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Determination, Dedication, Motivation April 18, 2012

Posted by KG in Uncategorized.
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Breaking in new running shoes is always painful, but I wasn’t expecting my last try to be bloody.  I recently decided to give the New Balance 00 Minimus Trails a whirl.  I switched not because of unhappiness with Vibram the shoe, but with Vibram the supplier. Pacers, my running store of choice, hasn’t received a shipment of new Vibrams in months.  I tried the road version of the Minimus but found them a bit heavy, and really liked the breathibility and general design of the Trails.  The mesh upper seemed ideal for wearing sockless — and since switching to Vibrams two years ago I’ve become a very big fan of their “no socks needed” approach.  My test run in the Trails (500 meters?) felt great, so I bought them.  I took off yesterday in my new shoes for a quick four miles.

It was terrible. 

The first mile, to be fair, was fine.  During the second mile the knuckles of my big toes felt a little uncomfortable, as if I needed to adjust the shoe’s tongue.  The third mile burned.  By the fourth mile I knew there was something wrong beyond the usual new-shoes aches, but some demon in my skull said “make this your fastest mile.”  So I did.  After a sprint finish, I took the shoes off and discovered a raw spot from a huge burst blister near my left big toe, with a smaller partner on the right. I felt around the shoes inner and identified the culprit, a large seam that I didn’t feel during my test run. Effectively, this means I can’t wear the Minimus 00 Trails without socks, disproving the New Balance claim that the shoe’s upper is comfortable “… without socks.”  The new shoes are money likely wasted.  Back to Vibrams, probably my old reliable Bikila LS.  If I can get them online, that is.

Beyond the frustration of wasted money on shoes (rrrrrgh), I’m trying to figure out exactly why I felt the need to go past the pain and push that last mile.  It’s not as if I was racing, or being chased by wolves.  Similar confusion surrounds my current approach to work.  Despite being in the lame-duck phase of my tour (EER near done, onward assignment nailed down, mere weeks remaining), I can’t seem to disengage at all.  There are of course joke about FS “senioritis” floating around, but I’m still checking my Blackberry constantly, taking on challenging tasks, putting in long hours when needed, keeping up with the breaking news minute to minute, and overall approaching work far too intensely.  I’m remaining present — despite overwhelming temptation to coast.  The urge to coast is conscious, but that subconscious skull voice is having none of it.  

Sprinting on the last kick of a training run and sprinting to the finish line of a tour.  The need to prove myself, even if only to me?  Refusal to let my colleagues and superiors — some of the best I’ve ever worked with — down?  The sense that pushing at the end will make the end come faster, rather than creep up?      

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