I took my new Topo sneakers for their first run two Sundays ago, and I declared it a success.
The man who runs the Be Fit Kailua store where I bought the shoes warned me that, since these shoes are so very different from the styles I’m used to running in, I should start out with them slowly so that my feet could get used to doing their job without all the extra support. He cautioned that I shouldn’t try to set any speed or distance records during my first couple of weeks with them, and I’m finding his advice pretty easy to take. Short, slow runs are the name of my game.
I hadn’t done any running to speak of since the middle of April, so I set my sights on the easy, 1.5 mile run to the beach and back (Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I live less than a mile from the beach! When are you coming to visit?). Although I started out pretty early (insanely early for a Sunday), it was still quite hot and I felt a little creaky.
My knees, in particular, protested the resumption of my running routine and my thighs politely suggested that, if I am going to continue such nonsense in this tropical climate, I’d better head back to Be Fit Kailua and pick up some Body Glide- if ever there was a time to wish for a thigh gap, it is when running during summertime! My feet, however, felt wonderful- I’ll sometimes preemptively rub a little Tiger Balm (this stuff actually works) on them just in case, but so far so good.
These shoes are so light and roomy that it really felt like I wasn’t wearing anything but they have just enough cushion to protect my feet from whatever I’m forced to step on when cars are running me off the road*, so I crossed my fingers that the creakiness I felt in my knees was a result of not running for two months, and called the Topo’s trial run a success. Three runs later, I’m still in love. After the first run, my achilles tendon felt a little over worked and I expected that since the shoe is so flat, but since then, I’ve not felt any ill effects following a run. I worked my way up to two miles on my second run, and the 2.5 on the third. My runs are taking me a bit longer than normal because I had this ingenious plan to run the entire distance on the road that runs parallel to the beach so that I had the sweet ocean breeze on me the entire time. Pretty smart, right? The only flaw is that I then have to walk the entire distance back, and earlier this week I think Don thought I passed out somewhere along the route because I hadn’t returned by the time he left for work and I had some worried text messages awaiting me (although he wasn’t worried enough to come looking for me…).
Tomorrow I’m going to head out for run number 4, and then on Saturday, to celebrate our nation’s independence, Don and I are running a 5k! Why you ask? Well, because when Don saw the advertisement and asked if I wanted to do it, I couldn’t think of any excuse not to other than “I don’t wanna,” and he didn’t think that was legitimate. So, a 5k-ing we will go. The race does have two upsides one being that it starts at 6:30 in the morning so it shouldn’t yet be ball-sweatingly hot, and the other is that it is being held on the runway at the nearby Marine Corps base, so I won’t have to dodge homicidal drivers and their big ole’ cars. The downside, of course, is that I will actually have to run the race, and since I have an almost lethal amount of pride in my newfound athleticism (anybody who has ever had to coach me in any sport probably just snickered), I will want to run, not walk it, and since Don will be there to correct me if I fail and try to claim otherwise, I will have to. C’est la vie, I suppose, but at least I’ll have my new Topos guiding my feet like Mercury’s wings, and at least I’ll have Don’s back to glare at while I will him to trip as he sprints away from me. It’s the little things that make life so great.
*Drivers in Hawaii are notoriously bad, and when warned about them when we first arrived, Don and I assumed people were exaggerating… but they certainly were not. So far, I’ve had to jump onto someone’s lawn to avoid a too-fast car that failed to yield the shoulder to me, I’ve waited at the crosswalk for almost fifteen minutes before a car finally stopped (and I was wearing a bright pink shirt and carrying a neon-striped beach towel so I was more than visible) to allow me to cross, and Jack and I were almost hit by a truck when out for our walk ON THE SIDEWALK! Yikes.