|If you dress like this guy while in Paris, |
French people will mock you.
In other words, you want to be a runner? Dress like a runner. It all starts with the shoes.
The first piece of advice I received from tribal elders was to go to a real running store to buy shoes. The mall will not do. DSW will not do. It must be a store that caters to runners. Considering I wore the same pair of New Balance running shoes for over five years, I found this advice puzzling, but I ran with it (see what I did there?). My store of choice is Second Sole Akron. Vertical Runner is another good store, but it's too far away for me.
When I visited Second Sole for the first time, I was apprehensive. My mind flashed back to the days of mall record stores where cooler-than-thou kids with multiple piercings would sneer at me when I tried to find the newest Duran Duran album. Not so here. The owner of the store was very welcoming, and when I told him that I wasn't really a runner yet, his reply was, "Nonsense. Of course you are a runner."
The twenty minutes it took for me to find a pair of shoes was incredibly therapeutic. I have never learned so much about my feet as I did that evening. I had to take off my socks, walk, run, and grip with my toes. Each time I performed one of these actions, the gentleman would give me a new piece of information about my feet and walking/running styles. At the end of our session, he brought me a pair of Women's Guide 5 | Saucony.
I've never looked back since!