A Running Shoe Miracle

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Mizuno Wave Rider 15

My running shoes have seen better days. 300+ miles, 2 mud runs and lots of gym workouts. Yet somehow, every time I lace up, it’s those same purple, silver and orange Mizuno Wave Riders.

My feet ache when I run in them and my shins scream. My ankles suddenly feel brittle. When it rains, I slide around the concrete like a fish out of water. It’s just not safe. But, I ignored all these warning signs for fear of a $200 price tag to accompany my new kicks. Truth be told, these old Wave Riders were my first running shoe. They’re kind of my security blanket. They’re the shoes that built me.

Okay, all drama aside, I really did need new running shoes. SO, I put on my big girl panties, and decided I’d make the much anticipated trip to Fit 2 Run. I know the prices are astronomical and I know they sell you gear you don’t need. BUT I needed to try lots of shoes and the FIt 2 Run Club lets you do that.

My friend was gearing up to help me find the perfect running shoe, when The Running Shoe Miracle happened. His room mate is a professional tri-athlete. He wins awards (lots of them), he wakes up at 4 AM every day to train…basically he’s a beast. No surprise that his girlfriend is also athletic.

Here’s what is a surprise: we wear the same shoe size. Even bigger: she works at Fit 2 Run corporate and had running shoe she wasn’t using. We’re not talking one used old pair of running shoes. We’re talking about 6 pairs of $100-$190 pairs of shoes gently used. Some of them still have tags.

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Aren’t they pretty?!

It was a Running Shoe Miracle. 

My new set of kicks includes:

Total: $744.91

Now that’s a Running Shoe Miracle. Reviews to come. 😉

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Running Won’t Ever Suck Less, You Will

My running shoes.

My running shoes.

I was hyperventilating. My muscles were screaming. Sweat was dripping into my eyes.  Total miles: 0.25.

This was my first run. Unbeknownst to me, new running shoes and a cute outfit were not going to transform me into an athlete. From then on the very idea of running filled me with dread. I hated running.

I kept running because I had a vague idea in my head about getting in shape.  Somehow this hinged entirely on my ability to propel myself forward at faster-than-normal speeds.

For months, I was at war with my body and mind. My neighbors kept their distance after seeing my running down the road on numerous occasions muttering profanities. I hated running. 

Maybe I am a glutton for punishment or just plain stupid, but I didn’t stop running. The first time I ran two miles without stopping, I celebrated by vomiting in my neighbors yard.

I read endless articles on running technique, running jams, running progress. I wanted someone to tell me that running would stop sucking soon. All I knew was I hated running. 

As my running shoes started to lose their tread, an amazing thing happened. I found myself in those difficult, unbearable miles. For every second I kept running when I wanted to stop,  I felt stronger.

Suddenly, I wasn’t competing against the other people on the road, but against the person I was yesterday. Running became less about meeting a predetermined goal for physical activity, and about sticking to my guns.

I no longer glared at my running shoes and pictured them spontaneously catching fire. I saw them as therapy. I left my problems on the pavement, and  with each step I pictured a new self emerging.

One day, without meaning to, I ran a 5K. It was a new years resolution I made years ago that I finally fulfilled. I didn’t look back.

That same week, I joined a running club and started to shave time off my 5K. I met fellow runners who encouraged me to embrace the pain, who gave me tips, who kept me going. Running was officially my hobby.

It was then I realized that running isn’t about getting in shape, losing weight, or competing against your peers. The truth is, running is still hard, because I am always challenging myself to get better. Sometimes, my runs make me want to scream, but I finish them. Why? Because running is more than a sport.

It’s about finding strength in your weakness, it’s about lacing up even when it’s hard, it’s about constantly pushing yourself to be better than you were before.

I won’t say I “became a runner”, but rather, I became a person who was willing to go the distance. I am not the best, but I know for sure if I start a run, I will finish it. I know I’ll never give up on myself. I know I am strong.

Leave it all on the road.