Oh Asics How Do I Love Thee?

I bought my first pair of “running store” shoes in September of 2008. Asics Gel Cumulus 10’s – white with silver and red detailing. About $100 – more money than I’d even spent on my wedding dress. I’d been running, at that point, for five months and had been wearing a $37 pair of running shoes I’d bought at my local department store. By September, I knew it was time to move up to the bigtime. That’s when I met “my” perfect brand, perfect model of running shoes.

Now, as time has gone by, the manufacture has created newer versions of my shoe – but I won’t have any of that. I’m a one shoe girl! I’m devoted, loyal – obsessive!!!! I bought another pair of the same model, same size, same color of shoes a few months later at another running store. Then a few months after that, I came across my beloved shoe at Sports Authority – marked down to about 75% of what I was used to paying for it!

Later, I had to get more creative — ebay. It turns out, my “perfect” shoe isn’t always the perfect shoe for others. Sometimes people buy a pair, try them out and find they are not a match – and then they sell them on ebay — for dirt cheap.  I found two such pairs – still sparkling white – having only been tested out a couple of times — for about $20 each – including shipping!

Well, times have gotten skimpy. It’s 2010. My old model has again been replaced by a newer version of the Cumulus. They are up to the 12’s now. But, I won’t budge! I cling to the 10’s. I randomly look up my shoes online for shoe stores who just happened to find a pair in backstock. Sometimes I still get lucky! This summer, I found a shoe store in Utah selling the last pair of my shoes – a half size larger than I normally wear – for full price. I happily plunked down the moula and have been wearing those shoes throughout this marathon training cycle (and it turned out that extra half size was a blessing since I’m missing a toenail on my big right toe and it’s ultra sensitive to touch. That little bit of extra room makes all the difference.)

So, last week, I was noticing that the final pair is getting pretty raggy. I’ve pounded out hundreds of miles in my beloved Asics and it was time to hold my breath and search again. Amazingly I found a pair!!! Just my size. Brand new from a shoe store – for $57 including shipping! 

This may be the end of an era. I have all seven pairs lined up nicely in my closet like a shrine. I can’t bear to part with any of them – even the ones I really don’t even wear anymore. They’re like looking at a time line – telling the story of a gal who went from an overweight Mom of five who didn’t exercise at all to an ultra marathoner. I love my shoes and I’m thankful for how they’ve protected my tootsies, kept me blister-free in the last 2,000 or so miles and how they’ve made me feel like a “real” runner every time I lace them up.

Thank you, shoes, for all you do. 

Today’s run was just to test out the “bounce” in my step with the newest pair. My fatigue is still hanging on. My cold seems to have left as quickly as it came. My marathon is a week and a day away. C’mon shoes! Don’t fail me now! I need some race day magic!!!!

Stats: 3 miles. Ave pace: 10:08. Time: 30:28

Mile 1: 10:27
Mile 2: 10:08
Mile 3: 9:48

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