22 June 2011

Gimme Wings

After an abysmal showing in a 5k a couple of weekends ago, I went to buy some new kicks. I figured it had to be the sneakers holding me back. Because, contrary to what Lance Armstrong may say, it's all about the gear. Or at least that's one of the lies I tell myself to make it seem better.

Most days, I still find it a challenge to take those first few steps and actually get myself out the door. There's always some chore I can do to procrastinate or I can always put off running until later. Once I actually get out there though, I'm mindful of  my breathing and my form. It gives me a sense of peace and accomplishment. And, in all honesty, I do it because I want legs like Carrie Underwood:

Or Kelly Ripa

Foley + Corinna dress, $361; Foley + Corinna, 212-259-2338. Rene Caovilla shoes, $1,050; similar styles available on renecaovilla-usa.com. Isaac Manevitz for Ben-Amun earrings, $125; ben-amun.com. David Yurman necklaces, $2,550–$5,600; David Yurman, 212-752-4255. Stephen Dweck bronze chain with turquoise stones, $590; Bergdorf Goodman, 212-872-8651. Kelly’s own bracelet. Stephen Dweck turquoise rings, $295–$750; Bergdorf Goodman, 212-872-8651.

In fact, I'd like my abs and arms to be as toned as hers too. I mean, seriously, who looks that good after having three kids?

In any case, there's my inspiration.

Back to the gear...I went to Fleet Feet Sports, a store dedicated to running. I thought I would not only be able to get new sneaks but also pick up some tips on how to improve my time. Unlike walking into a Dick's or Sports Authority, I didn't have the chance to go to the sneaker wall to evaluate color quality and then ask some guy in a polyester referee t-shirt to search for my size in the back.

I knew I was in for a different experience as soon as I walked in and was greeted by a sales person, who began to explain Fleet Feet's FIT process to find a shoe that would fit my personal running needs, goals and biometrics.

The sales person asked questions about how frequently, how far and how fast I ran; what my goals are for the future; the shoes I currently have; and any injuries. Then he took several measurements of my Fred Flinstone feet (wide, square, ugly, not-my-best feature). I immediately declared the size was wrong, since it was a full size and a half smaller than what I normally wear.  

Then, I was asked to walk briskly on a short indoor track to help determine whether my feet pronate -- roll inward, causing the arch to fall.  They don't, which might be the only good thing about my feet.

The sales person then recommended three pairs of shoes for me to try.  Much to my astonishment, the smaller size that the guy recommended actually did fit in both shoes. It came down to the Nike Lunar Glide.

Comfortable, light weight sole. I wanted more cushioning though, and it only came in bright aqua.  Not that it matters though.

Or the Saucony Echelon Pro Grid 2 in plum and silver.
Women's ProGrid Echelon 2
I tested them out in the parking lot of a strip mall-- running down to the cement lions in front of the Chinese restaurant and back several times. I did feel ridiculous, but the test runs helped me choose the Saucony's. I'm actually pretty loyal to that brand -- Saucony is what I usually wear because of the wide toe-box.

As for my distance and speed, MapMyRun says I've logged about ten miles so far. The Sailor said, "They look fast." It's all up to me now to change up the routine and commit to some speed workouts.

I guess I'll just do the best I can with what I've got.

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