The trees are no longer a lush green, the lakes are low and the stream beds are dry, there is dust in the wind. But I have a new pair of running shoes and they must be tested.
I’ve been a big fan of Brooks shoes for years. I have gone through countless incarnations of the Brooks Adrenaline shoes. My trail running shoes have been Cascadias for at least the past 3 years. I’m a loyal customer. I’ve been watching the advertisements for the Pure line for a while now. Honestly I didn’t need new road running shoes. Until Now. This past weekend was tax free weekend so that makes it one of the days when I probably shouldn’t have attempted a trip to the mall. But my friend Erik is in the mall, he works for Gearhead Outfitters. He runs, he knows me, I know him. I know I’ll get good advice from him. I also know he is a fan of Brooks like I am. He brought out a stack of shoes and I tried on at least 5 pair. I tried the Pure Flow and the Pure Cadence. I tried the size I thought I wear and I tried on a half size bigger. I ran around the store and jumped up and down. I found my shoes. A hot pink and I do mean hot pink pair of Pure Cadence.
Normally one would take a new pair of running shoes out for a test. For testing my new shoes, I chose to go run a 5K at Soaring Wings Ranch near Holland, Arkansas. Soaring Wings is a residential home for kids who need a place to live due to emotional needs or family problems.
The 5K is part of their kick-off and training schedule for the upcoming Soaring Wings Half Marathon in October. I wasn’t expecting the amount of gravel on the course. Basically the entire course was on packed gravel road and I was concerned that my new shoes didn’t have the sole to handle the rocks but they handled it just fine. The course was 2 laps of a 1.5 mile loop around the lake. The lake, like every other body of water in Arkansas right now, was much lower than normal. And the tree lined roads are probably much prettier when there has been plenty of rain but the campus is lovely and I can appreciate how and why kids would find peace in nature here. It made me feel like soaring.
It was 103 at the start. The car temperature gauge still said 103 when we left more than 2 hours later. I know I gave up a good amount of sweat in the 45 minutes we stood around at the start and the 30 minutes I spent running. I’m fairly certain that I did not smell very good by the end either. That did not stop me from convincing J to stop on the way home to try a burger joint we hadn’t been to yet. A juicy burger with grilled onions and a sourdough bun eaten in a cold restaurant while watching the Olympic track and field events on the TV removes some of the memory of the heat. Not all. Some.