Saturday, September 08, 2007

New Old Shoes!

I'm so happy! After a few weeks of sore shins (I never get sore shins) and slightly grumbly bits and pieces I finally surrendered to the inevitable and bought myself a new pair of running shoes.

I was incredibly attached to my old pair of shoes. Things started going right with my running the day that I first wore them. They were my go-faster shoes. Compared to the last pair of Addidas, which were stiff and heavy and made me sound like I was running in clown shoes, these almost felt like running in no shoes at all. they were the shoes I wore when I PR'd my 2.4km time, the shoes I wore for my first sub-60 10km in Levin, the shoes I ran my first half marathon in. Imagine my trepidation then at having to enter the uncharted territory that is a new pair of shoes once again.

Imagine, if you will, my joy at seeing the exact same pair of shoes, right down to the colour, in the box that the sales assistant was opening in front of me. "Oh," she said, "I can get you the new colour if you want it". I looked at her feet, which were sporting the same Addidas with a yellow stripe. "No, " I replied, looking down at my grey and orange Addidas wind parker, "I'm kind of fond of the orange, and you know, it colour co-ordinates and all".

I think I've developed a couple of running superstitions. Firstly, I have to have my Special K with tinned fruit salad before a long run. Secondly, I HAVE to be wearing my lucky Addidas running shoes with the orange stripe. Of course, there's the whole pie and cider thing as well, but that's more gluttony than anything else!

All up it's been a pretty good week of training, and my leg strength is back where I want it to be. I felt fine after Monday's fast 10.6km. V took Mike's lunchtime Balance class at the Terrace gym, and after work I fitted in my leg workout before RPM. I went back to my programme and the leg press seemed almost easy. That was a definite indicator to me that my legs have strengthened up again. I also noted that at some point I've become one of those people who spends a lot of time talking to other people between sets. I guess that happened around the time I started spending half my waking hours there!

After the weights it was downstairs to RPM. Duck was sick and Dee was filling in. It's been too long since a Dee class, and I'll have to start doing Friday mornings again after this. Before the class Dee asked who was up for the Irish jig, and of course I said yes. when the time came I felt compelled to yell out that I'd changed my mind, but of course it was too late. The only option was to fight back, and I did. My dial went up every time Dee even started to think about turning up the dial. Every time the class stood I was already standing. Every time they sat I was grinding away. I didn't allow myself to slow for even a fraction of a second, even as the ante was upped time and time again, the volume increased, the speed quickened. The battle was fought and won on the bike. All that AND Nirvana. There's a reason why Dee's classes are always full.

Surprisingly my legs were still reasonably intact on Wednesday, although my shins were a little grumbly and it took a while for my muscles to shake out. We ran up Willis Street then straight up Aro Valley, and I made it a good way up the hill before it was time to turn around and sprint for the bottom. I ended up running fast back down Willis and was happy with how things went. Oh, and I manged to fit in an upper body/core workout as well. Did I mention I was trying to reintroduce some discipline into my training?

Duck was still sick on Thursday, but I got out of bed anyway and made up a circuit session. I focused on the box step-ups, walking lunges, squats, bench push-ups, glute exercises and ab work we've been working on lately, then cut things a little short to fit in some yoga stretches. At lunchtime I went out for a half hour interval session around the Bays. It was a cold day but there wasn't much wind and quite a few runners were out. I must have been going faster than I gave myself credit for. One guy I overtook (another of those ball-of-their-feet shufflers) took exception and overtook me only to fall back into a shuffle so that I overtook him again a few minutes later. He didn't catch me again as I put my foot down to make sure he stayed behind!

Another Balance on Friday (in which Clare was greatly amused by my sudden inability to tell my right from my left), and then the bulk of the training for the week was over. I wasn't feeling overly sore, I wasn't feeling exhausted. I wasn't feeling like I'd put myself through a particularly rigorous week of training. And yet I knew I had. Hmmm, perhaps I AM a little fitter now after all. I guess I must be or I wouldn't be telling everyone I'm doing my first marathon next year. Plus I'm finally at the point I've been trying to get to all year. I've finished a whole training programme without any serious injuries and I'm ready to move straight into the next one. This feels like the tipping point into something greater - a higher level of personal performance. It's all a little exciting, to be quite honest!

Everything nearly went awry this morning, though it was completely my own fault. Duck and Ingrid sent out a message to say that there would be prizes at today's run, and my guess was that they would be running another treasure hunt. I drank three glasses of wine last night then ate fish and chips for dinner. It's been a while since I've been that self-destructive, and I was quite aware it would impact on my performance today. I was nearly at the gym when I remembered that I hadn't taken any of my medication. I wasn't keen to find out how well I can run without cortisol (I figured an Addisonian crisis on the last Saturday run would not be cool), so I dashed home, swallowed some pills, and made it back to the gym with two minutes to spare.

Ingrid divided us into four teams. Our little team was the second to leave, but we were never going to be the winners. We jogged slowly around collecting clues and chatting as we went. I was happy to run at the pace of the slowest Squadder. My legs were still a little sore from the week's activities and my shins were aching.

Most of the clues were fairly easy, although one of the activities involved all of us sliding down the highest slide in the 'lighthouse' by Frank Kitts Park. It's the biggest slide I've ever been down, and yes, I did squeal like a girl! The last clue involved going to the place where the police worked. Ingrid had said that the treasurehunt was taking place around the waterfront, so the smartest in our team suggested the police launch. We ran all the way there, only to find no one in situ. So we ran all the way back to the police station in Victoria Street, where Ingrid was waiting. We were the last team to arrive back by 9 minutes, and everyone was waiting outside the gym cheering us as we approached the finish. We were only out for around half an hour, but it was a nice way to finish up the week. Afterwards we all sat around drinking coffee, before I finally headed off to do the aforementioned shoe shopping.

And in other news, Hamish's mechanic wants to buy my Mazda and is going to give Hamish the money on Tuesday. Which means I'll have money to buy a scooter with this week. At the moment I've got my eye on a pale blue VMoto. Woohoo!


Bruce said...

I think most runners would agree, you are allowed to be superstitous about your running shoes. Find a good shoe and stick with it. Adidas are my shoe of choice also.

Sass said...


Pip said...

Yayayay indeed!
Oops, I didn't make it to Balance. I was too busy cooking Minestrone. Oh, and doing housework. It seems I have discovered a domestic side. I'd be baking right now, but I got pinned to the sofa a while back by a sleeping cat, and I can't bear to move him...