Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Beauty of New Shoes and Ugly Feet

Behold the beauty of new trainers.  They're so sp*rkly white!

My feet, and frankly the rest of my body, respond with "AWWW...."  You can feel new shoes from the ground up: the metatarsal joints (aka metatarsophalangeal articulations), the arches, the ankles, the knees, the hips....

My previous pair had been with me since February, through March camp and training for two IMs.  But as someone who has spent decades in and hundreds on orthotics and fresh trainers, I can tell the exact run when shoes need to be retired and it was time.  I aggravate a lot of orthotic makers with my attention to podiatric detail... in many cases I have been wearing them longer than they have making them...

The real beauty of new trainers?

The fact that they signify hard work - and were earned with ugly feet.

One of the books truest to the nature of endurance athletic training and living says "what was the secret?...the most unprofound and often heart-rending process of removing, molecule by molecule the very tough rubber that comprised the bottom of training shoes."  [All credit to John L. Parker, Jr. and Once A Runner]

Not to mention the nerve-rending process of removing toenail by toenail. 

I've got a nice nearly-matched set at the moment.  I'll save you all the horror of that picture.  Not so sparkly white.  One nail off, five ready to take the plunge, and the first one in line will make the left a mirror image of the right.  I'm not the mani/pedi type so this loss will make my feet the best looking they have been been in years!  [And anyone who says losing nails can be avoided with better fitting shoes has never done long runs in the humidity of DC and marathons in shoes soaking wet from Gatorade, Coke, sweat, etc ....]  

The one downside of new trainers.  The sound!  Ugh!  In high school cross country we required a trail run whenever someone wore new shoes.  Bonus if it was raining.  I kind of kept that tradition even alone, but I had some errands to run on Monday so I ran them.  Every single step sounded like I was ripping masking tape off the sidewalk.  Every.Single.Step.

Oh well.  Just have to run the new shoe sound right off them soles :)

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