Elastic Basket for my Peaches

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Running...or not

So, I've decided to start running. I feel that this decision has been a long time coming. I've tried to run on and off for years but I want to make a real attempt at making this a lifestyle. Feel free to nag me in the next few months about whether I am going through with this or not.

I've been thinking about this for a while. Apparently my brother has been running half marathons in Iraq. If they run it at the same time as a U.S. marathon, like the famed Boston marathon, they can send in their times and get a free t-shirt. I figure if my brother can run in Iraq, I should be able to get off my lazy butt and run here in the U.S. I actually like working out and doing athletic activities but my gym access is limited and there aren't too many adult sports leagues for me to join with my traveling. I like riding my bike but the Maui winds are killer. Running seems like a good option. You can pretty much do it anywhere and all you need are some shoes. I went to the local sporting goods store to find some but I kept getting swayed by appearance and couldn't figure out which ones to get. I decided to go to this specialty running store where their employees are fit experts and really seem to know what they are talking about.

My consultant was named Frankie. He asked me how much running I do. I said, "It's more like how much running do I want to start doing." I told him I wouldn't be doing more than 10 miles. This is a safe bet since I have never run farther than a 5K in my life. Frankie, the running shoe expert, had me put my foot on this special floor that showed the shape of my foot. Then he had me walk down a little corridor in the middle of the store and then run down it while he watched me. A little weird, but I did it. He said my feet curve in when I run so I need a shoe with support on the inside. He had me put on different shoes and run so he could see how they fit. Again, I felt a bit awkward especially when people would inadvertantly cross into the path of my mini-run.

I ended up finding some shoes that felt like I wasn't wearing shoes. This is a good thing. I always wish someone else could feel what my feet are feeling in shoes and tell me if they fit. I don't necessarily trust myself. Apparently these shoes with extra support will stabilize my feet so running will feel better. They aren't too bad looking and while expensive, they weren't the most expensive ones in the place. There's something about having them tell you which ones are right for you that makes it feel worth the extra money. I also liked how Frankie unlaced each trial pair, put them on my feet and laced them back up. They don't do that for you at the local Academy or Sports Authority and their employees would probably think you are a freak if you asked them to.

I asked the cashier as I was checking out if they could call me a couple times a week to see if I was actually running. She said they didn't provide that service right now but that it was a good idea. I am hoping the cost of the shoes and the fact that they're supposed to be the best ones for me will help motivate/guilt me into sticking with running.

The day after I bought the magic running shoes, I figured I'd better go for a run. I tend to try to go too far, too fast, too soon. This run was no different. I walked to a nearby greenbelt to run the 5K loop there. I ran a few blocks and felt like my lungs were going to explode. I hadn't factored in the cooler temperatures here and my recent lack of physical activity. I figured I was being too ambitious and decided to run a block, walk a block. I'd like to say I was doing intervals but it was really just me being lazy. I think I walked more than ran though I definitely didn't exert myself to the max. I could have run more. The outside of my knee started hurting about halfway through my intervals. I think I might not have the best running form and may be putting undue pressure on that part of my knee. Despite this knee pain, I do want to keep running. I will try again tomorrow to see if stretching before helps.

One of my friends told me she ran for years and hated it but recently started to really like it. This is coming from someone who even ran a marathon. I am hoping she's right. I want to stick with it and give it a chance even if I hate it. I will keep you posted on my progress.

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