Today I am 193.8 pounds of rolling thunder -- a month ago (forgive me readers for I have neglected you) I was 189.0 pounds of rolling thunder.
It's been a while since we've gotten together to talk about the joys and pitfalls of being a runner, and much has changed during that time. Obviously, there is more rolling thunder of me to go around, which I attribute to the freezing cold and my body's primordial desire to add a fat layer so as not to freeze to death over the winter.
At least that's the tale I tell myself as I struggle to answer why I keep an extra 5 pounds on my frame during the winter months, which sounds a whole lot better than the truth which is the cold and darkness reduce my running time by about 20 percent these days, and I often opt for indoor workouts that require less energy.
Perhaps the biggest change is the fact that I have now given in and purchased running shoes that cost me just short of the national debt. Yes, if paying out the nose for running shoes qualifies one as a "runner" than I should be on the brink of world class.
I've always wanted to go to one of those fancy running shoe stores to have an "expert" fitter look at my gait and watch to see if I was an under or over pronater but the lure of cheaper sporting goods store shoes always drew me in and kept me away.
This time, my mind was made up. I had made the laps at all the big box sales places and had even narrowed my choices down somewhat. But then, there I was at the mall with the running store. And then, there I was in stocking feet walking around a small oval so a stranger could watch me and analyze my steps.
The next thing I knew, I was surrounded by boxes filled with shoes baring all sorts of exotic names. Heck, the names alone made me feel like a runner -- or a cheetah.
My quick trip to the mall went from a mere 30 minutes to more than an hour as I slipped on countless shoes. First the left foot and then the right. Matched pairs. Mixed pairs. How does that feel? My, that toe box feels comfy. Plantar fasciitis would rule me no more.
Finally, it was down to two shoes. Yes, I could run in either of these. And the salesman was kind enough to correct me when I opined that I was a heavy runner. Really, there was no choice. One shoe was truly the most comfy, but then there it was. How about that model, I asked.
There it was. The holy grail of running shoes. The one in the big ad in a runner's magazine.
Why there was a pair in the back that was just my size. The minute those babies hit my feet it was a match made in running heaven. Price tags be damned. I was a runner. These shoes were going home with me.
And yes, they've been a great buy, but I'm still not going to break any land speed records. But oh do my feet and joints feel better. Merry Christmas to me.