final run

I am taking my last run in my first pair of trail shoes today. I’ve had their replacements ready to go for a few months—picked them up at a local race. These haven’t been the best shoes I’ve ever run in, but they have put me in the woods more than I would have been otherwise and that’s a very good thing.

In these shoes I have gone up and down many hills. Splashed through streams and waded through rivers and slogged through mudpuddles. On one run I intentionally ran through old horseturds because I’d never done that before and they are trail shoes, dangit, and the horseturds were on the trail (I once drove through cowturds for the same reason).

I have run at sunrise and sunset and the middle of the day. I have run through rain and snow. I have had days when my legs felt light and strong and I have had days when my legs felt like sacks of flour or sacks of lead or sacks of most anything that isn’t light and strong.

I have been the only one present when a bird sang in a forest. I have stood alone atop a mountain and looked out at the mist hanging over the ridgeline. I have been cooled by the breeze and baked by the sun. I have breathed in the scent of the forest and stood listening to the murmuring of streams.

I put over 300 miles on these shoes in a year’s time. (My tiresome ego dictates that I share that most of my running is on asphalt and my road shoes have many many more miles on them in a year’s time.) Some smartalecks might point out that I am in the same spot despite having run all those miles. I disagree.

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