Saturday, December 3, 2011

How To Donate Your Running Shoes

Today I humbly and eagerly donated eight of the 11 pairs of running shoes that carried me to my five-year runniversary on December 1. This process was a pretty cool experience in itself, and I encourage other runners to do the same. I chose Soles4Souls as the destination for these shoes, and here, with help from my awesome wife Lismo, are 7 QUICK video clips that take you through the process on how to donate shoes that have even more magic.

Step 1: Wash on gentle cycle with cold water.

Step 2: Remove from washer and behold! They're almost like new.

Step 3: Load shoes into large dryer on gentle cycle for about 35 minutes.

Step 4: Watch them go around the dryer like they used to go around Central Park.

Step 5: Remove shoes from dryer. "Like spring flowers!" my wife Lismo said.

Step: 6: Box up the shoes. We went to a grocery store and a box that held egg containers worked just fine. Completely seal the box.

Step 7: The time has come. 8 pair of shoes were worn with passion and now they go to others who really need them. Lismo and I present the box to Soles4Souls at their drop-box location in Old Tappan, N.J., at the Spectrum Physical Therapy & Athletic Training facility. Greg was kind enough to accept the box late on a Saturday. They're good people and I recommend them.

A friend on Twitter told me it would be hard to part with my shoes. In fact, it was the opposite. I was very excited as I went through the process of deciding which ones to give away. I decided to keep 3 pair:

My very first ones, the ASICS that I bought on December 1, 2006, the day I traded a box of KOOLS for that box of shoes;

Another pair of ASICS that are good everyday shoes to knock around, yardwork, errands, whatever. Maybe for an occasional workout. They were my third pair.

My newest shoes, the Nike Vomeros. Mainly because I am training for the 1/29 Miami Marathon and I was unable this week to find the Brooks Glycerin pair I wanted in something other than the ugly black/green model. Still trying to decide on a new neutral.

What surprised even me was that I parted with my fifth pair, the Li Nings. I bought them in Beijing while working the 2008 Summer Olympics. I was surprised as I went through the selection process that I wanted to give away items that have special meaning, so they have new life and are very appreciated by someone. I hope you feel that way.

Thank you to those eight pair of shoes that enriched my life so much, thank you to Soles4Souls for getting them to those in need, and thank you to any other runners who donate their own shoes of passion to give footwear to others. Just another example of how running makes you feel good and gives you a chance to contribute to the world.

Friday, December 2, 2011

TIPS: Running Hills

A couple of quick tips for running hills:

Look down and not at the incline angle on the horizon. Pull the brim of your hat down low to help.

Count backwards from 100 once the incline starts and just keep going. I have counted two sets of 100s doing this for a long hill before. Sometimes I've gotten delirious and skipped a number or forgotten what comes before 88. But it keeps me from thinking about The Hill.

Both of these tips were from the elite runner coach of our Team for Kids team while I was training for a previous New York City Marathon. I've followed them a long time and they work!

Feel free to add your own in comments!