Let me tell you all something.
I am a bad ass.
But sometimes I am really not.
Like yesterday. I got off work, went to 3 Rivers Running Co on my sock quest. I must have looked fairly lost, standing there staring at the socks & touching them. After about a minute of doing that, an employee asked me if he could help me find something. “I need some socks,” I said, as if that weren’t entirely obvious. I explained how I just started running a few months ago, and just recently started getting blisters as I’ve been running longer distances. I told him I knew I was running in the wrong socks, my plain cotton ones. “Yeah, those will tear your feet up,” he said with a smile.
I was REALLY glad I had done some research on socks before going in there, otherwise I would have felt really foolish when he asked me about compression and thickness. But I had read, thankfully, so I knew that compression was good for preventing chaffing and thickness provided cushioning for long distances.
Distance for me is probably something that a lot of runners might find laughable. I’m delighted to be running a whole mile without walking. In twelve minutes. Which is slow enough to barely be considered running by some people, with longer legs. But I’m proud of it.
So I told him high compression & thin weight. He said, “I have just the thing for you, what’s your size?” Et viola, socks. He also showed me another pair with a slightly heavier knit (that happened to be pink) but I took him at his first instinct, and purchased that pair. And I was off to the gym.
Now all week I’ve been crying to anyone who will listen to me about how much my legs hurt. Not my joints, not my shins, just the muscles, from doing lunges. UG. I don’t even like to use the word because they caused me so much pain. I’ve been stretching and drinking lots of water but the pain just won’t seem to go away. But clearly as soon as it does, I need to do lunges again because my muscles aren’t very strong.
Yesterday, though, walking was bearable, so I figured I would be able to at least do a mile in my new socks. I was dead wrong. I started out at a brisk walk, which hurt. I slowed down a bit and did an extra long warm up, and then set the treadmill to 5.0 (for my 12 minute mile). Not ten seconds later, I had to stop because it felt like the muscles in my legs had burst into flames. I was SO angry. I kicked up the elevation so I could bring some kind of intensity to the exercise. After ten minutes, I still hurt and I was so annoyed I gave up, lifted some weights, and went home.
I felt like a failure at running.
This morning though, my legs felt just a little better. I got up and started stretching. I had a glass of water and kept stretching. I ate some yogurt, and stretched some more. Ok, I can do this.
I told myself as I was getting ready to leave that I would get to 3.1 miles if I had to walk the whole thing and it took an hour. I got on the treadmill at a brisk walk. A few kinks but ok. I sped up to a really fast walk and felt pretty good. And then I ran. A nice 5.0 jog and it felt great. I alternated between walking and running for about 20 minutes until I got to almost two miles. And then I started to really hurt again. I wasn’t even sure how I was going to get to the 2 mile mark so I slowed way down. Waaaay down. I watched the treadmill finally kick over 2.0 and thought about stopping. I was almost at 30 minutes, which is technically the gym limit for the cardio equipment. But then I wouldn’t do what I came for. And quite frankly, my feet (despite my legs) felt great. Yay socks!
So I kept walking. Slowly creeping myself back up to a decent pace, and sure enough I started to feel alright again. So I ran some more, and walked some too. And then I got this crazy idea. I had about a half a mile left, and I was at 40 minutes. It occurred to me that if I kicked it all the way up to 6mph I could finish in under 45 minutes. Screw it, I’m gonna do it.
I cranked it up and felt like I was flying. Something changed in my body because I could barely feel my lungs gasping for air or my muscles screaming at me to slow the hell down. I felt amazing. And I finished 3.1 miles at 44:49.
I think I’m going to go buy another pair of those socks.