These shoes were made for walkin'

The Running Shoes It's the end of an era. Here they are, my running shoes. Purchased once a year almost like a ritual, the same kind, for an obscene amount of money. Never abused for casual wear, but held sacred for running only. Except for a few rather unfit years during college, I have been a runner most of my life. In the last ten years I have missed only two full weeks without a run. I don't run, rather I am a runner. It's part of who I am. Well, I've decided it's been enough. I've always known the day would come, running is just too hard on one's body, despite the euphoria that only a good run can create. After years of battling occasional knee pain and lower back tightness that works its way up my body so that my dear husband has spent hours attempting to diffuse headache-causing knots, I've called it quits. This was a rather huge and difficult decision, but I think my body is appreciating the kindness. And my mother who is about to undergo double knee replacement surgery would probably agree it's a good idea.

So the power walk is my new best friend, and my yoga mat has also seen the benefits. My whole body is less tight, and the heels go right down to that mat on my second downward dog, a feat that used to take ten sun salutations on a good day.

I find myself occasionally missing the runner's high, but the walking is growing on me. However, it requires a new way of thinking. Every time I head into Crouch End for errands I take the long way. Last weekend before going to the museum with Jessie I was intending to "go out for a walk," and then shower and join them. Dan says, "Why don't you just get off the tube a bit early and take a long walk through Hyde Park on your way to the museum?" "Wow," I thought, "I could actually do"

Anyway, enough going on about it all. I'll end with a picture of my boyfriend this morning mid-walk on the top of Alexandra Palace hill. I'm here to report that's a bum-whooping workout. Pushing a large toddler up a steep hill. I don't care how fabulous the European buggies are, that's hard work!

Quinton at Alexandra Palace