Saturday, March 31, 2012

My Glass Slipper

Today Jason and I went to Big Peach Running Company so that I could get fitted for a proper pair of running shoes.  As soon as we walked in we were greeted by Todd, one of the sales associates.  I explained to him why I was there and he got me started on their Fit Process.

First thing he had me do was stand on a pad that scanned my feet to tell us about my arch, center point of balance and where I bear the most weight.  He said my arch was normal (which really surprised me considering I'm an avid flip flop wearer about 90% of the year).  My center of balance was a little to the right, which was no biggie, and I put more weight on my right foot than on my left.

The next thing he had me do was jog for about 10 seconds on the treadmill.  They use what is called a Video Gait Analysis.  They record you as you jog to get a better understanding of your pronation tendency.  He told me that only around 30% of runners have a neutral/normal pronation.  He then had me watch two other videos before we watched my video.  The first was a runner with a neutral pronation - the ankle stays fairly straight and the back of the shoe is level with the ground.  The second was a runner who over pronated.  We then watched mine, where I learned I have a neutral pronation.  I was in the 30% - woo hoo! :)

I really liked the neutral stability shoes he had me do the analysis in.  They were the Brooks Ghost 4.  They had a good bit of cushion and felt nice when I ran.  I was going back and forth between them and another shoe.  And the shoe that won is...

The Mizuno Wave Rider 15!

It's a more firm shoe but I felt good in it when I jogged around the store.  I may also get a pair of the Brooks for some variation.

If you're in the market for a new pair of running shoes I highly recommend Big Peach Running Company.  Their exchange policy is also great - Todd told me that if I took a run in them and decided I did not like them that I could bring them back!   Can't wait to take them out on their first run.

They have tons of other products for runners that I came across while deciding which shoe I liked best - apparel, socks, energy supplements, even stuff for your dog.

So, needless to say, this soon to be princess has found her glass slipper

Monday, March 26, 2012

Up To Speed

Since I "officially" started my "training" 2 weeks ago, I thought I would catch you guys up on how things are going, what I've been doing, etc.

A new fitness center opened at Fowler Park, a local parks and rec department near our house.  After researching the membership fees, we decided that it would be more affordable than a monthly gym membership and joined up.  It's nothing fancy, but it's got the equipment that we want and need to use to do our strength conditioning with.  I have been making an effort to go 2-3 times a week after work and, so far, I have stuck with it.

Since my first BIG goal is to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon next February, I set a few smaller goals for myself.  First things first - to run a 5K.  In high school, I ran the 1600m...but that was over ten years ago.  So...some training is in order.  A few of the 409 ladies have used a variety of different iPhone/Droid apps for the Couch to 5K training, so that's where I decided to start.  I chose to download the one from Zen Lab.  I really like this one as you can play music from iTunes in the background and she (the voice from the app) tells you verbally when to start running, start walking, and even when you're halfway done.  So far, I have completed Week Two, Day Two, and plan to do Week Two, Day Three today after work.

Speaking of 5K's....I am officially signed up for my first one!  It's called The Boulder Dash and it will take place on Saturday, April 28th, in Cumming.  The race starts in the hospital parking lot and ends with a run through the quarry (shouldn't it end in the hospital parking lot?)  Jason's company is one of the sponsors so he'll be cheering me on at the finish line.  My friend, Sharon, is training with me and will be running the 5K as well.

I think that's about all the excitement I have to share from the past two weeks.  Stay tuned!


Here Goes Nothing!

Welcome to my little spot on the web!

First things first, I should probably properly introduce myself to you and give you a little insight to my blog. My name is Jennifer (Jen for short). I am a 30 year old born and raised peach that's still living and working in Georgia. I have been married to my husband, Jason, for 3 years, and our only child is our awesome pup, Guinness.

I graduated from North Georgia College and State University in May 2006 with a degree in Physical Education. I have been active ever since I first gripped a T-ball bat in my hands at the age of 5. I have played softball, basketball, track, and even dabbled a bit on the JV baseball team my senior year of high school. I did not immediately choose my major upon entering college. It wasn't until after having a talk with my grandmother did I realize what I wanted to do.

All through college I was able to maintain my fitness level. Having a gym to access right on campus as well as intramural sports to participate in really made it easy. It wasn't until after I graduated and began dating Jason did I let my fitness level and healthy lifestyle slide. We weren't nearly as active, didn't have the best diet, and both gained our fair share of weight.

I tried a number of different methods to lose the weight I no longer wanted on my body - I bought a bike that ended up at Goodwill...I sparingly used the fitness center in our apartment complex unless the couch felt like a better choice...I even went on the hCg diet, where I did lose 25 pounds but gained it all back...nothing was working for me...and I hated the way I looked and felt.

During this past Christmas Jason approached me and said that he wanted us to make a change in our lifestyle - to be more healthy in both our diet and exercise levels. We began taking daily walks with Guinness around the neighborhood and I found a wonderful website with tons of comfort foods that had a healthy twist to them. I was able to lose ten pounds and Jason lost twenty, but then I plateaued...and gained about six pounds back. I began to feel like a failure...again. Why am I letting this happen to me?

I have a wonderful group of friends that I will refer to as my 409 girls. We came together on TheKnot while planning our April 2009 weddings (hence the clever name 409). We have kept in touch since our weddings and have even had meet-ups and a huge get together in DC last May. These women are truly amazing and I'm thankful to have their friendships. A few of them are fairly active and are great at motivating those of us that need a little push. A few weeks back, one of my friends, Amanda, mentioned that she wanted to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon next February. I did some research and it looked like an AMAZING event geared towards women and their determination that we can accomplish anything. I decided then and there that I would accompany her at Disney.

So here I am! I decided to blog about not only working towards my goal of a half marathon, but my goal of getting back to a healthy lifestyle. My decision to share my story and my journey with those that have stumbled across me as well as those that I bribed to follow the blog (just kidding!!) comes from 1) holding myself accountable, and 2) possibly helping someone find that motivation they were looking for to jump start living healthy.

So ladies (and gents)...let's do this!