I’ve started a program using the free Nike+ website which I started using originally because my iPod Nano’s built-in pedometer is built to sync workout data to the Nike+ service. It’s a tight bit of cross-integration between Apple and Nike. Once you start syncing your data, the next natural step is to go visit the Nike+ website. There you find games and challenges and lots of tools to get up and out of the house. Nike concentrates a lot on running and I’ve been doing a lot of walking, so when the Nike+ app lauds me for my best distance run, I know it’s just a long-distance walk.
One of the features of the Nike+ system are complementary coach-programs. You can select from a gallery of training programs to follow to achieve various athletic goals. They have a 5K training program, a 10K, Sprinting, and one that I elected to use called the Walk To Run program. This program is a 12 week long scheduled ramp-up to running. The first two weeks have been lots of walking with infrequently placed bursts of 1 minute run intervals. The idea is to get my body acclimated to running and to make sure all my joints, bones, and ligaments are introduced to this high-impact activity in a way that they can adjust slowly and most successfully.
The program so far has been a pleasure. I was using an old pair of New Balance sneakers, but I have a small laundry list of foot-related and run-related issues. First off, my foot size is unusual. I have a 12EEE foot. It’s big and it’s wide. No shoemaker actually makes wide shoes other than a handful and of those, only New Balance makes really nice athletic-style shoes for people with mud feet like me. My other problems are my weight, I want to lose seventy pounds, and lets face it, it’s not that I want to, it’s that I have to. I’ll have a much longer and happier life if I lose this seventy pound spare tire that I’m carrying everywhere. Another issue, and this is actually something I can’t change is that my feet are pronated. That means as I walk I put an uneven wear and stress on my shoes so that my toes tend to “fall inwards towards each other” as I stand and my heels on the outer edge scrub away. My feet are murder on shoes, eventually annihilating soles and their flat construction. My feet literally bludgeon new shapes into the soles of my shoes over a year or two. At the end of the year, shoes are utterly blown out and I have to toss them in the trash. It’s something I can’t change and I’ve accepted that my feet have this odd geometry. I muse that if I lose this weight, perhaps the pronation won’t be so pronounced. Only time will tell.
So far the Nike+ fitness program is working out well. Thanks to Scott I discovered a great picturesque spot to do a lot of my walking and running, around Spring Valley Lake Park. It’s about 2 minutes by car from my house and the paved path runs all around the lake. It’s about 3 miles around the lake proper and walking it twice gives a great walking workout, plus it’s nominally level so it makes running easier too. That all being said, I have run into a glitch. This weekend I’ll be going to Chicago to visit with friends and this could get in the way of my running program. I’m very fond of being able to “Have my cake and eat it too” so today for lunch, instead of sitting back and eating something bad for me I’m planning on going home, doing a quick-change, and running my program for lunch. I won’t be able to get to where I usually do my runs, but I will be able to get it in. While I’m in Chicago I’ll just have to wake up early and do my program run then so as to not get in the way of everyone else. Thankfully I have selected a fitness program that just requires sneakers, shorts, and a shirt. The gym is the road, and that’s very easy to get to.
So we’ll see how well this goes. My ultimate goal is to run 1 mile, then 2, and so on and so forth. I think that if I can train my body to run I can work myself up to 5 miles and then I can run to work. If I do that every day, twice a day, this weight that I carry around should start to drop off. We’ll have to see how it goes. I’ll blog more as I progress.