Racing Tumbleweeds in Emily’s Shoes

I use the term “racing” very loosely in that title. 😉 This is now the longest run I’ve done since I sprained my ankle at my 50k on February 5th.  Temperature was 50 degrees which is really  nice but the winds were 29 mph which is not! I celebrated this glorious, though blustery first day of Spring with a run in the double digits.  I really needed to see that on my log again after six weeks without a long run.

My running buddy Emily shared her new Kinvara running shoes with me this week. We had been chatting about finding the perfect shoe and I told her about how I’d bought and returned 5 pairs of shoes in the last month that just weren’t right for me. After comparing notes, it turned out we had the same type of foot and were the same size, so she offered to let me “test drive” a pair of her shoes and I told her I’d let her test drive a pair of mine – a really great way to “try before you buy” a brand or style of running shoe you’re unfamiliar with.

My first impression of the Saucony Kinvara’s is that they are really lightweight! When I picked them up, I was amazed how much lighter weight they felt than my Asics Cumulus 10s. I loved the roomy toe box, and overall fit was really nice and the colors (lime green and white) were really cute. I liked the mesh across the top and how cool that kept my feet on the run. The heel cup was narrow and fit well, which is always hard for me to find in a cushioned, neutral shoe with a wide toe box.  The only complaint was the lack of arch support for my medium-to-high arches.  I felt lots of acheyness in my arches for the last 4-5 miles. As my arches sank down, it also felt like my toes pushed upwards causing them to go almost numb. This is something that always happens for me when I’m not getting good arch support.  I wonder if that would be solved by simply buying arch inserts? Hmmm. I really did love the shoe and the positives were really good ones. Thank you, Emily for sharing with me! I hope you have a fun learning experience trying out my shoes too. 🙂

The winds were so fierce out there today, I could hardly breathe – let alone run! I could feel my energy draining in the first mile as I pushed on into the wind, blinking back the tears in my eyes as the dust and wind blasted my eyes.  I could feel my pony tail sailing straight back parallel with the road I was running. I thought that must have looked pretty funny if I could have seen it myself.

I was low on gels when I left today. I was down to two energy items – one pack of Shotblox (with caffeine) and one berry GU (also with caffeine.)  There’s a reason those were the last items in my stash — caffeine always upsets my stomach on a run and I’d bought these along with several noncaffeinated GU’s and Shotblox several weeks ago, thinking it would be good to try to ease my stomach into handling caffeine on runs. I’d never gotten brave enough to pull out the the caffeinated items until now — when they were the only things left on my shelf.

After the first mile, I could tell I was going to need a boost of energy, so I reached for my Shotblox.  I took two of the chewy squares and ate them, then drank some water from my water bottle.  Within just a few minutes, the steak dinner I’d eaten the night before started to rumble in my belly. Uh oh! I realized fairly quickly that I was going to need a bathroom but I was running alongside a well – traveled road without any good hiding spots in the countryside.  I realized that I had about 3 miles to go before I’d see a “real” bathroom and decided to just push on towards it, walking when my stomach couldn’t handle the bouncing of running. I ended up walking most of that 3 miles. I highly recommend this method if you ever find yourself in a similar situation. Walking is much easier on the GI system when it’s upset.

Finally, I saw them — the Golden Arches! I thought about that guy who calls himself McRunner who’s eaten nothing but McDonald’s food the last two months while he trained for the L.A. Marathon.  I’d read a race update on him just before I’d headed out the door and saw he was on pace to hit about a 2:34 marathon.  He was about 18 miles into the race when that report was given and I mentally sent him a “Keep going!” vibe as I headed into McD’s to use the mighty McToilet.

Once my bathroom break was over, I felt much better. I still had about half a mile to go before hitting the turnaround point, so I jogged along the sidewalk, starting to enjoy the run for the first time.  It wasn’t long before I spotted a penny! Woo hoo! I picked it up, put it into my zippered pocket and started running again.  A few steps later, I saw a nickel! Yes!! Again, I stopped, put it in my zippered pocket, thinking, “Josh  (my 8 year old who’s called dibs on all moula I find on my runs) is going to be so jazzed!  Believe it or not, a few steps later I came across the Mother Lode — a whole QUARTER!!!!! Now, I knew my luck was turning around. 36 cents is nothing to sneeze at! I felt like a lottery winner as I patted my pocket and ran along with a big, ole smile!

Once I hit five miles, I turned around and started to head back.  That’s when I saw them — tumbleweeds – a whole family of them — rolling across the road right at me.  I leaped over a few and dodged the rest.  Living in Idaho, this type of siting is really fairly common on a windy day. I probably spotted a hundred tumbleweeds throughout my run. They were everywhere! I remember the first time my Mother and Father in law came from Illinois to Idaho (it was the weekend of my wedding!)  My Mother in law had my parents pull over the car so she could get out and see a tumbleweed up close and personal. She even posed with it in a picture! I remember thinking how cute she was to get so excited about something I see all the time.  Later, she would get the chance to giggle at me as I oohed and aaahed over seeing a lightning bug for the first time in my life when I was in Chicago.  Those memories made me smile as I headed back home again.

When I finally walked in the door at home, my husband greeted me with , “So…. did you get that 10 miles you were aiming for? It felt good to say, “Yeah, I did!.”  I walked into the dining room to greet my five children and was happily surprised to see that my husband had put them all to work building their own paper rockets.   My husband built a rocket launcher a couple of months ago after attending BSU’s Engineering Days with our kids and seeing a really cool rocket launching that day by a NASA fella.  It’s become sort of a fun hobby ever since around here.  So, as I head upstairs to shower after my run, my family will be heading over to some friends’ house (who also have their own rocket launcher and three ambitious boys) for some rocket launching fun!

Happy Springtime Everyone!

Stats: 10 miles. Pace: 12:11. Total time: 2:02:02. Felt: Not like my old self yet. Sore arches and low energy.

Leave a Reply