Running shoes

It is a truth universally accepted that I run like a camel.

Having never actually witnessed myself running, I have to rely on the accounts of others: but there are plenty of accounts to choose from, generally delivered by friends in between helpless snorts of laughter.

Conversely, I adore running. Not in the way most people love it, working obsessively towards their 10k personal bests. Nothing so A-type for me.

I relish the wind in my hair, the sound of the forest leaves, the random zig-zagging of the accompanying dog, the rhythm of a less than perfect machine reaching for a comfortable plateau, yada, yada, yada. You get the picture.

So I am faced with a paradox: I love running but I am keen to avoid any unneccesary publicity. I go somewhere the minimum of dog walkers will discover me gallumphing along. And I run like a moderate breeze.

Generally for about one and a half miles, by which time my heart is hammering like the panicked hooves of a large forest deer.

So I’m not big league, I’m not even little league. I just like it.

Which is why the demise of my battered old running shoes was such a terrible blow.

Bereft, I sought out my secret weapon: a fellow gallumpher. Together the metres just fly under our feet; the kilometres less so. Generally we run and talk, talk and run.

Come to Swindon, she said. Therein lies the answer.

Really? I queried politely. Roundabouts yes: running shoes, surely not?

A train journey later, she and I found ourselves at the doors of the creatively titled Run store in uptown Swindon. An enormously helpful gentleman who seemed to know everything in the world about running sat me down, and in words of one syllable, explained how Run could provide me with the shoes of my dreams.

At this point I felt it was important to explain that I run like a camel.

He seemed amused, but unperturbed. I quickly found I liked this young man very much indeed.

At which time those nasty men at Swindon Council slapped a ticket on my friends car, and she had to dash off while I put on standard running shoes and ran happily on an in-store treadmill.

Reader, he filmed my feet.Together, in a eureka moment, we watched as my running style transferred rather too much shock from my ankles, to my knees, possibly doing rather nasty things to my back.

All this could be fixed, apparently: a pair of shocking pink-accented shoes could be just the ticket. Moreover, my running style was great. My toes were in just the right place. Be still, my beating heart.

I tried on the shoes and it was like encasing my feet in a big soft duvet which had firm boundaries. If such a thing existed.

Something else was in charge of my feet now. They were spoken for.

And if the price tag was a little steep, what price healthy happy galumphing?

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