Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I've Got The Music In Me!

Laides and gentlemen, welcome to pre-written blog post #1. I'm getting my unreliable Internet replaced over the weekend so I'll be back to normal in no time.

Quick running update:
I haven't run since the last post but I'm going tonight. Three cheers for the last few hot days of the summer (if we're lucky)!

Now ... on to the MUSIC!

I’m really shocked I haven’t breached this topic yet on here. Music is pretty flipping important to me and I pride myself on my taste. But then again, who can’t say the same? I decided I needed to post this list on my run Saturday morning at Otto Amleder (which I blatantly misspelled in my last post) Park. I had just started my first 5-minute running when an unlikely hero saved the day. Now, have you ever noticed that your iPod plays the same songs over again, even if there are loads more in that playlist? This song has been on my playlist since I created it but I don’t think it has ever popped up. When it came on on Saturday I laughed and then reveled in its power. Yes, its power. Thank you Kid Rock and “Bawitdaba” for making that the easiest 5 minutes ever. Awesome.

Read it, love it, tell me about yours. In my experience, often your favorite every day music isn’t necessarily your favorite exercise music. Is that the case with you? I love running to hip hop and even some heavy rock, but even surprising songs like “Rhiannon” by Stevie Knicks can get me to keep running (it’s not exactly high-energy). Tell me about your music!

The following is my current “Running” playlist on my iPhone. It needs a few songs added to it and a few removed, but I’ve been fighting with iTunes lately and haven’t had the chance to fix it.

Ambling Alp – Yeasayer
Percussion Gun – White Rabbits
Trinity – Paper Tongues
Move Along – The All-American Rejects
Knock on Wood – Amy Steward
Lose My Breath – Beyonce ft. Destiny’s Child
Boom Boom Pow – Black Eyed Peas
Rock That Body – Black Eyed Peas
Imma Be – Black Eyed Peas
I Gotta Feeling – Black Eyed Peas
Hey Mama – Black Eyed Peas
Pump It – Black Eyed Peas
Living on a Prayer – Bon Jovi
Brave New Girl – Britney Spears
Gimme More – Britney Spears
Toxic – Britney Spears
Stronger – Britney Spears
Bad Moon Rising – CCR
Fortunate Son – CCR
Balla Baby – Chingy
Forever – Chris Brown
Run It – Chris Brown
Ain’t No Other Man – Christina Aguilera
All She Wants to Do Is Dance – Don Henley
The entire Folie A Deux CD – Fall Out Boy
Dance Dance – Fall Out Boy
Because We Can – Fatboy Slim
London Bridge – Fergie
Rhiannon – Fleetwood Mac
Low – Flow Rida ft. T-Pain
Radar Love – Golden Earring
Now That We Found Love – Heavy D and the Boys
Too Fake – Hockey
What You Need – INXS
Devil Inside – INXS
New Sensation – INXS
Canned Heat – Jamiroquai
Nasty Boys – Janet Jackson (“Miss Janet, if ya nasty”)
Rhythm Nation – Janet Jackson
All For You – Janet Jackson
Don’t Stop Believing – Journey
Stronger – Kanye West
Flashing Lights – Kanye West
Love Lockdown – Kanye West
Spiralling – Keane
Bawitdaba – Kid Rock
Cowboy – Kid Rock
Poker Face – Lady GaGa
Just Dance – Lady GaGa
Got Money – Lil Wayne ft. T-Pain
Ray Of Light – Madonna
Vogue – Madonna
Supermassive Black Hole – Muse
Closer – Ne-Yo
Step By Step – NKOTB
You Got It (The Right Stuff) – NKOTB
Hangin’ Tough – NKOTB
Just A Girl – No Doubt
Here It Goes Again – OK Go
Ghetto Music – OutKast
1999 – Prince
I Would Die 4 U – Prince & the Revolution
When I Grow Up – The Pussycat Dolls
15 Step – Radiohead
Under the Bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Give It Away – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Californication - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Scar Tissue - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Suck My Kiss Red Hot Chili Peppers
Higher Ground Red Hot Chili Peppers
Hump de Bump - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Push It – Salt N Pepa
Swing – Savage ft. Soulja Boy
The Thong Song – Sisqo
Drop it Like it’s Hot – Snoop Dogg
Edge of Seventeen – Stevie Knicks
Semi Charmed Life – Third Eye Blind
The Way I Are – Timbaland

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, August 28, 2010

If I Was A Dude ...

It’s runs like today’s that make me wish I was a guy. I had grand plans of tackling the 6-mile round trip at Lunken Airport this
morning. Then I woke up too late (at least in my mind) and decided to settle for the 4-mile out-and-back of the Five Mile Trail. And then I got lazy and decided on the nearly 2-mile loop at Otto Armelder Park. Good thing, too, because I pretty much had to pee from the start.

Sorry, I know, TMI. But, it’s a valid issue for runners. How do you handle peeing and other—um—bathroom related issues on long runs? If I was a guy, I totally could have taken advantage of the privacy and
wilderness of the path I ran today and watered some grass. Being a girl? Not so much.

So, I kept running in hopes that my profuse sweating would burn off the liquid in my system. Though, after today’s experience, I’m not so sure my bladder is in any way related to my sweat glands. Meh, food for thought.

So, what have I been up to over the last week while I was epically
failing to blog about running? Believe it or not, I was running! I
got all three of my runs in this week and they were relatively
successful. I say relatively because my run on Monday was less than stellar compared to last Saturday’s 5K. I gave the 3:1 (run 3 minutes, walk 1 minute, rinse, repeat) intervals another go at my tried-and-true Veterans Memorial park and clocked 2 miles in 27 minutes. Though I know they come out to be the same pace, how did I NOT run faster on flat ground, in dry weather, and for a shorter distance? And I didn’t shorten intervals like I did in the 5K. Why
can I not push myself?

I know, I know … the 5K was a race and therefore different, but I find it hard to believe that the “race mentality” had that much of an effect on me. I don’t think I let any sort of competitiveness affect
me on Saturday (“I’m going to catch her!” or “I can run faster than him.”) Could it have been the down hills that gave me a little extra push on the clock?

After the iffy results from Monday’s run, I decided to return to Couch to 5K. I think Mr. C25K missed me, and I’m pretty sure I missed him, too. There’s just something about his steadfast nature and encouraging words ... what a dream boat.

I started right back up at Week 4 (warm up 5:00, run 3:00, walk 1:30, run 5:00, walk 2:30, run 3:00, walk 1:30, run 5:00, cool down 5:00). Those 5-minute runs sure are challenging, but it feels really good to finish them. I know I’ve said it before, but I really think I need to stick with this program. I’m at a place now where I think I can push through the Weeks within 2 or 3 tries. I do still want to do long-ish runs on the weekends though, and C25K doesn’t cut it for those
puppies. When Mr. C25K says to cool down, I’m going to cool down and not keep going for a longer path.

In fact, I tried to fight that urge to stop on this morning’s run. After settling on the shorter running path at Armelder, I told myself
I’d do two laps (at about 1.8 miles each)—one with Mr.C25K and the second on my own. I busted through the first lap and tackled those 5-minute runs, but as I approached the end of the first lap, I started to second guess my decision to go around again. Plus, as I mentioned at the beginning of the post, I really had to GO. I even got so far
as to start jogging—that lasted about 20 seconds. Needless to say, the second running lap didn’t happen. But I did go exploring a bit.

Armelder Park bumps up against the Little Miami River and there’s a canoe landing in the park. I wanted to see what it was all about and possibly sit and watch the river for a little bit. (I love, love, LOVE watching water and could honestly do it for hours. Weird, I know.) Too bad people were playing in the river with their dog and I didn’t want to be a creeper and watch. So, I hiked back up to the path, took a shortcut through the middle, and went back to my car, only clocking a whopping 0.7 mile little jaunt on my iMapMyRun app.

[By the way, have I talked about that app yet? It’s amazing. It uses GPS to track your running path and tell you 1) the distance you walked and 2) how long it took. If you enter all your stats on the website (mapmyrun.com), it’ll track your calories burned and such. You can also share your paths with others and search for paths others have taken and measured. It’s pretty amazing. Thanks to my co-worker, John, for introducing me to it!]

That’s all for today, folks. Rest assured that I will stay current on
my posts over the next week. I’m going to sit here and draft a few
now so I can’t use my sketchy Internet connection as an excuse. Check back for the much-awaited weight blog and a post about running playlists! Now, take advantage of this weather and get out there and RUN!!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The WCPO Big K 5K Run

Today I feel like a seasoned runner. I’m a pro. I’m ready to run a marathon and teach my own clinics on how to run. Okay, not really. But, now that I’ve completed the WCPO Big K 5K Run, I now have two notches in my proverbial running belt. Too bad that belt doesn’t have a waterproof pocket for my iPhone.

In case you don’t live in Cincinnati or you slept in past 10 this morning, I’ll fill you in – it rained. I woke up at 7 a.m. and immediately checked The Weather Channel app on my phone to see when the front would be moving in and was comforted with pictures of sunny skies until 10 a.m. Yay! No rain for the race, which was due to start at 9 a.m.

Not so much. At precisely 8:55 a.m., as race participants were lining up at the start line, the drizzles started, and by the time we got to the bridge over the Ohio (the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge), it was just plain rain. I’ll admit that I’m now grateful for the rain. It made a humid morning and only one drink station a whole lot easier to deal with. But it made it a little hard to find a place on my shirt to wipe my face and, most of all, made it a little difficult to ensure my iPhone remained functional after 45 minutes of wetness. Three cheers for my InCase cover and screen protector. Whew.

How about the running?

It was good! I only shaved 2 minutes (+/- seconds) off my Redlegs Run For Home 5K time and finished in 254th place (out of 358) at 42:16, a 13:38 per mile pace. The pace number means a bit more to me at this point, and I’m pleased.

I decided to use the interval timer app for this run and bumped up my 2:1 run/walk ratio to 3:1, and it wasn’t so bad! In fact, I think I’m going to start there and start working my way up, maybe 30 seconds a pop.

I mean, wow, I’m running 75% of the time! That’s huge!

I only varied from my intervals twice, both on hills, and I’m okay with that. Oh, and my “team” finished first; I guess I was automatically signed up as a Kroger team member/associate and we won! One more victory; I somehow managed to place 4th in my weight class. It was the only weight class for women (160+ or “Athena I”). I have a hard time believing that I was the 4th woman over 160 pounds to pass the finish line out of 358 people. I wasn’t included in my age class, though I clearly had a time that qualified. I’m not sure how they figure that all out, so if you know, please pipe up.

The best part of the run for me was at the end. It was downhill. =)

But seriously, it was a great ending for me. The Clay Wade Bailey Bridge, like most bridges I’ve encountered (which isn’t many) is a bit arched. You engineer people can pipe in as to why that’s so if you want to. So the first half of the bridge was uphill and a little rough, but as I approached the “peak” I decided that I was going to run down the other side, down the ramp, and all the way to the finish line without stopping. I also tried to increase my pace ever so slightly. I don’t know if the hill down just gave me time to relax or if I actually experienced some endorphins, but I felt totally great the whole half-mile that I ran without stopping, even on the flat half of that section (the very end). I MAY have even kicked a little to cross the finish line! Whee!

I even felt good after the run, which concerns me a little. I feel like I should have been beat. Did I push myself enough? Looking back I can see that I should have pushed a little harder than I did. I’m just not experienced enough to know how much to push, you know? Worst case scenario, I would have had to finish the race at a leisurely walking pace. Bah, I should have tried harder, but I’m still happy and I’m ready to do my next one. That’s the real victory.

Oh, and I did get an awesome compliment as I was leaving the Northern Kentucky Convention Center after the run, having just snarfed down two banana halves and half a bagel. A woman called after me as I was headed out the door—“Excuse me, miss!” I thought I dropped something, of course, but I didn’t. She stopped me to tell me that I did a great job and that she had decided early in the run that she was going to catch and pass me, but she couldn’t seem to do it because I just kept going and going. She said it seemed like I never stopped. I explained my intervals and she told me she doing Couch to 5K and was on Week 6. Week 6! I’m only kind of on Week 4, and haven’t really touched the app in a few weeks. And she couldn’t keep up with me. But I was so flattered and encouraged by our little chat and I shared my blog address with her. (Forgive the shameless self-promotion, but please say hi if you remembered to check the address I gave you!)

But that little chat really nailed home my theory about the running community. The runners I’ve encountered are such supportive people! That includes you experienced folks who offer advice and comments on here and on my Facebook. There were a few crazy-fast competitors today who turned around and ran the course backwards after they finished to presumably cool down and they made a point of encouraging the runners they passed along the way. I got a few “good jobs” during my last leg, and they mean so much.

What makes the community of runners so supportive and encouraging? My theory is that running is hard for everyone, regardless of how experienced, skilled, and/or fast those runners are. I think that shared experience of pain and exhaustion creates a bond. I was discussing this with my friend, Jeff, this afternoon after my colossal post-run nap. He thinks it has something to do with the individual nature of the sport. It’s not a team sport, but everyone’s shooting for the same goal in the end, so you kind of become a team. And what do teammates do? They slap each other on the butt and say, “Good game!” and “Wait for the good pitches,” and “Keep your eye on the ball!” Maybe those runners who turn around and encourage other runners are really saying, “It sucks, I know, but our goal is just ahead, so keep your eye on the ball!”

Do you have any stories of random running encouragement? I’d love to hear them. Also, do you have any advice on figuring out how hard to push yourself for the sake of improvement?

Friday, August 20, 2010

'Twas The Night Before BigK

Good evening. I thought I'd post a quick solicitation before getting a short nap this evening (okay, 7 hours). Would you all please send happy muscle, lung, and thirst-quenching thoughts and vibes my way tomorrow (Saturday) morning between 9 and 10? During that time I'll be trudging through Covington and downtown Cincinnati in the WCPO BigK 5K all by myself and might need a little extra push to actually run the race. It's my second 5K and I've set higher expectations for myself. Let's hope I can meet them!

See you on the flip side!"

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Blog Fail!

Hi folks! I know my blogging is lacking severely lately, but I have a semi-good reason. My home Internet connection is less-than stellar so I can't post. Boo! But I have a plan. I'm going to spend my evenings writing blogs then post them the next morning from another location. Good plan.

In the meantime, my Blogger app works for short updates. So here goes nothing.

I ran yesterday with my BFF Jeff. Yay! It was so nice out and I was so anxious to move my legs that I went ahead and did 3 laps (3 miles) at Veterans. I finished in about 43 minutes (not great). That 43 minutes did include a 3 minute warm-up walk, though.

I also got to introduce Jeff to the little old man at Veterans, who may be getting on my nerves with his comments ("You better pick up that pace for your 5K this weekend!"). Wrinkled punk. Meh, i'll get over it.

Lastly, I skipped my morning workout yesterday and immediately realized that I wasn't going to be able to keep up the morning routine by myself (as opposed to relying on the boot camp schedule to keep me committed). So, I've decided to switch those workouts to non-running evenings and to double up. Now, instead of one body focus for 20 minutes in the morning I'll do two body focuses for 40 minutes in the evening. I did my first one tonight (upper and lower, saving core for another night). This seems much more realistic to me. Now I can just get in the habit of doing something every night.

So, that's all for now. I know I promised a weight discussion, but the iPhone really isn't the place to type all that out. I'll get it posted soon, though!

Good night!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Beechmont Ave,Union,United States

Saturday, August 14, 2010

4 Miles Is Still Easier Than Boot Camp

There's another heat advisory in Cincinnati today. So, naturally, I decided to take my first "long run" this morning. And it went well! Yay!

I ran on the Five Mile Trail in Anderson. It's actually 4 miles from where I started (it's named after the street it starts on and follows for a bit ... though it may be 5 miles if you start at the Anderson Center). It's a really, really nice trail! It wasn't really crowded, but I didn't go more than maybe 5 minutes without passing someone, and it got a bit more populated as I went. Plus it runs through a wooded "residential" area (a handful of yards butt up against the trail).

Well, I had been afraid to take a long run by myself because I knew I had to go to a longer trail to make myself keep going for more than 3 miles -- short trail = short run. And I didn't want to ask someone to go with me and risk that he or she have to speed up or slow down to stay with me, but running this one by myself this one was great. I loved it. It's crazy hilly but it's in the part of town I grew up in, so I felt really safe. I even saw my high school from the trail's turn-around. Apparently I was too early for the band camp kids to be up on the field, but I did hear the drum line a little later. Awe, don't you all wish you were at band camp right now? Riiiiight.

Anyway, I took lots of pictures along the way, so enjoy!

Near the beginning, from the top of the hill at the Anderson library.
You go all the way down this one and up the other side. Whew!

The bridge that crosses over Hunley. Very cool.

Looking over Hunley from the bridge.

From the other side of the bridge.

A happy sight! Newtown Road, the half-way mark for me.

From Newtown Road. I took a mini-break before tackling the first painful hill.
The rest of the hills were just a bit more moderate than this one.

I'm pretty sure this sign was for me. I mean, I do have to contain myself a little sometimes.

Hill. Bridge. Oi!

So, I did it all in a little over an hour. My interval timer app stopped a little before I was finished and I did take an un-timed break at midway, and paused for some pictures that took a few seconds. Not bad, eh?

I was a sweaty mess by the time I got back to my car, but I still wasn't as wet, nasty, and exhausted as I was after an hour of boot camp. It's so weird to think that, but it's true ... an hour of boot camp is harder than an hour of running.

Oh yeah, I ran/walked for 2 minute/1 minute intervals. But I did walk the big hills. I tried running them for a little, but my lungs weren't up for it.

Next weekend's long run is the WCPO BigK 5K in Covington and downtown Cincy. I believe my friend Sarah is joining me, and possibly Jeff. Yay! I'm so ready for this one. I'm confident I'll have a better finishing time than the Redlegs Run for Home 5K this Spring.

That's all for today! Check in next time for some weight loss talk. I've figured out how to share my progress without telling my real weight. Forgive me, I'm still not ready to share!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Call To Action

Hey folks! Just a quick question ... is anyone interested in trying 3-5 miles with me tomorrow morning? I'd like to start before 9 a.m. to avoid the heat. I'll be doing two-minute running/one-minute walking intervals. Comment here, call/text me, or email moretoloverunning@gmail.com if you're interested!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Without Cable, With Running

Happy cable-free Tuesday morning to me!

That’s right, the boob-tube is currently without mojo. My sparkly new television has nothing to broadcast. I said so long to cable services as of yesterday while I was at work and since I don’t have an antenna, the screen is black. I’m cool with it though. It’ll give me more reason to run longer runs and to post more frequently and to read books and practice writing other things.

I may also try some evening yoga on non-running days. I bought this “Yoga for Weight Loss” DVD a few years ago and have only done it a few times (shocker), mostly because it’s so long.

From Amazon.

Plus, yoga can be a little too calm for me. But, if I call it my resting day workout, I might be able to come to terms with a “slow” yoga session.

So, running …

I had a good run last night, folks. My friend, Caitlin (Hi Caitlin!) joined me for her second try at this running thing and did a great job. I introduced her to Week 1 of C25K on Saturday in the blazing sun, but brought her along on my new running interval this evening. I don’t think she believes me when I tell her that she’s starting in much better shape than I did. Perhaps she’ll go back and read some of my early posts (start with the first one). If only I had recorded myself breathing (or rather NOT breathing) back in those first days of running … then maybe she’d believe me. =)

I ran without Mr. C25K today. Instead, I’m trying Mr. Jeff Galloway’s suggestion for half-marathon training. [Apparently this guy is some kind of famous runner? I’ve never heard of him. The only famous runners I know are Michael Johnson, Carl Lewis, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, the long fingernail chick (is that Joyner-Kersee?), and Steve Prefontaine (woot!).]

Jared Leto in Prefontaine. (Image source)
I watched this movie for the first time with the Wilmington College track team on the way to sectionals or some other championship track meet I didn't qualify for. Excellent movie!

By the way, here's Jackie Joyner-Kersee rockin' the javelin (image source). I guess she's not the fingernail chick. But let me tell you that I had to throw this bad boy in college and it is not fun ... at all. It tears the crap out of your shoulder, and getting it to stick into the ground when it lands--yeah, YOU try it.

Anyway, I got Jeff Galloway’s book, “Half Marathon: You Can Do It” from the library last week, and he suggested that someone at my pace do a run-walk-run of 2 minutes, 1 minute, 2 minutes. I like that idea. It’s shorter running intervals than Week 4 of C25K (3 minutes and 5 minutes), but shorter rest periods. It’s just the combination I’ve been wanting since starting Week 3. I plan on tackling this 2-1-2 interval set hardcore for the next two weeks in preparation for my next 5K (August 21, BigK 5K).

Not so much to say, I guess, except that I’m feeling really good about running these days. My breathing is so much more under control. My legs feel stronger. I’m still working hard on my runs, but I’m confident I can finish the intervals with a little willpower. That’s about it.

Hey, a few more minutes for the question of the moment:

I’ve read here and there about people who run every day. Is that a good idea for someone like me to consider? Is it a good idea for anyone to consider? Are these people crazy or on the right track?

Thanks for whatever thoughts or comments you have to share!

Oh, and Zach … when is your big run?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

OMG Shoes

Helloooooo! As promised, the shoe post is here. Well, it's about shoes and feet. Anyway, it's below.


I totally just completed Day 1 of Week 4!!! WEEK 4!!!
  • Warm up 5 minutes
  • Run 3 minutes, walk 1.5 minutes
  • Run 5 minutes, walk 2.5 minutes
  • Repeat the run/walks
  • Cool down 5 minutes
That's right, I said RUN 5 MINUTES! I did it! Ah I was scared I couldn't do it, but I totally kicked those 5 minutes to the curb. Okay, maybe I toed it inch-by-inch to the curb, but it got curbed ... twice. POW!

Second, the new headphones are phenomenal. Love them. They're loud enough to drown out every bit of my breathing. Faaahhh-bulous!

Third, I registered for the Big Brothers/Big Sisters WCPO/BigK 5K today! Yay another run! Yay for getting gross and sweaty in front of work people!

Fourth, the little old man who walks faster than I run was at the park again tonight. Apparently he's been there every night for the last 11 years. How do I know? Because I got up the nerve to ask him for a picture when my workout was finished! Here he is ...

After this shot he asked me back to his truck to look at a picture of him. No joke. I, of course, accepted, like the genius I am. Don't worry, I pulled out my car key and held it firmly between my fingers like a good, safe citizen and stayed about 5 steps back from his car. Really, he wanted to show me what he looked like before he started running ... before he lost 94 pounds and kept it off for 11 years by walking and running at Veterans Memorial Park. He then showed every middle-aged woman who was finishing or starting her workout at that moment, and they all seemed to know who he was. I guess he has been exercising there for a long time. I thanked him for the photo and for sharing his story and for his encouragement (he said I could do it too, and to drink lots of water), stretched out and went home. That was awesome. Good night, I'd say. =)


Okay, now onto an important topic: shoes.

Did you watch the videos? Did you love them? Or, are you now seriously worried about me? All three, probably.

I'll just dive right in ...

I have heinous feet. They are big, wide, and oddly shaped. And no, I’m not exaggerating. The prettiest part about my feet is my first tattoo, perched boldly atop my right foot, and even that’s subject to preference.

"My Right Foot, " by Carrie at Hybrid Image Tattoo and Body Piercing.

So, these feet ... how big? How wide? How oddly shaped?

My current running shoe is a men’s 4E 10.5. If I’m lucky, I can find women’s dress and casual shoes in 11 or 12 wide, but sometimes those are even too snug. I don’t think my running shoes fit perfectly, though; I’m probably better suited for a 2E because I’m starting to slide around a bit.

So yeah, long and wide feet. They’re also quite flat on top and high toward the ankle. I have a high arch, a protruding “ball,” and surprisingly no bunions or whatnot. I also have a Morton’s toe, which apparently means I’m some kind of royalty, but to me it means that it’s hard to get shoes to fit just right. All this crap, combined with the weight I’ve been carrying around since I was a wee one, means that my feet hurt a lot. Fortunately I don’t have plantar fasciitis or anything (not to my knowledge), but I’m still always considering my foot comfort.

Lastly, I have weak ankles and my feet roll outwards, or under pronate (over supination). Yay fun!

(My mother apologizes for passing along the big-and-wide-feet gene, but I think I’ll forgive her this monstrosity. I’d much rather put the blame on a more deserving party—like my old gym teachers. Yeah. Stupid gym teachers.) The moral of the story is that finding shoes is really difficult. Finding athletic shoes is a little easier, but they’re usually men’s shoes and extremely unattractive. I ruin running shoes quite quickly, too, because of the under pronation. (Rolling out + obesity = shoes that break-in to a rolled out position = sore ankles from lack of support.)

The shoes I have now are sadly dying. I’m starting to slide around in them a lot and I can tell the foam is starting to squish up on the outer edges. I like these shoes! They don’t pinch me or make my toes fall asleep or rub my heels the wrong way. I like them so much that this is my second pair of the exact same shoe. Unfortunately they don’t make these shoes anymore. It’s probably a good thing since they’re cross trainers (really light cross trainers, though).

I fully understand that I need to go to get professionally fitted for new shoes, but this is so painful, people. Shoes are expensive. Plus I realize I probably need some kind of insert and they’ll wear out soon anyway and … ugh! Stupid shoes.

Oh, AND I’ve already tried the experts. Sometime in January 2009, I dragged a friend of mine to Bob Roncker’s Running Spot in O’Bryonsville. (That was my first real itch to try running, by the way. I think that’s when I first tried C25K and gave up on it immediately.) A man there (quite possibly Mr. Roncker himself) listened to what I had to say about my feet issues (including my frustration with breaking shoes in too quickly) and my desire to start running, and sold me a pair of $120 running shoes. When I started working out at my gym that March, it was clear the shoes were not right. There were men’s 11s, I think, and normal width for men (D). They were ugly, first of all. They gave me blisters on my heels because the backs were so high. They made my toes go numb. They pinched the sides of my feet. And, of course, they broke-in really quickly and started to slant to one side. Gah!

$120, meet the toilet.

So maybe you understand my hesitation in trying this again. I just don’t want to throw that money away again.

There are a few differences this time around:
  1. I’m actually a runner now and kind of know what I'm talking about.
  2. I won’t leave that store until I’ve run all over the place in the shoes.
  3. The sales person WILL watch my gait and WILL look at my old shoes to figure out what my needs are.
  4. I WILL bring shoes back if they don’t do what I want them to do.
  5. I’m going to try Fleet Feet in Blue Ash instead of Roncker’s.
So, what do I want to hear from you today?

I want to know what your feet issues are and how you’ve dealt with them. Also, most importantly, have you worked with someone at Fleet Feet who is super knowledgeable and friendly and actually listens? If so, please tell me so I can make sure I deal with that person. Thanks for reading about the most disgusting topic in the word (feet), and thanks for any advice or stories you have!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Too Hot To Handle?

I’m going to save the shoe/feet post I promised you for tomorrow. It’s already written, but I don’t want to bog you down with another HUGE post. So I've split them in two, and now’s your chance to go watch those videos I posted last time.

About today: I thought I'd let you know that I didn't run this evening. And, just to set the record straight, I have every intention of doing so until about 3 p.m. when I got an email from my mother, encouraging me to reconsider my evening plans. She even offered to sit and watch me run, just to make sure I didn't pass out or something. Apparently it's hot outside--heat advisory hot--and running isn't on the list of recommended activities along with drink lots of ice water, sit in front of a fan, and watch television.

I had no clue how hot it was until I left work at 5 p.m. This isn't shocking considering that the closest I got to outdoors today was walking through my building's skywalk over Vine (it's fully enclosed and air conditioned, but it has windows, which is more than I can say for my entire department). I balked at the stay-cool logic, though. I wanted to run! My legs had been itching to move all day and I was ready to work out the small hamstring strain from my lower body workout this morning (thanks Jackie Warner, I thought we were friends). I even polled my panel of running experts on Facebook, thinking surely they'd say, "Go ahead! Just stay hydrated!" Psh! Let's just say I'm disappointed in my expert panel--wimps. Heat schmeat.

So here I sit with a glass of ice water, under a ceiling fan, in front of the television (as recommended by the heat advisory experts), writing about not running. Riveting, no?

Well wait … I do have one exciting piece of news. I got new headphones today! And they were only $10. And pink. AND they sound better than my old ones. Whee! I can avoid the sounds of silence again!

Check back tomorrow for the OMG Shoes post! And watch the videos!

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Sounds Of Silence

... And highway traffic, and heavy breathing, and pounding feet ...

Okay, so maybe my run tonight sans headphones wasn't all that quiet. Oh well, it's a pretty song anyway, so go ahead and listen to it while you read:

First, sorry for the lame post this morning. For some reason I felt desperate to post to make up for my lack of updates last week. I read it again today and realized I didn't say much. I was trying to update you on my morning workouts so far, and so far, so good. I've done two of the Jackie Warner programs, and they're not bad. They're only about 20 minutes long, though, which is weird after having done hour workouts every morning. She leads you through each exercise once for one minute instead of three times for x-seconds (as in boot camp). And, dude, a minute is a long time. I'm definitely working muscles. I did the core workout this morning and upper body on Friday. I don't seem to have a problem getting up, either. At least yet. We'll see how that goes. OH, and I can do modified push ups so much easier than when I started ABC, so YAY for that!

Well, I'm committed to her now. I downgraded my cable and will no longer have access to Exercise On-demand, so I ordered the DVD today.

Okay, back to the running. I ran today, despite all the excuses I had not to. It's hot. It's humid. I'm tired. My headphones broke during my last run. My legs aren't back in running shape yet. I just went to the grocery store after work and want to spend the evening on the couch. But, it's the coolest evening of the year, it's supposed to rain tomorrow, I did my workout this morning, if I run at TQL I don't need to be so conscious of my heavy breathing (less people) ... there were excuses the other way too. So I went.

And it was hot, and humid, and my legs hurt, but it wasn't crowded, and now I don't have to go tomorrow. Running without the headphones wasn't as bad as I expected. I think the short runs before boot camp last month helped me get used to it. And, I might be getting better at controlling/recovering my breathing. That comes with endurance, right?

So, ladies and gentlemen, I have homework for you before reading my next post. I'll be writing about shoes. Shoes are the bane of my existence because of my obnoxiously abnormal feet. These videos, which focus on shoes, help me at least laugh about the topic.

Disclaimer: They include a few F-bombs and B-words, are NOT suitable for work (unless you have headphones ... no nudity or anything), and probably aren't a good idea for children. Also, I'm aware that many people don't even find them funny, but I also know that many of you do. They're ridiculous, so just laugh!

I give you, [drumroll], Kelly and "OMG Shoes."

And Britney versus Kelly, "Gimme Shoes."

Hehehehhehehe! I've MISSED these! Whaddaya say, BUR girls?

Morning Workouts With Jackie Warner

Man, I'm slipping into slackerhood with these updates. It turns out that inactivity breeds more inactivity and laziness. I have no excuses ... just laziness.

Anyway, this morning marks the beginning of the new session of Adventure Boot Camp and I am not there. I am, however, doing my own morning workouts. I've now done two of the three Jackie Warner workouts on Exercise On-Demand. I like what she has to offer so far, and since I'm dropping my fancy cable beginning Saturday, I'll have to go buy the DVD. Good thing it's cheap-o on Amazon. And at least I've tried it before buying it.

That's my short update this morning, folks. I'll check back in soon and try not to let myself slip back to the two-posts-a-week groove. I may or may not have woken up in the middle of the night thinking, "Oh my god! I haven't updated my blog!" Don't worry. I fell peacefully back to sleep.

Have a Monday, because I know no Monday can be good. =)