|Returning Cameo Appearance by Spencer, the World's Most Box-Loving Cat...|
(Thanks to Kim-Com, who outdoes herself on a weekly basis!)
As usual, my week had some ups and some downs. On the Downsides List? Allergies!!! The wind, I can tell you for a fact, is not my friend. Neither, apparently, is pollen. I had to take some time off from my workouts, and missed out on a Sunday ride that Bike Guy and I had planned. Bleh... But, I managed to finish three workouts, so I guess things ended on an up note. Plus, there was shopping!
First up for the week was a walk at the Rose Bowl, on a beautiful, cool morning. Throughout the walk, though, I was having trouble with pain in the muscles above my ankles. Later in the week, on a should-have-been-fun canyon walk, I had the same experience. Since this has been bothering me for some time (and I started feeling sorry for Walking Friend, who was having to listen to NON-STOP whining!), I decided to research my problem on-line. Enter the World of Running Shoes! This is a world like no other, with words like “Stability,” “Over-pronation,” and (my personal favorite) “Supinate.” (I do that sometimes, apparently. Do you???)
Meanwhile, I was invited to do a hike with WF, Super Hiker, and some other friends. Also planning to hike was The Kind One. She is a friend that you can always count on to help you out, and to always see the good in people. She is like Underdog! This hike was to be on a “real” trail, and I no longer had trail shoes, so between my muscle problems, and the need for trail shoes, all signs were pointing to a trip to a real running shoes store.
Do you guys remember the “olden days,” when we just had a pair of “tennis shoes” (sometimes called “tennies”) and we’d do absolutely everything in them? Well, as you are probably aware, those days are long gone, and each activity has its own dedicated shoe. If you have not had the pleasure of going into a store dedicated only to running/walking shoes, and are not an avid and/or elite-style runner, it can be a daunting experience. However, my new best friends at A Snail’s Pace Running Shop, in Monrovia, made me feel at home, and we got down to the business of figuring out the problem with what, I’m proud to report, is my “very unusual gait.” Yay, me. Way to rock the weird walk.
As it turns out, I used to need a very high-stability shoe, and they think (on the plus side), that things have strengthened over time, causing me to need more of a neutral shoe. There was a lot more, but I’m sure that the state of my crazy-ass arches is a lot more interesting to me than it is to you. The bottom line is that I have been wearing the wrong shoes. Three times a week! Fast forward (many hours, and probably many disgruntled other-customers, as they waited for me to work out my myriad of problems…) to my purchase of a pair of trail-running shoes, along with some arch-support inserts.
So, my pretty new shoes and I hit the trail with our friends. Dude. Hiking is way harder than I remembered! At some point, I realized that our group was like a centipede, with me being the butt. The head would stop to rest, but when the butt finally arrived, the head was well rested and took off again. And so we went… But my friends are awesome and supportive, and we had a lot of fun.
Throughout the hike, my glasses persisted in their fogging up shenanigans. It was fairly disturbing, and probably a bit dangerous, to be hiking downhill on a steep, narrow trail while not seeing very well/at all. I’m sure I looked like a Big Goofball. As we’d pass people on their way up, and they’d say hello, I could see them look at me with concern (or that’s what I think it looked like…). I would sing out “HI!” all sunnily, so they would not be alarmed by my red face, sweaty hair, and foggy glasses. I’m sure, as my Grandma used to say, I “looked a fright.” Jeez. (Side Question: Has anyone tried that spray stuff that is supposed to stop the fogging? I’m interested, but am worried it will disturb the many thousands of other coatings that are on my glasses.)
At any rate, various friends went various distances, and I made it about a mile up the trail. I’m pretty pleased with that. At one point, as we were walking down, we passed a friend, and The Kind One introduced me to him. WF pointed out that I had been in the group before, and perhaps I’d met him? Then KO said, “Yes, but she took a 10-year sabbatical.” Ha! Kind, and Funny too! Eventually, though, WF, KO, and I made our way down together, to be greeted at the local coffee house by Super Hiker and other friends.
What a day! As hard as it was, I can’t wait to do it again!! I’m totally on board with this hiking thing. Next time I’m going to take my hiking poles, to avoid having to crab-crawl down the rocks in a less-than-graceful fashion. They will also come in handy in the event I should encounter a bear. Or an ax-murderer.
Since the hiking shoes were a huge success – not one blister - I headed right back to the running store to check into some regular running shoes for our walks. I think I have it all worked out now, but Man-Oh-Man, do I own a lot of athletic shoes!!! I have shoes for tennis, shoes for bike-riding, shoes for hiking on a trail, shoes for walking/running on pavement. It’s a Shoe Extravaganza!! It’s a wonder I can even get in or out of the house sometimes, what with the piles of shoes everywhere, and the decisions on which ones to wear.
|Sometimes my level of dedication makes me tired.|
One last thing. Bike Guy recently mentioned that I spend what he thinks may be an inordinate amount of time discussing Sport Beans. He is beginning to wonder if I have a problem. The fact that I refer to them as “magic beans” probably does nothing to lower his level of concern. Personally, I don’t see what the big deal is, but I hope he doesn't notice how much Gu I am stockpiling.
|They were having a sale. |
I don't have a problem. Really.
I can't wait for next week, when I will get to try out at least two new pairs of shoes. I'm hoping I don't discover any new activities I might enjoy, anytime soon. My wallet isn't feeling this love of fitness that I am cultivating for myself.
Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes.
~~Henry David Thoreau, Walden