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
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
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
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.
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. :)