Happy feet!

I haven’t run since Monday…when I got to run with my sister. No – she didn’t wear me out that badly. I fell the victim of the blister that ate my foot.  The worn out running shoes were replaced with the slightly worn out cross trainers.  End result – hours after the run there was the most disgusting blister on the heel of my foot. Wanna see?  Here you go:

My blister has blisters

I know – gross, right?

So there was much doctoring to the foot and a lot of bandages for a few days. Running took a back seat to fun at the beach and pool with the family. And my foot thanked me for the chance to heal properly…

Today we finally made it out to the mall where Fit2Run is. Yea!  New running shoes.

Now I’m not much up on the latest and greatest shoes….I did a little searching on Runner’s World online and such. But truth be told – I’m not that knowledgeable to know what all the differences are between the minutiae that goes into running shoes. I just want to put my feet in them and go by “feel” so to speak. All the reviews just kinda confused me. My plan was to get some good guidance and then just let my feet be the judge.

I brought my worn out pair in hopes that would help them figure out what is wrong with my stride. Actually the guy told me that the wear pattern was rather typical and nothing really out of the ordinary. I guess that’s good…but it did tell him about my foot and my stride.

Next, I had to take off my sandals and stand barefoot to see how my feet fall. Note to myself for next time – do take the time to remove all the old nail polish before getting new shoes. The smudge of purple on my big toe that I was too lazy to remove led to an embarrassing exchange.

“So beyond the blisters, any other problems?”

“Nope – just an on and off case of plantar fasciitis.”

“What about your toenails?  Isn’t that one about to fall off?”

*blush* “Umm…no…I’m just overdue for a pedicure….”

“Oh…looks like you were going to lose that toenail….”

Oops….

Anyway – I had previously worn a pair of Sauconys which I liked but wasn’t wedded to. I just wanted the best pair for me. I tried on a pair of Brooks, Saucony, and Asics. While we were away, I tried on a couple of pairs at a local sporting good store and found the Asics were really comfy. So no real surprise that I really liked the comfort level in this higher-end pair of them. The Brooks were just okay and the Sauconys felt good – but I really liked the “cloud” like feel of the Asics. So – here are my new Asics – the Gel Kayno 17.

Ready to run

My husband’s uncle had told both of us that we should only wear Asics – hopefully Uncle Bob is proud of my choice then. And my sister had told me to buy two pairs – but the funds weren’t there for that to happen just now – although the salesman tried very hard to get me to buy both the Sauconys and the Asics.

Given the soft, comfy nature of this new pair….I couldn’t help but start thinking about how some runners would see me as doing it “all wrong”….

While we visited family, I had a lot of time to catch up on my reading. In the string of books I finished were two books on running – one by Pam Reed, the ultra runner, and Born to Run – a fascinating look at a hidden running culture (the Tarahumara Indians who live in Mexico’s Copper Canyons). I don’t honestly remember Pam Reed‘s take on shoes (if she had one)….and I’m still not sure about the sanity of the ultra runners….but it was an interesting read.

Christopher McDougall’s book fascinated me and at the same time confused me. Part of the book is the heart of the debate about barefoot (and minimalist) running. Humans are made to run….and McDougall points out studies and scientists who make points against the modern running shoe. Apparently the modern running shoe is the bane of our current running existence. Now I don’t doubt the scientists he talks about – but he’s not a science writer per se – he clearly chose people with one point of view. So I’d be interested to hear what others on the other side of the debate say. But it’s clear that many of the barefoot/minimalist advocates would spit at my choice of a cozy, comfy, gonna-make-me-injured-cause-I-should-be-barefoot type of shoe.

Frankly – I like to walk around barefoot. And running in the grass barefoot with the kids is fun. But a) I’m a klutz – I’d certainly injure myself on a rock or stick long before my feet got toughened up, b) I did actually step on a piece of metal as a kid running barefoot….that trip to the ER flashes through my head whenever barefoot running is mentioned, and c) I run in the suburbs….do you know what sorts of things live on the sidewalks and streets in the suburbs? I’m not actually willing to take sides in the barefoot debate….after all, I’m intrigued by the Tarahumara.  But I’m not likely to lace up my huaraches soon. I’m sticking to my new Asics…

Hopefully will get a run in tomorrow to put them to the test….

 

“…better than falling back.”

When I came up with the name for this blog – I just sort of pulled it out of the air. I wanted it to be “Confessions of a Former Nonrunner” – but Steve said that sounded like a description not a title. So somehow I just came up with “Stumbling Forward” right then and there – no idea what inspired it. But as I’ve written I’ve realized that I like the name – it describes how I sort of feel about how my running is improving as well as how I sometimes feel in those crazy mommy days when the laundry is piling up, the kids have to be in two different places, and dinner is still not defrosted. I just kind of stumble along until bedtime.

But I got a reminder yesterday that I was paying too much attention to the “stumbling” part and not enough to the “forward” part.  I started following @GoSportID on Twitter and got a nice mention from them:  “@formernonrunner Thanks so much for the follow, stumbling forward is always better than falling back.”   Okay – cool to get a mention from a new company – but more importantly – the reminder I got.  The direction in my blog title is clearly the more important part of it….and it’s also the right direction to be moving in.

As for GoSportID – cool sounding new company.  I read about the id band via KatieRunsThis‘ review. First off – give her a follow on Twitter (@katieRUNSthis) and then go read her blog.  Great stuff there.  Her review of GoSportID’s new product makes me want one. (And she’s giving one away this week (please pick me!) – check her out and how to get one.)

If you don’t have id on you when you run (or bike) outdoors….consider getting something. You never know if bad luck is just around the corner and someone is going to need to get you help or get you home.  I (hanging head here) do not have an id band….yet.  I do have my name and info in my iPod and tucked in my handheld water bottle – but clearly those could go flying should a car hit me. So I’m looking forward to GoSportID’s official launch this month.

And if you do have another brand of sports id – isn’t capitalism awesome?  We get choices! There’s not just one type of water bottle, or one type of running shoe, or one type of energy gel. We all can pick our favorites….and I’m sure from Katie’s review that many will make GoSportsID their new fave.  Welcome GoSportsID – looking forward to checking out your product! And thanks for the reminder about the direction we all should be moving in!

3 miles of musings….

 

FL humidity getting worse….but I still slogged it out today at about 7:30 am. Clearly I need to get back to the 5 am slot … maybe…

Yesterday I started reading “Mile Markers” by Kristin Armstrong. I’ve read a few of her blog posts at Runner’s World and am drawn to her beautiful phrases. This book is a nice way for someone new to her blog to get a great read on her style and thoughts.

One of the topics she writes about is how friendship and running go hand in hand in her world. Most (all?) of her runs are with her girlfriends and those in her running group.

I pondered this as I pounded out 3 miles by myself this morning. As usual.

I’ve been running since February and the only times I’ve had others running next to me in the same direction was when I ran the 5K IronGirl and one day when I ran with my husband. (To his credit he never complained about my pace but cheered me on instead…)

I’m sure I’m not a complete oddity in the running culture. In fact I see lots of solitary runners as I’m out there in the morning. Maybe it’s the geographical constraints of where I run – but not many running groups frequent our neck of the suburbs.  Well – there are a few on Saturday mornings…but not many. So I’m used to seeing lone wolves like myself and the occasional pair of walkers.

As a worrywart, I naturally opted to worry about whether running alone is a bad thing. Ha. Well, I wasn’t really worried. But as I ran, I thought about why it is that I run alone.

  • I’m an introvert. I find strength in time spent by myself, reenergizing myself when I can focus on not interacting with others.
  • I never really plan my runs…I like to determine my path as I go…not necessarily retracing the exact 3 mile route I did last time. That would drive other people NUTS. I have a general idea – but the details fall into place as I go….which sort of describes how I do a lot of things.
  • I worry….about my pace, my stamina, how fast everyone else is…I’m not sure how I would stack up against other runners. I know for sure that I can’t keep up with my husband and his typical 8 min miles. But I imagine that most of my friends, while not that fast, are at least closer to Steve’s pace than mine!  I don’t know what I want people to be upset with having to slow down to be with me. That and the whole, I doubt I can talk and run at the same time without falling…
  • I do a lot of internal work while keeping the feet going. I like to listen to music without the kids demanding their favorite songs. I “write” ideas for this blog and other bits of writing projects. Lots of heavy cognitive processing.
  • Sometimes I just “fit” in the run when I can….which makes planning ahead with someone else’s schedule difficult.

But maybe I’m missing out on something….an external prompter to keep me going when I want to turn around early. A friend to share those heavy cognitive thoughts with. Someone to push me beyond my comfort zone.

I’m not opposed to running alongside a friend…I just haven’t sought out that opportunity yet…so while friendship is an active aspect of some people’s running, I wonder when I’ll catch up with that…