Monday, October 15, 2007

The Old Soft Shoes

I tend to hold onto things much longer than I should. I need a lot of time to cope and get over just about everything. But this weekend I finally did what had to be done. I tossed my old running shoes, my first running shoes, my New Balance 766s. I have been mulling this decision since I bought the updated version of these shoes earlier this year. Saturday morning, as I was cleaning up my apartment, I looked at them and felt a tinge of sadness right before I crammed them into the trash bag like an old friend.

I bought the 766s in March or April 2006 after I started my running life in a pair of Etonic cross trainers -- or maybe they were court shoes ... the shoes were that old that I don't remember. At any rate, they had kindly given me shin splints (sniff, my first running injury). I logged more than 450 miles in the 766s this year and since I didn't keep a running log last year I can only estimate last year's mileage as I trained for a mid-summer 10K and continued running hard well into September when I hurt myself trying to run a 10-miler before I was ready.

To make it a nice round number, let's say these shoes sped me to my first 1,000 miles, including two 10Ks, a half marathon and a 5K. Needless to say, the 766s were probably due for retirement.

The funny thing is, they never felt too old. The grizzled veterans even survived my first attempt at replacing them when I bought a pair of Asics, which I despised. However, the writing was on the stall for my beloved NB 766s (too long and too wide as they may have been). Their last run was Aug. 10, 2007, five days before those pip-squeak 767s came along. And then the Brooks Adrenaline arrived. It was all over.

RIP, New Balance 766. You'll be missed.

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