Wednesday 14 August 2013

New shoes, first long run, and a shed-load of coconut water

The best thing about getting in to some serious running? The need to buy new shoes! And no, I do not mean of the high-heeled kind, I mean of the best kind.

On the quest for new trainers, I trotted down to Runners Need in Clapham Junction on Tuesday (was hoping to cycle there, but the boy helpfully took the keys for our bike locks to work with him...). The girls there were very helpful, and suggested some video-based gait analysis to work out what level of stability I need in my running shoe.

In a pair of 'neutral' shoes, which give no support across the arch of the foot, the slow-mo video showed that I overpronate on my right foot. My left foot, however, gets a gold star as it showed "beautiful balance": I'll take the compliments where I can! I suggested to the lady that perhaps this unbalance had something to do with my left-handedness - cue strange look and a 'quickly moving on' change of subject. However, the scientist in me had to do some research (thanks, Google!) and there may be something in it after all! Go science! I digress...

Shop lady (sorry, shop lady, I forgot your name) suggested I try some 'mild support' shoes, and brought three pairs down to try. A bit like goldilocks (but without gold locks. Or porridge. Or, come to think of it, bears.) the first two just weren't quite right, but the third pair fitted a treat and corrected my silly right-foot and it's overpronation: my shiny new Nike trainers are born!

New shoes!
After dancing around the house to check that the newbies were comfy and fit for purpose (that's the way to check, right?!), I decided to try these bad boys out on my first 'longer than 10K' run since... since... The Edinburgh Marathon Hairy Haggis Relay Race 2008! Jeez - it's been even longer than I thought, and quite a daunting prospect. 

Fortunately, I had a read of Liz Goodchild's blog today on 'How to keep working towards your goals even when they scare you'. Her question to the reader was: Is there a small step you can take, today, towards your goal? A small step that feels less scary for you? I took Liz's advice, weighed up what was reasonable and not too scary, and aimed for a sensible 8 miles today.

So, with the phone armband strapped up and the keys stored in the little back pouchy thing of running capris (does it have an actual name? No? 'Pouchy thing' it is.), I stepped out boldly in my shiny new shoes and began on my 'little step' journey. Despite the mild panic of my Nike+ running app having a meltdown at 1.29 miles and having to restart the bloomin' thing, I managed a grand total of 8.35 miles (13.5K) at an average pace of just over 9min/mile: pretty chuffed with that! 

The legs felt like lead on the last mile and a half, so I will need to get in a few more long runs before the half marathon to be sure that I've got the distance in me. On the whole I felt good, and the beautiful sunny day helped a lot - scenery running across Battersea Bridge was amazing, but I was too focused on the pace to stop for a pic! Sorry! Next time, promise...

Then, to top off an already awesome morning of running in the sunshine, I had a delivery: my month's supply of Vita Coco that I won along with the Run to the Beat entry! Plus a lovely wee message from the Vita Coco team. Ahhh! 

The fridge is stocked, and ready for rehydration...

Right, need to shoot, I'm off for a 7.5 mile cycle to Regent's Park for my touch rugby team's final games of the summer season. Nope, never do things by halves! 

Katy | City girl Fit

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