Healthy Living

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!

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Robin/Orlando Turtle Runner April 30, 2010 at 10:36 pm

Fantastic running story that sounds so familiar….with the fits and starts, as I like to call them. Took me a few tries before I ‘fell in love’ w/ running, too. :) Congrats on finding the right shoes, the fun in running/racing, and the runner girl in YOU! I’ll look for your 4/25 recap on the blog and look forward to hearing about your half mary coming up THIS weekend….GOOD LUCK!!!!!

Sending you good running vibes from Orlando! ;)

BTW: Hubs and I visited DC on our honeymoom, and LOVED it!!! Looking forward to getting back there and running a race (me) there. We even saw the presidential motorcade when we were there. Very cool!

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steff (steffsays) May 15, 2010 at 11:28 am

i just started a running program of my own (http://www.steffsays.com/2010/05/07/fit-friday-learning-to-run-part-i/). thanks so much for writing about your journey. i hope that one day i’ll consider myself a successful runner. thanks for the inspiration!

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Dana Dailey June 22, 2010 at 7:21 pm

Hey you!

Hope you are having fun! I miss your smiling face:) I’m enjoying your website and just wanted to let you know that I’ve been planning on starting a walking/running regimen this summer. I just read the couch to 5K info and I think that’s the route I”m going to take! I’ll let you know how it goes :)

Dana

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Jory @ Exploring Ordinary August 12, 2010 at 3:03 pm

I just found your blog through another blog, and wanted to say hi! I had the EXACT same thing happen with being fitted for shoes. I was wearing the correct size, then a running store said to go 1/2 size smaller. Ugh. Thankfully, I’m in the correct size and HAPPY again! :)

Keep up the great work!

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Patti @ Easton Place Designs August 16, 2011 at 10:20 am

Hi Julie,
I just stumbled upon your blog via one of my twitter follows who tweeted you :) I have literally “dreamed” for years of being a runner, but the shin splints are SO painful I stopped trying years ago. I LOVE to play tennis and never have pain on the court, but running long distance seems out of the question. After reading your write-up on Running, I think I may have to revisit my shoes!! I believe things happen for a reason… maybe I stumbled upon your running page for a reason… so I can start running?! Fingers are crossed. Thank you for this moment of inspiration and best of luck with all things :)

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Dee July 6, 2012 at 6:08 am

I ran my first 5K last fall which I trained for through the muggy summer months. I had this belief that after training and running for the 5K I would have found a real liking for running. I didn’t really like it but I definitely liked the fitness aspect and I loved the way I felt afterwards – strong and filled with a huge sense of accomplishment (must be those endorphins). But following the race, other things in life got in the way, winter came, and then the spring with lots of excuses and I have been able to get myself back out there. Given your experience, I think I just need to really committ myself to giving running a second chance. Time to find a race and start the couch 2 5k program again. thanks for sharing your experience here. Glad I found your blog.

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