So, (thanks Nik for the tip on the store!) I went to the Road Runner sport in Paramus on Rt 4W. Well. What an experience. First of all, everyone who works there are actual runners. The associates all have their "running" stories on the wall and, at very least, look like they're in shape. I mentioned I was running a 1/2 marathon to my sales guy, Brendan, and he immediately guessed I was running the May 2nd Jersey Shore marathon. Skilled in running, cute and psychic! What a guy. By the way, he's also running the same 1/2 marathon. He assured me that it's a pretty flat course and I shouldn't be "too" worried. OK then.
He peeked at my Payless kicks and literally shuddered but had the good manners to hold back on the berating he probably wanted to give. I couldn't help but babble on about not being sure on the whole running thing or the Payless shoes were just an impulse buy. I'm sure I sounded insane. And then he asked me to take off my shoes and socks. UGH. Really? My socks too? and then he had me (THE HORROR) roll up my pants! COME ON. I know this is no foot locker but if I knew I was going to have to expose naked foot and shin I would've had a pedicure and at very least, shaved my legs. I was itching to bolt but I sucked it up and obediently did what I was told.
I walked across a weird jelly pad that took some kind of image of my foot and then my stubbly legs and un-pedicured foot was up on a giant screen TV in the store as he put me on a treadmill to do some kind of high tech analysis. It was a little strange to be jogging in the middle of the store, barefooted but OK. Guess this is what runners do. Here's a shot of my feet that I took with my blackberry to share.
Well, after trying on a bunch of sneakers that Brendan thought would work for me I settled on these Saucony's:
On the floor under the table, you can see my old payless sneakers and my beat to shit Addidas. LOL
I have to say the prices were fair and Brendan didn't price gouge me which he could've tried to do. I didn't give him a price limit when I walked in but I was not going to spend more than a $100. To my surprise with the 15% off coupon that I found online - I got them for around $76 dollars! Excellent. This store also has a "buy them and love them" return policy. I can try them for 30 days and if I hate them, I can return them. GREAT!
It's a chain store and they are all over the country. If you want to check them out yourself, here's their website: roadrunnersport.com (and text "run75" to 46786 to get 15% off your total purchase)
I also purchased some flex-a-min at the suggestion of some of you. It's supposed to help with joint and knee pain. If you need it, here's a link to download a $4- off coupon if you sign up for the flex-a-min newsletter. Rite Aid has a buy one get one free sale on flex-a-min so if you print the coupon and go to Rite Aid, it's a pretty good deal. I had 2 of those coupons so I really made out well! Here's the link for the coupon: http://www.flexamin.com/pages/Signup.asp
AND finally (sorry this is gigantic blog today!) I had a "rest" day but to keep active, I decided to power walk for 20 mins and do some weight machine work. I have to say my endurance has dramatically improved. I was walking 3.5 - 3.8 on an incline for the whole "walk" and I never lost my breath or even broke a sweat. You have no idea how far that is from where I was 25 days ago. my first day of training, I was "running" at 3.9 / 4.0 (no incline) and walking 3.2 was challenging! And yes, I wore my new sneakers.