My Super Sweet 13(.1)

A 1st Half Marathon

75 Days Until… (New Shoes, New Attitude?)

Shoe Guru: "You really got the maximum mileage out of these" (right - Old Shoes, left - New Shoes)

Oh my, only 12 weeks until the Kentucky Derby miniMarathon. This week would have been a poor indicator of my motivation to run the half, and I’ve had to do some re-focusing on exactly why I am doing this. I was feeling poorly (thanks, Super Bowl party, but congrats to Eli and the Giants for the win!) on Monday and work ran late, so I walked about 2.5 miles Monday night, and I was angry at myself for missing the Blue Mile Monday group run, because I have begun to enjoy the social aspect of it. Being around “like minds” (other folks dedicated to running some new distance) can be very helpful in motivating you to be more disciplined and dedicated to your training, at least in my first experience at training for a race with group. Also, the weather was bad this week, but Tuesday was beautiful, so I went on an hour/5 mile run with great gusto… and paid for it until Friday. I walked every day and did a took a good vinyasa yoga class on Thursday, but I didn’t run again until Saturday’s group run, which was another hour/5 miler. I’m resting today (only a walk) because I’m aiming for three hour-long runs (15 miles) this week, a little ahead of my training schedule (I’m loosely following it) but a good goal to aim for – maybe I’ll split it up to four runs? It’s time to step up the training.

Being that I am a creature of habit to a degree higher than many other people I’ve met (I’ve eaten the same thing for lunch since I could chew, for one example…), I know that once I stick to a plan I will follow it. Once you get used to exercising – at or over 70% in terms of bodily effort – every day, you just have to do it. Once I get used to running three (and eventually four) times a week, you just have to do it. I’m already used to exercise all the time, but getting my muscles used to the longer runs has proven a challenge. I hated that it took me so long to recover from my Tuesday run, but I’ve discovered that I need to keep going slow and steady on these longer runs, which required my muscles to perform in a new way. Furthermore, my shoes needed replacing in the worst way, and I couldn’t afford to until March, so my lovely supportive significant other, seeing an opportunity to hit the gift-giving ball out of the park, got me a brand new pair for Valentine’s Day:) We went to Swags Sports East (sorry Blue Mile! But it’s where he buys his, and beggars can’t be choosers – don’t worry, I’ve got my eye on some goods at your store!), where the Shoe Guru (I didn’t ask his name) watched me walk around, showed me how my old shoes’ wear pointed toward my inward pronation and high arches (the arches I knew about) and I got a nice pair of Brooks, which I’ll be trying out tomorrow on the group run. Shoe Guru ran for UofL‘s track team and did some competitive running after graduation, worked for Adidas in marketing and product production, and has a firm distaste of Runner’s World magazine and not unlacing shoes before taking them off, and I think he really fitted me into a good pair of shoes that will help be run better – my boyfriend and several of his running friends swear by this guy, so it seems like a safe bet.

Getting new gear is a big motivator for me, and everyone knows that, if you’re running a lot, shoes are important. My soles were actually coming apart from my shoes; I can’t remember when I bought them. I hope the new shoes get a good work-in this week, and I look forward to stepping up my training, if for no other reason than I can see improvement – I ran three miles without stopping to walk on Saturday’s run. Small steps make for big journeys.

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