Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My next planned adventure...

 According to the source of this photo, it's completely related to this post.  To which I say, "huh?"

Almost all of my readers, as far as I can tell, are people I know and who know me personally (and if that's not the case with you, and I don't know you're reading...where the heck did you find me?).  So you probably know I live an "active lifestyle" that includes regular exercise.

My preferred form of exercise is running.  It is particularly appealing because it doesn't require any equipment besides my clothes and shoes, it doesn't require a gym membership, and I can do it basically anywhere I find myself (though I'm horrible about going for runs when we're traveling).  It's also a great way to explore a new place and just to feel the wind on your face (as long as it's not swelteringly hot and humid, in which case you feel like you're running through pea soup.  Which is gross.).

Sometimes, I also enjoy being able to literally run away from home!

While I was stuck not being able to run for various reasons during pregnancy, I read Born to Run by Christopher McDougall.  First off, let me just give a very quick book review:  read it.  It is a riveting story with a fascinating and hilarious cast of characters.  It also happens to deliver compelling scientific information from exercise physiology and evolutionary biology that makes our cushy shoes seem downright dangerous.  And it teaches you how to kill an antelope by running it to death.  Ok, not really - but it does make a case for humans actually having evolved to practice persistence hunting, and hence designed to run barefoot and very long distances.

Which brings us to my next back-to-nature adventure.

I don't think I could go completely barefoot (I run on too many roads and gravel trails not to worry about pebbles/gravel and glass!), but I'm starting to look at transitional-to-minimalist shoe options.

I figure now is a great time to do this.   I'm coming back from pregnancy by doing the couch-to-5K program, having been training for my first half marathon when I got pregnant with Bean (I was up to running 8 miles at a stretch and it was awesome) and having been running about 6 miles at a stretch when I got pregnant with Squeak.  So, as I'm slowly building up my mileage again, I'll also slowly shift to minimalist shoes. Or at least that's my plan!

My goal on this adventure is to FINALLY - 4.5 years after originally scheduled - run my first half marathon in spring of 2011.

My hope is that I'll feel generally better - no back or knee pain, specifically - if I run closer to the way I'm physiologically meant to!

I am a bit tickled by the idea of getting away from swooshes and other logos on my shoes, too.  I'll be writing a post about this shortly, but I'm becoming more an more anti-logo and anti-corporate.  The marketing bothers me, I don't buy anything for the brand name (well, I probably do subconsciously because those rat bastard marketing folks are smart and well-researched!), and I don't like feeling as if I'm paying a company (*cough*Nike*cough*) so that I can do advertise for them.  If I could figure out how to winterize them (i.e. wear them with wool socks...) I might even be interested in Luna Sandals.  Unfortunately, those and Vibram Five Fingers are probably out for me because I don't think I can deal with something between my toes during runs!

So, as far as I've gotten on this adventure is being completely stoked to get out and run, and to try out a pair of shoes.  I've read lots of reviews and followed links to research articles from here, and I'm ready to head out to my local running store  to compare a few as soon as my baby toddler husband dog laundry life will let me!

Guess what I want for Christmas!! (Bonus:  these shoes are generally much less expensive than those I've been buying!)

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