Happiness is New Running Shoes

I got new running shoes!  I put about 400 miles on the ASICS Gel-Nimbus 12 pair that I bought last summer so I upgraded to the Gel-Nimbus 13 this year.

Last year I got my running gait electronically analyzed at Road Runner Sports in Seattle and they recommended Superfeet Insoles in berry.  I was skeptical but decided to try them.  Turns out, they make a big difference in how my feet/legs/hips feel while running... enough to make me purchase a new pair this year.  There is a hard plastic form under the heel and arch providing light support and shock absorbing foam under the toes.  Just take out the insoles that came in the shoes (blue insole shown below) and slip the new ones in!  I love that the pink matches my shoes this year :)

I was never the athletic type growing up.  I wouldn't say I was really "a runner" until 2009 but there was a long road leading up to it.  Back in 2003 I ran my first half marathon.  In fact, it was my first road race ever.  The farthest I'd ever run before that point was 6 (grueling, huffing and puffing) miles.  I was not in shape and not prepared.  I wore the wrong shoes, the wrong clothes, and I knew nothing about hydration, energy or pacing while running.  Needless to say, the race was miserable.  I started out running as fast as I could, burnt out soon after that, and thought I was going to die by mile 3.  After a lot of run/walking, I did actually finish the race but I could barely walk for a week afterwards and I lost four toenails.  I stopped running after that.

Fast forward to 2007.  I decided to try running again but I did too much too quickly and got an injury that took months to heal.  Fast forward to 2009.  I finally started learning about fitness and nutrition, joined a gym, and started running again.  This time, armed with knowledge.  Luckily the climate I lived in was great for running almost year round and there were often local races to run in.  In 2010 I ran 16 races, including the Muddy Buddy and 2 half marathons.  I turned a friend onto running in February 2010 and we ran most of the races together, including a half marathon in September that same year.  I'm so proud of her for coming that far in about six months time and I love having a running buddy who runs at my pace!  Now that we live apart, we've decided to get together every year and run a half marathon in a different state.  This year will be Texas and we've got other friends joining us!

2010 Road Races (Dulce ran 3 of them!)

The Muddy Buddy in Atlanta, June 2010.  This was a 5 mile running/biking partner race that included obstacles to climb on/under/over along the way and ending with a crawl through a mud pit.  It was the coolest race I've ever done yet!  We were team "Short and Sweet" - I was Short :)

The Virginia Beach Rock N Roll Half Marathon, September 2010.  I ran this with my running buddy and we did great!  The course is flat and the last couple miles are along the boardwalk.  The Rock N Roll Marathon Series races are a blast to run because there are bands and cheerleaders along the entire race course and a large concert the night of the race.

The Las Vegas Rock N Roll Half Marathon, December 2010.  Johnnie and I were in Vegas for a conference so we decided to run this together.  It was an awesome race running up and down the Vegas strip complete with many "Elvis" runners and a "run-through wedding" station!

I'm hooked.  I'm a runner for life.  I'm not a fast runner but I'm a strong runner.  It's great for getting and staying in shape but it also has a strong positive effect on my mental well-being.  I actually enjoy running  (now that I know what I'm doing) and finally get that "runner's high" which really is an addictive feeling!  My goal is to one day be winning first place in my age group at races simply because I'm the oldest one there still running :)

"In running, it doesn't matter if you come in first, middle, or last. 
The satisfaction comes from saying 'I finished the race'."
~Fred Lebow

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