Growing up, I was taught not to waste things (among many others). As such, even when I’ve gotten to a point that I can’t get peanut butter out of the jar, I still keep it and move onto the next. Later, I’ll go back and get the last bits that are hiding under the rim. And I look at that model to get every little bit out of everything I have before I replace it.
On Saturday, I learned the painful lesson about doing that with my running shoes. Because of the cost to replace them, I had been trying to hold off until the spring to do so. Little did I know that they were already past replacement from all the training / races. So instead of having proper shoes, I had to go with a backup pair that is more of a gym shoe (although a running shoe).
As you can already guess, things did NOT go well. By mile 5, my left arch was hurting so much that I couldn’t keep up the 1/2 mile run / 1 min walk that we had been doing to that point. And before the turnaround point, I was in so much pain that I couldn’t run. At a minimum, I knew that I’d have to walk back about 2 miles to the closest van. I walked back the entire way – out of determination and pride. I wanted to finish the race, even if I had to crawl.
As I limped / walked back, my guides (Terri and Steve), along with another Eagle (Wanda) stayed with me. And surprisingly the aid stations were there, there were volunteers still cheering us on, and the finish banner was up. Even though we were more than 30 minutes after the cut off time..
After the race, I was out of commission until Monday morning. And I’ve learned my lesson about replacing gear more frequently. New shoes have already been purchased.
And while Saturday was a disappointing day, I did learn a lot from it. I am extremely grateful to the F3 staff and volunteers for staying out there until we finished, and everyone for sticking with me to the end.