Running and the shoes that go with it

I am training for a marathon. Yep. You read that correctly. That is one of those things I never thought I would hear my self say or even write down as a a far off dream. Why would I not join the ranks of fabulous people who have gone before to train and run such a great distance, you ask? Because I don't like to run. Seriously. Don't like it. It isn't that I don't like exercise, because get me in a good zumba class and I will burn and sweat my 800 calories without blinking an eye. One hour of dance is a breeze for me!

It is the monotony of running that drives me a little batty. Lift your right foot, hit the ground. Lift your left foot, hit the group. Thump. Thump. Thump. Pounding the pavement. Fighting for breath through the dense humidity. Lift left. Thump. Lift right. Thump. Sweat trickles. Ankles twinge with pain. Lift and hit. Lift and hit. Shins ache. Thump. Thump. Gasp. Push further. Thump. Thump. Inhale. Then your Nike+ voice comes on over your Ipod and says, "You have completed 1/4 of a mile." Really? That is all? Left. Right. Left. Right. Thump. Thump. Gasp. Pain. And it continues for the next 6 miles.

For all you non-runners out there, doesn't that description make you want to run out and sign up for the next available marathon? I know I do! (If you don't know me, you will learn that sarcasm is a tool I use, but know that is seasoned with humor and not anger.)

The reason I am training for a marathon is for my best friend. Her name is Karen and we have been best friends since we were 14. We have gone our separate ways several times in the 14 years that we have known each other, being willing to allow the friendship to do what it may. Thankfully, it always pulls us back together. There is no one who understands me, encourages me, challenges me and makes me laugh the way Karen does. She has the ability to convince me to do things I never thought attainable. Enter: the marathon.

We have committed and paid to do the Disney marathon on January 8, 2012. She lives in Maryland, which forces us to train a part. Frown. We were both doing well, checking in on one another and making sure everything was going well. And then the shin splints happened. In high school, I was in track as a pole vaulter. During the first week of training every year, my shins would really hurt me. After a couple of weeks, I would be running less and doing more pole vaulting, allowing the shin splints to heal. Pushing myself too hard, too fast must be my motto when it comes to running, because I have developed them again. Ugh. And they started right after I was starting to enjoy the idea and challenge of running 26.2 miles. Now all that training  has come to a crawl as I bike, zumba, and walk to work on my heart endurance, building up distance, and allow my shin splints to heal before they turn into a stress fracture.

Today, my sister-in-law, Drew and brother, Ben met me at the lake for the 6 miles that faced me this morning. Ben ran ahead and Drew and I had a great time chatting and walking as fast as we could. I received lots of fantastic tips from them because the two of them work at a running store and are extremely knowledgeable about all things running.

Here are the tips:

1. Tie your shoes in a marathon knot.
2. Focus of form- hands low, fists loose, feet straight, mid-foot strike
3. Carry on a conversation while running.
4. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
5. Get the right gear.

And that is where my shoes come in. I own 3 pairs.

One is for pronation.

One is for speed.

And one is a basic shoe.

I still haven't decided which shoe I like the best, but I think the blue and green pair are the cutest! For now I will continue to train and hope healing comes to my shins so the running can commence. Left. Right. Hit. Hit. Thump. Thump. Thump.


Kelly said...

I am glad you're doing a marathon, keep up the hard work! I am working on a 5k, but after spending most of my life as a non-runner, even that is going to be a huge accomplishment! Also, I have the last pair of shoes you showed, the brooks and I love them. Didn't think I'd get a pair that looked like those, but they feel wonderful. Good luck!

Jennifer said...

I hate running too. Shin splints. Plantar fasciitis. Sweating. Running clothes. They all make the experience miserable for me.

But I know you are a fighter and you'll figure out how to put a positive spin on all of these things and more!