I learned that running is not as simple as putting a pair of shoes on and hitting the pavement. It requires quite a bit of investment. Investment in a pair of good shoes, proper apparel, time, discipline, patience, and support (in every sense of the word).
Thanks to my cousin's wonderful fiance - who is an avid runner, I was greatly encouraged to start running. She told me about the basics of running and took me to the "running store" where she gets her gear. The funny thing is, we were not planning to buy running-shoes when we left their home that morning, so I was in a cute polka-dot halter top dress and high-heel sandals when we walked into the store. The nice sales person measured my feet, had me stand on each foot, helped me put on some tight socks and test shoes on my feet, and walked me to the middle of the store. Until that moment everything was fine, but then he told me to run! RUN! Run in the middle of the store with a dozen customers standing around! I was mortified! I turned to him and said: "Please don't do this to me!?!". He looked at me for a long moment, and then revealed that they had treadmills in the back. What a relief! We went to the back, and I ran on the treadmill in my pretty dress, and I am sure he was impressed! ;) He told me I have good balance and fall onto the balls of my feet like a good runner would.
So I also learned what they do to you when you are buying your very first pair of running-shoes!
My cousin's fiance guided me through my first running/walking day, and made the experience very enjoyable. Not only did I love being outside with good company, but also loved how my new Sauconys felt like good-old-friends on my feet:
Here are some of the more serious things I learned about running:
- Get your gear - especially your shoes - from a specialty store where the associates are very knowledgeable who probably are also runners themselves.
- Get shoes one size bigger than your regular shoe size and make sure your toes have room to spread out.
- Try multiple different makes and models until you find the most comfortable pair (mine feel like I've owned them for a long time).
- Ladies! Get high-impact support bras, and when you wash them, let them air dry.
- Always wear socks.
- Get a RoadID.
- Try to keep a regimen where you initially stick to a run/walk plan alternating with another activity that will build your core strength to support your back (I will continue with Bikram Yoga).
- Hydrate (and find out where the restrooms are on your path)!
- Be Patient!