Under The Knife

After waking shortly after midnight, and failing for hours to fall back asleep, I did the only reasonable thing — I slipped on a pair of shoes and set out just after 3 a.m.

By then, any chance of salvaging both sleep and a morning run were shot — so I cut my losses and hit the pavement.

Admittedly, I go through fits of sleeplessness once or twice a year, and the freedom and exhilaration of a pre-dawn run beats mindless searching on the internet. A nice breeze cooled me through this morning’s 7-miler under the street lights and over the 12th Avenue North railyard bridge.

These days, though, there is a bit more reason for restlessness.

It wasn’t so much that my performance at Grandma’s Marathon fell below expectations. Rather, it was the knowledge that the pain meant something just isn’t quite right.

It took more than a week to get into the doctor’s office for my appointment. And another 10 days for the MRI to confirm what I had already suspected. It will take another 9 days to meet another doctor for a consultation, which could result in surgery to repair a torn muscle in the lower abdomen.

In addition to the current injury, the MRI also confirmed indication of an early similar injury. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that’s why the past 4 marathons, half marathon and 2 trail races (26K and 40K) hurt so much. Or why sitting for long stretches or sleeping in the wrong position leaves me writhing in pain.

Along the way, though, I’ve regained a decent amount of fitness after a winter break and slow return to running.

A few weeks ago, on a whim, I decided to experiment with a new shoe model.

Slipping those onto my feet reminded me that a new pair of shoes is freedom, a fresh start and a chance to experience another new beginning before the miles of pavement slowly batter them into a worn piece of rubber foam and mesh.

Despite the recent marathon disappoint, I knew at some point I’ll need to find a replacement for the Green Silence, a model long discarded from Brooks’ line of shoes. With the exception of my first marathon, I’ve run every marathon in the Green Silence.

A few years ago, in a frantic search for any remaining Green Silence, I scoured the internet and found 3 pair in my size. Now relegated to a marathon-only shoe, there are a limited number of races left in them.

And that left me looking for a replacement pair, along with something suitable for other race distances. The Brooks Asteria — a replacement for the company’s ST Racer model — is ready to fill the void.

But knowing shoe companies proclivity for making tweaks and changes, I’m looking at a small investment to stockpile enough for future races. The lightweight Asteria are a terrific shoe, designed for mild overpronation, and they’re closest I’ve come to finding the freedom and adrenaline of a new pair of Green Silence.

This past Saturday, with temperatures soaring into the 80s during a midday 10-miler, my steps felt quick and smooth in the Asteria, even if the red and black color scheme aren’t exactly my style.