Getting the Gear

I can be such a shallow girl at times! I do love me some shoe shopping! And this new sport of mine was a perfect excuse for shopping for new shoes! It wasn’t pure vanity and vacuousness though. Anyone who walks or runs will tell you how important a good pair of shoes is.

After a few weeks of RWFL, I decided it was time to invest in new shoes. My old Reebok cross trainers were uncomfortable and I was pretty sure they weren’t providing the support they were supposed to. Especially since I have ridiculously fussy feet which over pronate and arches which no longer arch.

In Joburg, it seems the place to go for running shoes is The Sweat Shop. So off I went. The guys there are extremely knowledgable and they measure and assess your feet and requirements before recommending anything. They then provide you with shoes to try out and observe as you run up and down a corridor to make sure that the pair you are buying is ideal for your gait. There’s no buying for aesthetics here. It’s all about the fit and form. Once I had found my perfect pair of New Balance shoes, I hauled out my credit card and winced a bit as I paid more than I had ever paid for a pair of shoes before. I’ve never regretted the purchase though – my feet love them and months later, they’re still going strong.

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The next important bit of gear I acquired was an awesome early christmas gift from my husband. A TomTom running watch! Granted, this wasn’t as essential as the shoes, but I feel lost without my watch. I love being able to keep an eye on my pace while I’m on the road and uploading the runs to Strava afterwards is my favourite part. Analyzing and seeing my progress has been a huge motivation. It also keeps me honest. I cannot delude myself about how well or badly I’m doing when I have the stats in front of me.

Keeping track of the minutia of my pace makes this hobby fun and interesting. This may sound silly but wearing a proper sports watch signifies my commitment to staying with the programme!

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Finally onto the clothing… I have a real love/hate relationship with fitness clothing. It was only at the beginning of this year that I graduated from cotton ski pants and baggy cotton t-shirts to proper fitness gear. I just couldn’t bring myself to appear in public in such form fitting and revealing clothes before. I’m still not big on seeing myself in running gear but I can feel a huge difference in terms of comfort when I am exercising. I guess I am am just learning to not look too hard at myself in the mirror. That is not a bad habit to encourage!

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