In 2011, I bought myself a pair of pink trainers to run my very first 5K Race for Life.
Since then, I think it would not be unreasonable to say that I have well and truly caught the running bug. Last year, I recorded 95 runs on the Garmin Running Watch that was my 2012 Xmas present. Ninety five runs that equate to 289.49 miles or 57hours 54 min and 19 secs of running. Of course there were other runs where I forgot to put my watch on or the battery ran out or it completely failed to connect to the satellite to find my location. Even without those extra miles, my stats make me proud and happy. I still can't quite believe that I am a regular runner but I am certainly enjoying the very positive impact it is having on my life.
All of those miles, both on and off road and in all sorts of weather conditions, have taken their toll on my trusty pink trainers. They definitely weren't looking very pink any more but more worryingly, the wear on the soles was becoming difficult to ignore. Reluctantly, I had to admit that it was time to replace them.
I had some Christmas money to spend, thanks to the generosity of my lovely father in law, so I went along to the sports shop to see what I could find. The variety of running shoes available was quite mind boggling. I threw myself at the mercy of a shopfloor assistant who had me running on a treadmill to measure my gait. He didn't tell me anything I didn't already know - I run slightly flat footed and slightly out of central alignment. He recommended shoes that would offer support where I needed it and made me feel that if I didn't buy the £25 corrective insoles as well, I would probably break. I tried on the shoes. I did a little jog around the fixtures and fittings. I didn't like them at all.
I was full of indecision. My body was saying NO but my logic was saying You'll get used to them and they will benefit you ultimately. I thought the best thing was to give myself time - time for my body and logic to argue it out and come back to me with the right choice.
I did a few more runs in my old trainers. These trainers were like old friends - tired old friends admittedly but old friends nontheless. In all the time I had been running in them, I had never suffered an injury or any discomfort other than the usual aches and pains that you would expect. The solution became suddenly clear.
I went back to the sports shop (actually it was a different sports shop because I was a bit embarrassed to go back to the first one). I asked the assistant for the closest thing he had to my current pair. I was impressed that despite the wear and the mud (and the sogginess - we had just completed a rather wet Parkrun) he knew exactly what make and model they were and what features they had once possessed. He supplied me with a mid priced replacement pair that felt instantly familiar (but a whole lot bouncier) to my grateful feet. And they were PINK! The deal was done.
I went out in them last night. I love them.
I still can't quite bring myself to bin the old pair. We have journeyed far together and they have been good to me. I am hoping that this post, as a tribute to my constant companions mile after mile, will be the first step towards letting go!