Hanging up my running shoes

Yes, you read the title right. I’m hanging up my running shoes.

Though it does not mean I am done with running. What I mean is I am retiring my old beat-up running shoes.

I got this particular running shoes about 2 years ago, and I even wrote about it (see post Heart and Sole here).

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from my post: Heart and Sole

After only a couple of months of having it, my new running shoes was stolen. Somebody swiped it, right in my garage! We had different service crew and repairmen visit our home that day, and I don’t know what happened. But the next thing I know, my shoes were gone. I just hope that whoever it was, he had put it to good use.

I like that shoes very much that I replaced it with exactly the same kind. Since then, that shoes had taken me to many places.

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Iowa State Fair, while riding the sky lift

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Badlands, South Dakota

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Vail, Colorado

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Grand Teton, Wyoming

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Sedona, Arizona

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Chicago, Illinois

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Boston, Massachusetts

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Hamilton, New Jersey

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Arches National Park, Utah

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Grand Canyon

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Metro Manila, Philippines 2014

It also served its purpose, as I used it for my regular morning runs. It even let me finish not just one, but two half marathons. Is that equivalent to doing the full marathon?

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Des Moines Marathon 2012

“Hindi lang pang-pamilya, pang-sports pa!”

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Des Moines Marathon 2013

Now the shoes has way more than 500 miles under its belt. Experts on running recommends replacing your shoes after 300 to 400 miles of running. This is to prevent injury, as old shoes loses its stability and support.

Over the past two years, it gotten worn-out, got dusty from running on the dirt road, and even got muddy. Though taking me to the above places and finishing marathons were not the only accomplishment of these shoes.

These shoes got seriously dirty when they walked the muddy streets of Tacloban, and gave service to people affected by the typhoon Haiyan (local name:Yolanda) in the Philippines.

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Tacloban airport, after typhoon Haiyan

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ACTS World Relief Team, Tacloban 2013

Here’s a video I took in one of our helicopter medical mission, showing the devastation of Tacloban. But I also inadvertently focused on my shoes at the end of the video:

 

In that regard, it went beyond it’s purpose of a running shoes.

I’m hanging you up now, my old and faithful running shoes.

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Heart and Sole

I have a new bounce in my strides. A new spring in my legs. A new zing on my feet. No, I did not discover the fountain of youth. It’s just my new running shoes. It’s Nike Zoom Structure Triax +15. (I don’t know why the long name.) It’s all about the shoes, right?

I replaced my old beat-up Nike shoes as I have run it to the ground. Old and worn out running shoes can lose their stability, cushioning support, and shock absorbing ability, leading to increase stress to feet, legs and joints that may cause injury. The experts in running recommend that you replace your shoes after 300 to 400 miles of running. I believe my old sneakers have more mileage than that.

In my conservative estimation, I run at least 5 miles a week, when I am not seriously training, and up to 10 miles a week, maybe more, when I was preparing for the half marathon. So I could have run 300 miles in a year, easy. Thus my old running shoes was way due for a replacement since it was almost 3 years old, and has more mileage than what the gurus of running recommended.

Maybe I held on to my old running shoes for so long since I felt quite nostalgic about it. After all, it was in that shoes that I ran my first half marathon. And it even let me finish my second half marathon too. But it was time for it to retire.

It was not the first shoes though that I ran aground. When I was in second grade of elementary school, I had sneakers that I destroyed, literally, in less than a month. With all my running, jumping, climbing, and playing “sipa,” it broke open. The sole and the upper part separated as if my shoes was “smiling”, while my socks stick out of it like a tongue. My father got frustrated with me that he told me I needed shoes made out of iron, like a horseshoe.

my new Nike Zoom waiting to break out

My new Nike Zoom Structure Triax +15 (sorry, I can’t get over its long name) is not also the first sneakers that I got excited about. When I was about to enter Kindergarten, my parents bought me a new pair of shoes for school. It had rubber soles and rubber toe cap. The upper was colorful canvas with bright cartoon images printed on it. I love it so much I placed it near my pillow on my bed when I sleep at night. Maybe I should also put my new Nike shoes near my pillow when I sleep. On second thought, my wife would probably slap me with those shoes when I start snoring, so never mind.

A good pair of rubber shoes can be pricey, especially brand name shoes. It can be a status symbol too. My first sneakers with a famous brand was what George Estregan wore in his action movies, Adidas Hurricane. I think I was in high school then. Before that, all my sneakers were “no name” shoes, or at least not popular brand, like Nike, Converse, Puma and the like. But they work just the same. No-name and locally made shoes does not necessarily mean poor quality, for I would say Marikina-made shoes are good shoes.

For a long time I also dreamed of having hi-top or hi-cut basketball sneakers when I was much younger. I envy some of my friends that have them. But since it was so expensive, I did not even asked my parents to buy me one, for I know I can live without one, and besides my parents provided us with what we need. The only hi-top shoes I had during my school years was my “Ang Tibay” combat shoes which I used for Citizen Military Training (CMT) and Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (ROTC).  And yes, I sometimes played basketball even with those shoes on.

After running a few miles in my new Nike Zoom shoes, I felt great. My legs did not feel tired at all. My feet did not ache. Even my bunion did not ache. I wonder if these are the dream shoes that will run and finish my first ever full marathon. After all, it’s all in the shoes, right? Well, I wish it is that easy. For I would say it is more of determination rather than the shoes. More heart, than sole.

Now, I just need to buy that “determination” from the store. I hope it is on bargain.