The shoes on the right are from June 2017. The ones on the left from June 2018.
Same brand. Same size. Same lighting (no fancy photoshop here).
Just one year of living between the two.
There is something beautiful in how bent, mud-stained, and warped the older pair have become. It actually took me a a few weeks before I admitted that that they were hurting my feet and needed to go into the garbage can rather than back into the closet. They were the shoes from my last two marathons, and many miles in training before and after. They were the “highlighter shoes” that I got from a local shoe store during its sadly brief existence (maybe setting up within sight of a mega sporting goods store was a bad idea). But finally my heart had to submit to my aching feet after a four mile run.
So a new pair was bought and arrived a couple of weeks ago. They have already wandered my neighborhood sidewalks, been up at 6am running with Kira and another morning at the more sane 8am for 8-miles with Beth. And today they perfectly matched my pink top during a 10K race. Someday they will also be worn too thin to keep going. The miles in between today and that day will be many. Some will be wonderful, some will be okay, and some will be filled with words no okay to say on television (if there are still such limits).
Just like the bruises that permanently mark my knees from hills, falls, and post-run flops onto the floor, it will be hard beauty. And worth it.