TNT: The Accidental Runner: Of Pancakes and Concrete Shoes

Another “brisk” morning run…it was 22 degrees at 7 a.m., but factor in the gusty winds and “Lake Effect Snow” (what lake would that be in Albany, exactly.. ? )it made heading out kind of sucky, for lack of a better word.

We always start out enthusiastically, all chatty and chipper, feeling like we could run forever, until that first blast of icy wind smacks you right in the grill and suddenly the fun factor drops. That’s when you have to dig down and remember why you’re doing this in the first place.

My main issue (because I ALWAYS have some kind of an issue when I run…it keeps me from thinking about the pain) this morning was my shoes. I run in Mizunos. Love them. They fit my feet like they were tailor made for me. I have narrow feet with high arches so it’s difficult for me to find the right technical shoe with enough support. Mizuno running shoes are expensive. Not “I can’t pay my rent this month because I needed new shoes” expensive, but they’re still pretty pricey. Add to that the fact that despite what some people might think, I’m pretty frugal. I don’t like to part with large sums of greenbacks on personal items unless the benefits outweigh the deficit.

My new Mizuno-luv it! Pictures, Images and Photos

Running shoes, particularly those worn for distance training and distance events, are good for roughly 500 miles. The pair that I’m currently running in has that many miles on them and then some. I know I need a new pair, but I’ve had a couple of unexpected expenses recently, so I wasn’t in any particular hurry to run out and plunk down the cash.
I thought I’d try buying some new gel insoles and replace the sprung insoles. I (erroneously) thought that might give me a few more weeks of training time before I had to bite the bullet.

Back to the group run…..we hit the three mile turnaround marker…start heading back…and that’s when I started to get a good feel for what it must be like to end up on the wrong side of the Mafia…..y’know….cement shoes. Any “bounce” that once existed in the concrete slippers that my feet were encased in was LONG gone. When my runs go bad, as they sometimes do…you can determine how unhappy I am by counting the number of eff bombs released. Then my hips started aching. I was in a vortex of bad-shoe hell….Walking made my hips ache worse, but running was upping the eff-bomb factor as it applied to my arches. Then in the back of my head came the insistent whisper of my orthopedic surgeon’s last words for me post-knee surgery; “Miss Shea, unless you’d like to spend your golden years on a motorized scooter terrorizing other Wal-Mart shoppers [he’s quite the comedian for a surgeon], I can’t stress this enough; no more marathons after you turn 50, and you’d damned well better invest in the right shoes, don't ruin my work”

I think my running partner is a Saint. We wear the same shoe size….so she offered to swap shoes for the return trip (well, it was either that or she was giving me a piggy-back ride for three miles) ---so we did. Oh Holy Comfort and Joy!! The angels sang, the sun came out, the wind was at our backs pushing us along and all was right with the world.
She made one comment when we reached the parking lot; “Throw those effing shoes in the trash…RIGHT NOW…they’re flatter than pancakes”. And that’s how we ended up at the diner for blueberry pancakes afterward.

It’s all about the food rewards in distance running. If they put a diner at the end of some marathons, I bet most of the participants would improve their race time significantly.

I’ll be posting my fundraising page soon, so check back if you want to help me reach my goal.
Until then, I'm off to Dick's Sporting Goods.

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Comment by Marvin Hawk on February 22, 2009 at 3:40pm
ROFLMFAO, as you can see from my avatar I gave up running marathons long long ago, actually it was right after James Fixx the guru of runners(authored The Complete Book of Running) died of a heart attack. Actualy it was bad knees which forced me to take up imitating Orcas while singing Iam the walrus at my health club's pool. The lake effect you refer to is actually a Hudson Hawk no relation. As far as shoe prices you may want to try if you know exactly what shoe you want.
Comment by LadyChaplain on February 21, 2009 at 10:58pm
Oh Mel, I know all too well the sneaker dilemma. I alternate between Asics and UnderArmour, and no, they aren't cheap either. Hint -- go to Dicks as soon as they open on a Sunday morning. It's the BEST way to shop there.
Comment by Jim Seargent on February 21, 2009 at 10:01pm
Gee, can I send you cash?
Comment by Jim Seargent on February 21, 2009 at 9:27pm
Just tell me where to send the check. We all should do whatever we can to keep Mel in shoes and shorts so she can keep doing what we wish we could. Lets make sure she has everything she needs and wants to be comfortable and happy in her efforts. She should have the best.
Comment by Kimberly A Bownas on February 21, 2009 at 3:01pm
Hey I really like the shoes they are sharp. Keep up the good work there girl.

Capt. you may want to watch your back there buddy....
Comment by Mary Ellen Shea on February 21, 2009 at 12:25pm
Not just ONE blue light....I want a whole light BAR....I'm a whacker wannabe....on a scooter.
Comment by Mary Ellen Shea on February 21, 2009 at 12:24pm
Ted, chocolate = bleccccchhh.
Jim, no comment...
Bob, thanks!
Kali...I knew you'd like those, I've been lusting after them ever since they came out. Mizuno Wave Creation 9 ....
Comment by Joe Stoltz on February 21, 2009 at 12:24pm
Sounds like we need to take up a separate collection for running shoes. Or a motorized scooter. With blue light, of course...
Comment by Bob Allard on February 21, 2009 at 11:26am
All that matters is that you are doing for a good cause, mostly for the charity and the rest for you, cause you do need to be in shape to save air when wearing the air-pak, and for your own health.

Good going, and keep it up.
Comment by Jim Seargent on February 21, 2009 at 11:18am
Now I'm hungry....


Does it always have to be about Dicks with you?

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