If you were a runner, you should stop reading this and just accept my apology for having planted the thought in your head. It’s a terrible thought to have on your mind while you’re running, and even if you were not, so please try to get it out as soon as you can. However, it’s an interesting way to look at one aspect of one’s running, the cost of running shoes per km or per mile ran from what you paid for them, and what you got out of them if you tracked it (or have something like a Garmin and Strava app track it for you). You can get the final answer in the end, but probably an estimate from experience and/or history if you’ve been running for long. It’s an interesting thought, but not a pleasant one if every time your Garmin or fitness watch buzzes or beeps for a km or mile, you’re basically putting money in a toll machine based on your calculation!
That was the question I got asked most during a tour of the 2000 Vancouver International Marathon’s elite athlete reception that my elite running friend from Nova Scotia, Smartex Tambala, had taken me to out of his kindness. To be fair, a lot of the elite marathoners in that room got asked that as well, almost like the standard greeting to ask to start conversations, but the reception wasn’t just for the elite athletes. It was also for their friends, family, and other guests, of whom I was one courtesy of Smartex. However, I seemed to have looked the part enough at 5’2″ and about 102 pounds that the other elite athletes risked being wrong about me not being one, rather than potentially insult me by assuming I wasn’t elite athlete material. It’s been the only instance in my life where I had been presumed that way rather than the opposite. And as ridiculous as the question was for me at the time, peaking at maybe half of that mileage weekly, it stayed on my mind long enough to be a psychological itch I ultimately had to try and physically scratch.
A few weeks ago, I had mused about writing my own book about running while writing what I thought of the book, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, by Haruki Murakami. I certainly have enough stories for one, and hope to still have enough for one going forward as I begin a new phase of my distance running with a new style of running. However, I’m not sure where it’d all fit into my writing and/or life plans, this running book I’m thinking about. To test those waters then, and/or perhaps just to make notes in case I write one, I will be dropping the occasional running vignette for my writings on this blog. Here’s the first one.