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Bits, boobs and running shoes: Sun Run training Week 7

It almost didn’t happen. We rarely get off the rock, and it seems to take a village to get us abroad, but at the last possible minute, it came together: we were all going to go to town to buy new running shoes.
Sun Runners Scarlett Duntz and Stefania Shortt.

It almost didn’t happen.

We rarely get off the rock, and it seems to take a village to get us abroad, but at the last possible minute, it came together: we were all going to go to town to buy new running shoes.

I am loathe to spend money on sports equipment. The Knick Knack Nook has gotten our two children through roller hockey, soccer, basketball, volleyball, baseball, skiing and that wonderful, bi-annual freezing of Josephine Lake – I don’t see why I should cheat on her now. But Vonda, of Runners and Rackets says that the tools of the trade are important. Vonda makes me think of a chef and her knives, a carpenter and her hammer, a financier and her abacus…. These are all important investments. If you want to commit to something, you have to invest in the tools that will make you successful, and, importantly, the ones that keep you from getting injured.
Vonda gave the first presentation to our Sun Run Training Group in Week Three. She started with feet, subtly segued into “bits” (for men – who knew?) and closed with “the sisters” (apparently it’s all about ligaments). She left us with memorable gems such as: “A sports bra should never celebrate its one year anniversary”.

She also announced that she would be hosting a Shoes and Bits and Boobs party (at least that what I called it) at her store on February 19th and we were all invited to come. And she promised that there would be wine.
So it happened. With all the kids taken care of (Kate at roller hockey, Jade at gymnastics, Eli at basketball, Rhys at the Credit Union, and Evan and Jacob both making their own way back from their rugby practice in town) we made it to Vonda’s store. It was packed with runners- from those (like me) who were still trying to distinguish a pump from a trail-runner, to those who were training for the New York marathon. There was a “bits” corner for the boys, a “boobs” corner for the girls, and, for those of us with foot fetishes there was a shoe corner where a guy named Kevin would take your calf in his hand, un-lace your old, nasty, dirty, bad, shoe, take it off and place your foot on a block. The guy named Kevin talked to you about you: where you run, how you run, why you run, your favourite colour. He asked to see your old shoes. He let you dump out the bag of old shoes that you brought with you so that he could “diagnose” what your gait is. He noted whether you were under pro-nating and needed a shoe to support that. He re-filled your wine glass for you to enjoy while he went to find the shoe that was just perfect for you. He came back and laced your shoes up.

The guy named Kevin lets you walk around in your shoes for a bit to feel them out – and that is when you realize that there is a speech going on in this store packed with wine and runners. A woman named Allison Tai has come to the event to share her story.

She started running to lose weight, and it was just a thing. Then she got hooked on goals. She ran competitively and then was hit by a truck. Broken pelvis, broken arm, she was hospitalized for four months. She recovered, and ran again, then had a baby, then another. She ran with an infant on her back. When Allison was 8 hours into what was going to be a 24-hour World’s Toughest Mudder competition she wanted to give up but her husband wouldn’t let her. “It is not about you, anymore,” her husband whispered holding her shoulders. “It’s about us, now. We have supported you throughout this. You have to do this. You have to do this for us.”
She came in second in the World’s Tough Mudder competition. Allison did it. With her babies, and her broken pelvis, she did it.

Suzy is in the corner crying. Seanna, our driver with an eye on the ferry, is paying for all of our gear. I still owe her money.

It almost didn’t happen – our trip to the big city to buy new running shoes for our training - but it did. We raced back through the city lights singing to Paolo Nutini and eating Oysters Rockefeller and laughing about how shaggy and despicable our run would be the next day, if it even happened. But we did it – we did that, too! We met the next day at twelve and we ran for 37 minutes in our new shoes. With just tiny, little, itty, bitty breaks in between!