Gearing Up

A two post day!!

Running seems like it should be a very cheap way of exercising. A pair of running shoes, comfy clothing, and hit the pavement. No gym membership fees, no special videos. But I’ve discovered this is far from the truth. Running can get pretty expensive, especially if you are competitive at all. Races cost money. Every 5k I’ve done has run $20-40. And the prices go up from there. Let’s not even talk about the price for the Princess Half Marathon.

Then there is all of the special add on gear. A water belt for longer runs, proper shoes, proper socks, compression this and compression that, non-cotton clothing, a GPS. Slowly I’ve been adding to my gear collection. I got a water belt several months ago and I love it. Up until recently, I had been just using the free Nike app on my IPhone as a GPS. But recently that went haywire. A few weeks ago, I went to run on a local school track. It’s easy to know your exact distance on those, and I did 3.5 miles. The Nike app said I’d done 3.95 miles. I was a bit worried about it. Then it just went plain nuts during a 5k on Thanksgiving. It had me doing my first quarter mile in under a minute and my first mile in under 4 minutes. When I was done, it measured 4.65 miles for me, well over the 3.1 miles I actually did. I knew I would need something better, I have to make sure I’m doing the distances I need to be doing. And while I’d love to say I did 4+ miles in 30 minutes, that’s just something I’ll never do. So I bit the bullet and a I splurged. I’d heard lots of great reviews on Garmin GPS watches, and I found one in pink(perfect for a princess!).

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It’s the Garmin Forerunner 10. I used it for the first time last night, and I like it. It’s very easy to use and simple. No more fumbling through my apps for my run. It worked pretty well. I didn’t bring my phone to use the Nike app to compare my results, but I’ll assume it’s pretty close to correct.

My other recent purchase was a new pair of running shoes. I have less than 150 miles on my current pair, but they aren’t right for me, and they are wearing in odd spots because of how I walk and run. Not to mention I’ve been naughty and have used my running shoes on other occasions, including Zumba and just going out. I love the look of the shoes so they were hard to resist. Before, I’d just head to Dick’s Sporting Goods and buy a pair of shoes, or worse, order a pair online without even trying them on. The salespeople, just wanting to sell shoes, weren’t very helpful, and I know now they didn’t give me a lot of useful information. Nobody helped me find the proper shoes for me, and they were misinformed on how to size. There is a reason my toes hurt after my 10k. It turns out my shoes were too small, at least for running. I was told I wanted them snug and tight, and my regular size. This was wrong. I learned this when I recently went down to Fleet Feet Sports and was properly fitting for running shoes. At FF, they take a lot of time to measure your feet correctly. Not just shoes size, but your arches, how you run, analyze wear patterns, how much your feet give when you have weight on them vs when you are sitting. They pick shoes for you that will best fit your feet. When I had my current shoes analyzed, the guy was shocked I’d never had blisters, my shoes had that little room. The best part is, if you aren’t ordering online, Fleet Feet prices are pretty much the same as everywhere else. So I’d definitely recommend going to see them, finding the proper shoe for you, instead of going to a big box sporting goods store, and buying whatever you can find that someone says is a good shoe.

For me, I have very rigid feet, and cushioning is my friend. Luckily I’ve always stuck with Asics Gel shoes, and that’s what is best for me, granted I do need the extra goodness under my feet(something my current shoes don’t have). They recommended the Asic Gel Nimbus 14s, and let me tell you, it feels like I have clouds under my feet. I did order my pair online, from http://www.runningwarehouse.com. They had great prices, a promo code, no taxes and free 2 day shipping, and I paid right under $100 shipped for my new shoes(they are $140-$150 before taxes in stores). I ordered them yesterday and they are expected to arrive Thursday. I can’t wait to get them. I had a lot of trouble deciding on a color, but I went with bright pink(of course!!).

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I think they will match perfectly with my new Garmin watch. Merry early Christmas to me!

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Still Going

As the days get shorter and shorter, I’m finding it harder and harder to get training runs in. I’ll admit it, I’m well behind in the official training schedule. My longest run was just over 6 miles, and I know, following the official Galloway training schedule that runDisney puts out, I should be up to 7 miles. But time, daylight and warmth aren’t very much on my side these days.

Some runners head out early in the morning for a run. That is not, and will never be, me. My husband leaves for work at 6:15 am, meaning that if I were to try to get a run in before he left, I’d need to do it around 5:30 am. That’s not happening here. I work at night and usually don’t get to bed until midnight. And I’m not a morning person by any means, so getting up at 5 am, after less than 5 hours of sleep, to go for a run, or do anything for that matter just isn’t in my playbook. I’d love to run during the day, but we only have an umbrella stroller. Walking for 30 minutes, very possible. Running, nope. I keep bugging the husband about getting a jogging stroller, but it hasn’t happened yet. My husband doesn’t get off of work until 5:30-6pm. Add a 45 minute commute and it’s very much dark when he gets home. We get into the swing of dinner, bath time for the kids, homework for my oldest, and my motivation to get out is at zero. But I’m trying. I’ve done a handful of 5ks since my 10k on Oct 27. The Wanda Cline Memorial spirit run, the Color Run(FUN!!), a Gobble Gobble Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving day in my home town, and this weekend I have a Holiday 5k. I’m very much looking forward to that t-shirt(I love Christmas!!).

I am improving. For my Thanksgiving day 5k, I finally broke 30 minutes for a 5k. I got an email the night of that race, and finished with a time of 29:54. I was thrilled. That’s mid 9 minute miles.

I did push myself out the door for a run last night. Lucky for me, our weather has been phenomenally warm, and when I headed out last night at nearly 7 pm, it was still in the 60s. Perfect, as I despise running, or leaving my house for that matter, in cold weather. I plan to do the same Wednesday night, and then do my 5k on Saturday morning.

So I’m plugging along. I’m not training as hard as I’d like, and I know that’s nobody’s fault but mine, with my dozen excuses.