The most exciting part about actually starting to get into running and following through on my plans is that I have a new hobby. And the best part of having a new hobby is easily the new clothes. Buying new running gear is what I have been looking forward to for the past month and a half (because I’m a girl). It is hard to justify running out to the store to buy expensive shoes and weird clothes built for a specific thing that you have only just started. So I think the moment you switch from sweat pants and cotton shirts to spandex and the like is the point of no return. If you look like a runner, you will become a runner, right?
I am buying my garb in shifts, because this crap is expensive, and I’m an intern. I’ve turned it into a kind of reward system. Remember when you were in school and you were trudging through really tedious reading and you would develop a reward system to keep going? At the end of each chapter you would eat a junior mint, or something. I’m applying that same system to my workout calendar, but instead of candy, the rewards will probably be exclusively clothes. I had originally said after three weeks I would buy running sneakers, but I stretched it out to five, when I reached my first weight goal!
But that’s right! I bought new sneakers! The sneakers I had been using were pretty good and in not terrible condition, but they were definitely your standard clunky running shoes. For those of you just tuning in, one of the principles this blog was founded on was the idea of barefoot running. When Jon started getting serious about running he bought a pair of Vibram FiveFingers (you know ’em…the weird toe-shoes…) and trained himself to run on the balls of his feet. Barefoot running and running in minimalist footwear is kind of the fad amongst runners these days, so I thought I’d check it out. I went down to the Marathon Sports in Boston’s Copley Square after work and was greeted by a very nice guy who spent about a half an hour with me pulling out different sneakers and assessing the way I walk and wasn’t even disgruntled when we had decided on a pair but I asked (very nicely) if they had a color that wasn’t highlighter yellow. The pair I ended up with are definitely not in the barefoot family, but there is significantly less support and clunk than the pair I have now. My first run with them went really well.
For those of you working on your own set of goals and following your own schedule, I want you to remember to reward yourself. It’s really incredible when you hit benchmarks that you set for yourself that were once so far in the future they seemed totally ludicrous. It’s really easy to get to that milemarker and to convince yourself that it’s not that exciting because you should have reached it a long time ago, or everyone else passed that mile years ago. But it’s important to look at your own goals, that you’ve set for yourself, and pat yourself on the back when you get there. Whether it’s walking a mile, or running a mile, or running twenty-six miles; what you’re working towards is wonderful. Get out there and buy yourself some shoes.