Forty one weeks ago they arrived with a purpose. To get me to the finish line of one 5K, three 10Ks, one 10 miler, five half marathons and one full marathon. That would be 123.4 miles in official service and countless miles in training.
They came via special delivery and opening up the box was like unpackaging sunshine. Bright yellow rays against a turquoise blue sky. Shiny and new. My fellow runners get my excitement. There’s nothing like unboxing a new pair of running shoes and thinking “Where will these take me?”, “Will I get a new PR?” and “I hope these make me faster.”
The Asics GEL Electro 33’s had been touted as a sleek, speedy and natural running shoe. Lightweight with minimal stability. As someone who lives barefoot or in flip flops most days this was extremely important to me. They certainly were pretty and they were very light.
These would be my first pair of Asics. I’m not a brand loyalist when it come to my running shoes. I like to mix things up. Different shoes work different biomechanics in my feet and make them stronger. I’ve run in Adidias, Vibram, Nike, New Balance and Brooks.
My first test would be to take them out for a training run. At only 7.1 ounces the shoe felt light as air and did make me feel as if I could run faster. My only complaint was the height of the material above my heel that wrapped around my ankle. It was higher than I’m used to and not very cushioned. I’m a run/walker and it rubbed the back of my ankle during the walk portions of my training but felt fine during the run portions when my gait was different and I was leaning forward. This was something that loosened up after time.
My first official run in the Gel 33’s was the 2014 Beach Running Championships 10K on Cocoa Beach. They performed well on the sand.
I continued to get my training runs in wearing the Gel 33’s and took them to war with me on their second official mission…the runDisney Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10 Miler. They performed well there and took me through twists and turns at the Walt Disney World Resort. Their third official run would be the 2014 runDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon where they would battle out 13.1 miles in the pouring rain through Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot. Like the tiny soldiers that they are they took a licking and kept my feet blister free even though they were soaking wet. A few months later they would take me through the Space Coast Half Marathon along the shores of the Indian River and then really show their strength in those last few months training for the runDisney Dopey Challenge.
17 weeeks ago they helped me complete 48.6 miles. That’s four consecutive days of running in the runDisney Dopey Challenge (5K + 10K + Half Marathon + Full Marathon). My kicks pounded pavement inside of all four Walt Disney World theme parks, the Walt Disney World Speedway, the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and various other back roads at the Walt Disney World Resort.
After all those races and all the training miles I had put on them my Asics still held up and for the first time EVER, the day after running a full marathon, I didn’t really feel like I had just run a full marathon.
Even after the completion of the Dopey Challenge in January of this year My Gell 33’s would get me through the Town of Celebration Half Marathon just weeks later and then the 19.3 mile runDisney Glass Slipper Challenge (10K + Half Marathon) in February.
And this my friends is what a solid pair of running shoes will look like around the time they need to be retired.
Crushed, dirty, stinky and full of love. Full of miles. And full of memories.
R.I.P. Asics. You served me well.
Special thanks goes out to Asics for providing me with this pair of running shoes. I was not compensated for this post, nor was I required to write it and of course all opinions are my own.