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Guest Blogger: Free Stuff Friday Winner, Mindy

By Mindy Corral

Picture a kid of whom the description scrawny just doesn’t cut it. That was me. I appeared to be as fragile as a piece of stemware. My mother refused to allow me to participate in any activity in which I might be injured. As a result the world of sport and athleticism was as foreign to me as Bangladesh. No sports involving balls or boards. Not even dance.

I started running about two years ago as a lunchtime escape from my desk. I’ve been an indoor/treadmill runner ever since. At first it was a way to release those endorphins. To metaphorically run away from all the parts of my life I had no control over. My runs were mine. I loved pushing myself another quarter of a mile. I would return to my desk aglow, proud to report just how far I had run that day. Then I lost my job and my access to the gym. Here is my opportunity to be a “real” runner amd get out on the street in the air…but no. I huddled in my basement on my treadmill. I think I was afraid that somehow I would not be a successful runner if I went outside!

As fall rolled around I began to experience pain in my left knee and a blister would form on my left instep after about 4 miles. I continued to push on through topping out at 6 miles. I couldn’t get past 6. My best run is 8 miles but it left me limping and unable to run for several days afterward. I borrowed books on running from the library to try and decipher what could be causing the problem. That was when I discovered Salt Lake Running Company and their biomechanical analysis which could tell me why I was having issues. I “liked” them on Facebook and lurked around the site daily and entered to win a free pair of shoes in their Free Stuff Friday promotion. I WON! I went to the 700 E store to redeem my prize and I ran on the treadmill and then tried on about 6 pairs of shoes. I am now the proud mother of a pair of Mizuno Wave Inspire running shoes. I thought I would feel at a disadvantage knowing so little about this amazing sport but those guys are so passionate about running and so willing to share what they know.

I took my first outdoor run two nights ago. Just down to the school and back. How exhilarating it was to feel the cold air in my lungs, to see my shadow racing ahead of me.

Everyone starts somewhere. The best thing is I am not afraid of failing anymore. The first time is the hardest. When I am driving around town I find myself craning to see what other runners are wearing and if they are carrying water. I am giddy with anticipation as I read posts about compression socks and Garmins! I have new goals. I have yet to enter a race. I hope to…no, I am running the ½ marathon in April! I normally hate the weeks between Christmas and Spring but not anymore. Bring it on! I’ve got work to do! I love this sport and I love the SLRC for being a source of knowledge and motivation on my journey. Running has given me the chance to engage a part of myself which had been asleep. I became lithe, fit and confident. I love love love my new shoes and I love the Salt Lake Running Company!

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