Bowling and Running don’t mix

There’s a reason I quit bowling.

Okay, I don’t know that I ever actually quit.  I mean, until yesterday I haven’t bowled in years, and I think I’ve bowled maybe twice in ten or more years.  But I never really got to where I said that’s it, I’m done.  

I may be now.  

Blame it on the shoes.

Here I’ve been running all over and have never had blister problems.  Go bowling one night and I’m practically crippled.

Okay, big overstatement.  I can still walk and run just fine.  There’s just this one big blister right on top of my middle toe and I’m just a big baby.  Sometimes it’s okay to be a bit (a LOT) of a drama queen over a wee bit of pain.  Excruciating as it is.  Well, excruciating only when something touches it, but again, why admit that if it ruins my chance at supreme drama?  I think it’s time for my crutches.

I’m usually size 13.  Those were horrible.  I went to 14’s.  They seemed okay, til halfway through.

You don’t stop bowling halfway through to go ask for even bigger shoes, right?  

There’s a reason bowlers have their own shoes.  Once upon a time I had my own bowling shoes, believe it or not.  And my own bowling ball.  I really have no idea whatever happened to either the ball or shoes.  I don’t remember ever selling them, giving them away or anything like that.  They must have somehow slipped into an alternate universe, hanging out somewhere with a lot of single socks and my 1957 Brooks Robinson baseball card.  

And that is probably why you never have to wait in line any more to get a lane these days.  Because really, who wants to go out and get their own bowling shoes?  Yeah, renting is great, until you totally mess up your foot with those rental shoes.

All this trauma a week before my first race of the year.

Yeah, I know, it’s only a 5k.  I think I’ll be fine.  They do have this thing called bandaids.

Wow.  I so freshly remember when a 5K seemed unattainable.  I pretty well remember when a .5K (that’s POINT 5K) was possibly doable but grounds for a heart attack.  I would never have thought in those days that I would ever, EVER utter the words ‘it’s only a 5k.’ 

All of a sudden that blister doesn’t hurt so much.

I still don’t think you’ll ever get me into rental bowling shoes again.  You don’t think they’ll let me bowl in my Mizuno’s, would they?

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Nutrition Panic

Saturday I did a 2 hour run, one hour out and one hour back at Bear Creek park near Denver.  Beautiful day, great weather, beautiful park, beautiful run.

Until the one hour mark.

I always have a hard time figuring out the best way to do water/nutrition stops for these long runs.  I’ve done it before where I have run around Washington Park in Denver which is a 2.5 mile loop, where I could stop by my car after each loop.  And that works okay, but there are times you just want to do different.

I’ve talked before about shifting my approach to nutrition.  This weekend turned into an unintended test as to how it was working.  Putting it simply, I’ve focused on metabolic efficiency, which is a much nicer way of saying I decided to get away from carb loading and sugaring up during runs.  The idea is that through diet and training, you shift your reliance away from burning carbs and more towards burning fat.  By keeping your blood sugar steady you don’t go through the cycle of sugar highs and lows that I know I fought with on longer runs in the past.  

Even still, you still need some nutrition during longer runs.  I have found that Generation UCan has been a great fit for me – there is something about it where it doesn’t spike your blood sugar right away like a lot of energy sources.  I’m still not a huge fan of the taste, though I can say the same about just about any energy product out there.  

For this run, since I wasn’t sure if I’d have many chances to refill my water, I did my best ultra-runner imitation, carrying two hand held water bottles.  I had my trusty packet of Gen. UCan in the pocket of my running shorts, which I would pour into one of my water bottles at the one hour mark.  All set to go right?  

That is, until I got to the one hour point and…  my pocket was empty.  Somewhere along the line, my packet must have fallen out.  Here I am an hour out, at this point where I really should be fueling up, and in a place where I really was an hour away from any real source of nutrition.  

If you happened to be anywhere near the Denver area and you heard a Homer Simpson type scream echoing through the foothills, now you know what it was.

Crap.  Now what?  Visions of me crashing and burning and having to crawl the last two miles flooded through my mind.  Maybe I should just stop and walk now and not take any chances.  Should I call my wife and have her on standby, you know, in case I don’t make it she’ll know where to come look for me?  Maybe I should just pull out my flare gun now… crap, forgot to pack that one as well.  

Are there buzzards in this park?  Guess we’ll find out soon.

I know, not really rational thoughts.  Maybe it happens because all the stuff you read is practically breathless in the way it talks about how critical it is to have nutrition on your runs.  Maybe it’s because of how when training for my half last year, I could feel the crashes happening after awhile and I really did need that replenishment.  But I gotta say, some of the stuff you read it’s like if you’re out running this long and have no nutrition, you may as well be preparing for a hospital visit.

I didn’t carb load the day or two before the run.  I think the day before I ate about 30 carbs.  My breakfast consisted of an omelette and bacon.  

And that is all by plan.  It’s what I’ve been doing a good part of the year.  It’s all about being metabolically efficient.  Eating in a way to train the body to burn fat, and running at a heart rate that encourages the same.  So here was a bit of a test as to how I would do.

I decided then that as long as my heart rate stayed in the 140’s, I’d keep running.  I was actually quite happy it was still in that range – I know in the past that getting past an hour or so it would start climbing as time went on – which is pretty normal.  When my heart rate was creeping up to being regularly in the 150’s I finally decided to shut it down and only ended up walking the last mile.  I actually felt like I could have kept running – but just didn’t want to take any chances.  Or maybe that was me looking for an excuse to cut it short.  

I felt good when it was all done.  I didn’t feel about ready to collapse – I even bowled several games later Saturday with my daughter and didn’t feel like I needed crutches to accomplish that.  

I don’t know if this is much ado about nothing.  I mean yeah, it seems like the nutritional shift is working for me.  I’m thrilled that I could do that and not feel like I was about to crash and burn.  But it’s not like a high intensity kind of run, all of this may not be applicable to folk who run 8 minute miles or better.  But that’s okay – I feel like I’ve got a handle on all this nutrition stuff finally.  That’s exciting stuff.

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The Secret to Losing Weight? Having Weight to Lose!

Today was my weigh in for the end of the 90 day challenge I’ve been participating in.  

31.4 pounds.  From 336.1 to 304.7.  A pound every three days.  I’ll take it.  My body fat percentage went from 42 to 36%, or something like that.  Again, I’ll take it.  It feels good to be in the low 3’s.  It’s going to feel even more awesome to be in the 2’s.  I love being in range of that – though it’s frustrating when you get close to a huge milestone like that and it doesn’t happen faster.  

I was asked how I did it.  My answer right away was that I finally got more serious about WHAT I was eating.  I had already been doing better at how much, and doing better at avoiding a lot of things that I should be avoiding, but also had been pretty casual at times as well.  And while I’ve been running and working out – I’ve got all this blogging to attest to that – I think what really helped was to crack down and take my eating seriously.  

But then I realized too, that one of the things that makes a lot of difference about taking off a lot of weight is having a lot to take off int he first place.  I certainly had that one down pat.  The truth is I cannot compare myself to someone who is closer to their weight goal.  The time is going to come for me when the weight loss is going to slow, and very possibly level off.  It’s a lot easier to go from 42 to 36% than it is to go from 36 to 29% body fat.  

I don’t know the physics behind how these scanners figure this out – it gives me weights for my arms and legs and trunk, and figures out how much of my weight is bones and muscle.  Once upon a time I was going off whatever standard is out there for height and weight and deciding my ideal weight should be 200 pounds.  From this scan I found that if I weighed 200 pounds, that would be about 3% body fat.  Maybe 200 isn’t a realistic goal?  

Right now I’ll be thrilled at 299.  At least for a little while.

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Runzi App Review

I stumbled across an interesting app when searching for something entirely different, and decided to give it a shot.  It’s the Runzi Personal Running Coach (or Runzi for short).  I’m kind of an app junkie, I’ve been known to run a half dozen GPS run tracking apps at the same time to get a feel for which one I liked the best, so it’s always interesting to try something new.

And Runzi is definitely something new.  It’s very different from the GPS tracking apps like Endomondo or Map My Run.  On their Google Play page they tag it as a Running cadence – injury coach.  It’s really more about analyzing one’s running technique than about tracking the run itself.  At least as much as a smartphone app can possibly do.

The app centers around an impact rating, in that it takes all the accelerometer data from the phone and measures all the activity that happens with each step and formulates that into an impact rating.  It also will track your cadence or steps per minute.  I tried to measure this by running with a metronome and actually was pretty pleased with the accuracy of the cadence.

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Now the impact rating is kind of nebulous.  There’s nothing out there that really tells what you should be aiming for.  I think the reason for that is that so much depends on the sensitivity of your phone’s accelerometer, and how you are holding the phone.  I’ve done three runs, one with my phone in a pocket, one holding it in my hand, and one with the phone in the pocket of my hand held Nathan water bottle, and there’s quite a variety in the impact rating.  So even though there’s no real way to say that one impact rating is really good, I think it can be a valuable thing as long as you are consistent in how you are holding the phone because you can use it to compare with other runs and see whether you have made your stride a little smoother.

Runzi gives you regular feedback – I have mine set for every five minutes – to tell you how far you’ve run, what your average cadence was for the last split, and you can have it give you your impact reading as well.  You can also opt to turn on the Metronome feature where it will click at whatever pace you want to run by.  You can fairly easily adjust the volume in the midst of a workout to mute out the metronome or to turn it up – that constant clicking after awhile could probably get a bit annoying.  I was happy with how it would play with music in the background.  I also ran Endomondo at the same time, and the programs did not really seem to interfere with each other.  At the end you can pull up a report of your splits, which is based on the time that you have set for feedback.

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I do wish you could set it based on distance, or have a readout based on distance instead of setting it by time, but it does provide a good overview of how consistently you are running.  You can also pull up a map of your workout and there is a play feature that interacts with a graph showing your cadence and impact throughout the route.

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One of the things I really love about this app is that it has settings for running indoors or on the dreadmill.  For obvious reasons it won’t give you a map.  However, when I use the indoor track at the Y which is 17 laps per mile it’s really the best thing I’ve found of any options for tracking that run.  In the past it’s been a bit cumbersome trying to count laps or calculate how many laps I’ve run based on how long I’ve been running at whatever pace based on the clock on the wall, and then trying to remember my splits.  Sometimes I’ve pulled out the voice recorder and said what my time was after a mile had passed, but then that’s a matter of one, pulling up the app and starting it up and two, going back and playing back all the recordings and calculating my pace.  This feature will still track my cadence and impact, but it also gives me the option to tap the Split button at each lap which then counts the laps for me as well as estimates my distance based on the lap count.  It’s a nice feature, though it’s kind of a pain to have to tap the screen with each lap, you pretty much have to run with the phone in your hand.  I know in my one run, I did have a double tap, and that did figure in to an extra lap registered.

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Finally, there’s a bonus feature that is unlocked if you make a donation to the developer.  It’s an analysis page that will give you a bit of extra information about your run.  It gives you some nice extra stats like the fastest and slowest mile, average stride, and even some insights into how even your stride is from one foot to the other (average time per step per foot).  Now some apps will tell you your fastest mile based on your splits – so the first full mile, second full mile, etc.  This one is a bit different in that it doesn’t matter at which part of the run you’re at, it pulls out the actual fastest full mile.

ImageThere are some pretty impressive calculations from all the data it gathers.  Now it can’t really determine which foot is which, but the analysis does show me that I do seem to favor one foot a little, so that gives me something to think about with my form.  The nice thing in the analysis is that it weeds out any times that are below a certain thresh-hold, so in this instance it didn’t include data from when I stopped to refill my water and thus count that into the ‘slowest mile’ calculations.

What I Love

First off, I love that there’s a lot of unique information that is mostly free.  I’m very impressed with the accuracy of the cadence, it’s pretty good for something that doesn’t have you wearing a leg band or something like that.  The information does give me a good quick, at a glance look at my running and helps me think about things I can improve.  This is an app that was developed by a guy just on his own, it’s not some software company with a ton of development money, but it was developed by a runner to help him analyze his own running.  It just seems to have a really impressive set of data for being a very grass roots kind of application.  Functionally, so far it seems to work really well.

What I’d Like to See

In an ideal world, it would be nice to have a companion website where you can log in and pull up your data and view it on a PC.  It would be great if it could integrate with a heart rate monitor like Polar – it just seems like that would be a natural fit for analyzing a run.  Some would complain because it’s not available on iPhone but not being one of those iFruit cultists, I’m not as concerned.  Options to share workout information such as on Facebook might be nice as well.  Being able to integrate with other applications such as MyFitnessPal would be nice as well.  While I’ve not had any conflicts running the program alongside Endomondo, it doesn’t seem like there would be much that would need to be added that would allow it to completely replace the Endomondo app.

Final comments

All in all, this seems to be one of the best kept secrets in running apps.  I’m sure that’s not intentional, right now Google Play says it’s had from 10,000 to 50,000 downloads.  I’m hoping that by my blog’s tremendous influence maybe I can influence enough people that maybe that increases by at LEAST a half dozen downloads.  For being from an individual developer though, I’m incredibly impressed at what it brings to the table.  The free version has seemed to work really well without any glitches or interference with anything else that I’ve seen.  In a world where even the paid version of apps are usually less than five bucks, that makes it difficult to recommend a $10 or more donation, I’m not sure the extra analysis information stacks up.  But the fact that an individual developer has put together something like this on their own, and with information that I have yet to see available anywhere else, to me that’s worthy of a reward of some kind.  I would love to see this application gain some recognition.  All in all, I have to say, nicely done.

Do you have an application that you find really useful in evaluating your runs?  Do you use any apps at all to track your workouts?

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Two Hours of Running and Felling Surprisingly Well

After being sick a bit, after having weather and illness and such pretty much wipe out my long runs for two weekends in a row, I really wasn’t too sure what to expect today doing a 2 hour run.  I know I was a bit intimidated going into it, thinking maybe I should shorten it up a bit.  I got a lot of weeks ahead of me, plenty of time to back up the schedule a bit.

Then I decided what the heck, I’ll see if I can do it.

At the end of two hours I’m still running.  I set myself out to do a 145 steps per minute cadence and pretty well maintained that all through the run.  Granted, towards the end the steps are getting a little shorter and I’m running a little slower, but…  it felt pretty good.

Surprisingly good.

Yes, it was slow.  This was nothing new.  But I loved that I could keep going with pretty good energy, in fact I know I could have kept going for awhile.

A year ago, when I was getting into runs of this duration, I was definitely feeling the tank running out and wondering if I’d make it.

Granted, there were some killer hills in those runs, so maybe it’s not a great comparison.

But a year ago I had ramped up a little better to those runs.  So I guess it goes both ways.

I didn’t eat on the run.  Instead, after about 3 miles, I mixed up a packet of Generation U-Can into my water and drank that as I ran.  It seemed to do the job, I definitely didn’t feel the highs and lows that I felt last year, energy felt much more steady.

And maybe that didn’t surprise me as much because I had pretty good luck with previous runs using that stuff.  I just wish it didn’t taste so chalky.

But here’s the part that really has me pretty amazed.  It’s been a couple hours now.  My ankle feels awesome.  Actually, it feels better than the rest of my legs – that whole rigor mortis things is setting in with the muscles after running that long.  But normally this ankle is stiffening up right away, but nothing.  It feels…  normal.  What a weird thing.

Is it the shoes?  I do wonder if getting into a neutral shoe now isn’t helping at least somewhat – where before the shoes were trying to provide support that really was no longer needed.  Maybe?  Maybe it’s being a little bit lighter.  Right now I’m probably ten to fiften pounds below my running weight for the half marathon.  I’m not sure that’s enough of a difference to make that kind of difference.  Is it my diet?  As part of this whole fat burning approach to training I’ve pretty much eliminated sugars, flour, most starchy things from my diet.  I understand that inflammation is a lot less on this kind of diet.  Maybe that’s it.

It’s just an awesome feeling, where it seems the nutritional piece is falling into place, the whole energy situation is great, and I’m feeling much better after runs.  This bodes well for the half marathon in eight weeks.

Now the full thing in September?  I know, that’s a totall different animal.  We’ll cross that bridge when it’s time.  Right now, I’m pretty pumped.

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Not Quite Roger Bannister, But I’ll Take It

Last night I was going to meet someone at the Y but we got our schedules mixed up.  So I figured while I’m there I’ll get a mile in on the track. It was nice out and there’s a good trail by the Y, but I was a bit curous about trying out a new app.

I just wrote out a long description of the app and realized, that’s not what I’m talking about here.  Maybe I’ll do a review later.  The main reason I wanted to try it out is it has a lap feature for indoor running.  You put how many laps per mile then each lap you tap the screen.  It’s a great idea for the most part, though it means 17 times per mile on this track pulling up the stupid phone and tapping the screen.

Actually, it wasn’t all that bad.  Though I had visions of my phone flying out of my hand onto the gym below and scattering into pieces amongst all the ladies doing Zumba.  Which reminds me, I really need to put that Otterbox back on my phone.

I wish I’d found the app before – it’s actually much better for tracking indoor runs.  The other thing that’s cool is it measures your cadence – I gotta say I’m amazed at the kinds of things you can do with a phone.  Flashlight?  check.  Level?  check.  Exercise tracker?  check.  Roto dial phone?  Abso freakin lutely – yes, I have that, and yes, it works.

I’ve been training kind of slowly but I decided to bust out a good run this time.  I just wanted to see how quickly I could do a mile.

I’m hoping a couple years from now, maybe even a few months from now, I can look at this and say man, that was slow.  11:24.  But where I am and where I’ve been, I’m ecstatic.  This was like a Roger Bannister beating the 4 minute mile kind of moment for me.  I can remember not that long ago doing some little bursts and being pleased to get under a 12 minute pace for a few seconds.  I held it for a full mile, and could have kept going really.

I don’t know that I could hold the pace for a full 5K.  Not now.  But by the time I do the Cherry Creek Sneak in 5 or 6 weeks?

This to me though just felt like — wow – progress!  This to me felt a lot like how incredible it felt to complete 20 minutes of running straight.  Because it wasn’t just the slow shuffle jog I always say I’m doing.  This was more of a run, and it was sustained.

Kinda felt like doing the Usain Bolt pose, you know?

And then my app tells me I was running about 150 steps per minute.

Not terrible.  I keep hearing 180 is a good target.  Wow…

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Not sure what happened to my last post

I rattled off this great post this morning – at least I thought it wasn’t so bad.

Then I come back later, and it’s gone.  I can tell in statistics that it was there, people were reading it.  I can see where it showed up on my facebook page.  But, it just went….

*blip*

Anyone ever have that happen?

The conspiracy theorist in me thinks, some ‘exercise is essential for weight loss’ nazi decided a post with that title shouldn’t be floating out there.

Or maybe it’s my Windows 8 Computer that just is weird that way.  When I’m gone it goes and does stuff like that, you know?

Anyway, right now I’m doing that goofy military looking pointing my two fingers towards my eyes and then towards WordPress right now.  You know the one – it’s one of those cliche things in most cheap comedy things as a way of saying “I’m watching you.”  But because I’m too lazy to pull out a camera and film myself doing it, rather than pulling the same lame schtick myself I’ll just tell you about it.  Just as lame, I know, but hopefully you get the picture.

Or you’re really confused wondering WHAT IN THE WORLD is he talking about????

It’s weird…  I’ve just never had a blog post just disappear like that before.

Now I’m a little paranoid.

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Running Does Not Equal Weight Loss

This coming from a guy who’s dropped probably 40 pounds since getting more serious about running.

We hear it all the time though, right?  Want to lose weight?  Go work it off.  Get running, get moving, GO!

There’s a problem with that.  It doesn’t really work that way.  Yeah, you would think it would, right?  But for most people, you go out for a good run, and while your exercise tracker will tell you you burned a lot of calories, the part that it leaves out is you would have burned a fair portion of those calories if you just sat on your butt.  The actual increase isn’t nearly what we want to think it is.  And then you throw in the fact that studies show that your metabolism actually SLOWS once you quit running, because your body is saying hey, this guy kinda surprised us here by getting out there, he might do it again, we better hang on to whatever we can hang on to.

Dang, that’s reason to stop, right?

No.  To me, that’s not a factor.

Which doesn’t make sense, does it?  Because the truth is, I’m pretty well laser focused right now on my weight loss, to the point that I have to fight myself to NOT get on the scale every three hours or so.  I’ve been getting addicted to that rush that comes with seeing the needle a wee bit lower.

But I don’t run to lose weight.  The truth is, weight loss is not the ultimate goal.  Not even for weight loss, which has a redundant sound to it doesn’t it?

Getting healthy, getting my life back, being determined never to go back to the days when I thought I’d never run again.  That’s what this is all about.

One of the things that kind of put the fear of God into me was doing a study last December and seeing the strong ties between lifestyle and the risks for dementia.  It was kind of a holy crap, what have I been doing to myself kind of thing.  And the fact is, my best bet at having a high quality life from this point forward is to be healthy.

That means losing weight.

And that means running.  Because its benefits go beyond the pounds.  It makes my brain happy.  It makes my heart happy.  It makes the me happy.

I don’t run to lose weight.  I run for the same reason I also work to lose weight.  They both will help make life as good as I can make it, which is a pretty reasonable thing to work towards, isn’t it?

Then throw in the fact that it’s kind of a kick to be able to do stuff that I am not so sure I could do even when I thought I was in pretty darn good shape.  The 18 year old me would have thought you were nuts if you mentioned running 26 miles.  In one day.

I run because I can.  Literally.  I run because I remember a time when I couldn’t.  Go read my first post – it explains the Remember the Rain title.  I’m never going back to that.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do think that running HAS helped me lose weight, but it’s not the running itself that has done it.  It’s more that because I want to get more effective, do better, run further, I’ve been more conscious of what I’m eating.  In the end, it’s the eating that ultimately makes the difference in the weight loss thing.

Yesterday we had a luncheon at work.  There was a huge, honking awesome looking chocolate chip cookie in my lunch box.  I’m sure it was harmless.  Everything in moderation, right?  I remember distinctly thinking, this isn’t going to get me where I want to be.  It’s not going to help me get to the finish line in Shenendoah Iowa in September.  That cookie probably wouldn’t have hurt, at least not any more than the few more calories I burned from running helped me.  But it’s that cookie, and the next one, and then that chocolate covered ice cream cone…  no one tell me when those come back at McDonalds — but what I’m getting at is, this is how running is making the difference because it honestly wasn’t that hard to say no to that stupid cookie.

So maybe in that way, yeah, running’s helping me lose weight.  But I’ve come to realize that’s not why I run.

I run….  to run.

And to live.

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Back in the Saddle…umm, boats?… Again

So I signed on with this Around the World Blog thing where bloggers around the world are mutually tracking their mileage (or in this case, kilometerage?) and all setting a goal for how far they want to run over 3 months.  I set mine for 150 KM.  I think…  that’s only 90 miles.  Hmmm…  was it maybe for 2 months?  Maybe I set it higher, I don’t remember now.  I have to dig into that.  Point is, that wasn’t a great start to the whole journey considering I hadn’t run yet this month.

Getting a couple of bugs and then being very occupied with some personal stuff I won’t go into has had me a bit shut down.  I did get a few trips to work and back on my bike, that helps a little, but yeah, it’s been slow.  Strike that.  Slow means I did something.  Non existent would be the accurate terminology.

The worst thing is when you’re totally ready for a great weekend and then the bug hits and completely knocks you off your feet.  I don’t know what it was.  It actually acted more like food poisoning, fortunately it was fairly fast acting like that, but still, I don’t think it was that just because the rest of the family’s getting it in a pattern that’s more like what comes with a virus or something.  Nasty but brief little bugger.  So it was a pretty great feeling to wake up today with a decent amount of energy, and the day was A. MAZE. ING.  Oh my.

The good news is I got some new shoes.  I’m stoked about these puppies.  Not so much in the shoes themselves, I don’t know that shoes have ever really done it for me, you know?  A couple years ago I pronated so bad I was in these super supportive Brooks Addictions.  So when I checked things out this time around, I was in neutral shoes.  I didn’t need all that support.  No pronation.  No foot flopping side to side.  It’s kind of one of those small victory things that feels pretty good, having gained the kind of strength that I can get into normal shoes.  So I got these Mizuno’s – not as much cushioning, and did I mention they are freaking boats?  Size 14 does that.  I think I’ll rent my old shoes out as skis, help pay for these puppies.

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Hmmmm…..

I’m sure, somewhere, sometime, I mean I’m almost positive that I swore to myself I wouldn’t post pictures of my new shoes on my blog.

I can’t find it in writing though, so I guess it can stay.

And I ran.  Finally.  Limited to a 5K just because I didn’t want to go further on the first day in these shoes.  They.  Were.  Great.  Or maybe just running was great.

Maybe it wasn’t THAT great.  Let’s face it, I could feel the rust.  I started out the first mile fairly slow cuz it took awhile to just get a rhythm.  You know how sometimes you start out and it just feels sometimes like all your feet are doing is thud thud thud?  Yeah, that was me for a bit, I felt so stilted and awkward.  But by mile 2, it was feeling pretty smooth.  And at the end of the 3.1 I had kicked it up a bit and felt great as far as energy.  I think there were some after affects of the bug as I was breathing harder than I usually do – again, that rust too I’m sure.  But you know, even after pushing myself a bit more on pace, I felt like I could keep it going, maybe for a little while.  By the end, I just felt good.

And still do.

Must be the shoes.

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Restlessness

I think that pretty well sums up everything for me right now.

I’ve been cooped up with some sinus thing since Saturday and I’m anxious to get out and run again.  How much of my life did I ever think I’d never hear THOSE words come out of my mouth?  

Weight loss has taken off as of late.  As of this morning I’ve dropped 20 for the year.  Nothing like success to keep you laser focused.  I’ve just had a focus on what are the right foods to fuel me in my runs (when I get back out there again!) and to continue this progress.  And again, there’s restlessness because when it’s going so well you start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  The look in the mirror is so much better and you start picturing even better, and it’s hard to wait for that.

I think February is a perfect time of year for restlessness.  Especially years like this – It has in all reality been a pretty good February for Colorado.  Yes, it is 12 degrees outside as I write this.  Hence the restlessness.  We’ve had some gorgeous days.  We’ve had some downright cold ones but honestly, more good days than bad.  I mean it’s February for gosh sakes.  I think it’s that we get these hints of spring and you want so badly to say yes, winter is finally over.  And then the temps drop 40 degrees in a matter of hours, the winds pick up and 2 days after it was 60 outside there’s snow on the ground.  I’ve heard more complaints about the weather these past couple weeks — did I mention it’s FEBRUARY???  I think the nicer the February the more prone we are to complain, because the nice days are a carrot on the stick and they lull us into a sense that winter’s done.  But it’s February, right?  Yes, I checked my calendar.  Feburary.  In Colorado.  Weather like today is the norm.  This should surprise me?  It’s just that all these bouts of 60-degree days have me ready for spring.

I’m restless career wise.  I am a bit amazed at how engaged I’ve been in my Master’s program.  And it all has my head spinning about where this is leading in my career.  It’s weird because I’ve sort of specialized myself into a career path that doesn’t really exist and yet my mind isn’t spinning so much about what jobs are available as much as, what can I create?  It’s all exciting and just on the edge I think of…  I don’t know what, but I can’t help but know it’s going to be great.

And that’s when I realize, all this restlessness is a good thing.  It’s because a lot of awesome things are just ahead.  I just can’t wait to get to it all.

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