I made it back to Fleet Feet yesterday. Last month a great friend and I went there and let staff spend quite a lot of time helping us determine which shoes would be best for us. The girl who helped me first talked with me about where I am at physically and what my goals are...what these shoes would be doing. Then she measured my feet carefully, both sitting and standing. Then she put me in these uber-flexible shoes that could literally be rolled into a ball (so flexible that they let my feet just do whatever they do without guidance/stability added/etc) on a treadmill and she and a coworker watched me run and evaluated my level of pronation (something about the way your foot and ankle move/roll). She had me try on 4 nice pairs of shoes...I think they were Nike, Asics, New Balance, and Mizuno.
I had never heard of Mizuno. Apparently they are made in Japan and are very popular among runners. They were the shoes that felt the most perfect of all. I wanted to buy them on that day, a month ago. My feet practically went into mourning at being put back in my worn-out running shoes. But I couldn't afford them. Until yesterday. And then...it happened...that one of the colors was on sale! Normally $110, yesterday $60. The sales girl asked if I minded the different color; the truth is as far as I can see, ALL Mizunos are very ugly (which doesn't matter to me, because as the signs inside the store say, "You can't pick your running shoe by its color") so I just grabbed these with a smile.
This morning my feet are singing for joy and my knees are weeping with relief. I realized this morning that not having new shoes is almost certainly the reason I couldn't get my act together enough to remember what my running intervals are. Running faster for the 2-minute segments is a MUCH higher impact activity than my slow jog has been...I don't think it would have been a good idea in my old zero-protection shoes. And where my knees most of all thanked me for the new shoes was walking back down my giant hill...for the first time ever, it didn't make my knees hurt. HOORAY!
Other items I bought this weekend with my first paycheck that made my run a little better: little "energy cubes" (bite-size) to give me a shot of nutrition/calories before exercise and prevent my body from going into "hold onto the fat" mode, a sweat band (and I would definitely have had sweat in my eyes today...those 2-minute fast segments almost made me puke and left me drowned in sweat) and one of those white reflective vests, the better to not get run over by passing cars.
All I need now is some kind of running timer...I'm jogging slowly 4 minutes and running faster 2, in rounds. It should have been 5 rounds, obviously, in 30 minutes of running...but it was 6 rounds and I still finished running 2 minutes too soon. My current "timer" is counting seconds in my head (thousand one, thousand two...) and counting minutes on my fingers. I'm thinking when I get my iphone, it'll probably have a timer app that I can set for multiple times like that. Anyone recommend a good one?
In other news, I forgot to mention over the weekend that my giant shopping spree yielded supplements. Fish oil, iron, and Vitamins C and B-Complex. That, along with my amazingly healthy food, looks like another way to love my body well.
Guess I'm feeling the groove on this thing. I set my alarm for late this morning, planning not to run because I've had 3 late nights and 3 early mornings in a row...I thought getting more sleep was the best plan for loving my body. But then I woke up well before the alarm, and WANTED to get out there and run...so I did!
That feels like progress.