July 5th. It was my first hour-long run in about a month.
I chose to take one of those dirt road circuits that takes me through some 13 to 15 kilometers of wooded hilly terrain. An almost 6:00 am start was not ideal for a run this long, I thought, especially for one like me who doesn't do too good in the heat. The shade from the rubber and fruit trees that line both sides of these backroads and the cool breeze that blows through them would somehow keep me from burning out fast.
I told myself that this would be a good run. And it was.
I ran easy, keeping in mind that this would be like going into unfamiliar territory all over again. My easy 6k runs have been sort of on again-off again in the past weeks. I overslept more than I should, and on running days, my ageing body felt "old" and tired.
The usual itty-bitty aches and pains here and there showed up going into the first two kilometers, but have vanished by the third. The cool breeze blowing through the trees that line the rocky dirt roads made me feel good and kept me feeling refreshed as I plodded on. The climbs needed quite some effort naturally, but the sound of a babbling distant mountain spring harmonizing with bird calls that I hear from time to time somehow took my mind from the discomfort.
At the 10th kilometer, I was back to running on concrete. I had two more easy downhill kilometers to go. And I felt something funny on my right shoe.
It was like something was sort of hanging at the heel when I lifted it. It didn't only feel funny, it also sounded funny. I was sure the heel of my shoe was still there, but something else was not as it was supposed to be.
At the end of my run, I examined the sole of my right shoe. The rubber outsole has been partially detached, and was flipflapping as I walked.
After 3 years of being with me on training runs and in a number of races, my Nike Air Max 30/40 had had it's final run. My second Air Max model and fourth pair of Nikes, it has served it's purpose well as part of a runner's life, just the way it was meant to.