Category Archives: minimalist shoes

Sucks

Saturday, I went for a bona fide run. You know, an outside run where I ran a concrete, measurable distance instead of in place like a hamster. It took me ten steps to realize that this run was going to be onerous, and it was going to suck.

Running on a treadmill is elementary because pressing the start button triggers your basic instinct to survive. You must run to prevent falling to your death. When outdoors, however, not running (example: walking) has a greater likelihood of personal survival for the average, middle aged paper pusher like me (minus situations incorporating zombies or bears). Survival mode or not, I was there for a bona fide run.

Ninety feet into my run, each step is like a stampeding elephant. The jarring shock waves that should be shaking the trees aren’t because the shock waves have been corralled inside my skin. Every bone, joint, and muscle feels the 7,000 kg striking force in each step. I monitor my stride, foot placement, and cadence but there is no escaping the stomp of a stampeding elephant.

I remind myself that the first mile of the run is always the hardest. It’ll get better.

Now 600 yards into the run, I think if I were an original engine in a 41 year old Camaro, the mechanic would have already dove through the window to shut off the ignition to stop the devastating knocking that would surely cause the parts to seize shortly. Instead, I’m just a 41 year old runner, ah, former runner, trying to recapture a little of the glory from 8 years previous. Those knocks aren’t going to go away by stopping.

Finally, I run past a mile. It’s that moment, the 5280th foot when everything starts to run smooth. Yet, at 5281feet, this run still sucks.

It wasn’t until I’m in the neighborhood of 1.5 miles that the knocking is gone, the elephants stomped away and I enjoy running again.

Two minutes later, I’m out of time. I stopped running and walked home. Being out of time sucked the most.

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Block

I think I have writer’s block. I used to feel like I had lots to say. Now, whenever I get one thought in my head to say, it’s gone before a cohesive thought comes behind it. I’m just not inspired anymore.

Running used to inspire me to write. But, day after day, week after week, turning into month after month, I just didn’t run. I don’t have the inspiration to run anymore. I think I must have runner’s block.

Even after all this time of not running, the idea of runner’s block is an odd concept to me. How could I not want to run? I run half marathons for goodness sake. Yet, the days pass by but the miles don’t.

It’s time to resolve this Block. I think I read that if you have writer’s block you should write every single day. However, I can’t run every single day because I can’t risk an injury. I decree that I will run every other day until this Block is busted . I will write every single day even if it’s just one sentence until I can write “I want to run” and really mean it.

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Filed under exercise, minimalist shoes, running, Weight loss

When I Run I Think

Sometimes when I run I think about nothing. Sometimes when I run I think about everything.

One morning on a run just before the election, I was thinking about national politics then office politics leading to everyday politics. I was thinking about what to do and wondering if I knew what I was doing.

Suddenly, I became cognizant that I didn’t know what I was doing. At some point, I had started walking instead of running. Sacrebleu! I hadn’t noticed!

I took off running again, keeping my thoughts focused on kinetic energy and bio mechanical functions.

Sometimes, I have to think about running.

I, seriously, love this photo. By Lance Wei. Check out the rest of his work at lancewei.com

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Albert The Cat

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This is my ancient cat, Albert. He is a scaredy cat (of people) so he lives in the backyard and greets me at the door every morning. Truthfully, he just wants his stinky salmon breakfast.. His age is getting to him and he has changed. I know this because he won’t eat unless I give him a few pats to wash the salmon down with.

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The other morning, even though the hubs was aggravated with my delayed departure for my run, I stopped to pet Albert for a minute.

When I was assured that Albert’s physique is winter bound, I took off into the doleful morning and ran on damp pavement. I enjoyed the few maple leaves lingering on branches and in ditches. The futile street lamps shone like a twinkle lights in a Christmas window. It would be a short run but aren’t they all shorter than I want?

I watched and listened to cars passing by on the road ahead, perpendicular to the one I was following. It’s the road that shepherds me to the final turn for home. Each set of tires made the destinctive sound of rubber breaking away from water…

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…until they get to the stop sign at the turn. I can’t see the sign but I hear the silence then they pull away again.

A Jeep comes into my view. I can tell that it’s speed is much faster than the other cars. The switzelswitzelswirzel turns into a screech when the break lights come on. Screech. Screeeech. It’s out of my view but I hear once more SCREEEECH. Then…

Nothing….

Either the Jeep stopped in time for the stop sign or there wasn’t anything in the intersection for the Jeep to crash into but it had to have been close judging by intensity of the screech of the tires struggling to hold onto the pavement.

I come to realize that the stop sign, my home turn, is only about a minute from where I’m currently running. Had I been one minute earlier… Had Albert not begged me for some petting… I might have been crossing in front of that speeding Jeep when it struggled to stop at the intersection.

Tomorrow, I think I’ll spend two minutes thanking Albert.

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Classification: Runner

People are always trying to classify runners and joggers. I think of jogger as an outdated 1980’s sort of term, a bit like “groovy” or “far-out”. Non-runners, be warned, runners are easily insulted by the term jogger. Fast runners, be warned, you might think we are joggers, but we make your sport a household name.

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I classify myself as a runner. Here is one of many reasons why:

It is because after I finished running my first mile, I decided to add another mile to my workout plan. After I finished running the second mile, I decide to take a detour that would add another half mile to my route. When I finished running the third mile, I looked around to admire the nice weather, beautiful landscape, and intriguing buildings. I was happy to be outdoors on my own power. When I looked at my watch to see how much more time I had to run, I was disappointed after all those miles to see I needed to head home which was only one more mile.

Not every run is like this but many are because I am a runner. That’s my classification.

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Barefoot Discontent

It’s an unusually temperate day in October. I’m dressed in a black t-shirt and dark jeans but the sun has been inveigling me through a window that will never open. I’m in the frame of mind to stomp on bubble wrap for an hour if it were irresponsibly left laying around. Only, we haven’t had bubble wrap here since 1985. My only option is the sweat offered by the sun.

My discontent with life continues its expansion until I realize that I’m just pissed that my feet are hot and the socks are slipping inside of my Neo shoes. The forty minute walk I planned won’t happen if I am already looking forward to slouching over the germ infested keyboard at my desk.

Stupid is as stupid does. – Mamma Gump

I stop being stupid and my discontent drops 40 points as soon as I rip my shoes and socks off. No, going barefoot isn’t a cure all for my life’s problems. It is an election year and everyone tells me my life must be or will be terrible so 60% discontent is the least it can get. Don’t judge me, Mr. Mail Man, I might look postal but I much better off barefoot.

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Despite the warmth, the bare limbs of the trees are giving a preview of winter. Scattered across the ground beneath are the remnants creating colorful blankets of bold reds, luminescent yellows and dramatic browns for me to walk across. I’m thankful for one more opportunity to enjoy the gifts of fall.

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Before I return to work, a leaf shaped piece of glass gets my attention. I find it more interesting than concerning. It catches blue sparkling light and throws it back into my eyes. I don’t look away, I look closer. It’s not my first broken glass and it won’t be my last. It won’t cut me, it never does.

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A Spook Hike

This past weekend was the Lions’ Club Spook Hike fundraiser. For $5 you get more than your monies worth with a headless horseman (real horse) and other psychological fears.

My oldest son loves going through the the haunted houses. I was certain that he would have nightmares for months after we went the first time three years ago. Instead, he approached it as though he were attending a broadway play. I find it curious because this child has an extensive imagination and can scare himself right out in broad daylight.

As far as the spook hike goes, he is just like me. The spook hikes don’t bother me either. I like to see the clever ways they startle, distract, and unsettle you or tap into that irrational fear. I like to watch the process but I’m not affected by it.

Then this morning, I realized just how much I am like my son. Recently, I read about a weight loss blogger who was running early in the morning in her reflective gear, etc. It made me want to get out in the wee morning hours despite the lack of daylight. So, I laced up some minimals and went for a run long before day break. The thing is, I have a terrible fear of running in the dark. This was only the second time I had ever ventured out into the scary pre-dawn world. I didn’t even think using my iPod because I wanted full hearing functionality in case footsteps approached from behind or a nondescript white van with no back windows suddenly started its engine. I made it back to the house unscathed but spooked to the core…over nothing at all. I guess my imagination was getting the best of me.

Still, I am not sure if I’ll be brave enough to even run to the garage in the morning.

Almost anything can lurk there..including a double stuff Oreo.

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