Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Goodbye my Lover(s), Goodbye My Friend(s): An Ode to My Shoes

Did I disappoint you or let you down?
Should I be feeling guilty or let the judges frown?
'Cause I saw the end before we'd begun,
Yes I saw you were blinded and I knew I had won.
So I took what's mine by eternal right.
Took your
soul sole out into the night.
It may be over but it won't stop there,
I am here for you if you'd only care.
You touched my heart you touched my soul.
You changed my life and all my goals.
And love is blind and that I knew when,
My heart was blinded by you.

Whoa.  I think we just shared a heartfelt moment there.  I have a confession to make:  I'm a running shoe hoarder.  Any day now I expect A&E to come knocking on my door to do a special on me.  I just haven't been able to give them up.  For the past 6-9 months I've been prepping myself for the big goodbye.  I knew I would be ok if I was donating them instead of sending them to the big garbage disposal in the sky.  I even got a tip/suggestion to take photos of them to commemorate their honor.

Shortly after the Haitian earthquakes, I noticed a blurb on the Runners World website about Soles4Souls and how to help.  I looked for the closest drop off to me and realized that it was about 20 minutes away from where N lives and a town we frequent almost every time I come to visit.  Ding ding ding!  No excuses left.  And with that I give you:  An Homage to My Running Shoes.  (I seriously played James Blunt's Goodbye My Lover while photographing, rubber-banding, and "packing up" my shoes.  Sigh.)

Senior year of High School track Spring 2002

Type:  Adidas
Miles Run: ??

(also worn during my senior season of volleyball)
These shoes may be the hardest to get rid of (hence why I've had them for 8 years).  These are the shoes that I wore through my senior year of track.  These are the shoes that I wore during my final "glory days" of track.  I logged many quick miles to help me qualify for state in the 100 m. dash, 1600 m. relay, and 800 m. relay.  They also helped me land school records in both the relays that will live on forever!  (My high school consolidated with a nearby school a few years ago, so my records will literally stay in the books for-ev-er.)

Even though I didn't actually wear these shoes to run any of my races, they still hold a lot of great memories to me.  Man, I wish I had my ugly track spikes that I actually wore for my races to show you.  Now those things I wouldn't have a problem throwing out (which I probably have thrown out, to be honest).

Good bye my lover.....

Freshman Year of College 2002-2003

Type:  Asics
Miles Run:  ??

I l.o.v.e.d these shoes.  I ran quite a bit during my freshman year.  I was actually on the track team for the first couple of weeks, before I realized that I was pretty far down the totem pole for the sprinters (of course by my sophomore year, everyone faster than me had graduated/transferred/quit.  DRAT!)

These shoes were worn through countless intramural games as well.  I was something of an intramural fanatic during college.

Also, I love the pink bead.  Gives em a little something extra.

Sophomore Year of College 2003-2004

Type:  Asics
Miles Run:  ???

Like I said, I liked the previous shoes so much, I bought them again, and in even cuter colors!  Win!

Junior Year 2004-2005

Type:  Asics 1090
Miles Run:  159.5 (that I kept track of, many more that weren't logged)

These are my 2nd favorite pair of shoes of all time. As can be seen by the barely there soles and gaping holes, these were officially worn "to death."

I actually bought these shoes because they matched our co-ed intramural basketball teams jerseys, and ended up loooving them.  :)  (We won the championship, btw.  Also, the women's league, women's 3 on 3 league, and various volleyball leagues.  Like I said.... I was kind of a big deal for intramurals! :p)

During my junior year I got a little on the "pudgy" side.  That spring I decided to get back into running shape by doing an 8 week training program out of a fitness magazine.  It focused on running for time instead of distance, and totally worked for me at the time.  I liked to see how much farther I could go in the same amount of time from week to week.

The summer after my junior year, my dorm neighbor, Megan, mentioned that she was thinking of running a half marathon and she thought I should do it as well.  In her eyes, I was an athlete, in my eyes, she was nutso for thinking I could do it!  We found a Hal Higdon program online, and it didn't seem too much harder than what I was already doing, and thus my first half marathon training began.

Sidenote:  Our BFF-itude actually blossomed from our running friendship.  Another reason I love running.

Summer/Fall of Senior Year 2005

Type:  Adidas Responsive
Miles Run:  211.3 (only documented during HM training)

These puppies yelled my name from the shoe store shelf.  Look at me!  I'm green!  And silver!  Flashy!  Blisters the size of Texas on my arches!  Whoo!

These are the shoes I ran my very first half marathon in.  Memories......  These ones are pretty difficult to part with as well.  I put them on just to wear with sweats a while back, and they were SO UNCOMFORTABLE.  I can't believe I trained and ran a race in them.  Blech.  I used to throw blister popping parties post-runs.  My friends were highly grossed out.  I still remember the time I ran my first double digit run in them.  Ten miles.  I was on cloud 9 for a week.

Winter/Spring Senior Year 2006-Spring 2007

Type:  Asics Nimbus 7
Miles Run:  575.6+

Hands down my favorite pair of shoes of all time (as you can probably tell by the mileage).  First I fell in love with the look (let's be honest, they are GREEN), but they felt oh so good.  These were my first pair of "quality" running shoes I bought.  Most others were because they were on sale and I was a poor college kid.  I could definitely tell the difference.

I've looked for these shoes for the past 4 years secretly hoping I'll magically find a brand new pair of 7 1/2s just for me.  Unfortunately, I have not had good luck with that.

I ran half marathon #2 in these shoes as well as many many 5ks.  I even wore them for the St. Patty's Day 5k last spring (3 years old at that point).  Partially because they're green for the holiday, but mostly because I just can't give them up.

Rest assured that when you look in my closet in 10+ years, these puppies will still be lining the closet floor.  True shoe love right there. (These shoes will not be donated, FYI.)

Summer 2007-Winter 2008

Type:  Nimbus 9
Miles Run:  256.2

The fact that I only have 250+ miles on these shoes for roughly a full year of running should say it all.  I ran half marathons #3 & #4 in these shoes, and HATED THEM.  Unfortunately after graduating from being a poor college student, I was still merely a poor post-college grad, so I had to stick with them.  For some reason my ankles always feel really unsupported in these shoes.  They look cool, but they kind of suck at life.

I'm still going to hold on to them to wear on really mucky/wet/cruddy runs since they still do have some life (miles wise) left in them.

I think I despise these shoes so much because this is the time in my life where I hated running.  I had gotten slow.  I had gotten out of shape.  I had gotten a little on the husky curvy side.  I thought my PR days were long long gone, so I no longer had a reason to try to run.  These shoes represent me falling out of love with running.  Blech.  No wonder they're so dark and dreary looking.  :p

Spring and Summer 2009

Type:  Asics 1130
Miles Run:  305

Ugh. I don't really like these shoes either.  I definitely got what I paid for.  Although these were my "gift" to myself for getting back into running last winter.  I refused to upgrade from the poop brown terrors until I had logged some significant miles and "gotten back on the horse."

I knocked off a 5k PR in them to allow myself to buy a Garmin 405 (I'm so sweet to me).  I knocked another full minute + off my 5k time to secure another new PR, and then they carried me to win my first (and only thus far :p) 5k.

So I might hate them, but they've done pretty good by me, I must say.  I'm on the fence about keeping these or parting with them.

Summer and Fall 2009

Type:  Asics Nimbus 10
Miles Run:  432.2

My first pink shoes! I was so excited.  And they were on sale!  Double win.  Except that there was something on the inside of the shoe that rubbed my second to pinky toes RAW.  I have scars on these poor little toesies from the horrendous blisters I would get.  Even after wearing them just walking around they'll aggravate my poor little toes.  But they sure are cute!

I did my first ever relay:  Wild West Relay, Dangerous Dozen:  REPRESENT!  I did my "come back" half marathon (#5) where I shaved 13 minutes off of my PR time.  I ran another 5k (in bitterly cold temps) for an AG win.

Even if these shoes did cause permanent damage to my tootsies, they still have a special place in my heart.

Winter 2009

Type:  Asics Nimbus 11
Miles Run:  285.8 (and counting)

I love these shoes.  After the pain of the 10's I was concerned that I wouldn't like the 11's either, but I do.  (Hence why I bought another pair in pink, whoo!)  They're pretty much like comfy little structured clouds on my feet.  The only complaint I have is that the shoe laces never seem to stay tied tight.  I hate having to knot my shoes (except for races) just because I end up having to re-tie them tighter as I'm running along.  It's such a pain to undo and redo double knots.

These shoes were my go-to shoes for half marathon training #6.  They also took me to my 2nd HM PR in 3 months, knocking another 1:30 off of my time.  These little boogers will get me through my first 100-200 miles of marathon training.  N likes them because they're Minnesota Vikings purple (ya Nick, *that's* why I bought them....fool...)  I see myself and these beauties being long time friends (until I retire them for the pink version sitting in my closet).

After laying all the donated shoes to rest (ie:  rubberbanded and put in a garbage bag, waaaaah!) I'm surprised at how much extra space I have in my shoe racks in my closet.  And I really am happy that someone out there less fortunate than me is going to get a chance to have something in between their bare feet and the ground.  Hopefully they'll make some loving memories with my shoesies too.  :)


Slomohusky said...

fun post. look at your running/athletic life thru your shoes.

i have to ask though - why do you keep buying asics if you have such mixed results with them. i had the same thing with brooks. then i switched and found my tru love in laces - nb 1062. they discontinued them. however, i am a hoarder as well. i have 4 unopened pairs under my bed. plus two opened i alternate each week, with about 260 miles on each. yeah call me a freak.

baker said...

Oh. My. God! I cant believe you kept that many pairs of old running shoes! hilarious, you had me cracking up the whole time i was scrolling. i mean, i keep my sneaks, but i have maybe 3 pairs (maybe because my NYC apt closet is super tiny). its really cool seeing the evolution of the sneaker through the years though!

Dana said...

Good for you girl!

John said...

Jeri, you are hi-lar-i-ous! Great post. I tend to hold onto old running shoes, too, and regardless of whether I liked them or not.

And, I too, am still hoping to find a pair of my beloved Asics DS Trainers from circa 1991, size 10, new. Anyone? Anyone??

Morgan said...

O.M.G I am speechless. Jeri girl, you are a hoarder and then some! LMAO! I only have one pair of extra shoes and here you are with like what 34624514?

Anonymous said...

holy macaroni that is a lottttta shoes!!!!!!!!!!!! i love the photo montage and trip down memory lane :) i'm not entirely sure where all of my shoes have gone. i've definitely donated at least 2 pairs... that i remember. they are probably all hanging around somewhere!!!!!! i should do a mayyjahhh cleanout, i bet it will feel good.

Glenn Jones said...

I'm glad you mentioned the extra space you freed up. I was going to make some rude comment about the extra closet that you had built. One thing for sure, if I kept all my old shoes, they would have to be outside and downwind!

Honestly though, it was *very* cool to reminisce through your shoes. Very cool post!

J said...

I can't believe you still had all those shoes!! That must have been so much space!

Anonymous said...

Holy shoe-collection! W-O-W! I can't even imagine how long the photo-shoot / recap took ;) ha! But it is Awesome that you remember WHEN you ran in all these shoes, and what you accomplished in them! Running shoe journal = complete. ;)

Anonymous said...

classic...I hope they got a 21 gun slaute, too!

Heather said...

Wow, I can't believe you still had all those shoes - loved the picture history!

Anonymous said...

This is the cutest/bittersweet post I have ever seen. They're just shoes, but do runners, they're SO much more, because they carry us through all KINDS of runs. Love it.