By Fred Deckert
What did I want for Christmas? Well, for a start, how about some youth in my legs? Probably elsewhere would help too, but that was a vain hope. P.R.’s (Personal Records). That’s even further away from reality. Needless to say, I am unlikely to get either. Perhaps I’d best just hope for something like a plateau, since this past year wasn’t all that bad, when you consider the possibilities. Like, what if I had a permanent injury instead of the smaller, annoying ones, which kept me out of action for a few weeks at a time. When I look back over 30+ years of running I can think of many of my peers who are no longer running, either by choice or necessity. So, some of them are holding up better than I, but that’s no reason for jealousy, but one for joy and rejoicing with them.
So, it looks like for me, and I hope for you, that 2001 was a good year for the running part of my life and it seems that it’s a good time of year to appreciate it. As for the more mundane Christmas presents, a good start is a pair of new running shoes. At this late date you may have to buy them yourself, but go ahead, treat yourself. I may take the risk of being called a shoe fetishist, but my belief is that since running starts at the ground, that’s where you ought to concentrate your interest. Over the years my experience has been that more running injuries involve running with worn out shoes than almost any other single reason. I don’t mean just shoes that look like they are worn out, but those that are beat to death and still look OK. This can sometimes be a hard to tell since you tend to blame those dead legs or hurting joints on something else. My solution is to have a pair of new or fairly new shoes always available. Then, when I get suspicious I can quickly determine the true state of affairs by switching to the other (good) pair.
A good safety present to yourself if you run in poor light conditions is a flasher or reflective clothing. Not only will it keep you safer, it will make drivers much happier to see you in the distance instead of getting a nasty surprise when you pop up out of the dark or dusk.
Tattered shorts and grungy T’s may not make you an attractive picture, but bum shoes will often put you right off the road. And, collisions with vehicles are never won by runners or bikers. Besides, the president has told us to go out and spend some money to rescue the economy, so do your part.