends. I still feel the same.

If these shoes could talk, the’d say so much. They’d tell of sloshing through spring puddles, and dodging worms. They’d tell of sunshine and flowers, of birds and fireflies, of sunrises and sunsets.

If their tongues could talk they’d share some secrets, pour out some of the words that I poured in to them while running solo. They could speak of stories told by others, wise words of wisdom shared while running long.

They could tell of the pain and pressure of marathon running, and the endless hours spent training. They could share the misery of cold, and the joy of the first nice days of spring and summer.

The splish splash of puddles run through River Bank 25k, and the squelch of mud. There may have even been an incident during that race where I kicked a mole (or rat according to some) that scurried under foot and then off in to the grass.

They could tell of triumphs, and defeat – and of getting back up and trying again, and again, and again.

So here’s to you, running shoe. Thank you for faithfully supporting me for the last 3.5 months.  Thank you for always being there for me, my constant support, my friends.

My fingers crossed that the next to come along will be as magnificent as you were.

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