Thursday, January 21, 2010

Suburban Explorer

The weather has been "warm-ish" this week, so I've gotten back outside to run several times. HEAVEN! Running outdoors, I push myself harder and for longer than I ever do on the treadmill. Sunday, I even went on a 5-miler later in the afternoon after I'd been to a 90-minute yoga class that morning. Crazy, I know. =)

In this past week, now that I have a Garmin to track my distance, I've been trying to expand my horizons...literally. Before Garmin (B.G.), I mapped a route on to get an idea of where to go to get in the mileage I wanted. Since this was annoying and time consuming (the iPhone app that was supposed to work with my GPS never worked for me), I ended up running the same routes all the time. Now, I can just quick start Training mode or set a distance and go. On Saturday, I ran west down Clayton Rd into Ladue...turns out the sidewalk in front of my subdivision runs all the way to the interstate (and beyond, I think). Sunday afternoon, I cut through Clayton over to Delmar and did a little stint through the edge of U. City. I regularly cut away from the main roads now and run through the little neighborhoods and side streets.

Running is an amazing way to explore your city in a new way. You notice things you'd never see from the car. For example, on the routes I regularly run, I know there's been glass on the sidewalk outside an apartment building and it's been there since November. I know where the sidewalk slants at a weird angle or buckles unexpectedly. I've seen streets of gorgeous houses that I never knew existed. I've gotten to know who walks their dogs on certain streets on weekend mornings (Hi, lady with the two identical adorable Scotties on Davis!). I've even noticed businesses on side streets that I've failed to see driving by. Most unusual, I think, was noticing a monastery about two miles west of my neighborhood...Had NO idea. I'm psyched for warm weather so I can start venturing farther and longer and getting to know more areas of the city as I string together the miles for half and full marathon training.

In prep for that, I'm planning to get professionally fit for a new pair of running shoes, hopefully this weekend. My current pair, New Balance 805s, have been pretty good, considering I had no idea what I was doing and bought them online. Honestly, I bought them because I loved the all black w/ hot pink accents (What? I'm a girly girl). I love that they're light and don't have a huge heel build-up. But, they're technically trail shoes, so I had some issues with friction/blisters on the bottom of my foot. And, because they're so flat, they don't offer a lot of support, which starts to make my insole hurt after really long runs. So, for this pair, I'm gonna do it right. I'm going to try to let go of my fierce brand loyalty to New Balance and get what's really best for my body. I'm thinking Fleet Feet and probably a local shop Ghisallo where I've bought other equipment. Anyone else have suggestions local or otherwise?

Want to make your running safer? Head over to Endurance Isn't Only Physical and enter to win Tricia's giveaway for a free Road ID identification bracelet!

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