Friday, January 30, 2015

A visit to the shoe store

Last time I bought running shoes, the sales guy suggested that I think about buying lighter-weight shoes to wear for my shorter runs, to save some wear on my primary pair.

I didn't feel like he was just trying to upsell me, but I also at the time didn't feel like buying two pairs of expensive shoes.

The thought stayed in the back of my mind, though, and resurfaced every time I thought about replacing my one pair.

And then news of Fitness Sports' super-sale arrived in the mailbox: at least 15 percent off shoes, up to 30 percent for some.

Time to take the plunge!

The pink ones are the Brooks Ghost 7 (if it ain't broke, don't fix it), for heavy-duty running.

The blue ones are a lighter-weight New Balance model, probably something from last year because they were 30 percent off.

Back when the sales guy mentioned having a second pair of shoes, my reluctance wasn't simply financial — it was also a bit of self-deprecation. I'm not that serious of a runner, I told myself.

I still, mostly, don't take myself too seriously as a runner. I'm solidly middle of the pack, purely an amateur and latecomer.

But I do put enough miles on one pair that having a short-distance model is worth a try ... especially because I tend to replace running shoes based on how much time has elapsed or how many seams are splitting.

If I spread the mileage out, maybe those measuring sticks will be a little more accurate.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The return: Painful but rewarding

Five months ago, I signed off the blog, with an acknowledgment that it might be a Michael Jordan-esque retirement.

I don't remember missing it for quite some time, unless you count being mournfully touched when faithful readers told me that they missed it.

The decision to reboot lacks a quality explanation, just like the one to pull the plug did.

A writing assignment for The Des Moines Register on how to keep running through the winter probably deserves credit for laying subtle groundwork, but in total seriousness, I mostly just decided in recent days that I'd like to revive it.

(You know, the same way I started running — on a whim.)

My return to blogging coincides with my return to running in 2015.

Since I last blogged, I've notched very little of significance, mileage-wise and time-wise, but I did achieve the goals of making running fun for myself again and completing another Runner's World Holiday Run Streak.

After Jan. 1, I began my Post-Holiday Run-Free Streak. It was glorious. So was the weather, actually. Getting motivated to start running again is much easier when the sun is shining and temperatures reach the 40s and 50s.

My run last Saturday, the first since New Year's Day, was two flat miles in shorts. No walk breaks even necessary. It was a treat to run that day, not a chore, though my quads disagreed the next day.

Then on Tuesday, I ran the farthest I'd run all year: three miles. There were a few inclines, so I walked, but without guilt. (And without pants — shorts in January again!)

This time my calves and right hip complained a bit. I'm just about ready to go for a third shorts-in-January run, so we'll see what else has gotten rusty. Possibilities include: my bunions, my shoulders, my writing inspiration.