Verb: PREPARE for Race Day

The new year is in full swing and it’s time to DO something! I have officially signed up for my first 5k: The Color Run on March 16th! This 5k sounded interesting enough to make me want to try it: you wear a white t-shirt and at every km marker, you’re blitzed with color. At the end of the race, you’re tie-dyed! Awesome, right?!

Well March 16th is not as far away as I thought: T-9 weeks. I will be using this time to prepare for race day. I mean, really, how silly would I be to injure myself before race day by having bad shoes or running the race cold-turkey without any prior training? There are PLENTY of other ways I could injure myself before race day. Lack of preparation will not be one of them.

A few posts back, I talked about getting some legit running equipment (check out Verb: RUN). Except, I was missing the most important thing: RUNNING SHOES! I held off for a reason. I went to a running shoe store to get a foot consultation before buying a pair, which was an interesting experience:

I walked into the store and immediately felt lost. I had no clue where to begin, what to ask, or what to look for in a shoe. An associate, probably seeing my ‘deer in headlights’ stare, came over to rescue me. He asked me to take off my shoes and socks and walk a few paces forward (Note to self: next time have a decent pedicure X_x). Tempted to own the runway set before me, I knew I was there for business and decided against strutting my stuff and instead walked normally as this stranger stared at my Flintstone toes. As I turned around to return to the seating area, I heard him smack his teeth and saw him shaking his head. >:-O Are my feet that bad?? He goes on to tell me that I overpronate when I walk. (Sir, I don’t speak Greek. . .could you repeat that in English please??) Basically, my hint of an arch completely collapses as I walk forward. (Click here for a good visual of normal vs. overpronation) He said I am going to need lots of support and that he has some shoes I can try to see how it feels and figure out what I like and don’t like. He sized my foot and was up, up, and away to find some shoes. As I sat alone for 7-10 minutes (someone even double checked to see if I had been helped), I began to wonder if he was MAKING a shoe special enough to meet my dire support needs. He finally returned with 4 boxes. I tried them on to see how the support would feel. . .and boy was he right! I felt like Cinderella finding her lost shoe! I could already feel myself running the whole 5k! Until I saw the prices. . .$120?! Are these shoes going to run FOR me?! #negative #youain’tgettin’mymoneyhoney! Graduate students are paid peanut shells (w/o the peanuts inside), so that was not going down. I simply noted the names of my favorite pairs, and went home to do a Google, eBay, and Amazon search for discounts!

After doing more research into the shoes I liked, I am proud to report I found an alternative pair for $35 on eBay 🙂

If anyone else is interested in taking this journey with me, below is a summary of tips from my experience:

  1. Get a foot consultation from a local specialty running shoe store to determine what kind of support you may need. It’s free! An alternative might be talking with your primary care doctor. (Remember to have a decent pedicure too!)
  2. Get your shoe a size bigger. This will help keep your feet comfortable as they swell and pound as you run.
  3. $70 is a good budget for your first pair. You’ll have a great selection and should be able to find your size (this was a struggle at lower prices because I have such a common shoe size).
  4. You will get to try on shoes at your consultation. Don’t buy them there (unless they are within your budget)! Go home and do some research online (my favorite site was www.joesnewbalanceoutlet.com). Just like a car dealership, the specialty stores will be selling their latest models. Check out older versions of the shoe you are interested in.

Stay tuned for my next steps to prepare for race day! I will be linking up with Black Girls Run and using the Couch-to-5K app!

-AM

©2013 by Ayana Martin

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One thought on “Verb: PREPARE for Race Day

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