New Running Shoes

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New Shoes, Same old body

“Mom, it smells like poop in here.”

“Well, I’m pooping can you close the door?”

“Mom, why do you shave your business? It looks like Dad’s goatee.”

“Can I please have some privacy?”

“Mom, do you have your period again? It seems like you just had it.”

“Can you shut the door???”

It is this lack of privacy, this total dearth of alone time that makes jogging so appealing. I can put Lucy in the stroller, fill up a few water bottles and put on some tunes and go. I’ve not yet figured out how to poop, shower or check a menstrual cup while jogging, but if I do I will get back to you. I’m not alone. But it is quiet. No questions. I’ll take it.

I gained more than fifty pounds while pregnant with Lucy. I was Wedding Thin to start with and likely gained ten or fifteen on our honeymoon so it is not fair to blame it all on Lucy. But I do anyway. I did not have preeclampsia or excessive water retention. I just had a new husband that brought me M&Ms and bowls of ice cream because he loved me.

I made peace with my post-baby body. I put a picture of my stretch marks on the internet for all to see. But even if I can deal with the shape, with the number on the scale, I can’t stomach buying a new wardrobe. I gave myself permission to wear elastic waist bands for a few months. A few months are up. Summer affords me the opportunity to wear the empire waist sundress. And while Memorial Day weekend is only a week behind us, I know from experience that September is around the corner. I will not wear maternity jeans as I play with my nine month old baby.

So, I jog.

It’s peaceful. And quiet. And eventually something should happen to my body. I know the “it took nine months to gain it, it will take nine months to lose it” adage.

My mind wanders. I am the slowest jogger on the planet so the slow and steady pounding of the pavement is almost as great as a nap. Lucy certainly finds it peaceful.

I have jogged intermittently over the last seven years. I trained for the OBX half marathon when Em was teeny, running 12 miles at my farthest before I stepped on a sippy cup and elected not to run it. I was jogging again two years ago when my back started giving me trouble. I drank the chiro kool-aid and things started improving.I bought a pair of Vibrams. I read “Born to Run” and I got to work on correcting my heel strike. It was slow going. For years I had perfected what I thought of as a more efficient way to jog. The longer the stride the fewer times I had to actually move my legs, right? The searing pain I was creating in my hips wasn’t helping me. I watched countless you tube videos on chi running. And then I got pregnant and sat on my couch.

When I started jogging again recently I found that the shorter stride, the midfoot strike, the forward leaning body position, it was all so much easier than before. What was different? The extra thirty pounds I was carrying can’t take all the credit for this new and improved running form.

It was during Sergio Mendes’ “Yes, Yes, Y’all” that I had an a-ha moment last week. It was 89 degrees outside and I was jogging at Em’s soccer practice. Week Seven, Day Two of Couch to 5K was telling me to run for 20 minutes without stopping. It would be the first uninterrupted twenty minutes I had jogged in more than a year. MQD volunteered to hang out with Lucy so I could give it a go without the stroller.

A few minutes in to my jog I felt my old familiar heel strike form returning. “Yes, yes, y’all, freak y’all, freak y’all, to the beats y’all, and you don’t stop and you don’t quit” Sergio says and I fell in to a slower groove thinking, damn without the stroller I don’t have any water, I better slow down a little. WITHOUT THE STROLLER!!!

“You’ve got big dreams? You want fame? Well, fame costs. And right here is where you start paying in sweat.”

Hours of Chi Running videos and Danny Dreyer never suggested you just get a stroller!! It was the stroller that had fixed my heel strike. I have to let my feet fall under my body. I naturally lean slightly forward when I jog with a stroller.

I’ll be damned. This kid might be to blame for the extra thirty pounds. But she just might be the key to curing my shitty running form, too. And if all goes as planned my fat ass will be long gone someday and my new, pain free running will be here to stay.

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Not a bad place to jog, if you’re gonna jog…

(For the record, I love the Five Fingers, but the heat was making my normally marginally sweaty feet insanely sweaty. I opted for the New Balance Minimus. They have a Vibram soul. Heh. So far, so good. About twenty five miles in them so far and I like ’em.)

16 responses to “New Running Shoes

  1. Good to hear you’re out there, doing it. Really great. NB is the way to go. Good on you. (They’re made in ‘Merica too, damnit.)

    And when you’re ready to stop prancing about…give CrossFit a shot. You would kill those workouts.

  2. Pingback: Goals | Excitement on the side

  3. Ha! This is hilarious. I gained 70 lbs while pregnant and can’t ever imagine running…however like you I can’t fit into my clothes anymore, so, I walk, really fast. Good on ya!

    • What else are we gonna do? :) It’s not fair that everyone pinches my chubby baby’s thighs and says “How cute is this??” and me? Ha!

  4. Kim Wethe Rily

    I don’t think I’ve run for 20 minutes without stopping EVER.

  5. Elizabeth Young

    Kelly I feel your pain about the no privacy lol We have taken to locking our door for private time because the kids would not leave us alone lol My favorite place is the gym I can put my headphones on and just walk or workout and ignore the world. :)

  6. May I suggest the Insanity DVDs as a way to jump start getting in shape? I’m about to start the last week of the 60 day plan so can attest to its awesomeness. Ive been looking for opportunities to recommend it. :) No equipment, no running, no sit ups (yet I have abs for the first time ever) and just a kick your ass hard workout. Cannot compare to the peace of a jog unless you’re got a room with a tv where you can close the door. But if you do the DVDs for 60 days, I think when you jog after that you’ll be speeding through a 5k like a walk in the park.

    • I have been seriously considering doing Insanity. The only thing holding me back is that with the jogging if Lucy gets fired up, I have to keep going. I stop, I make sure she isn’t hungry and then she can holler all the way home, and I get to finish. I know I wouldn’t be able to keep going if she was yelling at me in the living room. It looks pretty sick. Maybe I will give it a shot when she gets a real nap schedule of sorts working. My other question is about the plyometrics, it seems really jump-y. I am a little worried about the old news… but these elusive abs you mention… I have NEVER had them. NEVER. So this is enticing…

      • Karen Willett

        It is quite jumpy. I don’t have any back or knee problems and so I can’t speak to whether it makes those things flare up. It’s like boot camp, if you’ve ever been to one of those – suicide jumps (some people call them burpees), stuff like that. Probably could bother a bad back, considering the long warning in the dvd intro. I do like the way he warms up (the warmup is actually really hard!), then stretches, then stretches at the end. I’ve never been sore the next day.

  7. Attagirl! I am always so impressed by people who run. I get cramps so easily that the wimp inside me wants to take lots of breaks. I do like yoga and swimming, so I guess just doing something is better than nothing?

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