Today I’d like to unveil my newest blogging project: Running Bumblebee.
Chubby bumblebees with their stubby wings shouldn’t be able to fly. I grew up believing that I was too short and thick and unathletic to run–but bumblebees fly, and Geralyn runs. Running Bumblebee was started to share my ongoing story of running, health and fitness, in hopes to inspire others to greater health, and to attempt things that seem impossible. I invite you to join me.
Thank you to the many followers of this blog. I’ve appreciated your support and interaction over the last two years. Running Bumblebee will, for the present, replace this blog. I plan to have a writing-related site up soon.
I’m not poor. Low income, I guess. Ever since I met Laura, the single, Mexican mom who was raising her four children on $400 bucks a month, I’ve known I wasn’t poor. I’ve even climbed my way above the Canadian poverty line, now that i’m a pill-maker by trade (the legal kind).
But I’ve struggled lately–partially because I still don’t make a lot of money, and partially because I dream big and publish novels, and partially because I’ve tried to look like I’m not struggling. Well, time to be honest. For the last six to nine months I’ve barely gotten by. Its one of at least four spells of financial hardship I’ve lived through–others included college and unemployment–and now that they’re passed I look back on them with a measure of pride.
Financial struggle is a hard taskmaster, but it does impart valuable lessons. Here are 5:
Never Give Up. I’ve often reminded myself that though things may not be comfortable, I will not starve. I may lose my job, my apartment, or my car, but I will live through it, and I will come through it stronger. One day, this will be a good story, so don’t give up.
Be grateful. Ingratitude will only dig the hole deeper. HECK YES! I dug my financial hole in part because I was materialistic, unsatisfied with the many good things i had. I’ve learned much about gratitude in the last six months, but I have a long way to go.
Being resourceful is like being a hunter, artist, and a mathematician at the same time. Fellow Mennonites may have the same pastime of cruising the grocery store, hunting for those pink ‘30% off’ stickers. This is how I bring home meat for my family. I hunt it!
I love the show Masterchef. In that show, the contestants are often given a ‘mystery box’ full of food items, and told to cook a gourmet meal with it. That’s a bit like shopping on a shoestring. Here are my odd items of meat and (eureka!) 30% off mixed greens. What healthful, tasty dish can I make from it? My meals are sometimes simple, but I’m proud of the healthy lifestyle my sister and I maintain on a tight budget.
It’s like being an urban survivalist, in a way, and it’s something to be proud of.
Ask yourself, “What can I do right now to help myself?” I lost my job in spring 2012 under bad circumstances. My confidence suffered to the point that when I tried to revamp my resume, I cried to my Mom “There’s nothing I’m good at.” And because she’s my Mom, she was able to list things off. Looking for work slammed my wavering self esteem over and over again. But, as my bank account dwindled, I forced myself to do something every day to find a job. Meanwhile, to pay the bills, I posted on Facebook that I was looking for odd jobs. I painted a lot that spring. I mowed grass. I took on casual work as a gardener. Every week I scraped together the money to pay my bills.
In my most recent financial hardship, I drew on this experience when I was low and desperate. I’d ask myself: “What can I do right now to help myself?” This translated to selling things on Varage Sale (any clothes I didn’t need, books I wanted to keep but I knew would sell, and even Christmas presents I didn’t like…sorry!), working overtime, and, once again, doing odd jobs.
Once again, by God’s grace and hard work, the bills are paid.
You can still do great things. Dreaming big can be expensive, but it needn’t be. I published Sons of Earth for about $600 bucks, for instance. I ran my first three 5K races in $80 dollar shoes, and cheap athletic gear.
In my city, Library memberships are free. Thrift stores are packed with cheap books. You can get free podcasts on whatever topic you want. This means you can get an informal, self-directed education for almost nothing. Sure, you don’t get a certificate on your wall, but you can study whatever your passions are and become a better read, better spoken, productive citizen without the approval of so-called experts.
You can give up a couple hours a week to volunteer with a church or organization, babysit your little cousins or neighbour kids, or visit the elderly. In doing so, you can leave a lasting impact on your town.
In the last financial struggle, it was impressed on me that this was a lesson, and I needed to learn. If I didn’t learn, this would keep happening, and happening, and happening. I needed to acknowledge my greed and materialism and swap it for gratitude. I needed to stop taking the easy way out, to work hard, and to be resourceful.
Above all, try not to worry. It’s not helpful.
The Bible says, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:25-27, New International Version)
Why does the ‘Rocky’ song make me cry? I don’t even like those movies. Yet, when the gun went off, and that song began to play, I choked up. The thousands of runners in my wave of the Manitoba Marathon ‘Intrepid Dezine’ Half Marathon, surged toward the start. We waded in the crowd, and I choked up.
It was such a journey to get here, I thought.
Four months of training ended in double knee injuries that sapped my confidence, and stole my last two long runs. I knew I could do it, but I was anticipating a lot of pain. I would be right. But right in that first mile, a thousand feet drummed around me like rain. Japanese drummers shouted and sounded the advance. We powered up onto the bridge over Bishop Grandin.
Slow down, I told myself. It would take me four miles to coast down to my projected half-marathon pace. I glided, effortlessly, through shady, wooded areas. People stood along the road, many holding signs. ‘Touch for Power’ one said, pointing at a star on the poster board. A tall, leggy girl sprinted to the side to press her finger to the star. An older runner said ‘I got it through WiFi.” I giggled.
About five miles in we passed another sign, “Worst parade ever.”
“Sorry!” I yelled, and laughed.
The first ten km passed without incident, but I could feel hip and knee pain creeping up on me. I walked through the next aid station, and the next. ‘Drink fluids’ one of the aiders yelled, ‘Course conditions are dangerously hot.’ I was starting to feel it. We crossed over the Jubilee footbridge and through mile 7. From the the pain in my hip grew from a dull ache to a nagging pain. I gritted my teeth and ran from aid station to aid station, walking the thirty seconds that it took to slog through the cup and sponge strewn stretch of pavement.
By mile eleven, I couldn’t wait for aid stations. I was taking short walk breaks every few minutes, with pain radiating from knee to hip. I tried to focus on the finish, and my family waiting, and the moment of running across the finish. I shivered in spite of the heat.
The final mile I wanted to run it straight, but I was too tired and in too much pain. I walked a short stretch, and then broke into a hobbling shuffle for the last kilometre.
And then, as I rounded the corner into the stadium, I heard the announcer boom, “Geralyn Wichers, from Steinbach.” I saw the big purple finish line. I passed another runner, trying to work up some speed.
“Go Geralyn!” I heard someone bellow. I looked up and saw my sisters brilliant pink jacket. I raised my hands over my head.
Twenty steps from the line, I saw another runner in my peripheral vision, trying to pass.
Heck no! I thought. I put every ounce of energy into a sprint, and beat them to the line. I bent down for my medal, barely registering triumph. Hot, in pain, and nauseous. But I’d finished.
To be honest, I’m proud but I’m also sad. If I’d finished my training as planned, maybe it would have gone better. Maybe I could have savoured that finish line sprint instead of hobbling across the line. I did the best I could, of course.
So, I’m going to do it again. Before I’d even run the MB marathon, I’d signed up for my next one–a little MEC Half Marathon that won’t have the numbers, the fanfare or the atmosphere. Probably there will be no one watching. But I’ll get my do over, and I have my motivation to lace up again.
Big thank you’s to the many people who messaged me encouragement. Thanks to Jessica for voluntarily getting up at 4:30 in the morning to drive me. Thanks to Mom, Dad, Derek and Jon for coming to see me finish. Seeing you at the finish line was what kept me going all these months.
One year ago I was a ‘me no run’ person. I barely worked out, and I hated it. But then Verna talked me into running a 5K. I bought my first pair of bright purple New Balance shoes and downloaded ‘Couch to 5K’ onto my phone. I set out with great trepidation, barely expecting to like it.
Darn, I’ve learned a lot in the last year, and now on the eve of the eve of my first half marathon, I am enjoying the cessation of my training. I ran my last gentle four mile joke of a run yesterday morning, and today I’m enjoying laziness and a bit of nostalgia.
Oh, and McDonalds. Here’s me celebrating the last day of training by eating a QPC BLT at 12:30 at night.
Here are 10 things I didn’t know before running:
Compression tights are pretty awesome. Practically indecent, yes, but probably my favourite type of pant. I didn’t own a stitch of athletic gear before taking up running. These days I have a drawer full (and random pieces hanging to dry on most spare surfaces in my room).
How complicated running shoes are. Who knew so much technology went into two pieces of fabric and rubber? No wonder they’re so expensive. My Mizunos are hands down the most expensive pair of shoes I’ve ever owned. They’re also my constant companions, so they’d better be good.
A mile is not that far. I celebrated (and cried) the first time I ran a full mile, and not without good reason. These days I eat miles for lunch.
A ‘Runners’ High’ is one of the best feelings ever. Its that unstoppably feeling that kicks in a couple miles in, and carries me for a couple hours.
Exercise can be enjoyable. Not only do I love to run, but I genuinely enjoy the gym–even after shift at midnight. Me a gym rat? Hard to believe.
Running is the best way to get a tan. Forget the beach. Training for a half marathon is a sure recipe for a solid tan before summer has even officially started.
What a sports injury is like. I didn’t know I had weak knees, or a weak chest until I pushed them to full capacity. I didn’t listen to my chiropractor the first time I got a hint of a knee injury, and ended up with double knee injuries. Fortunately, caught soon enough that I’m more or less recovered three weeks later. Now I’m doing my exercises.
I can be athletic. Bumblebees shouldn’t fly but they do. Short, stocky people shouldn’t run but I do. I grew up believing that I wasn’t athletic and that being in shape wasn’t my thing. That was a lie. Maybe I have to work harder for it than some, but I am in shape, and I’m kinda, sorta athletic. Still can’t believe it.
Running is a mental game. Mental toughness is a precursor to physical toughness, and the miles are won in the mind, not just on the pavement. I used to think that ‘real’ runners floated above the pavement, but now I know that it gets easier but it never becomes effortless.
Miles hold memories. Specific spots on the road bring back pictures and feelings, like I’ve stepped on a button that plays back a little movie. Some are awesome, some are sad. There’s the Hespeller mile, the first I ever ran. There’s ‘the cairn’ that marked the finish line of my first 5K run. There’s this place on the bike path where, one cold February morning, I stopped and bawled because I was in the depths of depression and running couldn’t make me feel better.
This summer I plan to encapsulate memories in new spots. I want to explore my province by racing in different cities, with different people.
But for the next two days I get to relax, eat carbs, and drink lots of water. Well, actually I get to drink water, eat carbs, and be a angsty ball of nerves.
A manufactured person is no person at all. A clone designed to fight and die, Dominic escaped from the metallic womb of Caspian Genetics and became a citizen of the City. His intellect and superior genetic makeup place him in the elite class, the very class that would eliminate him if they knew what he was. Still, Dominic cannot forget his enslaved brothers.
Determined to match his wits against Caspian’s might, he delves deep into the factory that birthed him. But how can Dominic stand against an industry that denies his personhood when he doubts his own humanity? How can he guard his secrets when a beautiful, vulnerable scientist makes him long to leave his solitary life?
As his plans unravel, Dominic is forced to face the question: Was he lied to? Is he human after all?
That’s the ‘trailer’ version of Sons of Earth, my second novel, published this march. I’ve appreciated those of you who’ve written reviews for Sons of Earth and I’ve loved discussing it with others. Here are two examples of what people are saying.
“This is one of the most fascinating books I’ve read in quite a while. It reminded me a little bit of Blade Runner because of the artificial human aspect, but it really was much better than that in a lot of ways. The story managed to get deep down into Dominic’s mind, subtly displaying to the reader almost from the very beginning that he really does have a soul in spite of what he believes and in spite of what others have told him. The writing is smooth and descriptive, and everything is wonderfully real, so much so that it lets the reader feel a touch of unease at how plausible this not-so-futuristic world really is,” –William, on Amazon.com.
I’d never seen Blade Runner, but I picked up the creepy dystopian movie soon after reading William’s review. I think I can consider that a compliment.
“A lot of dystopian books focus on the external environment to the detriment of the characters. However, this one challenges our conventions about personhood and the rights of the individual. As we mature we all wonder who we are and where we fit in the world. We have people telling us who we are and what we should do and that is what the MC has to deal with along with what his conscious knows he must do for his kind. You will enjoy this story even if you aren’t a huge dystopian fan.”
What I appreciate about these two reviews is that the readers weren’t just entertained (of course I want to do that!) but also gave some thought to the subtle messages behind the story. Of course I don’t aim to be preachy, but I put my passions behind my words.
Have you read Sons of Earth? I’d love to hear your thoughts. If not, check it out. It’s only 2.99 on Amazon.com right now.
What do you do when you are hopeless, in the deepest of slumps. Help is immanent, but it’s not here yet and you can’t bear it any longer?
It feels like darn near everything is going the way of the buffalo. That’s extinction, if you haven’t guessed. I feel like a broken record saying this, because it seems slumps are a regular part of my life and I haven’t been silent about this.
Running is bad right now.
Today was another in a series of crap runs. I stopped at about two miles in and cried. I don’t know why. I just did. It’s a girl’s prerogative to cry whenever she darn well pleases.
Money sucks right now.
Due to issues with the tax man, I’ve been waiting on my return for three months now. Government efficiency and all that. Meanwhile, I, the dreamer of big dreams and the lover of new clothes, have run furiously on the treadmill of my finances, living in hope of that big cheque coming in the mail. It’s become a schtick of sorts. I text my sister as soon as she’s home for lunch.
“Did anything come in the mail?”
Wednesday night, after the cheque didn’t come and I aborted my 13 mile run at 9 miles due to persistent hip and knee pain, I cried in the shower.
Girl’s prerogative, to cry when she darn well pleases.
Those two big issues seem to drag everything else down too. I’m lost with my writing. I’m not blogging, and I’m not really present on social media. I just don’t want to.
Self-medication, can you help?
But I realized that I couldn’t keep waiting, putting my life and happiness on those two things: a good run, and a government cheque. I had to do something about it. And I was reminded of this story from Prince Caspian in the Chronicles of Narnia. God does love to give me examples from fantasy literature. He knows me well.
The four children, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy are called from England into the land of Narnia as Prince Caspian and his band of faithful Narnians do battle against the usurping king Miraz and his nation of Telmarines. (This is the book we’re talking about, not the slightly sub-par movie–cute Prince Caspian aside). Caspian and his insurgents are besieged in the stronghold of Aslan’s How, at the last of their strength, wits and supplies. Everyone among them has lost blood. And then the four children arrive, late at night, at the How, guided there by Aslan the Lion himself.
But here’s the thing. Aslan doesn’t leap upon the Telmarines and kill them himself. He sends Edmund and Peter into the stronghold to help Caspian. Then he leaves with Susan and Lucy on a tour of the countryside. It doesn’t look like he’s going to help at all.
So Peter proposes a plan. It’s a near hopeless plan. He will personally duel King Miraz, man to man, sword to sword. “Can you beat him?” Edmund asks. “I’m fighting him to find out,” Peter replies. It’s a lousy plan and he knows it, but as he explains, it will take the better part of the day to send messengers back and forth between camps. By the time they set up the duel, Aslan may have done something.
Aslan may have moved.
And he does, by the way. As the duel ends in treachery, and the two armies clash, the trees, which Aslan awakened, sweep down the hill into battle and terrify the Telmarines into submission.
Yes, it is a girl’s prerogative to cry when she wants to, but sometimes you have to dry your eyes and make a plan. Do something, do anything, even if its a lousy plan. Take the first step from your slump, and perhaps by then, Aslan will have moved. Deliverance may be upon you.
So what was my first step, by the way? Yesterday, in anticipation of not receiving the financial deliverance I’m looking for, I made two or three plans of inexpensive things I could do that evening. 1) Use my theatre gift card and see a movie with my sister. 2) Go for a run. 3) Make coconut-lemon icecream out of coconut milk so that my sister (who is dealing with allergies) can have icecream again.
We picked #1.
Today, after my awful run, I decided to pack up my laptop and go get an iced coffee at McD’s. I’m writing this post there. I guess I’d better post it before I don’t feel like it any more.
“You have to take care of your Patellofemoral Syndrome, or you’ll wreck your knees.”
Just what you want to hear, right? My knees had been holding up well for the last months, ever since I’d traded my battered New Balance generic runners for a pair of Mizuno Wave Inspires. For a few weeks I’d thought I was running on clouds.
As my milage pushed upward, I added knee-strengthening leg extensions to my weight routine, using a medicine ball for extra resistance. But my knees couldn’t shape up fast enough. On Sunday, after a 12 mile run, I woke up during the night aching everywhere. By the next morning I felt better, with occasional spasms in my calves. Everything recovered faster than I expected–except for my knees. I walked gingerly. My next run was cut short, partially because of pain. My PFS was back, full force.
Funny how I can fluctuate between highs and lows so fast. The 12-miler, my longest run to date, was a triumph. I was pretty sure I was ready for my half-marathon, and my next two long runs would just cement that. A few days later I was searching for possible marathons later in the year. Still thinking seriously about that, actually. “Am I crazy?” I asked my friend, and she laughed at me.
But, according to my chiropractor, I have serious work to do. She’s prescribed me colossal amounts of leg extensions with weights. She wants me to multiply the weight I’m lifting (admittedly, just a 6lb medicine ball) by five. And I can do it. I can. I just feel discouraged and lonely today, and wonder if I’m grinding my knees into the ground or if this is just a hiccup in my long life of running?
Experienced runners, feel free to chime in here.
Even with my puny 12 mile runs, I’m in uncharted territory. None of my friends have done this before. My Grandpa (my running hero) has done this many times, having run multiple full and likely hundred of half marathons. But sometimes you want a peer to be alongside, you know?
Anyway, I’ll take my medicine. I’ll do my knee-strengthening exercises and see what happens. 2 weeks to the taper, 4 weeks to the half-marathon.
Just in case I’ve scammed anyone into thinking I’m superhuman, I’d like to confess that I’ve had a series of lousy runs. Two bad runs this week (and one bad session of cross training and weight training). My seven-miler the weekend before I left for Mexico was good, but before that my runs were marked by general lack of pep. Today my legs were like lead for the entirety of my four-miler. Four miles isn’t supposed to be intimidating, but I was really hoping to set a challenging pace. No dice. I was just happy to finish.
Post-run, not looking good!
Though, for what it’s worth, I ran Abe’s Hill (our local sledding hill) three times.
This may be perfectly normal, but I have no way of knowing because I’m a first-time half-marathoner. I’m guessing I’ve just plain pushed too hard. Why else would I, usually healthy as the proverbial horse, come down with cramps or headaches or colds every second week? Right now I’m kind of scared that I’m going to get to the half marathon and choke about half way through. How many bad weeks of training can I afford to have?
I’m going to have to research this one.
Meanwhile, full of fear and discouragement, it’s a challenge to pack the gym bag or look ahead to the next day’s run. You know, I have as my blog tagline “Life is a great adventure, or nothing.” In most of the great adventure stories I’ve read or watched on the movie screen, there is a low point, or a progressive downturn before the climax and the triumph.
For instance, today I was listening to leadership author and speaker Chris Brady tell the story of Sir Sidney Smith. Smith was a sea captain and a British spy during the Napoleonic wars. Imprisoned in the Temple Prison in Paris, in danger of being executed as a spy, Smith carved into the wooden ceiling of the cell these words (quoted here as best as i can remember):
“Fortune’s wheel makes strange revolutions, it must be confessed. But for the turn ‘revolution’ to be applicable, the turn of the wheel must be complete. You [speaking to Napoleon here] are as high as you can be. Very well, I envy not your good fortune for mine is greater still. I am now as low in the career of ambition as a man can very well descend. But let this capricious dame Fortune turn her wheel ever so little, and I must necessarily mount for the same reason as you must descend.”
Not much later, Smith escaped from prison. He was given a couple of ships and commissioned to sail to Constantinople. While en route, he stopped over in Acre, Turkey, and found the citizens about to be besieged by Napoleon himself. Smith had about 5000 men, once he’d recruited local Turks and fortified the tiny town of Acre. But with a load of daring an initiative (and apparently the ability to be almost everywhere simultaneously) Smith and his men repelled Napoleons army of 10,000 eleven times and eventually forced them to retreat. Smith got his revenge on Napoleon in grand style, and effectively ended Napoleons plans to capture the east for his own new empire.
It seems a little ridiculous to equate this with my own little journey toward running my first half-marathon. But it illustrates that for one, when you are at your lowest you can’t see what your high point will look like, and second, that an ordinary person (Smith was not technically an officer when he took command of his ships, and then the battle of Acre) can with courage and daring, do great things.
It’s been my prayer that if I’m going to pour all this time and energy into training, that my first half marathon wouldn’t be just about me. It would be a way to empower others and bring glory to God. And some way or another, that is going to happen. Right now, with my feet up and aching muscles, I can’t see it. I can’t see the finish line.
Have you ever swooned over a celebrity? Kept their photos on your walls or your desktop, or (God forbid) on your phone case? I knew someone who had a Chris Hemsworth iPhone case. It was the freakiest thing when they were texting across the table, and Thor himself was staring you down. Speaking of Thor, I have to admit that I have a slight crush on Loki himself, Mr. Tom Hiddleston. So perhaps you should take this post, originally from February 2014, with a grain of salt. Enjoy!
Originally posted February 15, 2014.
Summer camp is the scene of much stupidity, and preteen girls will argue, but no argument perplexed me as much as the one over who was ‘hotter’—Chad Michael Murray or Paul Walker.
It was the early 2000’s, we were in the spring of our youth, and were just discovering boys—my cabin mates more so than I. I had no idea who Paul Walker was, and had only seen Chad Michael Murray in Freaky Friday (not a high point of his career, or his looks). I didn’t think either was hot, so I sat on my bunk bed and kept my mouth shut.
At about the same time, Brad Pitt was in his ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ days, and my companions were equally goggle-eyed over him. “Disgusting,” I thought. “He’s old enough to be my father.”
I don’t understand celebrity crushes. I mean, what’s the point?
I’ve seen footage of the Beatles performing live, while all around young women are screaming and weeping at the very sight of them–not unlike the mania that surrounds any of Justin Bieber’s shows.
Do any of those young girls, screaming and flailing about in the crowd, think that Bieber will give them a second glance? Yet they’d defend his reputation to the death when he’s caught coming out of a brothel. That isn’t the kind of guy they should be with. Fortunately, they won’t be.
Then there was this episode of the Graham Norton Show, in which Chris Pine’s and Benedict Cumberbatch’s fan clubs compared who had travelled the farthest to see their idol. One chick had travelled from Hong Kong to England to see Benedict Cumberbatch. Hong Kong!
Did she just want to breath the same air as him? Gaze upon his face? What could she possibly hope for? I’m damn sure Mr. Cumberbatch didn’t think to himself ‘Oh, how touching. From Hong Kong? I must sweep her off her feet. She must be mine!’
I admit that, of all celebrities, the closest thing to a crush I have right now is on Benedict Cumberbatch. I think it may be the accent, because other than his fine blue eyes, I’m not much for his looks. He reminds me of my grandfather.
Not that celebrities don’t fascinate me. I watch the Graham Norton Show, read fashion magazines, and catch the Oscars. I’ve seen all the production videos for The Hobbit. I like to hear celebrities talk about their craft, see what they’re wearing, and hear their funny stories about filming. I enjoy seeing the people behind the characters.
But they’re just people—albeit successful, famous ones.
If I boil it down, what I find appealing about famous men is how they handle themselves in public—suave, gentlemanly. And which woman doesn’t like a man who knows how to behave? They’re well groomed, well dressed, and mannerly and that goes very, very far.
Ah! That’s probably why people think Benedict Cumberbatch is sexy. He looks good in a suit. There, solved that one.
But what if it’s all a façade? What if these men are just stuffed silk shirts, while inside they’re full of rot and decay? Time eventually tattles and tells us what they’re made of. Many lead lives worth admiring—excellence in their craft, philanthropy, a healthy family life. But others end up collapsing under the weight of their fame. Like a ketchup bottle, what is inside will come out when squeezed.
And that is a problem we all bear. After all, famous men aren’t gods, but mortals.
I had perhaps the most traumatic shoe-shopping experience of my life–and the most enlightening.
I prepare to lace up for the first time.
My first pair of runners were just the pair that fit the best and were the right price, bought at the local Shoe Warehouse. The extent of my research was ‘what’s the difference between a runner and a cross trainer?’ I had no idea if I’d even finish Couch to 5K, after all. The shoes were my Gideon’s fleece. If there was a pair for less than X dollars, I’d buy them and start running that day.
And there they were. Purple New Balance runners. I had no running gear, but I put on a pair of sweats and a t-shirt and hit the pavement. That was June 2014.
Today I drove to the big city to hit up the Running Room for a real pair of runners. I wanted the whole fitting experience. I wanted to know if I walked funny, supinated, pronated, whatever all that was.
Unfortunately, despite the help of a nice young gentleman, I didn’t find any shoes there. I have weird, freak feet apparently. As a sidenote, you won’t see skinnier legs than in a running store. Not even on the catwalk in Paris.
Anyway, I moseyed on down to City Park Runners. Or I should say, I tested the full limits of my iPhone’s navigational skills. That was the traumatic part. When I finally ended up in the right store, the sales girl measured and observed and studied (I have one neutral foot, and one that pronates it seems) and then started pulling out shoes. Oh did I try on shoes, and none of them fit! Finally I found one pair to test on the treadmill. They were okay, though a bit clunky. Electric blue, too (that was fine, though). Then I found the winners, my beautiful Mizuno Inspires.
And dang, they didn’t come cheap. But I suppose education costs money. Before today I didn’t know about neutral shoes, or stability shoes, or different types of heel padding. What I wanted was a full shoe education, and it seems I got what I wanted.
And on the way home, my phone died. That was traumatic. Fortunately I was in sight of familiar territory.
I realized then, that I’d just bought my first half-marathon shoes. I’m pretty pumped about that. I’m a bit sentimental about retiring my first pair of runners, but I’m excited about where these new shoes will take me.