Thursday, February 09, 2006


There is nothing more exciting than that one day a year when I put on my brand spankin' new running shoes. This usually happens several weeks after I actually buy them, as I have to warm up to the idea of getting dirt - ew - on my pretty, white, unblemished, still-have-the-new-shoe-smell shoes. I can keep wearing last year's shoes, right? Yeah, they're looking a little, um, beat-to-hell, but that's what gives them character. And they're all broken in and everything and fit my foot perfectly. Why replace these perfectly good shoes?

But once I'm out there...I can fly! And my knees tell me that those beat-to-hell-fit-perfectly-to-my-foot shoes also have no remaining shock absorption whatsoever. Yes, that Day of the New Running Shoes is probably my fastest run all year. Or it feels that way.

It reminds me of running track in high school, and the blessed First Day of Outdoor Practice. After weeks of running the halls, past classrooms I didn't want to think about, and workouts in the pool, which you would think would be fun, but after the first five minutes were nothing but absolute sheer torture (let me just say that the resistance properties of water are not nice to the quads), finally, finally we would get to go outside and run on the real track. You would think we'd never been outdoors before. The air - it was so fresh! The sky - it was so blue! The grass - it was so covered with snow! The wind - it was so...scented with manure. Oh. Despite the still-less-than-ideal running conditions, the First Day of Outdoor Practice made life worthwhile. And to this day, I cannot smell fresh manure on a breeze without being filled with happiness. (Please, JLo, do not use that as the name of your next fragrance. It will sell even fewer bottles than Glow.)

Anyway, on the appointed day last week, I took the new shoes out for their maiden run. Here is why I love California: at 5:00 in the morning, in January, I wore running tights and a long sleeve t-shirt. And that is all. No sweatshirt, no ear warmer/headbandy thing, no scarf, no worries about hurdling piles of snow or hitting a patch of ice and landing on the pavement in a million pieces. (Which, yes, I have done. And despite all of the fluffy warm clothes required for winter running, they do squat in the way of cushioning the fall. Jerks.) The only downside is that at 5:00 am it is still dark out. Like pitch black. (Please do not tell my mother.) It seems safe enough, I live in a nice neighborhood, and there were increasingly more Crazy Morning Worker-Outers as my run went along. So I'm sure someone would have done something if anything bad had happened. Run away, probably, but that's something.

Sobering Fact in the Midst of All This Running Fun: people do, in fact, sleep in the park overnight. I witnessed it with my very own eyes. I will not launch into some bleeding-heart-liberal tirade on homelessness here, other than to say that it is wrong, wrong, wrong. Wrong.

There was more running today, only I opted to run the trail along the river near my office. I've done this before, and of one thing I am certain: my knees hate me. But, today was a success, as I remembered where I needed to turn off the trail to get back to the office! (The last time, I swore I didn't need to cross this footbridge; the office was definitely located before that. Yeah, no. As I discovered today, the footbridge is about twenty feet down the trail from my office. Duly noted.) I had a lovely time in the 68 degree weather. (Ha ha ha, eat your heart out, DC!) (No wait, just kidding, DC, I still love you! Please take me back!)

I run alone, but do not worry - I have NPR to keep me company! And it's light out. And there are other people on the trail. And the riverbank is nearby. As is the freeway. And I discovered the perfect culvert into which someone can dump my dead body after he attacks me for the walkman I bought at Target for $49.99 in 2001. See? Totally safe! (This again falls under the category of Things We Are Not Telling My Mother.) And if you were really concerned about my safety, you'd get out there and run with me. Riiight.

In other news, my big-ass-huge-the-whole-reason-for-my-existence-in-
California-indefinitely project landed on my desk this afternoon. Yay! Which means that I am officially overwhelmed with work for the next, oh, decade or so. Just thought I'd warn you.

UPDATE: The pretty new running shoes did something mean and bad and decidedly Not Pretty to my big toe. I'd show you, but I'm not sure the Internet can handle that kind of graphic display. Wah.


At Fri Feb 10, 10:14:00 AM PST, Anonymous clk said...

I too bought new shoes...that I haven't worn. They are perfect. The result of an hour-long running analysis and custom-fitting session. They are spefically designed to make me run "like the wind across a road of clouds" (fitter's words, not mine). There lies the problem. The shoes take away all my excuses for not meeting this week's time or for bad, rolling posture, or ... You get the idea. I liked life better when I picked running shoes by cute shape and color.

At Fri Feb 10, 12:00:00 PM PST, Blogger Daily Tragedies said...

Totally! I went to an actual store that specializes in running shoes (bad move. bad.) and the salesman introduced me to my current model. These shoes cost more than twice as much as the ones I used to wear (and a dozen pairs of shoes later, the ones I'd picked out myself came in second place!). But yet, I buy them. Because I am a sucker. The price tag alone convinces me to get them dirty. Cuz I will NOT spend that kind of money on a pair of shoes that just sits in the box!


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