Spring is only six days away. It is time for the trees to bud, the flowers to bloom, the Greater Vancouver area to receive another official snow warning (damn snow) and for me to ponder activities of an outdoor nature that involve more than walking to the store and back.
I went to Forerunners this afternoon. It’s a specialty running store with an impressively large wall of running shoes. The staff is friendly and appears to know their stuff which is helpful because every pair of runners I have bought in the past has been based on looks alone. Most of the time that got me by but a few pairs back I bought some where the left shoe absolutely murdered my foot. I stubbornly kept wearing them instead of doing the sensible thing and taking them back for a refund. I think it’s just one of those guy issues. That shoe was going to bend to my will. Except it never did.
This time, since I’d be getting shoes specifically for jogging and since I’m not…ah, as young and flexible as I once was, I thought it might be a good plan to put aside cost and looks and just get shoes that wouldn’t kill my feet. The young woman who assisted me measured my feet, made me crouch up and down, stand with my feet apart and cough twice. Okay, the coughing I did on my own. She brought out four different pairs of shoes of various brands and widths and I tried them on, often wearing one of each brand per foot. I’d walk around the store then go out and jog in them for about a half block. I did this enough to actually work up a very light sweat. Embarrassing.
In the end we both agreed on the New Balance MR769STs or as I call them, my pair of lemons. You can see them here (Flash required). They come in silver/blue or white/yellow. I got the white/yellow hence my clever nickname. I have never spent over $100 for a pair of running shoes before. In fact, I scoffed at those who did. My current pair cost $30 and have lasted weeks. Weeks! But I have to admit, the new runners feel really nice. They fit like a glove (as recommended) and have the kind of support and spring that you get when you invest $70 more.
I’m hoping they last till I’m 80.
I have a jogging plan to start out with — the Couch to 5K Running Plan — and now a nice pair of shoes. I just need a place to jog! I could create a route in my neighborhood but this area is kind of hilly and I’m not too keen on running on sidewalks or roads. It’s going to be hard enough on my body without making it even moreso. On the plus side, a route through the neighborhood would keep things interesting, especially if I mixed it up a bit. But for now I think I will stick to dedicated running paths. The closest I could find is about 12 blocks away at China Creek Park (North). I checked it out a few days ago and the jogging path there is dirt but covered with bark so it doesn’t turn to mud when it rains. It had a nice springiness to it, firm but yielding, like a nice girl on a second date. While there I watched someone jogging around the path. And I mean around it — he stayed just off the path all the way around the park. People are weird.
Here’s a satellite view of the park courtesy of Google maps. I have embellished the image slightly for your edification. I am tentatively planning on starting the jogging regime next week and will have my first report then.