I had to travel for business on this particular day, so I carefully packed my bag with running clothes the night before. After my seminar, I headed straight back to my fair city. I found a McDonald’s close to one of the parks where I like to run and headed in to change. (I dislike McDonald’s for a number of reasons, but they do have clean, fairly private restrooms.) As I was getting out my gear I realized something important… I had forgotten to pack my running shoes.
I wear them when I walk the dog, so the plan had been to pack the bag the night before and then after Hermes’ morning walk, add the shoes in. I had forgotten to do that last part. I continued changing, and then threw my dress pants over my running pants – as I was not about to go walking around in super tight running pants and high heels! As I walked back to my car, I tried to figure out what to do.
If I went home, my dog would expect to get walked – that’s our deal. I get home, he gets walked. I don’t mind taking him for a walk after I go for a run – I just figure it as a cool down period. But I didn’t want to walk him and then go for a run, I felt like I would be worn out before I even started. Then I saw it – across the street – a WalMart.
Now, I hate WalMart with a deep and fiery passion, (far more than moderate dislike I have for McDonald’s,) but it occurred to me that I could pick up a cheap pair of shoes and keep them in my car for occasions like this, or even for when I want to take a walk on my lunch hour. So, I drove over. The one good thing I can say about WalMart is that make it fairly easy to find what you want. The shoe section was well-marked. They didn’t have a lot to choose from, but I found a pair of Dr. Scholl’s running shoes that seemed to fit moderately well. I picked them up for under $30.
New shoes in their box on the seat next to me, I drove over to Creek Park to run. I’ve mentioned Creek Park before, it is basically a big rectangle with a running/walking path that loops around the outside. That day the path was jam-packed with people. It was one of the first nice days and apparently everyone was out enjoying it. There weren’t many cars in the parking lot, but the path itself was packed with families, kids, runners, walkers – it was crazy. It was like a human obstacle course.
I left. That just isn’t my kind of scene. I drove towards home thinking I might have to park outside my driveway and run in my own neighborhood, which, quite frankly, seemed like a copout considering all the work I had done to be able to run in a park. Then I remembered two city parks that were on my way home. Fairly close together, they have good walking paths and sidewalks between them. When I got there, they were perfect! There were people there enjoying the day, but not so many I would have to dart around them. I found a great parking spot, slipped off my dress pants, added my new running shoes and headed out.
The parks were great, and they are becoming favorite places to go. I love running where I can see interesting things and when I am surrounded by nature. It is still really hard for me to get out of my head while I am running, and new scenery certainly helps. The weather was perfect, the run went well and I felt great.
The shoes held up. They aren’t perfect, and later, when I got home and put on my Brooks to walk the dog, I can easily see why one pair cost $28 and one cost $100, but they did what they needed to do. I tucked them in the back of my car with an extra pair of socks for when I might need a quick set of walking shoes.
I have certainly come a long way though – from swearing I would never, ever run, to buying a second pair of shoes, just so I didn’t have to give up a run!
Photo credit: rachel_pics