Last week, I took advantage of a sale at a local running shop and scooped up a pair of new kicks. After nine months of using the same tennis shoes for both exercise and work, it was past time. While I was barbacking, I found that I was walking more than four miles a night when we were busy. Combined with about five miles of running, I was logging 18-20 miles on the shoes every week.
It's not surprising, then, that they started bottoming out six months later. As they wore down, my knee pain increased and my ability to run through it wore down. After a week of too much activity in general, my body doesn't handle physical activity well. It's not healthy, and I tend to crash for at least one day each week. The result?
I haven't been running on a regular basis because of the residual pain and fatigue, so I haven't built up the energy or physical addiction to running. Without these incentives, it's much more difficult to run, and a viscous cycle continues.
To give myself an incentive to run, I got those new shoes. Though it was only went a mile, my first run in them was virtually pain free. I'm going out today to get some super sexy restaurant/medical clogs for my bartending shifts to ease the wear on both my shoes and my legs. I'm also going running again for longer time- and distance-wise.
As my dad says, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Getting into distance running is the same way -- it will never be possible for me to run a half marathon if I don't run for shorter spells now. Food, hydration and other elements necessary to running regularly will follow. Once a regular routine is established in each of these areas, I'll be just about unstoppable.
It all began with those new shoes. They might not actually have magical properties, but they're still shiny and I'm not accustomed to seeing them on my feet. Hopefully that will be enough to keep me on my toes.