I know a lot of people on Facebook that run.
Many of those people have different reasons for running. Some of them choose to run because it’s an easy form of exercise that doesn’t cost any money. Some of them choose to run because they have rambunctious dogs that think it’s the coolest thing in their world to run alongside their person for a few blocks and burn off energy that has built up all day long while waiting for their person to come home from work. Some people choose to run because they get a mental high from running and will run long distances to achieve that high.
I know a lot of those people.
I am not any of those people… by a long shot!
When the General Manager of the radio station came to me and suggested that I think about participating in some of the running events in Springfield this year, I honestly had zero clue what it actually meant to run. Really, what can there really be to it? You put on shoes that are comfortable, go outside, put one foot in front of the other, and move at a faster pace than a leisurely stroll.
Boy, was I wrong.
Let’s start with shoes. Did you know how many different ways a shoe can fit your foot? Did you know that you’ll very rarely find the right fit for your foot in the shoe aisle of a department store. More often than not, we sacrifice seemingly unnoticeable parts to a shoe’s fit that actually cause a long list of problems in the big picture.
I went into the Springfield Running Center this week, expecting to try on a pair or two of running shoes and be sent on my merry way toward training for the Lincoln Presidential Half-Marathon. After being in the store for just two minutes, I knew that this wasn’t going to be a point and buy visit! Tracy Dowell and her team at the Running Center took the time to look at the way that I walked and listen to what Keri Snyder at St. John’s AthletiCare had told me about an issue I’ve been having with my left heel that has caused bouts of extreme pain over the last couple of months. Lo and behold, I have feet that are really flat and I apparently have an unusual way of stepping, which makes finding the right shoe vital for any type of running.
45+ minutes and probably ten pair of shoes later… success! We found a pair of New Balance 940s that just felt “right” the second that I stepped into them. After a small mental battle between the 940s and another pair of New Balance that fit similarly, but were a bit more “flashy”, the 940s won out. I walked out of the Running Center with not only a GREAT pair of shoes, but also a new understanding about my feet and what I need to look for in shoes in the future. (Sadly, I was also told that, with my flat feet, flip flops and sandals eight months out of the year is probably a thing of the past, but…)
I’ve spent the last two evenings at home wearing these shoes around the house and I’m left wondering… WHY DID I WAIT THIS LONG TO GET A CUSTOM FIT? When I’m walking in these shoes, I feel as though I’m literally walking on air and I’m still getting heel and ankle support that I desperately need, with my weight problem.
I’m no runner. Even after spending the next 2+ months in training for and then running the Lincoln Presidential Half-Marathon, I won’t be a runner. I won’t compare to Greg Bishop or my good friend at a radio station in Boise, Michelle, who can run six miles every day as if it were a walk to the kitchen. But, in these shoes, I can take a huge step toward the fitness goals that I’ve wanted for so long to accomplish!
691.68 journeys of one hundred feet.
That doesn’t seem so impossible. 🙂