Sunday, May 30, 2010

Farewell to an old pair

My head and heart didn't want to say good bye but my knees were begging me to let go. I hang on to my shoes a little too long. They linger as long as an unwanted black toenail but I am still reluctant to let go.

They say an average pair can give you 400 to 500 miles of good running. Sounds like plenty of miles in theory, but most distance runners in the midst of heavy training can buzz through those miles in mere few months.

I seem to never be able to buy enough runners to get me by. Just as I'm getting comfortable in an old pair, it's time to trade old for new. If you don't, you do pay the consequences, I know that.

These old pairs, though, have some significance. They got me through a winter of training, tackled all my spring races. They tread the trails of High Park in Toronto, the icy paths of the Martin Goodman trail, the hills of Newton and the finish on Boylston. They are a special pair, full of memories.

Eventually, though, I've had to let go. Over the years, I've dumped or donated dozens. One old Asics, though, is tucked deep in R's apartment in DC. It annoys her to hell that I have them there but I just can't throw them away. They are years and years old, and I have this fantasy now that 10 years from now, I'll dig them out and go for a light jog. They'll feel probably not unlike the first pair of shoes I took on one of my first runs, but the difference is it has history. They're the pair I ran my first marathon in, almost five years ago.

The knees hurt. They ache and are a constant reminder that although the shoes feel comfortable, they have long given up the cushioning power they had when they were shiny and new. I took out a new pair, purchased for $82 US a few weeks ago (yes, they're going for $129 in Canada, the injustice). Within the first 100 metres, the knees were thanking me. And at the end of the run, I decided it was time to switch.


Boris T said...

I think I was you this morning down at the beaches.

I know about not being able to let go of old shoes. I had a pair of sneakers that I wore for some 5-6 years and didn't stop until the top off the left shoe actually come off the sole.

Marlene said...

I have special memories in all of my shoes and have a hard time letting go... which is why they are all in a box in my basement!