Easy Breezy

I like to support a local running store in Phoenix called the Runner’s Den. I bought my first running shoes there years ago when I had my brief training experience with the 5K I ran. When I re-entered running this time, I went to a larger chain running store but didn’t feel the personal connection there and it was a little too “Scottsdale” for me. So, I decided to take my shoe/running dollars back to the Runner’s Den in the future. Consequently, I am taking advantage of the other programs they offer which I find out about mostly through their Facebook posts. A couple of months ago I did their Good Form Running Clinic and more recently, I have enrolled in the Runner’s Den 10K and half marathon training program which will start in August.

My Asics Nimbus 14 running shoes have too many miles on them so I have been trying for several weeks now to get down to the store to get fitted for a new pair. I typically buy Asics for running since they have felt best on my feet but, I realized, I have not really evaluated shoes since getting to my goal weight. The last two times I was at least 50 pounds heavier – and then I just kept buying the same brand/model of replacement shoes. So, I went to the Runner’s Den to try on a few different types and see if Asics still felt the best. I started with the Asics Nimbus 15 which felt very good. I tried on the Asics Cumulus as well (and eventually the new Nimbus 16). But I really wanted to give 20140711-141401-51241373.jpgBrooks a try since it seems that so many runners gravitate towards them. I tried on the Brooks and really liked them. They felt even lighter than my Asics and maybe a little more support on the outer edges of my feet. The Runner’s Den doesn’t have fancy treadmills or video analysis like the chain store, but they are more then happy to let you go run outside in the shoes to see how they feel….so I did. I decided to go ahead with the Brooks Glycerin. Of course they were the most expensive pair, but because I am already registered for the upcoming training group, I received a $100 credit for a pair of shoes….which brought the price down to a very tolerable $50.

20140711-141112-51072174.jpgAfter I bought the shoes, I decided to join a group of runners for the Runner’s Den “Easy Breezy Group Run” which takes place every Wednesday at 6pm. The temperature as displayed by my car at 6pm was 101 degrees so I knew it was going to be neither easy nor breezy. I’ve been wanting to try this for a while as running with others this year is one of my goals.  I do enjoy the flexibility of being able to run according to my own schedule because I need to squeeze runs in when I’ve been able to make it happen.  But I feel like running with a group and with the training program group will help to push me as well as change things up a bit.

Anyway, there were about 10 people gathered outside of the store. The leader introduced himself and since I had asked a question bout pacing on their Facebook page, one of the other runners knew who I was. He assured me that he was a slower runner too and I wouldn’t be alone.  So we set out back through the neighborhoods. We were headed towards the canal and eventually through the back end of the Biltmore resort – a beautiful area. The leader said they would do 4-6 miles and

Canal in Phoenix

Canal in Phoenix

we could turn around at any point. The path was gorgeous and there was an ever-so-slight breeze, but 101 degrees is 101 degrees and it was tough! I chatted with the guy that I had met beforehand so that made the time pass. I probably talked his ear off and he will avoid me from now on, but I was feeling chatty and it is interesting to hear about other people’s journey to running. This man was fulfilling his goal of running a half marathon every month this year. Pretty impressive as I never wanted to do it again after my first….

20140711-141108-51068030.jpgWe ran the first mile or so straight through but then we took quite a few walk breaks, which was fine. I can imagine if it was cooler, it would have been awesome. We did 4 miles and made it back to the store. I felt good for finishing but, wow, I was pretty wiped out. I had put some Nuun in my water bottles to make sure I kept hydrated but still felt a little sick. I stayed and talked a bit with the others and met a few more people. After I felt good enough to drive, I left to pick up Erin at the gym. I didn’t stop sweating for a long time.

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So, I’m hoping to work that into my schedule in the future. I’m glad I stepped out of my comfort zone…again.

When I got home, I felt like having an Optifast HP shake for dinner.  I took the liberty of adding a little something extra to it after my hard and hot run.

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