An Ode to My Running Shoes

Written by Jacky Hernandez


Dear running shoes,

Thank you for all of the miles we’ve put in together. A little more than two years ago, after moving halfway across the country, you were the first pair of running shoes that I bought in Madison. On what felt like a whim, I had signed up to run a 50-mile race, (yes, 50 miles all in one day) and I needed a new pair of trail shoes to get me through it. After my first summer living in a new city with the loss of my 12-year old car in a once-in-a-lifetime flood and a failed relationship, I needed to do something to feel a sense of accomplishment instead of some sort of vice. Somehow putting my body through a physical feat and pain seemed like something that I not only wanted to do, but needed to do. It was a cathartic run where I cried while I was alone in the forest, covered new distances that I had never done before (my first 50k was during this 50 mile race), and hit what felt like one of the biggest walls I had ever felt, which made the last ten miles feel like a death march. I had started that race in the dark early that morning and as the sun was going down, with just 40 minutes left before the cutoff time, I finished that 50-mile race.


So thank you running shoes. Not only were you with me in dirt, we’ve gone through mud, rain, and even this California girl’s first of many runs in the snow. Who would have known that I would grow to love winter running? After all of the miles we’ve gone through together, it’s time for you to retire. Don’t fret shoes; you’ll stick around for those extra muddy days until I feel like getting my new ones dirty. Your newer model is sure to be a good replacement if they’re anything like you were. Thanks for the miles, smiles, tears, and memories. On to find the next big adventure in my new pair.

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