Let’s Talk About Running Again
A few things have happened since the last time I talked about running. The main difference is that I like it now. I did a few things that helped. First I read Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. Read it. It’s amazing, and I usually despise nonfiction books, especially ones about sports, good grief. I was rapt by this book. It was excellent. Second, I switched to some old beaten up sneakers to run in. Lastly, I stopped worrying about how fast I was going, how long I could run, or if I was any good at it (thanks to you and my blog readers for that tip).
All of these things improved my running mindset. Most of all, though, it was the shoes. THE SHOES. My goodness, before running felt like my lungs were covered in marmalade and my feet were cement blocks. Before you chastise me for picking shoes poorly, let me explain that I went to a fancypants running store and tried on ten pairs and ran around in them outside and uphill and downhill before I settled on a (very expensive) pair. It took two hours. I was sure those shoes would be great. They were not as great as my old sneakers.
Born to Run mentioned this phenomenon as well, and I know I’ve read it here, too, from various bloggers, but I CANNOT BELIEVE THE DIFFERENCE IT MADE. Running in a practically no-sole shoe was like…it was like the difference between being tethered to a heavy barrier and trying to run and then being let go and running free. I timed myself as well to make sure I wasn’t delusional. In my fancypants shoes, I ran a thirteen minute mile. In my ratty sneakers, 9:58. Not exactly lightening speed, but shaving three minutes off of a mile simply by changing my shoes? I’ll take that.
The worst thing is that both pairs of running shoes are the same brand, and both are supposedly “running shoes,” so the only difference really is that one is old and offers almost no support, and the other is all about pronation correction and arch support and other doodads.
I…I am a complete believer now that everyone can run. Because, you guys, I am pathetic in terms of athletic ability. I cannot catch a ball without closing my eyes and reflexively batting it away. (Watch me play volleyball like that.) But running? I can do that now. I can’t run MUCH, only a few miles here and there, but that’s more than I could do before, and I am blown away by how good it makes me feel. I haven’t lost any weight (gained some, to be honest), and my body doesn’t look much difference, but I have more lung capacity (as was tested by the “how many balloons can you blow up for us in ten minutes, Mom?” test my boys administered the other day). I have more energy. I have an earnest desire to run. And for me, that’s enough for now.