Keep Your Head Up

July 25, 2012 § 6 Comments

Last night we went for our 2nd 3 mile run since training officially started on Saturday and psychotically did it all up hill… I had the bright idea of biking to my fiance’s dad’s house, since we hadn’t seen him and his wife  since the engagement, leaving our bikes there and running home. Stupid stupid stupid (yes, THAT stupid) plan for two reasons: 1) It’s all uphill on the way home 2) It’s really easy to forget your condo keys in your bike pannier bag…

We decided our calves had had enough torture for the night so we called my future father-in-law and asked him to drive over the keys in my bag. He finally arrived after what seems like an hour shivering in the wind and holds out THE WRONG key… Haha (it’s funny now), he starts off with “I didn’t think this looked like a condo key, but these systems are getting so high tech these days…”…….we just stand there staring….. waiting for him to say “just kidding”……. nope, didn’t happen, he just sat there holding out the key to my bike lock….

Aside from the slightly dumb mistake made last night, I did make what I thought was an intelligent discovery. I found keeping your head up and looking 50 yards in front of you really makes the running less tedious and painful. I think it might have actually made me run faster up those hills! And I HATE hills. And running…

So yes, yesterday’s lessons: keep your head up and triple check where you put your keys.

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Best Week of My Life

July 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

I can say with utmost certainty that this time last week I had no idea how much my life would change in 7 days. One thing that didn’t change though were my running habits, which remained at near zero.

Last Monday I got engaged. And it was a complete surprise. I had been with my boyfriend for 1 year – the most amazing year of my life. We had talked about how we cannot wait to spend the rest of our lives together, but I wasn’t expecting him to propose for at least another year, only for my parents’ sake. It was an intensely romantic and heartwarmingly nostalgic evening – perfect in every way.

And now life has become engulfed with engagement ring designs, moving in together, preliminary wedding planning and a run here and there. Thoughts I will fill in in days to come!

Barefoot Running!

July 15, 2012 § 3 Comments

Running is not my passion – it’s something I do because I want to learn to like it, but I HATE it – at least I have in my traditional running shoes.  I’ve never been a big runner – have run a couple half marathons, but never trained for them, which is probably why the running stops there. I go through spurts of dreading it and being OVERTLY EXCITED to strap my sneakers on, which typically lasts about 5 minutes into the run. And then I hate it again.

So here I am again, in one of those “I’m going to be a RUNNER!” phases. But this time it’ll be different… ha, I hope! I’ve been reading Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, and as everyone else who’s read the book, I think I’ve found the answer: ditch my running shoes and go barefoot! Well not completely, but I did go out and snag a pair of New Balance Minimus Zeros.

The large ones are my boyfriend’s. Yes, I have freakishly small feet.

The whole concept behind barefoot/minimalist running is that by removing all that cushion, which only became popular in the 70s with the birth of Nike, you allow your body to move the way it was meant to. Naked feet naturally soften the whole body’s landing. Go try it – run on your tile floor barefoot – you won’t be landing with your heel that’s for sure! Human anatomy was designed for running barefoot.  So when you land softly on the forefront or ball of your foot, you reduce all the stress that shoots up your foot and into your knees, hips and back from heel striking. Even though modern day running shoes are engineered to absorb the impact hammering your heels, they can’t counter all of it. One Harvard study shows that heel strikers throw the equivalent of up to 3 times their body weight into their heel. Running shoes only reduce this impact by about 10%, On the other hand (or the bare foot, teehee), there is no high level of impact recorded at all for barefoot runners!

I’ve been sporadically trying them out for about 10 weeks now. The runs started at 3-6 minutes, hovered there for 2 weeks and then I thought I was ready for a big run of 16 whole minutes. Holy hell was I wrong! I could hardly walk for the next 3 days! I guess it takes a bit longer than 2 weeks to build back up a lifetime of relatively inactive calves… And it probably didn’t help that those 16 minutes were downhill either.

But now I’m up to a 23 minute run, and good thing too, because half-marathon training officially starts today! Yup, I’m 13 weeks away, and need to get my calves in good enough shape for the San Francisco Nike Women’s Half Marathon. I guess the good thing about switching running techniques is that it won’t be able to put it off until 2 weeks before the race – my calves wouldn’t last past 25 minutes I’m sure!

Where Am I?

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