What is it about the mental make up of a runner that brings a nostalgia to the bulk of us? We display our race medals as it brings with it a memory of each event we have completed. We wear our race t-shirts to relish in the accomplishment and even though 3 dozen tech shirts begin to pile up in the closet we won’t throw them away. Not the shirt from that one race we ran that one time, even though the shirt is gaudy and doesn’t fit into the dress code at work or your preferred style outside of home. How many runners keep their old running shoes? I have several pairs of “retired” running shoes piling up in my closet simply because I don’t have anything else to do with them, but something won’t let me just throw them in the garbage can to be collected by the garbage truck.
I realized this during my long run this week and noticed a small tear in the bottom left leg of my running shorts. I own 10 pairs of identical Nike running shorts, they vary in color down the side, but the short is the same. It is my preferred pair of shorts. I started running in September 2011 in regular gym shorts and I bought my first pair of real running shorts in December 2011, shortly after my first half marathon. I wore those shorts for my last few long runs as I was getting ready to run my first 26.2. I woke up that Saturday morning, put on my only pair of running shorts, a regular t shirt with the sleeves cut off, and went out to run the Mississippi Blues Marathon. Fast forward 2.5 years, I get a small tear in the left leg of these shorts during marching band practice at work and a part of me is devastated.
I’m trying to focus my thoughts on my form, maintaining pace, breathing rhythm, and my step cadence. But my mind keeps going back to that small tear in the bottom of my shorts. I have many pairs that are just like them in every shape and form, they’re the same size, they perform the same, etc. But I only ran my first marathon in one pair of shorts & now there is a tear in the leg?
The thought process and mental state seems a bit over the top, I know. But it’s the things that catch us by surprise that keep the running life style interesting. It’s realizing that you have feelings attached to this pair of shorts or a certain medal hanging the right way on your wall at home or wearing a certain race event shirt to your local grocery store to pick up your weekly supply of chicken breasts and kale.
What does your runner’s nostalgia hold on close to?