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Monday, December 30, 2013

Breaking in the New Shoes

Ooft. So the holidays totally threw me off track. After the Reindeer Run, I didn't find another chance to run all week.

I did get a lot of awesome running gear for Christmas, I am totally decked out now. The best part was the box I opened with an old shoe in it. Inside the shoe was money for me to go get myself new running shoes! So Saturday, having not run a step all week, I went to my local running store and got myself fitted for new shoes, for the first time ever.

Yes, this is the first time I actually went and got myself fitted for shoes. Yes, it was an eye opening experience. I would now urge any beginning runners to, as soon as finances allow ( real running shoes are expensive! ) go get yourself fitted.

First off, I apparently have been wearing shoes two sizes too small. Yes. Not a half size, not even one whole size, two entire sizes too small. Also, I over pronate (which I knew) and I also do something called "supination" or something, where I run almost entirely on the outside edges of my feet.

So now I have spiffy new shoes, that aren't too small and will help with the weirdness in my gait. Yay!

All of this new stuff needed to be used, so Sunday, after not running for an entire week, I dressed and forced myself out the door. I had decided, after the fiasco of the hills at the Reindeer Run, that I would do some of the hills around my house. Since it was warm-sh out, I decided I'd do that now, even though it was drizzling, with intermittent heavier rain. I live on a hill, a big hill, almost at the bottom of the hill. I planned my route to run up the hill, across the top and then up a big nasty hill and around the top of Cobbs Hill reservoir, and then back. When I mapped the route on Map my run it came out to right around 3 miles. When I ran it, however, I totally couldn't tell where I had started the loop at the reservoir, and ended up doing an extra loop. The run ended up being just shy of 4 miles.
Elevation chart for the run. Note the Hill of Doom.

The hill starting out was brutal. Again, I'm not used to running hills, and it really uses different muscles than flat running. Also, my lungs were burning, and I wasn't really running that fast! I toughed it out on the uphill, and recovered on a short down hill and a (relatively) flat stretch. When I got to the big, massive, hill of doom, I walked. I just couldn't take that long steep uphill yet. Luckily there are very nicely spaced "do not park" signs all the way up the hill. I alternated running from one sign to the next, and then walking for one sign. The loop at the top is almost perfectly flat, which was nice. It's also got an amazing view, both of the surrounding area, and of the partially frozen reservoir. I was really enjoying the run, and kinda forgot where I had jumped into the loop. By the time I had figured out where I needed to exit the loop to take the road back down, I was already another half loop around. Like I said, I ended up doing a full extra loop around the top. I did stop halfway through the second loop to take a couple pictures, but other than that I ran the entire time.

The decent on the hill of doom was surprising to me. For as little as I've ran uphill, I've done serious downhills even less. I had a really hard time controlling my run on the down hill. I had to stop and wait for a light close to the bottom of the hill. That was a new thing for me as well, this is the first time I've run along streets with actual cars  on them and intersections I had to cross. I was lucky with my timing though, and that one light was the only one I had to wait at.

I wasn't really paying attention to my speed, and my app screwed up so there's no information on my splits. However, it felt ok, and my over all time gave me an average of 12:20 min/miles. With all the walking I did on that long uphill, I think that averages out to my normal running pace when I was actually running.

I did notice a BIG difference running in the new shoes. My feet never hurt, for one. I did notice that the sides of my calves hurt a bit while I was running, and are sore today. I think that's from the change in my gait. I'm going to hold off on wearing these for a long run until I get used to them. Unfortunately that means I'll be wearing my old shoes a bit more, but I think it'll be better for my legs to transition slowly.

With all the gear I got for Christmas, I also got a bunch of different gels, chews and honey stinger waffles. My parents basically filled my stocking with all sorts of different varieties. I've been taste testing them to see which ones I'll actually use, but so far I've liked all the chews. I haven't tried the gels or the waffles yet. I'm thinking I'll take a gel with me on my long run this week, and maybe try a waffle right after the long run.

I'm trying not to focus on the lost weeks over the holidays, and instead just get runs in where I can. I still have plenty of time to hit the half marathon distance.

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