Monday, 3 February 2014

You Can't Curl Your Toes Around A Memory

As a species, humans are capable of feeling the six basic emotions (Anger, Disgust, Fear, Happiness, Sadness and Surprise) as well as much more complex ones such as stress, modesty, shame, anger, and patience. I'd like to focus today on sadness and the more complex emotions stirred up by loss or bereavement.
You see today I had to say goodbye to two friends.
Friends that have been with me all the way through this journey. Friends that have helped me along the way, been a source of comfort when at times I felt I couldn't go on any longer.
When I hit that wall they were for me, willing me through what seemed like an insurmountable barrier of pain. Staring up at me through the void.


R.I.P Newton Motions

Anyway, don't feel sorry for me my friends as as painful as my grief and loss were, it was easily cured by popping out to the shops to buy a new pair. Gong Xi Fa Cai, Gong Xi Fa New Shoes as they say in Malaysia. They don't really say that anywhere in Malaysia except for a tiny recess of my mind that has been compartmentalised by my brain as the area that we (Me, Myself and I) store stuff that is called Made Up Stuff. It's a small teak drawer with a tiny paper label on the front that has Made Up Stuff written on the front or that's what I imagine it looks like. It's just down the road from the Fantasy and the Storing Mobile Telephone Number sections of my mind. It once shared a drawer with Personal Details but that went a bit awry and I'd rather not talk about it. Lets move on I say.

Back to the Newtons.

Hello Better

It's safe to say these are the best pair of running shoes I have ever owned hence the reason for purchasing a brand new pair. They are also quite possibly the loudest pair of shoes I have ever worn and this is coming from a man who once owned a pair of purple Kickers.
The older pair of Newton Motions had stuck with me for just over 750 km without feeling uncomfortable, in fact my last run in them was on Saturday past. An enjoyable LSD run of 23 km. Most running shoes last for around 500-600km before needing replaced so these have served me well.
So why change now?

Old and New
Newton running shoes are unique in that they have steered away from the EVA foams and gel types cushioning we have become accustomed to in our running shoes. They also have a set of four strange lugs on each midsole that help promote good running technique by employing the Land-Lever-Lift methodology. Land quietly in an athletic position with each footstrike under your hips; Lever off the front of the lugs; Lift your knee to begin a new stride. I'm not going to lie, it takes a bit of getting used to having these lugs directly under your midsole but the feeling disappears after a few runs and starts to feel natural.

Not much difference other than dirt
After having a rest day on Sunday I had to head out this morning and resume my current training program. The training program called for an easy 8km but the noticeable comfort of having a new pair of boots strapped to my feet resulted in me trying to run as fast as my little legs could possibly go.
My tempo runs recently have been around the 5:20 to 5:40 km pace but this morning saw me run possibly the fastest I have ever managed in recent memory. I had a fair idea that my route was around 8-9 km so I wasn't really paying much attention to my watch and concentrating on running as fast as possible and maintaining a good posture. I ended up running 9km with an average pace of 4:53 per Km which for me is fast. Hello Better indeed in fact hello man on the scooter in front of me not expecting me to overtake you in the traffic. Whilst you pick your nose.
Being a frugal Scot it's quite possible that the shoes needed changing a couple of hundred Km ago but parting with money on shoes has never been one of my favourite pastimes. This morning made it all seem worthwhile and I'm kicking myself as another km would have probably seen me through a sub-50 minute 10k. Oh well, as my granny used to say "Fit’s afore ye winna ging ahin ye", roughly translated from Doric as "What’s meant for you won’t pass you by".
So my emotions now range from Happiness and Surprise to Resolve in this New Chinese Lunar year. Resolve to try and run things a little bit faster, let things go that have passed and look forward to new things happening. If you won't take my word for it then listen to the most excellent Johnny Thunders, You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory. Indeed.

Gong Xi Fai Chai my friends, stay lucky.

PS - If you'd like to try a pair on, head up to see the lovely people at Key Power Malaysia in the Gardens Mall.

If you would like to read a bit more about the science behind Newton Running then go here -