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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