Tag Archives: new shoes

New Sidewalks / New Shoes: Adventures in Walking

One of the things I disliked about our first apartment in Tucson was that it was so far away from everything that it was very hard to walk anywhere. It was also super hot (I think the 90 days over 100° this year were the first 90 days we were here) which made it hard to be outside at all. So when we moved to a bigger place, I wanted to be able to walk places! The walks from our apartment are a bit long, usually over a mile, but the weather has cooled down to the “beautiful” stage that everyone was telling us about (OK, so it still gets near 90° but the evenings are wonderful) and all the basics are walkable – groceries, library, pharmacy, park, church, Starbucks, etc. This weekend was in the 70s so we went on some walking adventures.

Well, it actually started when I took my bike out last week. I’ve outfitted it for hauling groceries and library books and such, with panniers and a rack. The rack that came with the bike did not get along with the panniers and almost led to a wipe-out one bike ride in Cincinnati when the pannier came unhooked and got stuck in my wheel spokes. So I needed a new rack for the back of my bike, and some lights for if I’m ever out after dark. Off I went on my bike to the bike shop, having not really ridden my bike since I was a little kid. I rode a few times in Cincy, but always on back streets with no traffic. It was terrifying. The super-busy main street was actually totally fine. It has a bike lane and is well taken care of – smooth road, no potholes, no gravel. The side roads were quite different. The one with traffic was extra bumpy and had tons of potholes. The one without any traffic was covered in very fine gravel. Because no one has grass here, yards are all covered in gravel. I guess it’s quite hard to keep the gravel in the yard, and it often spills into the street. And gathers in little piles where the traffic pushes it, and makes novice bike riders like me panic a lot.

While I’m on the subject of gravel . . . it’s the gravel that required me to get new shoes. Also, I can always find an excuse for new shoes. But these are not my typical shoes. Usually, when I go shoe shopping, I end up with heels or flats, at least one pair in a bright pattern or color. This time I ended up with these:


on purpose. I wanted sandals that I could walk/bike in, for quite a long way, through the gravel without having sore feet. I grew up in those velcro-strapped sporty sandals – Teva-type but Teva’s were too expensive – and I was looking for the grown-up version of those. Turns out they’re kind of hard to find, especially in October. So I spent several hours going to every shoe store I could find in Tucson and ended up back at DSW (where I started). I hope they will be practical and comfortable and still be appropriate to wear out. We’ll see.

So, for the real story, we thought that we might take our bikes out together over the weekend, but I wasn’t really up for the stress quite yet. We took our trusty feet out for a walk – we got pizza, walked to the park, and had a lovely little picnic. There were tons of people at the park – kids were playing on the playground, people were out walking their dogs and kids, a soccer game was in full swing. We ate our pizza, then lay down on our picnic blanket for a while and enjoyed being outside and in the company of other people. It was a fun Friday night.

Saretta Picnic

Our picnic spot.


Mmmmm, Pizza


Nate’s just really happy that we got pizza for dinner. It doesn’t happen very often.

Picnic Tree

The big pine tree we sat under.


If you look closely, you can see the mountains.


Church at the edge of the Park

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The Pavement and I

A few weeks ago, I wrote a love letter to Icy Hot, a by-product of the running injury I mentioned a few times.  The only way I can explain the presence of said injury is I apparently overextended myself.  Which led to a sacral ligament strain.  Which, in my experience, was basically my butt saying “I have done enough, Saretta, and I will no longer bear the burden of pushing your legs around.”

Luckily, my Mom is a Chiropractor and knows how to put me back together.  So off I went, several times a week at first, as Mom encouraged my muscles to hold my body together.  I waddled around like an old lady for quite a while, slowly building back up, running slowly and sparingly.

Until I went to visit my family and my Dad asked “How many miles do you have on your shoes?”

Uh, not very many, Dad, I don’t run like you and my sisters, remember?

But that got me thinking.  Maybe I did need new shoes!  And, most amazingly, Nate thought that was a fine idea, and off we went to DSW to buy new running shoes.

Running Shoes

New Running Shoes

Mine are green.  A step out from my typical blue and silver, but nothing too wild.

This story isn’t really about my injury – which I’ve mostly recovered from – or my new shoes.  It’s about how the pavement and I became good friends.  Because, you see, running has conspired against me.  And during a totally typical, nothing-out-of-the-ordinary, route-I-run-all-the-time run, I tripped over a non-existent bump in the concrete and hit the pavement.  Right in front of a super nice guy, who was walking down the sidewalk, singing and tossing a soccer ball.

I have to say, I fell spectacularly.  I did a nice roll, and even managed to keep ahold of the house key I run with in my right hand.  I somehow remembered what my Mom drilled into my memory as a kid – stay loose, fall like Raggedy Ann.  Luckily I was wearing a long-sleeved t-shirt, because my shoulder hit pretty hard but I escaped with only scratches and bruises there.

My knees, however, were not so lucky.

Cleaning Up

In the bathtub cleaning up. Click the picture to see my poor knees 😦 Warning – it’s kind of gross

All Patched Up

All Patched Up – and oh, I look soo tired

I’ve mostly recovered from this accident, too.  I even wore a skirt without tights to work a few days ago, and no one noticed my knees, even though everyone at work knew about my fall.

One day I’ll get back to running, and I hope more of my running stories will be about great times and fun races instead of injuries.

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