Hello my little nuggets!

I know I’ve mentioned that I have started running with a local running group but I don’t think I’ve said much more about it. Well, I wanted to talk a little about the group and what I’ve been doing with them over the past three weeks. The group is sponsored/funded through a very mom and pop running store here in Springfield called Metro Run and Walk. It’s the only place I will buy running shoes.

Wait one second. Let me stop here and explain that statement cuz I sound kinda like a douche bag for saying that. Here’s the deal. When I started running (consistently) back in 1989, I got really hurt. I had tendonitis for like 6 months and couldn’t run for 8. The first thing my doctor asked was, “how long has it been since you replaced your running shoes?” to which I responded, “ugh?” It was on that day that I realized the importance of running shoes (for anyone who does any kind of distance running at least) and ever since then, I take my shoes very seriously. But, the most unfortunate thing about that is, you don’t have a lot of options for places to buy shoes when you’re serious about your running shoes. In fact, there are only three choices really. One, you can go to a big department type of store (this includes those horrible outlet places) where shoes are sold in mass quantities and most of them are 1 to 2 year old models that have been sitting in the stock room for several months. Not a good option for many reason but most of all cuz running shoes break down just sitting in a box so if they’ve been on the self for a year you’re already buying a pair of shoes that have some wear on them. Two, you can go to places like the Finish Line or the Foot Locker

Who needs a Ref for Running????

 but in places like this, if you don’t do your homework before you go in, the knucleheaded sales people who think they know what they are talking about are gonna sell you a pair of shoes that you don’t need or want for that matter. Your third option is a running specialty store. Now, of the three, this is your best option BUT as much as I hate to admit it, most of the people who go to these types of stores and run/work at these types of stores are the biggest DBs you will ever come across in your life. I’m sure that’s true for any kind of niche store that caters to Aholes who think they are a part of some elitist subculture…that doesn’t make it any less annoying. For years I’ve gone to these types of stores and every time I go I deal with the same old shite…I feel all shitty about myself cuz I’m not running ultra marathons at a 6 minute mile pace. When I tell that pimply faced 90 pound teenage boy who runs tack at the local high school that I run on average 15 – 20 miles a week he invariably gives me the “you should go buy your shoes at Lady Foot Locker” look and I walk away with a major complex and my over priced running shoes. That is, until I found this little running store by my house Metro Run and Walk. I’ve been getting my running shoes there for a couple of years now and every time I walk in there I see the same group of folks and they are all so welcoming and non judgmental. They all seem so truly interested in your running and even if you’re just starting out they take your own personal commitment to running as seriously as you do. Now that’s the way running stores should ALWAYS be…instead of being exclusionary they are so inclusionary and it’s such a nice change of pace. Gives me hope in humanity.

Shoe Wall inside Metro Run and Walk

So anyway..coming back full circle…I was in my favorite running store(Metro Run and Walk) buying my shoes this past January (starting my training all over again) and the guy who was helping me out started asking all kinds of questions about my running. I reluctantly answered his questions..waiting for the judgment to come…when, to my surprise he took my responses, processed them and provided me with some great feedback and pointed me in the direction of joining one of the local running groups and checking out the training program offered through the store. Yes, you could say he was just trying to sell the program, and maybe he was but I wasn’t getting that vibe at all. I felt that he understood where I was as a runner and what I trying to accomplish and he pointed me in a direction to help me get to where I want to be.
I joined the group on March 7 and so far it has been the single most significant thing I’ve done for my running in years. In just three short weeks I’ve already shaved 1 minute off my mile time (lost 7 lbs) and I have a reenergized motivation to run. I LOVE it!!!!! Last night we did some tempo intervals (never even heard of those before) where we did these fast tempo runs broken into two to four repeats with short recovery jogs in between. So in laymen terms, after a 15 minute warm up, we did 3 or 4 X one mile at 10k race pace with three minute recovery jogs (or walks) between each repeat. It was brutal but dude; I was kick’n ass and take’n names. I pushed myself harder than I ever would have done on my own and I was lov’n every minute of it. It’s just so much fun. I encourage anyone who might be reading this..and might have an inclination to start running or to meet a specific running goal, find a local running group and sign up today!!!! It is well worth the time and effort.
I’ll get into more about the group in another post…I think I’ve worn you down by now if you’re still with me. I’ll just close by saying thank you Metro Run and Walk! You’re helping me become the runner I’ve always wanted to be!!!!!
Until next time…happy running!

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