Sunday, October 08, 2006

Windy Glasses

When I was a kid, I liked to make stuff up a lot.

Who doesn't, you know?

When I was 4 or 5, I had a "pet squirrel" in my backyard that I named Drippy. My mom didn't really have the heart to tell me it wasn't the same squirrel out there every day. I'd just talk to him in like we were best buds.

I had, and still like to think I have, a "dessert compartment" in my stomach. Like, when I was all full of lima beans and meatloaf and stuff, I would conveniently be able to "find" room in my compartment for ice cream. "But you're so FULL!" my dad would say.

Oh no I'm not...I have the dessert compartment.

These are my Windy Glasses.
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Windy Glasses, of course, are meant to keep your eyes warm. That is so that you can stay outside in the snow and rain and general mess longer. This way, you can make snow angels and jump in puddles and "you're just fine see because your eyes are warm."

So now I think I have my Strong Shoes.

These shoes are looking a little ratty, but you need to trust me here.

They have special powers.

(I'm serious.)

See, these shoes have been on my feet since the end of June. They've seen rain and heat and cold and mud. They carried me on my hilly training runs at the Hinckley Hills. They were with me when I ran on campus in Wisconsin in July. They were with me when I finished my second half-ironman in New York. They were on my feet for 26.2 miles at the end of Ironman Wisconsin, and now when I put them on THINGS just HAPPEN.

I put them on, and I remember what I've done in these shoes.

And for some reason, I just get excited. I might feel tired...maybe I had a long day at work...and I come home and put on my shoes and I'm STRONGER. And it's go time, baby.

Tuesday, for the first time in a long time, they took me to a group run. I was a little worried that I might be tired and slow and not able to even keep up with my friends, but I put the shoes on and thought, "Nope. I'm gonna be just fine."

And I was. 6.5 miles later and lots of smiles with my friends, and I felt like myself again. I enjoyed the sunset over Lake Erie and the crisp air, and saw the leaves turning even more red this week as the stars started to peek out in the dark blue sky.

Stronger. That's how I felt.

That's how I feel.

I felt it on Thursday, when I nervously set out to try my first tempo run since IM MOO. I thought I'd just try two miles and hope to hit my tempo pace, and see how it goes...and when I checked my splits I was exactly 11 seconds faster than my tempo pace on BOTH miles.

I felt it today, when I set out to run along the road that follows Lake Erie, and felt warmth of the "Indian Summer" day on my skin, and noticed the leaves changing even more. Maybe it was because I ran into friends. Maybe it was because I've gotten to see my friends and family more in the past 4 weeks. Maybe it's because I'm still riding a high from the finish a teensy bit.

(Or maybe it's the shoes.)

For whatever reason, I finished my run and felt so strong...and looked down to see the fastest pace for 5 miles that I've done in a long time.

Those Windy Glasses let me stay outside a little bit longer. That dessert compartment got me a little more ice cream.

My Strong Shoes aren't new and shiny, but they have taken me some pretty amazing places.

And I know they have a few more miles left in 'em.

32 comments:

bunnygirl said...

Hey, I have a dessert compartment, too! There's always room for dessert!

I wish I had Strong Shoes, though. Lucky you!

Kate said...

Yay! I hate my current runners and really miss the strong shoes

Mallie said...

No post of the strong shoes? I love the windy glasses!

RunBubbaRun said...

I think I have to find a pair of those glasses for my daughter. I guess coach does know best. He said you would be stronger after your rest and you are. Great job on the run.

Jodi said...

I need to find myself some of those strong shoes! Great runs this week. Do you have any races up your sleeves that you're training for?

Eric said...

I'm sure "Drippy" shared your conversations with all of the squirrel community.

So do you stash your s'mores in the dessert compartment? I think it's called a Bento box now.

Windy glasses are now replaced with Oakleys.

Your strong shoes are indeed special. It will be hard to replace them.

Remember what coach said. You WILL be stronger after your Ironman training day.

Spokane Al said...

That was a great post.

I also think that I have a dessert compartment which on some occasions consists of the entire stomach. I really like desserts!

P.S. Strong shoes are cool but what I would really like are a pair of powerful bike shorts.

Papa Louie said...

Ah, yes, finding the comforts in life!

Bolder said...

what size are those shoes?

do you rent them out??

and, for style points, i'm thinkin' with the aero helmet, those goggles might be a good add...

do you lease bundles???

(great post, enjoyed it!)

walchka said...

Those things must be made of iron. To be totally cheesy...

Jessica said...

Just had to share: my son (from the time he was 2) has had a dessert lane. The dessert lane and the healthy food lane both come from the mouth, but they go to very different places in the belly.

BuckeyeRunner said...

It was so great to finally meet you this weekend, and get to say congratulations in person! You are every bit as sweet and nice as you come across in your blog. I hope we get to see more of you in the coming months at different races and such. Take care!

Ellie said...

I love it!

Michele said...

Love it!
I wore my new shoes today for my speed work and I had a good run, maybe I have found my strong shoes too.

Scott said...

I love the windy glasses... and look at the smile - you look like you were very happy.

Brent Buckner said...

In my little world, the proper use of a dessert compartment is to have more roast beef as dessert.

Pssst. Someday you'll have to replace the strong shoes. You know what? By then, the special powers will have rubbed off onto your feet. Really. I guarantee it.

E-Speed said...

mmm dessert ;) Can I borrow those shoes for Chicago? ;)

Kewl Nitrox said...

I haven't got Strong Shoes, but I sure can identify with the secret dessert compartment. :)

Steve S. said...

Drippy??...

Did he have a bladder control problem? Did he always have a cold?

I guess don't care. It's just a great name for a varmit.

Lance Notstrong said...

It's gotta be the shoes :-)

Lance Notstrong said...

It's gotta be the shoes :-)

JeffM said...

It's a beautiful time of year to run. So when you finally retire the shoes will you keep them to remind yourself?

Kurt said...

Just make sure you rotate those shoes. Otherwise you will end up with sore knees and or foot issues.

Josh said...

Great glasses, shoes and a fun post.

:)

LoneStarCrank said...

Run on! Those things are bionic after all those miles! Wish I could clone my "strong shoes"...they're quickly losing their special powers.

Rachel said...

Must be the shoes! J.K. We all have a dessert compartment. They've done studies on it. Seems that the variety of the food makes us think we can take in more even when we're stuffed.

tarheeltri said...

Awesome post! Reminds me of my Mizunos and the things my daughter comes up with!

Fe-lady said...

When they wear out, you should still hang on to them. Just for the memories...if you can stand the smell.. Maybe have them bronzed or something!
Love the "Windy glasses" and "dessert compartment" stories!
I wil remember them next time I am out on a cold day or need to find room for a scrumptous dessert!
(Say hello to Lake Erie for me next time you see her!)

tri-mama said...

cool! But it sounds like I should delay my plans to have my IM shoes bronzed :-)

Andy said...

We all have a few of those "special items" in our lives, we just need to take note of them.

I can't think of what mine are right now, but when I do, I will let you know.

Murtha...

Cliff said...

nice weather...

it si going to snow here tomorrow..

do u have a cape :)

Iron Pol said...

Since you have all these other things figured out, perhaps you can help me out. It's about B-Boy.

We were a bit concerned when one of his toy dogs gained the name Tick Tock. We thought it was from a book. It wasn't. He apparently pulled that one out of thin air.

Then (and this is where your imagination might keep up with his), he discovered Gum Clappers. We're not quite sure what Gum Clappers are, but we know two things. They are an item of clothing, and they look an awful lot like getting naked.

He says, "I'm putting on gum clappers," and proceeds to strip down to his diaper. And if he's in public when those words are uttered, you will see two parents moving fast to ensure there is no stripping.

Please, help. What in the world are gum clappers?