Love Bites: Running with my Pegasus
This month’s columnist reflects on running through life’s ups and downs
“They’re on sale too,” said the shop assistant at Run4It. “That is, if you don’t mind the colour.”
I didn’t. It was April 2021 – we were inching back towards ‘normal’, whatever that meant. It was hard to say which felt more strange and terrifying: the outside world, or my inside brain. A continent away, my grandfather was dying. I was about to leave my job. At that point, I would have happily strapped dynamite on my feet, just to keep the walls from closing in.
Amid the lashing wind and rain of that spring, I wheezed through a few wobbly circuits of my local park in my new pair of Nike Pegasus trainers. I wasn’t a natural runner – I’m not, still – but the act lifted me out of my panicked haze. One gaudy purple foot in front of another. I could do that much, at least.
Gradually, I felt stronger; ran longer. My Pegasus and I hydroplaned over slick cobblestones and climbed new, hilly neighbourhoods. I ran around Holyrood Park – there’s that turn in the road, where the city vista suddenly appears. Seeing that view unfold felt like magic, every time.
When things ‘opened up’ and picked up speed, so did my runs. As someone who has always struggled to set boundaries, running helped me carve out a much-needed solitude when pre-pandemic rhythms and obligations rushed back into place. With my trusty trainers in hand, I could duck out of any family function and overstimulating gathering. I wasn’t a nervous wreck – I was a runner.
A few weeks ago, I developed a shooting pain up my shin. Another trip to Run4It confirmed my fears: the Pegasus were worn through. The electric blue Asics I now run in are sturdier, better for longer distances. But they’ll never carry me as far as my first love.