Saturday, January 16, 2010

Week 1 - shoes can change your life

It’s been one week and the running is getting better. A big part of the reason for that is I got fitted for running shoes. What a difference! Amy and I begrudgingly went to Road Runner Sports on Saturday to spend a lot of money on something we would have never spent money on. We would have rather gone to the Dansko store if we had that kind of budget for shoes.

We walked in like sheep into a wolves den. When we were asked if we needed help, we immediately surrendered and confessed that we had no business being in there. We aren’t runners and we have no idea what we are doing. Please help! Our friendly salesman, Daniel (we remember this because that is our brother’s name), had us step barefoot (thank God I’d had a pedicure) on this electronic pad that measured how our feet struck the ground. Then he instructed us to get on a treadmill (what!) where he would videotape how our feet and ankles looked when we were jogging. It sounded embarrassing but I’m pretty sure they don’t keep those around for later viewing. And it was enlightening. Apparently, my arch likes to collapse and it looks like my whole foot/ankle/leg falls inward each time I step down. I thought this was strange because I am a pro at rolling my ankle to the outside just on a walk to get coffee. You know what I’m talking about.

So, based on this information that Daniel gathered from making us feel vulnerable, he decided what type of shoe would be best for each of our feet. I need a stability shoe, where Amy needs stability with motion control. He went back and brought out several options for us to try so we spent the next half hour or so in a sea of boxes and paper and mismatched shoes, trying to find the perfect pair. And it worked. I am now the proud owner of a really cute and comfortable (and expensive) pair of Nike’s. Thank you, Daniel.

But we weren’t done. I had read that socks are also very important for runners. Road Runner has a line of cushioned socks that claim to be the world’s best socks and so far they are right. Get this – these socks have arch support! It’s weird but very comfortable. My feet feel like they are wrapped in cotton balls.

Now I am “geared up” and running with my new miracle shoes. Remember how I was saying that my shins hurt really bad? Now, not so much. I won’t say it is 100% comfortable because I am still, after all, just starting out and out of shape. But now when I feel like I need to stop running, it isn’t because of pain; it is my heart rate or my breathing or, probably some mental fear of succeeding that I need to overcome. Whatever it is, the shins are good.

When I started at the beginning of the week, I was only able to run for 1-2 minutes at a time. Now I am able to run for about 3 minutes at a time. I’m still only going for 30 minutes a day but this means that instead of running for 7 minutes total, I am up to 12-15 total. That’s almost half! For now, I like this pace. I still have so much time until the big day that I am not worried about success or failure yet. So for this week, I will work on maintaining my current level and running for longer stretches of time. Maybe 4 minutes?

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