April 14, 2010

OMG, Shoes!

Yesterday, I bought new running shoes.  Not because I found a flashy new pair I wanted, or because I didn't like the ones I had, but because I actually wore them out!  This is a first for me, and it's also the first pair of shoes that mean something to me - as dumb as that sounds.

I found it a little annoying to buy the EXACT same pair of shoes, but I really liked them, and with the marathon in about 2.5 weeks, I had a slight fear of changing the shoes I had just spent 3.5 months training with.  Also, since they're an "endangered shoe," I got a sweet discount - looks like next time I'll have to try something different.

Leave it to a new, bright white pair of shoes to make you realize how worn and dirty the old ones have become.

Now, I've kept old tennis shoes before, but that's because they're still in fairly decent condition and I can use them for pick-up games of basketball, kickball, biking around, going for walks, etc, and when it gets to that point, I don't think I would have an issue throwing them away.  In this case, I feel like I'm in some weird limbo of not knowing if I should keep these shoes or get rid of them.  They're old, dirty, run down shoes that no longer serve much purpose, yet I feel some sort of nostalgia for them.  They were with me when I broke the 2 hour barrier in a half marathon, they took me up some ridiculous, beautiful, trails I never thought I'd ever be running on, and most importantly to me, they were the shoes I used to start training for my very first marathon.

After years of shaking my head, I think I finally understand why my dad still has t-shirts and shoes from significant marathons and various other races dating back to the 1970s, even though you can practically see through some of the shirts they're so old, and the shoes have ridiculous leather patches (if I remember correctly, he still takes these out for a run on occasion) or soles mended with a hot glue gun.

I remain in shoe limbo.  I feel too attached to my shoes to just throw them in the trash.  Yet it seems asinine to keep smelly, dirty shoes - and this is just one pair, what happens when I've accumulated dozens?!  Maybe I will use the old shoes for the occasional trail run I do, since they're already dirty.  Or maybe they'll find a permanent home in the plastic bin in my closet, taking up space...next to my dusty track spikes (hey, you never know when you'll need those again!).

Do other people feel this way?  What do you do with your old shoes?


  1. i heard that every time you throw a pair of shoes out, a kitten dies.

  2. OMG you've turned into your father! Take a picture and throw them away!! Love,Mom

  3. I have SO many pairs of the same shoes...SO many! They are wore out, I mean they each have over 600 miles on them, but I am hesitant to throw them out. Sometimes I wear the old pairs to the gym for not running workouts. In my head, I am saving them up to do a mud run but I hate mud so I am not sure when that will happen but when it does, I will have a whole lot of wore shoes to wear.

    Also, I wanted to ask if you were willing to share your "sleeping" arrangement for the Ragnar. Are you guys just going to sleep outside? I am really concern about the logistics of where to sleep.

  4. For Ragnar, each van has 2 places we're stopping to sleep. Once at one of our teammates parents house in Agoura Hills, and then once in Newport Beach at a friends place. One of the girls has an apartment in West Hollywood that we may stop at too if we're tired. So if you know anyone who lives near points on the course, I'd ask them!

  5. Andrea: This is a great tip! Thanks.

  6. I usually donate them, except for my NYC ones from two years ago. Just couldn't get rid of them!

  7. More worrying than wanting to keep them is that you have worn them out...you know shoes are pretty much dead by the time they have 400 miles on them!

    I agree with you Mom but don't tell my wife I said that she make me throw mine out!

  8. I've donated a few old pairs, and given a pair or two to a friend, but I'm still overflowing with old running shoes - just can't part with them!

    Good call on sticking with the same pair of shoes going into your marathon - very wise. If you want to keep getting that "endangered" discount, you can usually find discontinued shoes online for a while. I use Froogle.com to search for the cheapest pair. I've been getting the same $90 pair of shoes for about $50 for the last year or so that way! :)