I’m a runner. I’ve run pretty consistently for the better part of the last 30 years. I try to squeeze in a run at least 4-5 days a week. Nothing too spectacular – you won’t find a “____K” sticker on my car, regardless of how far I’ve run. I don’t do it for bragging rights, medals or T-shirts. For me, it’s part addiction, part selfish obsession. Running is my alone time, my de-stress, mental health time. I don’t “train” for specific distances, and I rarely participate in large running events. I enjoy the peace of just being alone with my thoughts, my breath and the sound of my steps and stumbles.
My approach to running is outside the norm, it seems. The number of running loners like me is shrinking. Instead, more and more people are enjoying the life-long, health-enriching activity through running events, local social runs and runner support groups. Those are great ways to get started and stay motivated. Fortunately, San Antonio is booming with running activities, social runs and support groups. We’re also seeing a spike in stores that cater to local runners. iRun Texas recently opened a third store in the Dominion Ridge Shopping Center (DON’T MISS their official Grand Opening weekend March 6-8). That’s only a year after Michele and Mitch Allen opened their second store at Bitters and 1604.
Earlier this year, Fleet Feet opened its second store at The Rim. After almost 18 years supporting local runners at their Alamo Heights store, Angel and Jeremy Whitley at Fleet Feet decided that now’s the time to expand and provide more support to more runners.
These are big investments, in our city and in healthier, more vibrant lives. I absolutely wish iRun and Fleet Feet huge success in all their locations.
Here’s my March pitch: If you’re not active, or you want to become more active, running is a great next step. Before you start, you should do two things: 1) invest in the right shoes for your physique and running style; and 2) connect with a running group, a trainer or a partner who can guide and support you as you get started. In addition to iRun and Fleet Feet, you’ll find great shoe and running support at places like Soler’s Sports (three stores), New Balance San Antonio (three stores), Run Wild Sports on Broadway, We Run in Leon Springs (soon adding a second store in Alon Market at Wurzbach and NW Military Highway) and the Boerne Running Company.
March is a great month to get outside and move your body. Enjoy this issue of Natural Awakenings, the warm sunshine and the seasonal transformation that this amazing month brings.
Joel Shuler, Publisher