Diary of a Newbie Runner: New Shoes and Mystic M&Ms

{by Ellery Sadler}

I have to confess, I fell in love on Sunday, September 18, 2011. Dark, mysterious, new, and intriguing – love at first sight.  No it wasn’t a guy. It was a pair of running shoes. And they are amazing: black, pink, silver, sparkly. So, I got them (my old shoes were two years old and I needed new ones anyway). Visions of comfortable 12 mile sprints in my wonderful new shoes danced in my head. I dreamily wondered if this was weird…abnormal… maybe I was overdoing this whole running thing.
I had all the hopes and aspirations of a new mother – these were my special shoes, they would make me look good, feel good and run fast. These little shoes were going to be like wings, lifting me delicately off of the pavement into the clouds…I slipped them on, smiling absently to myself, yes they were lovely shoes, and they were sparkly. I was going for a 4 mile run and I felt wonderful.  
I work for my M&M’s. While other people sit on a couch watching a movie, I’m out there running through sweat, blood, and tears (literally) to earn a few little chocolate covered peanuts… feeling very virtuous, I put some in a plastic baggie, and a few more in my hand to snack on the way down the driveway. I stared down at them. Three orange, one green. Was that a sign? Did that mean three miles of feeling great and one mile of misery? Or did it mean one mile feeling great and three miles of misery? If you begin reading things into your handful of M&M’s does that mean you’re going crazy? I hoped not and ate them.
My sister, Hailey, was outside waiting for me. “Why are you wearing long pants?” She stared skeptically at me and then at the sun. “Well…I thought it was going to be cold. And besides, long pants make your feet look smaller.” I said, looking thoughtfully at my new shoes. It was too hot to wear long pants so I changed. But I found something out: black running shoes make your feet look bigger. I looked a little sorrowfully at my dear shoes…oh well, at least they were sparkly.
Sadly, life is full of disappointments: my shoes were not a cure-all. My side still felt like someone was stabbing me (at least I will know how to describe it if I ever feel like writing a murder mystery), and after 3 ½ miles my knees and feet started to hurt. As the house came into view I gasped for breath and silently rebuked myself for ever wanting to run. New shoes certainly aren’t wings.  But I had gone farther, and felt better (better is realitive)…maybe one day I’ll be faster too. And my shoes still sparkled in the sunshine!