A tribute to the best pair of athletic shoes I’ve ever owned

With the completion of the muddy and miserable-conditioned zombie run, it’s time I retire these shoes once and for all.  They are without question the best pair of athletic shoes I’ve ever owned, and to say that I’ve gotten my worth out of them is a complete understatement.

Believe it or not, but I’ve had them since 2007.  Now I know that most people who exercise on a fairly regular basis would chide such absurdity as keeping one pair of shoes for so long as I’ve done, but frankly, I’ve never seen the necessity in replacing them.  Either I have tough-like-an-African feet, or I simply got used to and coped with the deterioration of the soles, padding and tread throughout the last five years…

Five years.  Huh.  It’s funny typing that out, considering some runners don’t even make it five months with the same pair of shoes.  I remember where I got these too; at a DSW Shoe Warehouse in Dunwoody, because I needed something to do before a party in the evening, and I didn’t want to go back home prior.

In five years, these shoes have seen the following “organized” runs:

In terms of organized runs, these shoes have carried me through 42.1 miles of asphalt, hills, grass, mud, smashed cups, discarded donut boxes, rain, snowflakes, heat and cold.  Off the record are countless, countless miles of laps around my own neighborhood, laps around the lake near my parents’ house, and on the treadmill.

I can easily say that these shoes have carried me through hundreds of miles in the last five years.  There is even a chance that I may have hit the 1,000 mile mark with these shoes, seriously.  There was a stretch between 2007 and 2009 that I didn’t miss a single week with at least one trip to the gym, and between 2007 and 2009 whenever I did go to the gym, it always entailed at least three miles on a treadmill.

Regardless, I know it’s silly to churn out hundreds of words for the sake of a pair of shoes, but I have a hard time dealing with change and moving on sometimes, and saying goodbye to these shoes marks one of those instances.  I could very well clean them off and continue using them, but at this point, I’ve got a convenient chance to start anew with a fresh pair of shoes; they’re caked with mud, and already halfway down into the shoe grave, so I may as well bite the bullet and let it lie, and move on.

Hopefully for hundreds of more miles.

Celebrating life, instead of mourning passing

A day later, it’s beautiful outside.  One of the nicest days in ages, in spite of the changing of the seasons, and the sporadic rainfall had in Atlanta over the past weeks. The heavens must have been appeased by a most worthy addition received last night.

Jen and I both knew this day was eventually going to come, but in spite of it, nothing ever really could prepare you for when that time comes.  Even in dog years, Nikki was pushing the boundaries of mortality, exceeding 19 human years; regardless, knowing the end is closer doesn’t make it any simpler for when the end does arrive.

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Photos: Run For Your Lives! Starring Justin Timberlake*

*Not really Justin Timberlake

I wish I could have taken my camera along with me to take pictures during the whole ordeal, but it’s good that I didn’t.  Between the mud, water, and the constant risk of biting it, it probably wouldn’t have made it.  Not that there would have really been any time to take any pictures what with the constant sprinting and escaping from the zombies there was the whole time.

In the photos, you’ll see some photographs of the relentless traffic jams to get to just the parking lot, the parking lot itself, where no less than 25 cars got stuck right in front of my eyes, the before, and the bloody aftermath, and cleanup process.  Good times, but man, I gotta reiterate how much work lies ahead for this activity’s future endeavors.

I Ran For My Life and survived the entire experience

I finished the race in __:__:__, because I didn’t bother to check nor wait for the time results to update before it got so cold that my company and I opted to leave.

I had two flags left (out of three).  I was unaware that I had two, since I was convinced that a zombie had gotten my second one in the same area where I lost my first one, so I played the entire second half of the race as if I had one flag left; very defensively, and took my dear sweet time in order to conserve energy for dodging zombies as not to lose my last flag.

Although I successfully made it through the entire race with flags intact, designating me a “survivor,” I’m not going to boast about how I owned this event, and how I made a bunch of zombies look like Lucy and Ethel, bumbling around trying to catch me, because that’s certainly far from how it went.  I was very lucky to survive, and I was very unprepared.  Really unprepared.

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