Monday, May 2, 2011

running/exercise update

I'm so happy that I finally had the time to put together a post regarding my progress in working out and attempting the C25k program. I know that there are women out there who struggle with their weight or their overall health, and don't know how to go about changing their lifestyle. 

to backtrack a bit... up until February, I saw a personal trainer twice a week for nearly 7 months. during that time, I also dabbled in spinning classes and a bit of walking on the treadmill, but I've never really been one to fully commit to a cardio routine. I much prefer strength training to cardio, that's for sure. 

a few weeks ago, I attempted to start the C25k program, which I blogged about here briefly. I've struggled with shin splints in the past, so it was no surprise to me that I ended up with screeching pain in my shins after only two days into the program. while my gym shoes are running shoes, I figured that since they're pretty old (not necessarily beat up though, since I don't do ANY running), I could probably benefit from a new pair, and finally decided to go ahead and get properly fitted for new shoes (I blogged about the shoes I wanted to buy in this post). 

in between the time of suffering from shin splints and getting fitted for new shoes, I discovered that I had been running incorrectly... meaning my form and where I landed on my feet was causing a great/abnormal impact on my lower legs, and therefore causing the stress to my shins. obviously, I've since made a mental note to just run with what feels like a "natural" form... which is kinda hard for me considering that I don't run on a regular basis and so NONE of it really feels "natural" for me. either way, I needed to change my running form. 

so I finally got a chance to head up to the running specialty store in Annapolis, which came highly recommended to me by a few people. I had previously tried on a pair of the Nike Free Run and the Reebok ZigTech shoes, and I liked both of them, but clearly wanted something custom for my feet. mostly, I was concerned with whether I under-pronated or over-pronated, etc. 

the sales team at Charm City Run were amazing to work with, and it seems to me that they really know their shit. immediately, she had me take my shoes off, roll my pants up, and walk a straight line away from her, and then back. she squatted down close to the ground to watch my feet as I walked, and she determined that I was neutral, which means that I walk "normal." 

based on the arches in my feet and my level of running experience, she recommended three pairs of shoes with neutral cushioning for me: the Brooks Ghost, the ASICS Gel-Cumulus, and the Nike LunarFly. I ended up picking the LunarFly, because they were the most comfortable for me. The ASICS felt too heavy for me, and the Brooks were lighter, but didn't give the support in the right place on my feet. I grabbed a couple of breathable tanks and a pair of compression shorts before heading out, too.

I decided to go ahead and break in my new shoes at the March of Dimes 5 mile walk yesterday, and it was a wonderful idea. my feet were comfortable ALL day long, and the shoes are so light that they never bothered me at all. I couldn't believe how great I felt afterward... yes, I know it was just a walk, but it was 5 miles, and I have only ever walked that distance once, when I participated in the AIDS walk with my family as a kid. so yeah, it was amazing. 

I also wore my new shorts, and I am so glad I discovered them.... I might have to go out and buy a few more pairs of them. one thing I hate about wearing shorts to the gym is that I have thick thighs that rub together, which means that my shorts always ride up and my legs chafe easily... not with these babies. 

anyway, so the new shoes are amazing and I have a feeling they will contribute nothing but greatness to my new running routine. I strained my hip/groin during the walk yesterday, so I couldn't do much running today, but I did get up and walk at an incline for about 30 minutes this morning. I'm not totally used to morning workouts, but I'm looking forward to having my evenings back for getting things done around the house and eating dinner before 9PM. 

oh, and here are a few pictures from the March of Dimes that I shamelessly stole from Stephanie, who was our wonderful team leader! we ended up having 55+ walkers and raising over $3300. it was an amazing experience and I'm sure I'll be making it an annual event for our family! 

you can see my sweet new gear - I'm sitting low in the lower left hand side of the picture.

sadly, my camera died before the walk even started, so I only have a handful of pictures, which I still need to upload to the computer.

I should be back into the running game and continuing with Week 1 of the C25k program on Wednesday. I'll make sure to keep you all updated!

have you done any running lately? what running shoes do you prefer?


  1. I got properly fit for shoes too recently because I was getting crazy foot cramps. I got a pair of New balances, except the cushioning makes me toes a bit numb 20 minutes into my run. My running coach said that once I work them in more this should go away.

    I am really liking running except that my body is giving me a rough time getting used to it. Shin splints, foot cramps, stiches... you name it! I am hoping to push through and eventually be one of those people that goes for a run without walking breaks (still an insane concept to me).

    I think running shoes are definitely not something you can choose on look or brand... you just have to find the pair that fits your feet best!

    Good luck with your training! I know all about relationship weight gain, and now that I am suddenly single, I am finding even more urgency to lose the pounds I gained since getting into my relationship nearly 5 years ago, whether it's for a reunion (what I'm hoping) or a new guy (still makes me cringe)!

  2. I have forever been a Nike Air fan for as long as I could remember, but recently went to a running store and found that some Adidas shoes fit my feet better (off the top of my head, I can't remember the type).

    As far as the C25K program, something I've found works a little better is just going by minutes, not miles. By that, I mean you go out running for 10 minutes, and you run as much as you can, but you walk the rest of the time. It doesn't matter how much you run and how much you walk, you just hit your desired minutes. The next day, you add another minute until you reach your distance or your minute goal. I've heard so many people try to say "I want to run 3.1 miles!" and then realize that 3.1 miles is a whole heck of a lot longer than they originally realized, and get discouraged. The cool part about minutes is that you SLOWLY build up to your distance by inching there minute-by-minute, not mile-by-mile. That may be good for you and your shin splints (I feel your pain, sista).

    Or, it may not work for you. I know how you feel about unsolicited advice. ;)

    -Sar at

  3. I would buy those runners for the color alone..fabulous!

    I battle shin splints as has been that way forever so my running is minimal-just what I do at the warm up in taekwondo class is enough for them to hurt.

    I have custom orthotics which have helped..I tape up both shins before every class..I have done physio and I have done active release therapy. They are the better now than they have been in the past year and a half but still not release therapy & taping is what has made the difference.

    So I totally feel for you..I would give anything to be able to go for a long run!!

  4. BA HHAHA! did anyone notice that i'm totally giving the stank face and doing the rock star sign in our group pic .. oops ;]


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