Sunday, March 7, 2010

learning to run

Once again, the shoe makes all the difference. Only this time - it has nothing to do with the outfit.

I decided recently (as I have decided ad nauseum for the past few years) that I should start running. It's healthy and good for your heart, and besides: all the cool people do it. As you have probably guessed by now though, this plan is one I've abandoned as regularly as I've started it. Of course, I've gotten into semi-running-patterns before, but have yet to stick with said pattern for more than a month at a time. This time around, though, I am guaranteed to make it to at least two full months of running practice.

...because I have to, that's why.

Last month, an email came out to the employees at my workplace, encouraging us all to get involved in this year's Sun Run (a 10k run held in Vancouver each year). The email also said that our company would pay for the registration fees of the first 20 people to register for the "Company Team". Combining my love of all things FREE and my longstanding desire to get my butt in gear, I signed up less than a minute after the email started circulating. the very first member of the Company Sun Run team :  me.

what? the salesgirl said they only had blue ones...
well, I suppose I can get the pink ones next time!

About a month has passed since the fateful day of my signing, and just last week I realized that I now have less than 2 months to rehearse for a 10 kilometre run...oh boy. I went out yesterday and picked up a brand new shiny pair of Asics* (pictured above, in pink though, sigh), and today, I went for my first run of the season.

For almost eleven years, I've been running in an old pair of running shoes that I stole from my mother** (for gym class in grade 11). They didn't fit me quite right, and it grew more and more obvious, over time, that they should be retired; they looked fine enough, but they were far from supportive (because they were so old and well used). I didn't really realize how bad they were though; not until today, when I was wearing my new shoes.

The shoes I bought, the Asics of course, are beyond comfortable and make me feel as though I'm walking on little puffs of air. The soles have gel pads in them, which provide cushioning for my aging joints - so the shoes absorb the hit of the pavement (instead of my knees). I'm not kidding you - it's like I was a different person out there this morning. Don't get me wrong: I still couldn't run the whole length of the pier, I still stopped to walk for 10 minutes after every 1 minute of running, and my lungs still had just as much difficultly building tolerance as they usually do. But other than those things, running felt so much easier today, in my new shoes. The ground didn't seem quite so annoyed to see me. My body used it's energy to propel itself forward, not absorb copious amounts of shock. It was raining and chilly - but the air was fresh and I felt good about being out there.

I think it's fitting, really, that this is the week I would recognize the difference a shoe makes.
Now all I need is a running partner!

*THANK YOU HOLLY! I will edit your papers any time!
*pt 2: 50% of runners wear Asics, and the other 50% wear everything else. What does that tell you!

**it's okay, she knew I was taking them.


lavonne said...

I have the pink asics and I love them. We should run together because we have matching shoes (and I also have to walk for 10 minutes after 1 minute of running).

Rob Peacock said...

careful about the shoes you wear... 'cushioning' your feet actually puts more shock on your knees because your body doesn't 'know' that you're hitting the pavement... the best running shoes have flat, hard but flexible soles