When I was recently assaulted by the running shoes falling from my shoe cubby in the sport closet, I decided it was time to purge. I pondered how I could have so many, but realized I usually buy at least 2 pair per marathon. I have problem feet and a stable shoe is essential. I rationalize this abundance of footwear by telling myself this is a relatively inexpensive sport (unlike skiing or golf). I now log my shoe purchases in my running log (thanks to Jamie who brilliantly suggested this) so I know how long they are worn and the miles they have endured. I can predict when I need to replace them. But I have always felt that even if a pair may not have another marathon in them, there may be miles of walking still to be had.
So I was thrilled to find the organization soles4soles.org that collects these shoes and distributes them to people who may need them. Their website lists stores that participate as drop off locations (in this area: JDR shoes, Cherry Hill, NJ and Fleet Feet, Marlton, NJ) and fabulous ways individuals, businesses and organizations can help.
Another great way to save our own soles:)
Ben Kingsley, Penelope Cruz, Patricia Clarkson and Peter Sarsgaard star in Elegy based on a Phillip Roth novel. Need I say more?
Kingsley plays a droll, urbane and steely professor at Columbia—the smartest guy in the room. He is felled by the otherworldly beauty, charisma and decency of Penelope Cruz. Kingsley brilliantly plays smug, cutting, humiliated and self-loathing in equal measures.
His scenes with best friend, Dennis Hopper (a Pulitzer prize winning poet!), are riveting—a window into the psyche of a certain strata of male. Patricia Clarkson is fearless as ever. Pete Sarsgaard burns through his scenes.
The dark genius of Roth is his finely honed dialog, brilliant political asides and incisive male characterizations. Even better, his work is plot driven. I find myself imploring Kingsley to “get over yourself.” It is powerful and gratifying when he finally does.My best measure of a dark and compelling story; 4:45 am running time be damned, I am staying up to learn what next will happen.
I ran my first marathon one week before turning 50. My friends and family see a direct relationship between these 2 factors—I remain unconvinced.
I am a slow runner and usually (the operative word here–usually) I am okay with this state of being. It is not a life philosophy, merely, a physical reality. At least, I can run the distance—I lived in Boston and joined the carefree marathon spectator party each year. It was Patriot’s Day after all- a state holiday! I never imagined that I could or would run it. This year, my distance friends and I decide: It’s time to run Boston.
I would have to maintain my current marathon pace until 65 years of age in order to qualify. Highly unlikely. So, in the midst of a worldwide financial crisis, the severity of which has not been evidenced in decades, Jean and I decide to run Boston. For charity (The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation). $3,000 must be collected. A piece. By the end of April. Or our credit cards will be charged. Bloody brilliant!
Contributions come in dribs and drabs. The utter humiliation of soliciting a donation is tempered by the prospect of paying the entire amount. People that I would never have considered asking to contribute in January, have received my please donate entreaty by March. I find myself rifling though dusty, old work and school phone books. How far can I dig? How low can I go?
I’ve learned something during each marathon. Philadelphia Marathon 2007: I have the fortitude to finish a marathon. And this awful secret: middle-aged woman don’t lose that much weight during marathon training. The gods must be crazy!
Vermont Marathon 2008 (mile 20): Technology fails, bring a back up ipod. Philadelphia Marathon 2008: The Bermuda triangle of marathoning exits at mile 17. And it resides in my brain. It is the soul killer that attempts to drown out any remaining good marathon karma. It screams, “Come on, just slow down.”
This year I am planning for that moment.
I finally went to the doctor today to check out the constant nagging pain in my foot. The one that has been keeping me off the road and out of the Boston Marathon. Feeling a bit defeated, I decided to get an official diagnosis. The doctor thinks it is a stress fracture or heel spur and sent me for an x-ray. On my way out of the house, I grabbed the mail which included the newest edition of More magazine (April 2009 issue).
As I sat there, if there was an ounce of pity in my thinking, it was now gone after reading the cover article on Dana Torres. Motivation in the form of a 42 year old fireball. I read the excerpt from her new book, Age is Just a Number , and was completely engaged. She describes the tedious, mythodical pre-race ritual for her Olympic medal winning effort. Funny, honest and totally inspiring commentary from a hard working perfectionist.
I love it when she says…”you don’t have to put an age limit on your dreams, that the real reason most of us fear middle age is that middle age is when we give up on ourselves”. (this is why we run ladies!)
I chuckled at her describing her rolling suitcase being laughed at by the younger swimmers and was intrigued by her relationship to her body. It’s a great article and truely made me re-think the way I look at my own injury. I look forward to reading her book. Go Dara! You’re amazing.