Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Jeans of my teens

About 14 years ago I decided to start running. I wanted to fit into a pair of jeans I liked that didn't quite close all the way anymore. The jeans didn't fit anymore simply because my hips grew wider, and I eventually gave up on them. But I kept running.

Running on the streets of Mexico back then was not a comfortable experience for a young woman. Most women my age worked out within the safety of a gym. I liked the sense of freedom that running gave me, and I refused to relinquish my "right" to explore the city on my own wearing short spandex. I hear from friends that there are runners all over my home town now. I was a ahead of my times.

Just when I had gotten used to running on Mexico's streets, we moved to Seattle; more specifically, Kirkland. My first run in the USA started from our temporary hotel (La Quinta Inn) to the Kirkland library, where I would study for the TOEFL (a test for non-English speakers required for college applications). Running once more became uncomfortable. I could tell everyone knew I did not belong. Or at least I thought so. But once more, I refused to remain within my cocoon, and I slowly expanded my running territory. And so it was through running that I started to absorb American culture.

Among many other important lessons, I learned to say "on your left" when passing someone.

Running has given me the courage to explore, and the strength to overcome. And so what started as a childish desire to fit into the jeans of my teens, became the passion that allowed me to grow into who I am. Ironic.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


The New York Times has an article on the run-walk method (Better Running Through Walking). As the name implies, this method consists on taking walking breaks while running, whether during training or racing. Practitioners enjoy this method because it makes running less grueling and reduces the risk of injury. At the balanced athlete, we highly recommend this method to beginning runners. However, experienced runners can also see benefits and even improve their times at races. One of the reasons why this method works is because it helps to maintain an optimal heart-rate training zone (I am sure you have heard this before if you have talked to any of us at the store!).

Jeff Galloway's site offers lots of information on this method (Walk breaks?).

The NYT also has a new wellness blog focused on marathons: Marathon Well-Blog. It is worth a read during a lazy Sunday afternoon.