Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rabid Runners

"Running is like mouthwash; if you can feel the burn, it's working." Brian Tackett

I've never really considered myself a rabid runner until a friend told me I'm crazy for having more than one running shoes. Honestly, after hanging out with like minded runners for nearly a year online and offline having 3 or even 4 shoes is a natural thing for me. I definitely do not think of the habit as being crazy.

But then I recalled a time when I went to this cyclist's house and he has - wait for it - about 6 bikes in his house, hanging from the walls in his living room. "There's more, in the back room, " he told me amusedly, as my mouth gaped open at the beautiful (and expensive) mess that is his house. I never knew why you needed more than one bicycle.

The same thing goes to running. For a normal runner, one shoe is enough. That's all you need. But over the period of time you sort of know what your feet needs, and what your body wants. and if you like one shoe and like to run, you want to have at least another identical pair.

As for me, I have been running in the same one shoe all throughout uni. It was also the one pair I used for all other sports - which was a killer now when I think about it. Currently I have 3 pairs of running shoes. One is in my parent's house in Nilai, another one is in my sister's house where I live now, and another pair is in my car. Other than for the different location, I also have 3 pairs because:

a) I don't want to wear them out fast.
b) One pair is my favorite for big races.

I also have a pair of trail running shoe, and various pairs of running socks. I'm not sure whether I've used them all. I think I went crazy during one sporting house sale and got suckered into buying all these socks. I usually wear mismatched socks anyway.

Last year when I was really into running, I would just buy a whole running ensemble (t-shirt, sports bra, running pants, socks) WITH shoes if I felt the urge to run and didn't pack my bags. Yes. It was bad enough that I work in the same place as KLCC, where going shopping is as easy as just punching in the elevator button to which level. The sales person there were all too familliar with me at one time. I was DEFINITELY crazy at that time.

Anyway, went for a run yesterday. Just a simple 6k, with both my ankles feeling sore. I was diagnosing them as I completed my run - shin splits? PF? Tendonitis? - and actually had fun doing it. Who am I kidding I'll always feel the pain when I run now so I figured might as well just bear with it and run within my limits. It makes me feel better that I'm not the only one who pushes through their running disability. In an interview Bart Yasso - the famous person behind Runner's World and the creator of the Yasso 800 marathon method - talked about his Lyme disease and how it has damaged one side of his body - the ankle, the hip joints and knees. He said that his, "right leg is always in pain. It's kind of like if I get out there and get in a groove, I forget about the pain and enjoy hanging out with the runners."

Also another good point from him, when asked what advice he has for runners - newbie, aspiring, competitive:

"First off, just commit to and go for it. Don’t be afraid. Everyone is scared at first. Second, you’re in control. Run within yourself. Be your own person. Don’t let the big picture get in your way. Someone’s always last and someone’s always going to beat you no matter your level. It’s going to happen. Just enjoy it. When I stood at the start of Badwater and the race director said, “1 minute until the start!” I suddenly realized I had never run past 26.2 miles ever. This race is 146 miles! At first I thought, “Whoa! This is pretty scary!” But then I chilled and told myself, “You can do this. Just keep it fun. If you enjoy it, it will come to you. Pace yourself and enjoy every step.” And, that’s what I did. It’s hard to image that running 146 miles, every step can be enjoyable, but it really was, and I think it was because that’s the attitude I started the race with. The mental side of our sport it a huge part of it. When you’re able to control the mental side, you can do great things. One thing about running is that there are no short cuts. It’s an arduous sport. You’ve got to be happy with little gains along the way and just keep working at it. If you can do that, you’ll be around a long time."


  1. Yasso's quote - will apply to my swimming :) thanks

  2. I've lost count of the number of shoes I've owned.

  3. syah: what are you talking about your swimming is better than mine!

    haza: hahah and I bet you have the specific favorite. Mine would be my New Balance and I use it so sparingly cause sayang.

  4. That Yasso quote. Hmmmm....to be or not to be in the starting line of FM in SCKLIM? hmmmmm

  5. Good job, learning to run through pain helps mentally prepare us for long runs. I ran this morning with blisters (not recovered) and shin splints as well. But Nadia, we should know the difference between aches/sore vs an injury. Take care!

  6. ziff: just do it! heheh I'm thinking of pirating the run.

    kash: yes, was trying to work out yesterday whether it was the old injuries coming back or what. but they didn't feel like my past pain (both the knees and ankles) so I figured maybe it's just typical soreness.

  7. having 2 or more running shoes are actually better coz each pair will make use of slightly different muscle (especially the smaller ones). It's better if we alternate the usage.

    p/s - In general, soreness occurs hours after the exercise is over. This is different from pain, namely muscle strains and sprains. It is important to note that both, sprain and/or strain occurs during the activity (abrupt, specific and sudden pain) and often causes swelling and bruising. I've written an artcile on Soreness and Pain. Check it out here;

  8. hihi, dont mix up the shoes like i did =) u pirating NB15K?? i cam ngidam sket2.. biar pun g morning run-walk g2.. hehe