Fleet Feet Montgomery

By on 26 May, 2016 in Kate and Stephen, Shopping with 0 Comments

IMG_2420I started running just over a year ago. I’d never done it before, but I figured it was worth a try: something I could do on my own time, outdoors, without the many ways a gym can overload your senses. I’ve written here before about other fitness adventures. I’ve tried the fabulous personal trainers at The Training Room and for a long time I went to Montgomery’s own MJ Yoga. This seemed like a way I could choose my own adventure for a low, low cost. I read some of Meg Lewis’ running posts from our archives and decided to give it a try.

Like most other hobbies, you can spend pretty much as much or as little money as you want. I’ll admit that when I started I was VERY skeptical of my ability to stay committed. So much so that I purchased exactly two pieces of equipment: running shoes and a sports bra, both out at a big box store. I downloaded a free Couch to 5K app onto my phone, pulled out my headphones and gave it a try.

It was slow going at first. By which I mean that I was slow. And that it seemed to take forever to reach new  milestones in the program. But I persisted. And I resisted the lure of the endless supply of running support products the infosphere seemed determined to sell me. I wasn’t sure if I’d make even two miles without stopping. When I did, I made my first running purchase: Bluetooth headphones. I was tired of wires slapping against me as I ran; I hated them falling out of my ears. After considerable research, I bought the Jaybird X2 model, and I have to say that they changed the game for me. Plus, the sound is ridiculously good. I got a cheap phone case to strap to my arm so it didn’t slip out while running.

After such an extravagant investment, I didn’t think I needed anything else. Then the weather got hot and I realized that the arm strap I’d bought was…well, I got what I paid for. And, with a vicious rash, I paid for what I got. Also, I worried like crazy that I’d lose my house key while running. Finally, many running shorts do not have very secure pockets. I bought a clever belt to solve all three problems.

IMG_2419And then, basically, nine months passed with me trying to work on distance and pace. And the summer heat, which I was not ready for – I took much of it off, unfortunately, so I was way behind when the new year started. I was determined to work on my fundamentals. A wise friend with much running experience recommended something called “interval training,” and with it a book by Troy legend Nick Costes. The Internet obliged my interest. This seemed much more complicated than my existing app, that helped me to mark time and distance (I eventually combined with Map My Run, also free, with GPS tracking).

I was still very frugal with my running habit until I had dinner with a friend who told me that her ankles became injured running on worn shoes. This sounded extremely painful. I asked the Internet how I might know that my shoes needed replacing, and sure enough, I had some symptoms: loss of tread in some key areas, midsole visibility.

I decided to consult a professional and went over to Fleet Feet Montgomery on Zelda Road. I knew that they offered free shoe consultations, but I didn’t even need to make an appointment – I just walked on in. I’ll admit, I was skeptical of needing new shoes up until the moment I put my feet in the new ones. There was the support I’d been missing! They even helped me into some custom insoles to help with my slight pronation. As a bonus, they taught me how to tie a “runner’s loop.” How I’d not learned this, I’ll never know. But it’s a must to secure your ankles.

My experience at Fleet Feet was pretty much perfect – friendly, knowledgeable staff who were thorough but efficient. I was able to wear my new shoes out and recycle the old ones. And after a few runs, I must say that I’ll never wait too long to replace my shoes again.

The other cool thing about Fleet Feet is that they are very involved in promoting running in the community – chances are that if there’s a local race, they’re involved somehow. For example, they’re offering a series of eight free “Pub Runs” this year – presumably so you can feel less guilty about your drinks after a little jog with friends.

I’m glad that I’ve taken up running, and am happy that I started out frugally. You never know if a habit will stick. But now that it’s pretty thoroughly stuck, I’m happy to be able to shop locally. We’re lucky to have Fleet Feet in the neighborhood.

Kate and Stephen are Midtown residents with two cats, a dog, ten fish, a garden, an old house and a sense of adventure. They write about life in Midtown here and about life in Montgomery at their blog Lost in Montgomery.

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