Hi guys! Meet Caitlin of Healthy Tipping Point. Caitlin is our first featured runner for this month’s installment of Feet on the Street, so let’s give her a nice warm welcome! When I first started reading foodie blogs I stumbled upon Caitlin’s blog as she was getting ready for her dream wedding and I’ve been following her since then. One of the things I loved about her blog was her enthusiasm for running. Since I was (and still am!) very much a beginner and just starting my running journey, being able to see the miles she was logging gave me loads of inspiration to keep pushing myself. I contacted her right away when I started putting this feature together. Now let’s talk running and shoes!
1. When reading your blog, it doesn’t take long to realize that you are very passionate about running. What inspired you to start running and how long have you been running?
One of my best friends, Lauren, had an “intervention’ with me about my attitude towards food, exercising, and partying. This was in my senior year of college, and I definitely was a “party girl” who hit the bars wayyyy too often. I was about 10 pounds heavier than I wanted to be, and I would complain about my weight to anyone who would listen. I would also restrict breakfast and lunch so I felt like I could go out, drink, and eat pizza at 2 AM without regret. Every year for spring break, I would crash diet for a month before vacation so I felt comfortable in a bathing suit. In short, I didn’t maintain a healthy lifestyle at all. And I hardly ever exercised.
Anyway, Lauren sat me down one day and basically told me I was being ridiculous (which I was!). I knew a lot about healthy eating, but I never actually implemented it until she kind of set me on the straight and narrow. Lauren was training for a marathon at the time and invited me to go on a short run with her. I ended up running about two miles with her, and they were torturous! I could barely run 1/4 a mile without stopping. But I was hooked, and I never looked back. I’ve lost 10 pounds and have learned to balance fun with healthy living. And now I run about 20 – 25 miles a week!
2. Running shoes are probably the most important item a runner owns. What shoes keeping you moving?
I wear Brooks, which I think are pretty high quality. I’ve actually gone through three pairs in three months (New Balance and Asics) trying to find shoes that fit. Poorly fitting shoes can led to injuries (I irritated a nerve in my foot with the Asics), so it’s important to find shoes that work for you. I recommend visiting a running specialty store.
3. How did you come across these particular shoes? Did you research shoes, or stop by a running store, for example?
As mentioned, I went to a specialty store called Track Shack. Not only are salespeople at specialty shops very knowledgeable, but they also let me return a pair of poor fitting shoes (the Asics) with 20 miles on them!
4. If you were to offer advice on shoes to someone who is just starting to run, what would it be?
My advice would be to invest in a good pair of shoes! Shoes are very, very important. As I mentioned, I’ve had a lot of injuries from poorly fitting shoes. Also, buy a size larger than you normally wear. Your feet swell during long runs!
5. What are some of your running goals for 2009?
On February 28 and March 1, I am participating in the Gasparilla Bud Light Challenge, which is 3 races in 2 days. I’ll be running a 15K and a 5K on Saturday, and then a Half Marathon on Sunday. I’m really excited! My other running goals include improving my 15K time. Most of all, I’d like to run without injury in 2009!
6. Runners love gear, whether it’s a gadget that helps us keep track of stats, or fun and functional clothing. What would you list as your favorite and what would you list as a “must have” for runners? Gear can be anything that you own just for running.
I love my CamelBak! I have the ladies’ fit, which holds about 1.5 liters of water and has a slim profile, so it’s comfortable to wear while jogging.
I’m also addicted to my knee sleeves. I have weak knees and cannot run without these on!
Lastly, I love my Road ID. I bought the “Dog Tag” style ID and I feel much safer wearing identification when running by myself.
7. If a new runner approached you for advice because they were having doubts or second thoughts about starting a program, what would you say to them?
Good question! My advice to new runners is always start small because you don’t want to get overwhelmed. If you are not a runner, don’t try to run a half marathon right away! Sign up for a 5K and see how it goes. Also, I think a lot of people don’t feel like “a runner” unless they run a marathon, but new runners shouldn’t feel like distance is the most important factor. If you discover you like running short distances more than long distances, focus on improving your speed! There’s many different ways to enjoy running.
8. Just for fun, what is your favorite color and do you try to get running gear in that color if possible? And if you listen to music while running, what’s your favorite playlist that gets you pumped?
I love pink stuff! I have a pink iPod case, a pink CamelBak, a reddish-pink Heart Rate Monitor, etc.
My favorite running songs include: Just Dance by Lady Gaga, Circus by Britney Spears, My Life Would Suck Without You by Kelly Clarkson, Closer by Ne-Yo, and World (Hold On) by Bob Sinclair. I love pop music!
Caitlin is wearing the Brooks Summon running shoes to keep her moving and injury free. According to the Brooks website these shoes are described as:
Clean, athletic, classic! Our newest neutral shoe offers a phenomenally cushioned and unrestricted ride, thanks to its full-length MoGo midsole, Sending all the right signals to anyone looking to hit the pavement or rock the local health club, the design-driven Summon is guaranteed to outperform its undeniably attractive price tag.
From my understanding on running shoes, neutral shoes seem to have the most cushion and are recommended for those who’s feet tend to stay straight during their runs (as opposed to turning in or out). Because Caitlin mentioned an aggravated nerve in her foot, the extra cushion of the Brooks Summon shoes would help support and cradle her foot, reducing pressure on that nerve.
Did you see the challenge she is doing? Whoa kids! That is some serious running right there! That starts next weekend on February 28th where she runs TWO races that day alone. Inspiring indeed! Please stop by Caitlin’s blog and say Hi! A big thanks to her for allowing me to pick her brain and feature her on my blog!