Saturday, February 11, 2012

Gearing up to Run Again...Soon

Somehow I managed to strain or sprain (never learned the difference) my lower left calf muscle from running on a treadmill (aka "Dreadmill) in the gym the other week. I wasn't even trying to supplement my running, this was strictly to warm up before doing some weight work. A PT friend of mine once told me that you should get your heart rate up before lifting weights in order to increase calorie burn.  Unfortunately, I must have had bad form or something.

When I tried to go for a run outside on Tuesdays, about half a mile in, my lower calf started hurting again.  I tried stretching the muscle and some walk-run alternating to see if it would go away. It didn't, so rather than force it and make the injury worse, I simply turned around and walked the mile back to my car.  I'm not training for anything and the calories I might have burned aren't worth the potential damage I could have caused by sticking with it.

Yesterday was one of the few snows Chicago has received this winter.  My commute home took almost as long as it did during the snowstorm two weeks earlier,yet we had less snowfall overall.  Some people just don't know how to drive in snow.  Others are driving vehicles that just aren't designed for slippery weather.  Neither of the two previous groups seem to have ever taken a driver's ed class in their life.

On Tuesday I bought new running shoes.  Even with the limited mileage I racked up since my knee scope, I finally managed to pass the 300-500 mile threshold that runners religiously change out their shoes.  Most running stores have people who fawn over you and help you pick out a pair of shoes. The ritual goes as follows: they examine the wear pattern of your current shoes; they watch you run in your current shoes; they bring out three pairs that should do the trick. 

Of course a brand new pair of shoes are gonna feel great compared to the weathered and beaten pair you are wearing.  So you play the Shoe Lottery Game: Will the pair I pick be the most expensive or the least? Trick question, they are all within $5 of each other.

I went to Dick's Sporting Goods and didn't experience any of that.  They are a sporting goods store, not a shoe store.  There was a sales person who did help but he wasn't there to sell shoes so much as simply stock the aisles.  He said a few things which made me think he had a ballpark idea of what he was talking about but he also said somethings that made me think, WTF.  He said that the shoes he recommended would be good for quarter mile to 3 miles runs and as you upgrade to five miles and beyond, you wouldn't have to come back and get a different style of shoe.  Apparently he hasn't met very many marathoners.

Still, based on selection available, my shoe size, and comfort, I did go with the Asics Gel-Kayano 18, the second most  expensive pair of shoes, the ones he recommended.  It bugs me that I spent so much on these shoes ($150 after a $10 off DSG card) so I can only hope that with the mileage I'm logging these days, this shoe lasts well into Summer.

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