The stars aligned for me this weekend when the season’s first real rain storm was immediately followed by the arrival of a box from Amazon at my front door. This wasn’t just any box, this box contained a new pair of running shoes. The excitement of getting a new pair of shoes is hard to describe to those who don’t “get it”. Maybe its because shoes go on our feet, and feet are what take us places, but to me a new pair of shoes – especially running shoes – is a fresh start full of endless possibilities. Where will these shoes take me? My last pair of new shoes took me 25 miles across the grand canyon a few weeks after buying them, will this new pair take me on an equally amazing adventure? I have a few races coming up, will I PR in these shoes? These are the thoughts that fill my head as I slip them on for the first time. So when I stepped out my door on Saturday wearing my new shoes into a morning that smelled all fresh and new after the rain the day before, I felt doubly optimistic about my running future. I only ran 4.5 miles, but they were pain free miles and it felt great knowing this pair of Merrells and I can do great things together over the next few months. And also they are so pretty!