Captain of the I HATE Running club
I have had a love/hate relationship with running since I was a kid. In high school I secretly dreamed of running a marathon, but hated the actually feeling of running so much that I signed up to be the goalie on our lacrosse team instead of a field player (think of a concrete ball wrapped in rubber being launched at you up to 30 mph... this resulted in me breaking my thumb three times... lol!) Then, in college the whole "couch to 5K" idea was launched, first on the internet and then later as an app and running slowly started to not suck so much. Chris and I competed in numerous races (our favorites being the Crispy Creme Challenge in Raleigh NC and the Lynchburg Va 10 miler) and for about six years running was my go-to workout. When I started running consistently 3-4 times a week and training for longer distant races, I found that my insides didn't burn and I didn't wish I was dead every second of it... I know I am not the only one out there that has experienced this!
While I was not an ultra-runner or even fast, it did become an escape during the stressful months I spent at Duke University and the multiple moves we did. But, after moving to DC and studying for my boards, running became an unhealthy obsession for me. I wanted to run faster and longer and would get so angry when I physically couldn't achieve what I had set out to do. Some of the worst arguments Chris and I had were during a run that I didn't accomplish what I wanted. Along with getting pneumonia, I developed an overuse injury in my knee. I was completely burnt out. The idea of going for a run became something I dreaded. So as I made the decision that I wasn't going to live overwhelmed with anxiety and fear, I decided to hang up my running shoes and take a break. I took about a year off, focusing on yoga and strength training and finding exercises that rewarded me for the hard work I was doing, without making me feel like I would never get to the level that I wanted to be.
Recently the weather has turned cooler and the itch to start running again has definitely returned. But when I said I "hung up my running shoes" that actually meant that I tossed them (has anyone every told you that I am a pretty extreme person? lol!!) So I needed new shoes... and in my quest to find more transparent companies, I have been researching running shoes that check all my boxes: fair wages for their factory workers, good support (I'm not a young chicken anymore), and sustainable practices. I searched long and hard, but was able to find this company, and I truly am never going to wear another pair of technical running shoes again!
Meet NEWTON RUNNING. Newton Running is based out of Boulder, CO and is one of those companies that you wish you could go work for. They have a full time staff to help you with any of your running needs, they allow dogs in their office, and they truly work to make running accessible to anyone. The staff just loves to run and be outdoors. Newton Running is the only running shoe company that is a Certified B Corporation, meaning they have had a positive impact on society, their workers, community and the environment. Becoming a B Corp was a natural transition for Newton Running, because from the very beginning, they focused their energy on sustainability, employee outreach in the community, and transparency in their manufacturing and supply chain. Their shoes are vegan and they are recycling everything that they can in order to decrease their carbon footprint. They used recycled cardboard for their boxes, compost in their office (I am telling you... dream place to work) and recycle 85% of the products that come through their office.
Not only do they strive to change the way we make our shoes, they are incredibly involved in their community. They have partnered with organizations to encourage running in urban areas and helping at risk kiddos find outlets for their frustrations, fears, and a place to focus. They currently are working on education models that help female runners stay safe on their runs, as well as offer self-defense classes and provide weekly safety tips on their social media channels.
May I also add that these shoes ARE AMAZINGLY COMFORTABLE!! Their patented "Action/Reaction" technology provides cushion for every part of your foot. I especially love that there is added support for the ball of your feet. They have moderate arch support and fit my tiny little bird feet like a glove. These shoes are great for running, being on your feet for 12 hours (*cough* nursing problems *cough*), or hitting up the gym to lift weights and complete a HIIT program. They have a variety of stability and distance needs as well. They will even give a 30 day trial period, and if you are not completely satisfied, you can return them (for free), with no questions asked. I cannot say enough about these fabulous shoes and company. They will for sure be the company I go to for all my running shoe needs in the future.
So as I venture back into this running world after a hiatus, I know that my body will have the support it needs and I can come at it from a much more accepting place. If you are in the market for new running shoes, or this blog post has made you want to turn in your old ones (which you CAN recycle as well! check out this link for locations in your area that allow for used running shoe donations) I highly recommend checking Newton Running out. They are one of the many companies out there that are making such a wonderful change in our world.
Until next week, #livejoyful