In honour of the budget, I started out my week with a new pair of running shoes. I bought them at Sports 4 on Bank Street, which is my favourite place to buy running shoes. Tony needed new shoes too, and so we arranged to meet at the store at lunch time last Monday. Tony’s shoes were even older than mine at four years, which is like, 95 in people years.
We both tried on a few pairs and I decided to go with the newer version of the New Balance shoes that I have been wearing and loving for the last two years. When I put them on, they didn’t feel quite as good as my oldies, but they felt better than anything else I tried that day, and I had loved my old ones so much, I put my faith in the brand. I figured that my feet were just so used to my old shoes that it would just take a bit of time to get used to the new ones. Tony also chose a pair of New Balances. As we paid, we had a long friendly chat with the sales person at the cash about Gu. We bought some to try, but now we can’t find it, so I can’t tell you if it helps just yet or not.
The next day I took my new shoes for a whirl on the treadmill at the gym to do my interval run. Most of the good stores will allow you to return new running shoes if they don’t feel right, as long as you haven’t run with them outside. I started by doing a very slow warm-up run for ten minutes. My right shin was feeling stiff and achy and it didn’t really loosen up during the first ten minutes. I decided to go ahead and ramp up to the “kill me now, I want to die” speed of my first interval. As I got going, my shin just wouldn’t move properly. My right foot was clumping loudly on the treadmill every time my foot hit, and I was feeling like I was going to roll right off the back into the ellipticals behind me. Rats. I slowed back down to a walk for a few minutes, then a slow run again, then fast. Same thing. I repeated that cycle one more time, and by then I had hit 30 minutes on the treadmill and I hadn’t gotten anywhere yet (anywhere as in finishing my intervals, that is, I’m well aware that the treadmill doesn’t actually go anywhere. Thank you.) I tried one more time, and I finally got into a groove. Phew. I would have been very upset if I had made it all the way to the gym on a Tuesday evening and had not managed to complete my workout.
I wasn’t sure what the problem was, whether it was the new shoes, or whether I was still stiff and sore from my 12K run on the weekend. So Thursday, even though it was a beautiful day for running outside, I went back to the gym to try the treadmill once more. This time I had a great tempo run. I felt good through most of it, and I was just the right amount of tired at the end. This was good and bad news. My shoes were fine; it was my long run that had likely caused my shin troubles.
One thing that has been running through my mind is that I’m not sure that I’m going to enjoy running for 2+ hours when I actually reach my race distance. Right now my runs are long, and they feel long. I can zone out for a bit, but after a while I come back to feeling every step, and checking my watch or my distance every minute or so. Maybe I’m not mentally cut out to do this. I know that physically I can complete the distance, barring injury of course, but do I enjoy it enough to make it worthwhile? Or is this feeling just because the training program is tough?
I think I will have a better idea of how I feel after I do my long run on the weekend. I will, of course, let you all know how it goes.
On Sunday, Tony and I were both scheduled to do our long runs. We don’t usually run at the same time because it means a babysitter is needed, and he runs faster than I do anyway. We were both supposed to run 15K, but since I had such a terrible run last week, I decided to do 14K – it was a psychological compromise as I just couldn’t wrap my head around running the full 15K. When Tony got home from his successful 15K, I headed out, filled with some dread I must admit. I always find it difficult to start a long run, knowing that there is so much distance still ahead. Added to that, I have been feeling very nervous before my long runs. I just don’t feel capable of running these longer distances yet, even though I have trained and built up to it . They are way beyond my comfort level.
One thing that helped me on Sunday was that it was an absolutely glorious day for running. It was sunny and about 8C, and after the winter here, that sort of day just feels so freeing.
I will spare you the long details, but I had a pretty decent run. It didn’t feel amazing, but it didn’t feel awful either. I finished 14.3 km in 1h 32 minutes and I am actually pretty pleased with this time. I feel really encouraged now because I still have quite a few weeks left to train and improve my confidence. It was just the run that I needed.
Back to intervals tomorrow!