To me, running is a long lost relative who I met in 2008. Both of my parents were avid runners growing up and, like clockwork, they would run about four times a week together. It was a normal to see them along the roads of Pittsburgh running along the pot-hole fated streets.
I never, ever thought I could run and I was a lazy child growing up.
In 2007, my perspective changed when I met my new roommate in DC. She was incredibly fit and credited her new fond fitness to just completing a triathlon the following summer. She said she didn’t run before and used a training plan to complete the race. I thought, “If she can do it, I can do it!” So, that next summer (it took me 9-months to make the decision), I used the Couch to 5K program and completed my first 5K in two months.
After that, I wasn’t too consistent. It took me a long time to fully understand the benefits of running and appreciate it. I trained for another race in 2008: The Cherry Blossom 10-mile run in Washington, DC. Unfortunately, my training did not go as well as I thought it would. Being new to this, I used the treadmill way too much and I was not ready for outside running at all. It turns out, I should have given myself at least a 1% incline to mimic running outside. When I attempted to run outside, shin splints became an immediate issue that I was not prepared for.
On race day, I bailed. I didn’t show up because I was too scared and I was definitely not ready.
However, in 2009, I decided to redeem myself and I signed up again for the Cherry Blossom. I followed the training program as best as I could. I did a mix of treadmill and outdoor running and I felt great on race day. However, when I got to about mile 8, my feet started KILLING me. I finished the race and ran a little towards the end, but it was the worst pain ever. What was going on?! I gave up running for a few months. I couldn’t take the pain anymore.
Later in the summer, I wanted to run again. I missed the endorphins and the fitness. Hesitantly, I visited a nearby running store to get new shoes. They had me run on an in-store treadmill to analyze my stride. It turns out that I was wearing the wrong sized shoes the entire time. I was livid because I had been sized before at TWO separate running stores. I was wearing a 9.5 and I should have been wearing a 10. (?!?!?!?!).
Once I got my new shoes, it was like the sun was brighter and the birds sang more beautifully. I could run without getting shin splints and with no pain! It was such a simple solution!
Now, there’s no turning back for me. Currently (as of spring 2010), I am training for the George Washington Parkway Classic 10-mile run on April 25 and the Pittsburgh Half Marathon on May 2nd. Still, I’ve experience no pain in my new shoes and I’ve never been happier!Pin It