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My feet told me that they'd had enough
I have zero brand allegiance. I buy when a quality item is on special, including running shoes, irrespective of brand. But from the moment that I stood up in my Saucony Freedom ISO shoes (Black 8.0D) I knew that I could be a fanboy.
Just two years before, almost to the day, I hated running. You know, when you do a "power hour" and the instructor lines you up at the finish for the fireman's shuttle run. Hated it. Even just lining up for sprints across the room - not happy.
I could do it well. It was rare if I was not in a leading group. But I just wanted it to finish.
The gym went on a summer roster over Xmas (down under in Australia). Although classes were peripheral to how I trained at the gym, I liked to do one class each week for variety. I tried boxing classes and found them a waste of time. As there was nothing in the Xmas program that interested me, I decided to run, twice a week.
My decision to run was a calculated one
My decision even surprised me! It was a cold logical decision, not emotional. By running, I would use a whole bunch of muscles that I had avoided using in the 50 years since I left school. That would help my fitness.
My wife declared that "I'd never make a runner" - her only comment ever about my running. Despite feeling unusually incompetent, I kept it up twice a week, building up to about 2km each time.
It's kind of public when you run, and you have no props. No kettlebells, no weights, no nothing. Just your own rhythm, breathing, and strained face!
As I got into the habit I started to imagine running 5km, and how that might even be possible...
I had creaks and pains, my knees weren't entirely happy, and the outside of my right hip hurt. I traded in my gym shoes for on-special somethings that were supposed to be OK for running.
The realisation that I was capable of running 5km
Better! The new running shoes helped. I started reading Runtastic and picked out some useful warm-ups, stretches and reasons that things go right and wrong. Then something strange happened!
I came to the realisation that my body would, one day, carry me along for 5km. And I started to look forward to running and to that feeling of being in the groove of it. I'd heard about the runner's high, and I started to get it! I also started to notice the other runners on the trail.
This was unprecedented. I didn't like running. I don't like training with other people. But trail running was turning me into a more social human being - at least to the extent of a nod here and there.
After nearly two years I'd notched up some achievements:
Saucony - filtered by the deepest discount
Googling for a new pair of shoes I came across the Running Warehouse. I clicked the filter to show the sale shoes with the highest percentage discount. Whoa! These ones were $259 and are now going out for $89. There is only one size left, 8D. That will fit me!!
After paying, I still could not figure out how I might tell my brother because I couldn't figure out how to say the name. S-A-U-N-C-O-N-Y. He told me "yea they are good shoes, but you've bought road shoes and you run on the trail". Oh...
They arrived at my doorstep 329 days ago. I literally sat down on my front step, took them out of the box, and put them on. I was excited, these are $259 running shoes, and I wanted to know how they felt!
I stood up, and I immediately want to run in them. I mean that is totally bizarre. If someone had ever told me that one day I would be so excited by new running shoes that I would want to run out the gate, I would have said: "no, that's not me".
I went for a little jog out onto the street and back.
Then I took them off and checked the soles. What's this about road shoes? The trails I run on are beach and cliff trails, lots of sand traps, roots, and some stones, but no rocky ankle-twisting sections. The shoes looked fine to me, and in any case, they'd already hooked me.
They felt so good, I decided to run every day!
It was during the next week that I decided to run every day. 5km was my sweet spot, and all I had to do was to figure out how to build in enough rest and recovery. Here's what I did:
I've now run 5km every day for over 300 days - in my Saucony's - injury-free.
Kind of. I actually run between 3 and 7km each day - a couple of kilometres on the beach, sometimes stair sprints, somethings running harder for 3km and then jog home.
It all depends on how I feel after the first kilometre. I have a high body awareness as a result of more than 20 years of demanding training. Sometimes my body even tells me to take a day off, and I do.
Ouch, that right foot hurts - time's up
Today, my right foot told me that I have to let my dear Saucony Freedom ISO's go. Pain. That's after 1550km.
I knew it was coming when I saw the tears in the upper getting bigger. Must have been a tree root. It made me sad, like when you see your old dog struggling to get up.
I have my new deep discount somethings waiting, and I've walked a couple of hundred kilometres in them already. They're comfortable, and they were a bargain, but after I took them out of the box, and tried them on, I just placed the box in the cupboard for another day.
They'll never be my favs, never be my Freedom Iso's. As I drift off each night, I wonder how my run will go tomorrow. I'll miss the pleasure of not putting those shoes on and instantly feeling like I had become a runner.
Good luck. Keep moving.
A review of the Saucony Freedom ISO from RunRepeat.com
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Since I was diagnosed at 50 with Type 2 diabetes I've been learning how to do bone-building fitness training which lowers my age. You can too. It's your choice. Walter