M1les T0 G0…In These Shoes

Whether it is a success or not, a resolution is designed to inspire growth. Ideally, once you’ve succeeded, you’re a better person. Or, if nothing else, the process changes you. What do they say? “It’s the journey, not the destination.” For me, running is a lot like a resolution. Ideally, I’ll be a healthier, stronger person after accomplishing a goal – or a single run – but it’s the journey that moves me. So, for 2016, I decided to accept a challenge presented by www.ilovetorun.org and run 1,000 miles this year. This article will serve as a pedometer, of sorts, for you to follow me on my journey as well as a place for us to share the thoughts and ideas inspired by each mile.

I am an inflexible person. I mean, I can touch my toes from left to right. Mostly. And I can grab my right hand behind my back with my left hand over my left shoulder. But I’m not talking about yoga, here. I’m talking about change. I’m not excitable about change. I’m not flexible when it comes to “me” things. I run on Tuesday morning, which means I go to sleep early(ish) on Monday. I run with an iPod for music. That’s right, a third generation iPod Nano. I don’t. Like. Change. I find what makes me comfortable and I keep it. It’s mine, my comfy place of comfort and happiness and comfortable things.

There are some things in running though, that require change. Weather requires wardrobe adjustments. You like short shorts? Sorry, it’s below freezing, leggings for you. Your stinky socks? You should definitely change those after every run. One important change that I’ve found to be necessary is the playlist switch up. Sometimes you’ve heard that One Direction album just one too many times and it calls for a fresh download. The most important modification, though, are shoes. Shoes are an essential change in a runner’s life. Most shoes have a life span of about 200-300 miles. So, if you’re doing the math, I’ll probably end up buying at least three pair of shoes this year.

I had been running in my Asics for a while. I mean, I thought I was overdue but when I did the math on it, I realized that my Asics could have actually had baby Asics in the time I’d been wearing them (seasoned runners, you may gasp and shake your head at me now). You could have just called them “hard socks,” they were so worn out. And, on top of it all, I was doing some serious damage to my body by not paying attention to the lifespan of my shoe. I’d been running with shin splints and an assortment of other foot and leg ailments and it was due in large part to my shoes. After realizing the extended lifespan I’d put on my Asics, I decided it was time for ..(you guessed it).. a change. I went to Runner’s Market to procure a new pair. Now, I’m the kind of person who, even once I’ve found a nice song on the radio, I still need to check all the other presets to make sure there’s nothing better on. So, even though I’ve had two or three other pair of shoes that were successful for my finicky little Princess and the Pea feet, I still had to try on three OTHER pair of shoes.

There’s so much anxiety in making this decision. What if I choose poorly? Sure, they’ll let me bring the shoes back (within two weeks of purchase). But you have to understand the breaking in process is very delicate. There will be blisters and even some mild discomfort. One must use their discretion to determine if this is merely break-in pain or potentially damaging, return-worthy pain. This is life. Change is terrifying…….. Hold on. Stop. Okay, no, it’s not terrifying. I should say, it can be terrifying. There’s no way to know if this next run with my new shoes is going to hurt more or less than the last run with my old shoes. It’s nerve wracking. It’s not going to stop me from running, though. I think the fear of change comes from a misunderstood excitement of the unknown. New shoes give me anxiety; will this be great or turn out horribly?

The bitch about change is that sometimes we choose it and sometimes it’s thrust upon us. How we deal with it is up to us. In running, I have no choice; I have to find a way to live with the necessary changes. So, like with presidents or bosses, housing situations and relationships, you just have to find a way to live with the changes in your life. If it’s any sort of help, since I bought my new shoes, I’ve shed my calve sleeves and no longer have shin splints. Blisters are non-existent. And I’ve set a personal record for time on a six-mile run.

How you deal with change is completely up to you. Welcome it or don’t, but it is almost nearly a necessity in life. Embrace it or don’t, but realize that it is happening no matter your opinion of it. In order to move forward, you must find a way to live and enjoy the necessary changes in your life… but if nothing else, be grateful that you’ll no longer have shin splints.

Goal for 2016: 1,000 miles
Year to date: 193 miles
Miles to go: 808 miles

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