I purchased these sneakers when I registered for my first half marathon, the Run to Remember in Boston 2011. Both the sneakers and the race served as incentive (because they were expensive) and catalysts to jump-starting my post-graduation life. I was underweight, unhappy and unemployed. Uhn.
What I did have was experience with running during high school and the knowledge of the positive effects of running on the body. I read Born to Run by Christopher McDougal, got amped about the sport, and threw myself into an unfamiliar training schedule. I didn’t know if I could run 13.1 miles. I’d only ever run 6 or so, during high school. But I decided to trust in my own stubbornness. Obstacles included figuring out how much and when to eat before a run, when to bring water on a run, and the painful lesson I learned after switching from months of useless treadmill training to outdoor running.
These shoes saw me through:
- That first half marathon (Boston’s Run to Remember), which saw me getting tired at mile 9.5, feeling rejuvenated by playing “Try a Little Tenderness” over and over and over, finishing more exhausted than I’d ever felt and laying down on the pavement, clutching my post race medal, bagel and banana.
- The next half marathon, a couple of days after a blindsiding breakup, involving a beautiful fall day, 6 surprise hills and running among a field of all women and “one lucky guy”.
- The next half marathon (Boston’s Run to Remember), which occurred not long after the Boston bombing and murder of Officer Sean Collier. I remember being in the portapotty pre-race just as the national anthem was being sung, getting to run with my cousin Amanda, the freezing rain and feeling discouraged, fainting after the finish into the arms of an EMT guy and being carried by my overly-generous boyfriend after the race.
- My mum’s first half marathon, one I didn’t train for properly and suffered through the heat and hills of Rockport. But what gorgeous views and sandy stretches! Remembering the gal that sprayed me with a garden hose, the joy of finishing and being absolutely smoked by my mum.
Since that last half marathon, I’ve been using these shoes for my runs at work. The gray bits in the illustration show all of the rips, tears and salt stains. There are giant holes in the toes and they’re therefore terrible for winter running but jeez, I can’t seem to throw them out. I blame my dad’s genes.