Even three year olds respect the T-Rex.

Despite the fact that this is technically a blog that chronicles my journey across America to complete a marathon in all 50 states, you may have noticed that I actually write very little about running. There are multiple reasons for this.  First, most of my readers (so far) are not runners. Therefore, they don’t care. They’re here for my pithy commentary and wit, or so I like to think. Second, as much as I like running, I don’t really have a whole lot to say about my daily runs personally. I don’t usually wear a watch, so I don’t know my mile splits. I’m not fast either way. I know how far I ran and I know how I felt, but there’s not really much to say about that. Today, though, you’re actually going to get a post that’s mostly about running and partially about my soon-to-be awkward future as a runner.

So, hot chiropractor gave me some devastating news last week.

He said I have to start running in minimalist running shoes. My first thought was “Oh God, not the creepy ones that look like foot gloves!” Dr J wears those, and I judge him for it all the time. Every time I see someone wearing them in a race, I move a few feet away. People who wear Vibrams generally cannot be trusted.

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Hot chiropractor said that while he would PREFER that I wear Vibrams, I don’t have to. I could buy minimalist running shoes that look like normal shoes. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, there’s a movement in the medical/running world that says that running shoes as we know them today are causing injuries by making people alter their strides unnaturally. This leads to people landing more on their heels instead of on their toes or midfoot, which creates extra shock and can damage the body. In my case, I have a horrible heel strike that is sending shock waves straight up my spine and making my back worse. Hot chiropractor says changing my stride back to normal with creepy running shoes can fix it. I do what he says. In typical Danielle = Overkill fashion, I ordered 3 pairs of the least creepy minimalist running shoes I could find off the internet to try them all out, with the intention of sending two back.

“I’ll look like a tool while wearing this shoe” – Option #1 – Mizuno Wave Universe

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I wear Mizuno shoes in my normal life at the moment, so I ordered the Wave Universes despite the fact that they are possibly the most hideous creation I’ve ever seen. Apparently they’re really big in Japan. The shoes weigh about 4 ounces and are not made for people with T-Rex-shaped bodies. I might as well have been wearing the Vibrams.

“I’ll look like a sorority girl while wearing this shoe” – Option #2 – Nike Free 2

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The Nike Frees actually felt a lot like my normal running shoes – and that was the problem. There is plenty of arch support, a higher heel – basically all the things I’m supposed to be avoiding according to hot chiropractor. So despite the fact that they’re probably the best looking of the bunch, they have to go.

“I can Occupy the shit out of Columbia in these shoes” Option #3 – Brooks Green Silence

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In addition to being somewhat of a middle ground between the barely there Mizunos and the normal Nike Frees, the Brooks Green Silence is made entirely of recycled materials. I’m no hippie, but that is pretty freaking cool if you ask me. I’m reducing my carbon footprint and creating real footprints! HEY-OOOOOO. We have a winner!

It will take awhile before I fully transition to this type of shoe – probably 6 months before I could run a marathon in them, if not longer. It takes a long time to build up your muscles and bones from how they are now, but I’m excited to start!And hopefully I won’t humiliate myself too much wearing these.

I also ran a 5k tonight, kind of at the spur of the moment. I had been thinking about doing it anyway and a friend convinced me, so I ran it with him and his sons. The race was at Saluda Shoals park, where they have Christmas light displays that you can drive through. Tonight is the first night that they turn the lights on, and the 5k runs through the park and the displays – it’s actually pretty cool, and fun to do a race at night and on a Tuesday, no less!

Guess what one of the light displays was?

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As I was walking past the T-Rex, this mom was pushing her 3 year old in a stroller next to me and pointing out to him all the lights. He kept trying to guess what some of them were – he thought the peacock was a turkey, stuff like that. He guessed all of them wrong until he got to the T-Rex, when he screamed “Mommy, that’s a T-REX!” You’re damn right it is, champ.

In other news, I have forced encouraged Tom to do the Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak with me. Basically, you commit to running at least a mile every day from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. I don’t run every day, and there’s many days where I’m all ” OMG, there’s never any time, I can’t even do one mile,” and have a Jessie Spano- style freakout. No more! This holiday season I’m going to relax. And as a strange byproduct of relaxing, I’m going to run every day. It made more sense before I wrote it down.

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