Well, I have some good news and I have some bad news. The good news is that it is the shoes, the bad news is that it is the shoes. For six years, I have taken my old runners in and just said 'I want the newest version of these' and for six years I have had fabulous shoes which have never hurt me in anyway. Given that I wanted to start a running program, I should have stuck with my tried and true method; I didn't and it has routinely come back to haunt me during the runs. The longer the distances, the more my feet hurt. I ended up having to speed walk the final run portion of Sunday's outting and it was frustrating. I never expected the runs to be easy but I assumed it would be my lungs that would hold me back, and here I was still able to breath but my right foot/ankle/calf were aching. The walking was better but it still ached and it pissed me off; it wasn't me holding me back, it was my gear. I know now that it is my shoes because I wore my very old but much loved shoes for tonight's run and no pain. Well, substantially less pain. Let's not be overly optimistic!
Having to buy another pair of shoes is annoying, but it's much better than some internal issue which would require more than a new pair of shoes to fix. I've never really been a runner per sae. I was athletic through most of my teens, but all my running was done on or around a soccer pitch. I found the act of going for a run fairly tedious (portable tape decks were named 'walkman' and not 'runman' for a reason!) so regular sneakers did me fine for the day-to-day activities I engaged in. I am learning as I get older, there really is something to the idea that you're only as good as the gear you wear. In a sense, I'm lucky that the pain was enough that I stopped wearing the new runners as soon as I knew what it was. If it was something smaller, less noticable, I may have actually done some damage before I realised what was going on.
We have officially started week three of the 'learn to run' program (which, for those who are so inspired, you can find here) and I'm still really enjoying it. The running is getting easier and we both commented that clothes are fitting better in the midsection; pants are looser, tops hang better and jackets move better. It's encouraging to know that physical change, has been noted by both of us. We're obviously doing something right. The question was posed, what do we do at the end of the six weeks. I know we're only two weeks in, but I'm ready to keep going. I want to make this a habit. I had already gone online and found a few 'run a 10K' guidelines with my goal being to run the TC 10K in April (or at least run more than I walk). Step by step, I am being converted into a runner. I feel like a character on some sci-fi show, you know the ones who are bitten by some strange bug and start to turn into that creature. In the middle of the night, a pair of running shoes (not my new ones, obviously, they're pretty much useless) jumped into my bed and left a bite on my body. I've yet to discover its location and I'm not even sure I really want to, let the 'poison' fester in there and I'll be a true runner before you know it. The response from THR wasn't quite as loudly proclaimed as that from me, but I'm sure I'll be able to talk her into joining me at least once a week.