I need a new pair of running shoes. Mine are just about dead. I know this partly because when I run I can feel pavement through the tread. Partly because this particular pair of running shoes smell funky. I don’t know how long running shoes should last but mine have logged miles for the last nine months and it’s time to go get a new pair. I feel a little guilty though. It’s like I’m trading in a pet for a new and improved version. The shoes look at me accusingly. I keep putting them back in the closet and delay again buying new ones.
Nine months ago I was diagnosed with dormant tuberculosis. (See To Whine or Not for all the details). To distract myself, I started running. My sister agreed to train with me. We recruited a marathon survivor to coach us. The first time we went out to run we made it once around the track. One quarter of a mile. We were hurting, red and blotchy and felt completely pitiful. The next week we went two laps – half a mile. Still blotchy. We were excited when we got up to a mile and did it in “only” fifteen minutes. We even high-fived. About a month ago we did our first 5K. We came in last. This did not bother me in the least. Last week, we did five miles in an hour. I cheered. My first 10K is in eight days.
There are two types of runners. The first types are gorgeous tall lanky people who make running look easy. My brother-in-law is one of these. He routinely runs ten plus miles and actually enjoys it. I like to watch this type of person run. Graceful. Fast. You can tell at one glance that they were built to run. In high school these people made me nervous. Now I mostly just try to stay out of their way.
The second type of runners are shorter, slower, and less coordinated. These are my kind of people. What we don’t have in grace we make up for in courage. I personally tend to weave when I run. A friend who trained with me a few years ago got so used to it that she just started grabbing my shirt sleeve when I was wandering too far into someone else’s lane. She didn’t say anything, just reeled me back in.
I am coming close to a finish line. I took my last pill for TB on Monday. In two weeks the medicine should be out of my system and I can resume a normal diet. I am so looking forward to eating a banana. And some guacamole. And cheddar cheese. I plan on eating everything on my restricted list. Even Skipjack even though I’m not totally sure what that is. Some sort of Tuna. Ever notice how if you can’t have something you suddenly want it? Is that just me? In two weeks I’ll have a celebratory dance and quit all the restrictions.
I’m not going to quit running though. Running clears my head. If I’m cranky and go for a run, I come back happy. It might only be that I’m happy I can stop but whatever works. Over the last nine months I’ve lost over 25 pounds, killed tuberculosis, kicked a caffeine habit, survived without chocolate and learned that if I run I can eat pretty much however much I want. This will be useful when the cheese resumes. I may have to up my mileage.
I really need new shoes.
To see the flipside go to www.doncanonge.com.