Starting from scratch in an elite fitness-blog-world full of expensive gear, and Personal Records she couldn't beat with a car.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Patriotic or patronising?

While I was doing the cool down walk after my run today a car sped past me with a few teenagers in it. One leaned out of the rear window with an American flag do-rag on his head and yelled "USA! USA! USA!" at me, pumping his fists as the car passed.

I really don't know how to take that one. I'd like to think he was just being over exuberant about the Olympics in a mildly jerky way, but I have to wonder if it had something to do with my appearance.

I'm rocking an especially serious tan right now, and am what you might call "ethnically ambiguous" even at my palest. People have been asking me "what I am" my whole life and I've gotten a spectrum of guesses from Indian, to Polynesian, to Turkish, to Brazilian (for the record, I'm a complete mutt with a heavy dash of Latin flavor). Often in my teens and sometimes even now I get followed at a safe distance by concerned looking clerks in stores.

Ultimately nothing happened beyond some idiotic yelling and a withering look in response, but some people are not so lucky (I lived within miles of this incident at the time) and it's a good reminder that there are people out there that look for trouble. As things go NY is a pretty tolerant place to live if you're kinda brown, but it definitely has its scary moments, especially since 9-11.

Have you ever had a run in (ha ha) that spooked you a bit?

September Blog Challenge Day 8
How many pairs of workout shoes do you own?

My preferred state is actually to be barefoot (though you wouldn't know that from the size of my high heel collection) so I initially gravitated toward minimalist shoes, but they mess with my knees something fierce. The orange ones below are Nike Frees but I no longer remember which version they are. I tried running in them the first time I tried to pick up running five or six years ago but it never ended well, I mostly use them for long days at amusement parks and the like as they are comfortable enough for walking. The toe shoes are Vibram Bikala LSs which I had a great deal of hope for, but the first time I tried C25K they left me practically unable to walk after week two in them. I still haven't decided if I'm going to try to use them for anything.

Once I recovered from that I went to a real running store and had them look at my gait. Turns out I'm somewhat flatfooted and compensate by being overly flexible, so I over-pronate. I also get ingrown toenails very easily so I have to wear shoes with a big toe box or it becomes very painful. This was actually one of the main reasons I avoided running for a LONG time and is another reason the Vibrams didn't work out well.

I walked out with what was probably the most expensive shoe in the store, the Saucony Hurricane 14. The price-tag was a bit shocking, and I was somewhat suspicious that OF COURSE the first recommendation was the newest, spendiest shoe in the store, but I have to admit they've worked out well and I also LOVE that orchid purple colour. My knees are now pretty much happy and I have never once had pain from my toenails. I'd like to get something more trail/weather friendly for the winter but I only have about 50 miles on these so for now I'm doing well enough with the one pair.

My run today: C25K week 7 day 3
3.09 miles at 11:20 per mile

Focused on slower pace and more breathing, and did soooo much better. No struggling to get breaths, no nausea. I have noticed a small ache in my right arch for a week or so but nothing terrible and I don't feel it at any other time so I'm just going to use my Foot Rubz and keep an eye on it for now.

I have no idea how I dropped 0:48 off of my pace from Thursday because I felt like a turtle. I'm totally jazzed to see I almost hit 5k during the timed C25K section.

With three more minutes of running per workout next week I expect to hit 5K before the workout ends and that has me REALLY psyched. Up until today the 25 minute no break runs were very hard on me and I was worried about making it on even a slightly longer run but now I'm pretty confident I can do it without stopping for a walk break.

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