5K Challenge: Week Two = New Shoes
Funny, even with new shoes running is still a little bit of work. Who knew?
I kid, because it was an excuse I had, even though I knew it wouldn’t be the cure-all to my motivation issues or even the fact that running — and more specifically starting running — can be difficult. But I will say this, the proper footwear does make a difference.
I’m glad I went to one of those running stores. First off, I took my old shoes in and he looked at the wear pattern — I’m apparently neutral, almost extremely so — so I’ve got that going for me.
I got my shoes fitted and it turns out my feet are weird. Veteran runners assured me that everyone’s feet are weird. How are mine weird? When I go to the store, I pick out size 13. It’s what I’ve worn for years. So, you can imagine it was weird when the guy measured my foot and saw I was an 11. Two sizes?
When I told him I usually wear 13, he was a little surprised and said maybe we’ll try 12s. So, he goes out and picks out five different boxes. An aside here, I was really impressed with my shoe salesman at our local store (Bob Ronker’s Running Spot), at no time did I feel pressured or out of place or anything. I told him my story and he was encouraging and respectful, giving me encouragement for what I’m doing. He asked me my price range and asked if there were any other considerations. I probably said music to his ears, as I told him I just wanted what was the best shoe for me. The good news was, he didn’t bring out the highest priced shoes, he still came out with an array of prices and styles.
Anyway, back to the sizing — our first 12 went on and automatically it was tight. I didn’t even stand up and we could both tell it wasn’t going to work. The problem was that even though my foot measured the usual width, where they measure width wasn’t where my foot was wide. Instead, my width is a little higher up on my foot. He then took all five of the shoes he had back, and brought out some Size 12.5 EEs. And, finally, it was the right fit. I tried several shoes, but one just felt better than the rest, even though it was just a slight difference between two models, and I ended up going with the Brooks Dyad 7.
So, how’d they work? Well, they did help, that’s for sure. But it didn’t make everything a breeze, even though I knew it wouldn’t, I still had held out hope that I’d run on air and feel good.
The good news is, I got through week 2 — with minute-and-a-half runs — even though there were a couple of times I wasn’t sure I would. Still, I was able to push it and get through it.
I will say, I’m very happy with using the three apps I use, Get Running for my run/walk times and instructions, RunKeeper for total distance and route and Podcasts for something to listen to while I’m running. As for podcasts, always check out the Brew/Drink/Run podcast, Howdy Kids Dads, the Nerdist, WTF and my newest discovery, HarmonTown. I do lament the passing of Up & In, the Baseball Prospectus Podcast, my all-time favorite podcast, but one of the hosts (and a friend) got a new job and while happy for him, not so happy for the rest of us.
I’ve found I prefer podcasts to music because it keeps my mind engaged and sometimes I can concentrate more on the spoken word than what my body’s doing. It also helps to laugh sometimes when I’m trying to get through a run segment.
The other thing I’ve done is run the same route — I know it’s going to get boring and I’ll likely switch up at some point, but for right now I like knowing my markers of where I’m going and what I have left. It’s also a nice easy run through the neighborhood, and even though Lee was kind of surprised by the elevation shifts, it’s by far the flattest route in my neighborhood. But you know, Lee runs in Savannah, which is extremely flat, while I run my neighborhood that’s called College Hill for a reason.
The new problem is motivation and time, considering I’m in the busiest time of year for me (worked a 17-hour day the other day and skipped a run day) and I have a 10-month old. But more on that next time. For now, we’re dealing with successes — and that’s another part of RunKepper I like. Your other friends that are on RunKeeper can see your progress and your runs and comment — but only if you let them. I must say, the nice notes from Lee, Ginger and Allen have helped motivate me and are really nice encouragement. So, let that be a lesson, say something nice — it’s free and it can mean a world of difference — even if it is still hard work.