Waiting To Learn Their Fate.

asics recycle

This is the back side of the shoes I wore burning down my first marathon.

Talk about a nasty heel strike…good freakin’ night. These shoes were on my dawgs for 1,000+ miles over the course of twelve months…and never once did they cause me to blow or bail on a long run. I have a deep affection and loyalty to these shoes…I feel “closer” to them than any other piece of gear I own.

These shoes officially retired May 19th immediately following the marathon. There’s no denying, they’re in terrible shape. The tread is worn down way past the nubbies, (as you can see), and there are holes on top where my big toe thinks it’s a periscope.

I tried to retire these treads around the 600 mile mark because I knew they weren’t doing my skeletal structure any favors. But both new pairs [of shoes] I bought ultimately lead to long run blow outs.

This left me no choice: I pulled these back out of retirement (twice!) in hopes they’d carry me across my first marathon finish line.

They did.

And that’s why I’m having a hell-of-a-time letting them go.

I have been telling myself for months that it’s time for the great purge of all things tangible. (Which needs to start in my closet.) I haven’t been able to get rid of anything yet…b/c I KNOW the first thing that needs to be purged are several pairs of my old, worn down, beat-to-sh*t running shoes.

  • I don’t want to throw them away. (The idea of these much loved shoes in a landfill almost wrecks me.)
  • I don’t want to donate them. (I’d feel guilty if I didn’t include the caveat — chiropractic care required. Truthfully, Goodwill would probably just throw them away for me — and that feels damn bad, too.)
  • I could keep them, but honestly, I can’t think of one reason why. (Except the obvious — sentimental value.)

For the last week, I’ve had two pairs sitting in my kitchen staring at me — waiting to learn their fate. I’ve forced Hubs to have a conversation about these shoes three freakin’ times in hopes I’d find absolution.

I believe I’ve finally found a feel-good solution.

Last night, I spent an hour researching how to recycle old tennis shoes. Turns out Nike has a program, called Reuse-a-shoe, that takes worn out athletic shoes and grinds them down to create a new material called Nike Grind. This material is then used to make high-quality sports surfaces including courts, turf fields, tracks and more. (Since 1990, they’ve recycled 28 million pairs of shoes. Awesome, right?)

It comforts me to know my old shoes can live on — and that they will continue to serve and support other athletes in a new, meaningful way.

Listen. If you’d have told me a year ago I’d feel this damn attached to athletic shoes, I’d have laughed you out of the room. But these shoes put up when others wouldn’t. The were there when I needed them. They pulled out all the stops when it mattered most…and their git’-er-done attitude carried me exactly where I needed to go.

Today I’m celebrating sentimental value, reuse solutions and the simple fact I am finally ready to let go.



P.S. What gear are you super attached to? Is there anything you’ve ever struggled to let go of? Come on over and share! www.Facebook.com/BrooksFirstMarathon.

P.S.S. Yes, I know some of you will think my attachment is ridiculous. It is. But thanks for letting me share anyways.

P.P.S.S. Today is the LAST DAY to join the 100 Days of Sole Challenge. If you are ready to truly challenge yourself, get a high level of support and achieve a super awesome, life-changing goal, NOW is your chance. We’d love to cheer for, love on and encourage you all the way to YOUR finish line. Click here to get started…and hurry, the doors close at midnight

One last thing. I’m trying something new in my training schedule. Back to back long runs this weekend at marathon goal pace. Today was day #1 — 8 miles. (I ran my first ever sub 9 mile…woot!) I snapped this picture of graffiti on the sidewalk…folks, if you’re going to bust out the spray paint, please make sure you can spell (breathe):

just breath

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3 Responses to Waiting To Learn Their Fate.

  1. slowrunnersexcursion July 6, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

    I did not know about Nike’s program. That is awesome! I literally have my training shoes from my first marathon—4.5 years ago. haha. Sentimental value! Some of the other ones I have used for yard working and what not. Give me a nice little smile when I put them on. But, I will have to look further into this program!

    Happy Training! 🙂

  2. Jodi Gullicksrud July 7, 2013 at 11:42 pm #

    I had a lightweight windbreaker that was my security blanket. It went with me on most runs, and usually ended up tied around my waist. I think the security part was that it covered my butt in running tights. The morning of my 3rd or 4th half marathon the zipper broke and I had to use a safety pin to keep it closed. It was the first race I was doing without my running partner (who was vacationing in Hawaii) and I was a mess. I finally ditched the coat around Mile 10. Ahhh, the freedom!

    • Brook July 9, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

      Thanks for sharing this story Jodi — love ya sole sister! (And it’s good to know I’m not the only one who at one time has been dependent on a piece of gear! 🙂

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