Happy Birthday to ME!
It is not easy to find the perfect gift for a trucker turning 56. There is nothing exciting about turning 56. If there ever was an age less worthy of celebration, please tell me. You don't get anything for turning 56. It may be the most boring age ever invented. At least when you turn age 55, some places give you a senior discount. When you turn 60 , as a runner you move UP in age bracket. Your chances of winning or placing in races improves simply by attrition. 56 – you get nothing.
I had to find the perfect gift for myself. My first choice was a new mountain bike. The problem is that I live in northeast Wisconsin. The bike would hang in my garage for at least 3 months before I got to use it. My diet and exercise program hit a wall during the holiday season. Signing up for the Green Bay Half Marathon has motivated me. I am back to my pre Thanksgiving weight. I am running, lifting weights and using my FIT system. Success has fueled my motivation.
Then while trying to run my first sub 19 minute 2 mile of the year, my foot right foot was falling to the outside. It was a sign. My running shoes had worn out. One of the worst things a runner can do is keep an old favorite pair of running shoes too long. I finished the run in 18:52 and decided on the perfect gift for myself. It had to be, a new pair of running shoes.
Every new pair of running shoes should be special. The best way to make sure of that is buying them from a local running shoe store. They are more likely to sell you the right pair of shoes. Take your old pair of shoes with you. They can analyze why the old shoes broke down. The wear pattern on your old shoes lets the salesperson know what type of stride you have. Developing a relationship with your shoe store matters. When I got my shoes, I ran around the inside of the store jumping over stuff and landing. Checking out the feel. They felt great. I was psyched to try to break 30 in a 5k. They told me to try a run on a treadmill. That way, if the shoes did not feel right I could still take them back.
Last Saturday, the first outdoor run was scheduled for 7AM. I got back to our yard at 5AM and the temperature was reading -9F. The scheduled training run was for 3 miles. So, I made the decision to run a 5k on the treadmill. My goal was to break 30 minutes. My first mile was 9:45 and the shoes felt fine. I stepped the 2nd mile pace up to 9:31. I forgot about the shoes, and stepped up the 3rd mile to 9:22 pace and kicked in it to a 29:30 5k. I had found the perfect gift. Now, maybe if I can break 2:05 in the half marathon, the mountain bike would make a great reward.