Shoes. I know it may seem weird to find motivation in something as boring as running shoes, but there's a reason! for months and months i ran in a pair of new balance running shoes that i'd had since the dawn of time. or, more precisely, since about 9 years ago. i know that running shoes should be replaced a minimum of once every 5 years depending on usage, but staying true to my cheapskate nature, i couldn't bring myself to get a new pair of shoes until the soles fell off of those. i noticed after i'd run that the tops of my feet would hurt, especially when i'd take a step, and it felt as if someone was dropping a bowling ball on my feet. a few weeks later, when the pain had gotten even worse, i started to see this bruise appear from my toes almost up to my ankle, spanning the entire width of my foot. my sister the nurse swore to me that i had metatarsal stress fractures, and that i HAD to stop running for a while. i did, and i didn't like it. enter The Shoes.
i decided that if i wanted to run at all without ruining my feet, i'd need a new pair of shoes. if you've ever looked for running shoes you'll know that there are about 1,592,308 different pairs to choose from, so i really didn't know where to start. just as i was starting to feel deflated because everything was either too expensive or not stocked in my size, i saw them. The Shoes. i tried them on, jumped around, jogged on the treadmill in the store and knew that those babies would be MINE! when i say that i feel like i'm running on a cloud, i'm not exaggerating. my running shoes are so comfortable and such a good fit for my foot and neutral pronation that i really want to run! and i feel like i can go further!
health. beca and i have a shared love for deep fried food and coca-cola (i think it's because of our southern nature) which we discuss at length, and i'm not afraid to admit it. i know it isn't the healthiest guilty pleasure, but i also know that i include physical activity into my life to burn it off. in addition to sweating off my french fries, i also like to work on sweating off excess body fat. i'm in close contact with a couple of people who've remained stagnant for so long that even something as simple as walking across a room leaves them breathless and gasping for air, and i refuse to let that be me. whether i jog a half of a mile or three and a half miles, i feel a great sense of accomplishment because i know i'm doing something beneficial for my heart, my lungs, and my vitality in general.
vanity. i'd be lying if i said that i didn't want to look hot - for my husband, as well as for me and my self-esteem. while i know i'll never have a smokin' hot and toned supermodel body, as long as i can stay in shape enough to continue wearing my favorite bikini, then i'm happy.
i was on the track team for several years when i was in school, so i learned a few things between sprained ankles and screaming coaches. if you're thinking about starting to run, here's some info that may help you:
1. when you start, don't try to set records. it's more about building your endurance that winning races. start off running at a comfortable pace for just a couple minutes and then follow that with a brisk walk. each time you run, try to add on 30 seconds or a minute to your running to build your endurance.
2. figure out your foot type, and whether you're an underpronator, neutral pronator, or overpronator and find a pair of shoes that will work with you instead of against you. seriously, this will make all the difference in the world.
3. don't just start running! be sure to stretch for a few minutes before you start as well as after you finish. also, there's nothing wrong with walking for a few minutes to get warmed up a little before you start running.
4. don't run everyday. if you run more than 3 or 4 times a week it can be harmful to your body, so on your days off, either relax and recuperate or try crunches, jumping jacks or other bodyweight exercises.
Thanks Danielle! We all need a little inspiration in the new year! You can visit Danielle's blog here!
PS, I wanted to share my favorite running commercial. It makes me laugh every time!