Run? Me!?Who am I?
A little about me before I get into running:
I am 42 years old, fall into kind of overweight as per BMI charts. Never ran in my life. Never went to gym or did weights.
I love outdoor activities: I bike(cycle), did about 2500 miles in past 2.5 years. I go on hikes in summers, learned to play tennis and played for 2 summers and used go for walks whenever I get a chance.
Most of all I am a foodie, I love to eat!
How it all started:
One day, my friend 'Venkat' and me were walking our regular trail around our homes, and he pitched the idea about signing up for a 'Half Marathon' which was 15 weeks away. The trail we walk is a hilly one comes to overall 400 feet elevation and 3 miles long, sometimes I used to go out of breath brisk walking on it. Venkat ran a half marathon 2 years before and had some experience with running and is an active gym person and he is my biking buddy.
My first reaction, Dude! Buddy! Me! Running!! Impossible, look at my weight, my tummy and my knees would never be able to take the arduous task of running. I had a knee injury, 10 years back while trekking in the Himalayas and that pain used to surface during my initial cycling days. It slowly subsided as the knee strengthened with regular biking and knee exercises.
Venkat was adamant, would not take a 'No' for answer. He pooled a group of people from our community who are interested to run. Except Venkat everyone was running for the first time.
I could not bear his constant pestering and I signed up for 'Rocky Run Half Marathon - Philadelphia'. I told him I will try but I cannot promise, and my actual words were 'I never ran in my life, and I do not think I will like running in the first place!'
Little I knew, he had a plan in his head, and he was determined to make sure everyone who signed up completed their run.
And, 14 weeks later everyone on the team completed their half marathon. So proud of the team! Everyone had a reason to drop at one point or the other, be it health, family, time or million other reasons in the practical world. But we trained together, supported one other and made the Half Marathon Happen.
I so fell in love with running that I have been running even after the Half Marathon. In further posts I aim to share my experiences, suggestions, tips (gear, weather, techniques) associated to running.
One thing I wanted to emphasize, all the thoughts / suggestions on this page are from my personal experience and from the research I have done. Please consider consulting your health advisor before making any changes to your lifestyle.
I started with running in the month of August, so I had decided to choose regular running gear. I was not confident in running Half Marathon in the third week of November (in US East Coast weather) so thought I would invest in winter gear if I got a hang of running.
(I will talk about the winter gear in another post)
Shoes: I already had new Brooks Ghost 10 in my closet past 1 year which were professionally sized and fitted. Why have I running shoes if I was never interested in running? I have this thing to buy shoes. Apart from formal, casual and regular footwear I have shoes for all kinds of activities in my closet - Running, trekking, walking, Wet weather (quick dry), biking, tennis, snow, water etc.
If you want to get into serious running, invest in a good pair of shoes, there are tons of options out there. I would recommend having your feet sized, and in soles professionally fitted. I have seen many people whose shin splints subsided after having the correct in-sole support for the arches. Also, if your feet are misaligned the effects can be felt all over your body - in your knees, back, hips. There are places like 'Road Runner Sports' where they make you run on bare feet on a thread mill, take slow motion video and capture/measure arches and provide custom insoles for the shoes you choose. The testing is free but the in soles as I remember start at $70 a piece.
Apparel: I tried few other brands but felt Nike is the most comfortable for me and once I got the affinity towards Nike, all my running apparel is from Nike. Initially I was running in shorts and Dri-FIT running shirts but once I got into running in tights, I could not go back. I was skeptical in wearing tights initially, but once I tried, they are so comfortable and fit perfectly - I am loving them. The ones I have in the picture are Nike Dri-FIT Swift running tights which are about $120 and come with pockets, reflectors and inner support. There are tights in different price ranges that you can check on Nike's site. I tried few but the ones I have here are most comfortable.
Nike has Pro series Dri-FIT apparel and regular Dri-FIT apparel, obviously Pro series being much expensive but there are definite advantages in Pro like light weight, better breathability and fit. Regular Dri-FIT are not too bad either, I mix and match between them depending on the weather I am running in.
Accessories: Again I tried few of other