This week I hit another milestone on my fitness journey -- I retired my very first pair of "real" running shoes.
"WHAT??" you say? "You've been running for over 4 years and you're just now retiring your first pair of shoes????"
Why yes, I am. This is what happens when you start running, and then stop to have a baby, and start again, and then stop to have another baby, and then take forever starting again. The number of miles you can get out of a pair of shoes varies according to your weight, your gait, and which expert's advice you're reading. Most sources I've seen recommend a range of 300-600 miles.
I bought my Asics GT-2150's in June of 2010, and just now have about 350 miles on them. I've only logged running miles, not walking miles, though I'm not sure that makes a difference. I'm sticking with the lower end of the recommended mile range because these shoes have had a lot of pounds slamming down onto them, and there are visible signs of wear on the inside and outside.
These shoes will always be special to me. They're the first shoes I bought in a running store, and the miles we've logged together have been memorable. I wore them in my first disastrous 5K, my second, much-improved 5K, my first (and unexpectedly awesome) 10K, and my 4th race/3rd 5K.
Then, after some time off and some false starts and more time off, they carried me through the training for and completion of my very first triathlon!!! I'm not sure if any other pair of shoes I own will carry me through quite as many significant events! In fact, I hope they won't, because I hope to wear the rest of them out much more quickly from now on! ;-)
My new shoes are....exactly the same as the old ones. I bought an extra pair when I saw them on sale at a department store. I figured it couldn't hurt to have a back-up pair waiting in the wings, and I was right, because Asics doesn't make the GT-2150 any more! When I wear out THIS pair, I'll go back to a running store for another fitting, and see whether I should get another Asics stability shoe, or something else entirely. For now, I ordered another pair of Superfeet inserts just like I had before, and hope that the shoe/insert combination that has gotten me this far will continue to work.
Yesterday I took the new shoes, complete with new inserts, out for a spin, an easy recovery run of about 40 minutes. To be perfectly honest, they didn't feel that different from the old shoes, except with a little more support around my arches and heels. Maybe the old ones still have some life in them, but I'm not taking any chances on possible injury from running in worn-out shoes. The new ones might give me a boost psychologically at least, if not physically!
It feels like there should be some sort of ritual or ceremony to retire a pair of shoes, especially one that played such an important role in my journey. Oh well, I guess I'll just toss them on the pile with the other sneakers that I wear for non-running activities. If the pile gets too big someday, I'll look into donating my used shoes. For now, Pair #1 is done, and Pair #2 is on the job. I wonder where they will take me??