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Today was Day 2 of the running program (it’s actually more like day 6, but I’m not following the program exactly–as I’ve started one week past the schedule). Once again, I hate to say it, but it bears repeating: I loathe the treadmill. Crazy props to the folks that can get a solid run in on the treadmill and feel good during it; I just can’t.

I know some people say they don’t even like running while they are running, but I can’t say that’s the case for me if I’m running somewhere. My mind is working overtime when I’m outside. I think about the people in front of me and whether they’re going to slow their pace down so they can taste my dust as I run by (did I ever mention that I can be competitive?). They never really slow down as often as I’d like them, too. Instead, I tell myself that I run longer distances, so I pace myself versus their fast paced ten minute jog (even if I’ve been tailing them for like 15, wutev).

Well, today I went to my first running store. You know the kind, the specialized store made specifically for running shoes. I found a handful of them in the area, so I went in and I really liked it. I tried on the New Balance WR00 and MR00. I could only find the trail versions in the store, so I was thrilled to try them here. Unfortunately, they were a little pricier in the store than online, so I decided I might buy them online. I also tried the Brooks PureFlow. They didn’t have my size, but I got the general feel.

I really liked the way the minimus felt on my feet. I enjoyed the fact that they did feel much like slippers. I could tell that I’d enjoy running in them. Maybe it’s snooty, but I like the idea of feeling closer to the ground than in my regular shoes. So, I went home and found them on SwimOutlet.com

I purchased these bad boys for 70$ (40$ cheaper than in stores) and then went on my merry day. I did the dreaded treadmill. I tried to picture the road instead and, while it worked, I still felt like I preferred the road. On top of that, around 15 minutes, I felt a tightness in my lower calf. Right above my ankle, I felt this sharp tugging. “Don’t be a baby, just keep it up,” which, Steven mentioned later, is pretty much the mentality that injured my shins to begin with (the ‘dont be a baby’ mentality).

I stretched after and I still felt a sharp pain with each step. I applied a warm sports pack to both and kept them elevated. I feel much better now and tomorrow is my off day, so I should be fine by Wednesday.

So, as dessert was baking (cherry cheesecake fudge brownie!), I started to read up on heel strike versus forefoot versus midfoot strikes. I can’t believe I never researched it that way before. I typically just research midfoot and forefoot benefits but never a comparison.

Research shows that trying to change your natural gait can cause more injuries than just heel striking. I can’t say I’m a heel striker in my Asics (what I’ve run in for the past X months). I’m not sure what I am, but regardless, I decided to quit while I’m ahead.

I’ve run in my Asics (injury free) since July. When I did hurt my shins, it was due to the excessive increase in mileage. Maybe I was quick to blame the shoes, because how could I have screwed myself up yet again (something similar happened in August when I could hardly walk due to running nearly every day without taking rest days–I am a genius, I know).

So, there you have it. I am going to return the Gravities tomorrow and resume running (at my schedule) in my trusty Asics. As a reward, when I run a 10k, I will get a new pair of shoes. Whether I decide to try a pair of Brooks or continue in Asics, I will decide at that point.

So, what happened with my shoes from SwimOutlet.com? Let me tell you! I called them up to cancel the order I had placed hours ago and the robot picks up and tells me that their menu options have changed. Moments later, I’m told that I have just won a Bahamas Cruise! No way!

I press zero to get an operator, because I’m really not interested in a cruise. I finally get through to a representative who gives me her name and asks mine.

Me: I’m Carmen, how are you?
Her: I’m good, thanks.
Me: I placed an order several hours ago and I just wanted to cancel it.
Her: Oh, okay. Well, you just won a free cruise to the Bahamas.
Me: I’m really not interested. Thank you, though.
Her: Oh..well, have you ever been on a cruise?
Me: No, I haven’t. I’m really only calling to cancel an order. I don’t want to go to the Bahamas or anything. Could I just cancel my order?
Her: Well, you’re going to have to call back, because our lines are very busy.
Me: ….what number am I supposed to call back? Do I not have the right number (LIKE WTF R U DOING RIGHT NOW? <—what I wanted to say)
Her: This number but at a later time

And with that, she hung up.

I was furious! And confused! And what!

Of course, I called right back and got through to a regular person and canceled my order, but I couldn’t let Bahamas Lady go. So I asked the representative about the Bahamas call and he says (calmly, mind you), “Yes, we were very backed up with phone calls.” …..oh, so you just give away Bahamas trips?