Because cycling just isn’t enough torture and because I fear that over the winter months, I will be tempted to eat every carb loaded holiday cookie, cake, pie, and mashed potato, gravy plate in site, I have signed up (meaning I paid MONEY) to do the Tecumseh Trail marathon in December (in Indiana). What a way to close out the year and ring in the holidays with my legs burning, lungs heaving, and the possibility of throwing up in front of 100+ strangers (okay, so far I know 2 other runners).
I have wanted to do a trail marathon for some time and I figured with all the cycling training, my legs will morph into a running machine. Okay, maybe not…my feet are small, with high arches….when I run, it is like watching a toddler chase after a ball…sloppy. You would think being so compact, I could move like the wind….but my inseam is only about 26”…so my stride is shoooorrrrt. So, like most physically challenging competitions, I strive to finish….alive…and well.
Trail running is that challenge of “how-to-not-break-your-ankle-on-tree-roots” each and every training day. My first run to see where my “base” is quickly assured me of ONE thing….I needed new shoes. Now, any girl on the planet would LOVE a pair of new shoes. Usually I get very excited about high heels and by high I really mean three or more inches. The more uncomfortable, the better—I usually prefer something that blisters quickly. It means they are sexy (usually). I do not get excited about running shoes, however. My old pair…the ones I love…are well worn… mold to my foot….they are losing traction…they are SO COMFORTABLE (they smell)…until I run in them and then I can feel small pangs of pain in my thighs, hips and shins.
The task of buying a new pair of running shoes involves repeat appearances in a running store located near an area of town where you are more likely to see a tricked out Camaro than an athlete. This store prides itself on feet. They fit you to the perfect shoe for YOUR running style based on your foot size, shape and how it hits the ground. For 20-30 minutes you are Cinderella looking for the perfect shoe and people fitting them onto your feet. They teach you how to walk and even if you have been doing it since you were 14-months old….trust me, you have things to learn. My preferred shoe is a New Balance…which works well for my small size 6.0 feet. Nike DOES NOT work with my feet or as the gentleman told me while holding my foot dangerously close to his nostrils, “You can’t wear Nike young lady…you are not their demographic.” Well…OKAY.
So now, in my closet among sexy heels, bike shoes, Dansko’s, and Birkenstocks is a new pair of New Balance 850. It is hard getting to know a new running shoe. It feels stiff and I know that a set of odd blisters await my first run with them. More importantly, this means my old shoes…the ones that fit me PERFECTLY are ready for the dumpster. Breaking up with a pair of old running shoes is like shoving your best friend out of your life. I know that three runs with the new shoes, we will be well acquainted and used to each other….but it is more about the apprehension of starting over and getting used to each other. Cinderella does not like to change her shoes.