I was really blessed and honored to be selected by Jeff Galloway to participate in the Mizuno Running USA Mezamashii RunProject. For him to think of me, a non-traditional runner, for the project, made me feel incredible. A lot of people wouldn’t think of a bariatric patient as a typical runner. I don’t run as fast as most, and I surely do not have the typical lanky runner’s body. I DO, however, have a real passion for the sport and being sidelined right now by an injury has had me pretty down. This project was just what the doctor ordered to lift my spirits. The timing was perfect since I just started training for the Walt Disney World Wine and Dine Half-Marathon, where I will lead a large group of bariatric patients to their first half-marathon in November.
I knew Mizuno’s products in other sports like volleyball and golf, but had never tried their running shoes. Part of being selected for the Mezamashii Project means receiving and reviewing a pair of their shoes. This also meant going to their website and using their precision fit analysis to choose the right pair of Mizuno shoes for you. All I can say about the process is WOW. If you have never had a true fit analysis, please go to the Mizuno Running USA site and check it out.
My analysis suggested the Wave Inspire 8’s and they are gorgeous! They are extremely lightweight which is important to me. I also have problems with many shoes from the way they feel in the toe area. I have these crazy long and crooked toes. Okay- I will never be a foot model, I get that. However, when doing athletics, I need shoes that will not crowd my crazy toes and these do not. They feel incredible. For me this was a win/win. The shoes look great and feel great. Now I was ready to try them out on the track.
I headed out for week 3 day 4 of my Jeff Galloway 1/2 marathon training program. This would be the real test of these shoes. It was 96 degrees outside and extremely muggy. Because of the crack in my back, I cannot run but can do a walk/shuffle combination. Due to some of the damage to my right hamstrings from the accident, the right leg tends to still feel tight and heavy. I have to say that in these shoes, that feeling was greatly diminished. I was able to get around much better and actually completed the entire workout which was my first full workout since the accident May 18th.
Was it hard? Of course. About halfway through, I was hot and tired and exhausted and it hit how incredibly out of condition I was at the moment. At first, I felt this huge wave of depression, remembering what it felt like to run and run hard and knowing that on this day, all I could do was walk and shuffle. I got pretty angry. The low point was seeing a lady go jogging past walking her dog. Her motions were so fluid and smooth and she was not going at a fast pace, but she was going and looked happy. I really felt mad at that point. Why couldn’t I be running? I missed it, I really missed it. Before I knew what was happening, I felt tears running down my face and then came the sobs. My pace slowed down to a very slow walk as I cried.
I think a good cry was what I needed. all along I had been not allowing myself a real true cry. Instead I have been telling myself it would be wring to feel this anger and to cry and pout and to whine. On this day, totally alone on that track at Dawes Intermediate School, I let it out. My mind was having trouble processing the fact that just a few months ago, I could run 13.1 miles with no problem, and now, because of a stupid accident, I was struggling to complete 3 miles at a walk/shuffle pace. I know it could have been worse, I know there are people all over the world who would be happy to just walk, much less run even once in their lives. I understand that and get that. I really do.
Some will read this and think I am ungrateful for two legs that let me walk and shuffle. Hopefully some will realize that for me, running was my reality and it was my way of running from my former morbidly obese self. Do you think this girl ever ran a day in her life? She didn’t. She couldn’t. In the end, when I was feeling awful and about to give up, she is also what inspired me to finish my workout. Before I knew it, Jeff Galloway was speaking to me through my 13.1 app and telling me that if I needed to slow down, it was okay, just try to finish. The app is awesome and senses your pace and coaches accordingly. All of a sudden, I felt this tremendous wave of emotion come over me. I thought about all of my Fit and Flourishing clients who looked up to me as their trainer and leader. I had to finish for them. Then I had one of the scariest thoughts of my life and had no idea where it came from. It felt like a movie playing inside my head. The girl from that picture was chasing me and telling me to wait for her. All of a sudden I felt this wave of energy and knew she was not going to catch me. Next thing I knew I was going around the track and saying over and over to myself, “I am NOT the fat girl, I am NOT the fat girl.” Apparently that was just the motivation I needed and the next thing I knew, Jeff was congratulating me on competing my workout.
One very noticeable difference in the new Mizuno shoes was that I did not find myself wanting to get the shoes off as fast as possible. Usually, I take flip flops with me to change into after a workout. With these shoes, I never had that urge. I love them! Having my feet feel great is a huge motivator as I try to train for this race and get past my injuries.
After getting through this workout, I owe thanks to the shoes and the old me they are taking me away from, step by step.