I have mentioned it a couple times on here, but kind of in passing. Today, I am going to directly talk about it, because of a couple significant things:
1. I broke my PR on May 10. I ran for 40 minutes, which was actually my third PR. My original was 32 minutes last fall in the Color Run (which I probably still haven't blogged about), and then I ran 35 minutes on May 5. But the 40 minutes is my new record, both for time and distance, because in that 40 minutes, I actually managed to run my first 5K. Which is good, because I am signed up for a run at the end of the month, and I would so very much love to actually run the whole thing.
To which one of my friends was all, "You couldn't take one more step?" Heh.
2. I'm gearing up! I mean, in the literal sense. I've acquired some running gear.
First and foremost: I got new running shoes. REAL running shoes. I went to a legitimate running store (okay, they are technically a bike store but they also serve runners and triathletes too) where I ran barefoot on a treadmill and the "shoe guru" (no, seriously - that's what's on his business cards) watched a video of my feet to see how I ran, and then pulled some options from the back, and I tried them on and ran a couple minutes in each of them on the treadmill, and picked out the ones I liked the best and that I thought felt the best - and he reassured me multiple times that I couldn't make a wrong choice. All the shoes he'd pulled were suited to my running style, and each and every pair would be a good match. I am so excited to get them broken in and start running in them. Mostly because my old shoes sucked, but also because now I am just that much closer to feel like I can start taking myself seriously as a "real" runner.
And they're hot pink. Of course.
I suppose I could have kept running in the shoes I had, but you know what? I was ready to invest a little bit more in this little hobby of mine. For starters, my shoes were crap - they were cheap shoes I'd probably gotten in some generic discount store and they are actually literally starting to fall apart. For seconders, I was actually starting to experience some lower back aches on my longer runs, and a quick Google search indicated that my problem was likely my posture (story of my life) or my shoes. Spoiler alert: your posture is also greatly affected by your shoes. So I decided to put an end to that nonsense and go get some real shoes.
(On an unrelated note, because of the way I run - on the middle/front of my foot - he asked me if I had a background in gymnastics or dancing, which I always consider to be a compliment because I assume it means I look graceful and coordinated, or something. I AM A GAZELLE. *prances*)
In a probably not-so-ironic twist of fate, I was reading Nicole's blog post about being a "real" (fill in the blank with whatever you're feeling like a phony doing) and it struck all of my chords. I felt like I wasn't a real writer, or a real designer, or a real runner. Her post happened to also be a giveaway post, but I was less moved to comment by the giveaway than by the need to share my feelings.
Well, turns out I won, so I got some real, honest-to-God running clothes too. It's not quite warm enough to wear them yet, but I'm pretty excited about trying them out. It's going to take about the same amount of courage to wear them as it did putting on a bathing suit in Las Vegas because I am still very self-conscious about my body, but I'm hoping that by the time the right weather rolls around, I will have found some more confidence in myself.
I also had a custom bracelet made that I can wear on days when I feel like I want to give up (or all the time, really) with my running motto on it - "It does not matter how slow you go, as long as you do not stop." That's what got me through my first 32 minute run (which at that point had been the longest I'd ever run in my entire life) and I still repeat it to myself often.
I got it from the same Etsy shop where I got my Twitter necklace. She does a great job and I've loved both pieces I've gotten from here, and I do not hesitate to recommend her if you want some custom stamped jewelry. They also have a full website you can visit too. (Shameless pluggery. Maybe I should work out some sort of referral bonus or something?)
Last but not least, since multiple people have asked: the "orange things on my ears" in all of those photos are the Sony MP3 headphones that I got from Klout. I mostly like them because they are handy and cord-free and they have a pretty impressive battery life. (I've been using these since April for about an hour each outing, and the battery has only died on me once). I dislike them because my ears are improperly shaped for earbuds and I feel like I spend the entire walk to the park adjusting them so they stay in my ears. Mostly, though, I really like them. And they were free, so I will never ever complain about that.
Because I can't post about anything without an accompanying image.
3. I started a new blog. OMG I KNOW. I need another blog like I need (insert something superfluous here in order to complete the metaphor). I'm still tweaking it to get it to my liking (and I still need to design a real header), but it's up and running. I'm retroactively posting about all of my runs so far because I had a lot more to say about them than what can be contained in an Instagram caption. So if you'd care to follow alongside me on my running journey, I'd be happy to have you. I'll probably still keep posting updates to Instagram because I sort of feel like it keeps me accountable, but I'll be going into more detail on the blog. I decided to separate it into its own thing because I'd just really hate for this blog to have any sort of consistent theme. (Sarcasm, y'all!). But seriously. I'll post random updates here but I didn't want to make it the main focus since I'm pretty sure none of you started reading this blog to read about running. So, I would like to introduce my new project, Run Like Kell, which is not so much a running blog as it is a blog about me running. Which, believe it or not, are two very different things.