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10 Things I Love About Running

Aug 29, 2014 |

runningAs a veteran runner I thought it would be a good idea to make a list of the things I love about running.

Hopefully this list can inspire others to start running as a hobby.

Here are my ten things I love about running:

  1. Running clears my head and keeps me closer to “normal” whatever normal is. I go run when life gets tough, like it did when my dad was in the hospital recently. It gives the stress someplace to go productively, instead of food, booze or taking it out on other people. Going for those runs made it so that I was still someone people wanted to be around and I didn’t go down a dark path, which many people do in those situations.
  2. Running gets me out of the house, so that my wife doesn’t encourage me to go back to work. Since we have retired TheWife has been very supportive of my running lifestyle, but at time it becomes rather expensive and from time-to-time she hints that it might be time to look for a part-time job, if I want to continue running or start racing again.
  3. Running is mostly responsible for my loosing 30 plus pounds and 6 inches off my waist since last June. When I am actively running, I look at food and exercise differently than when I am not. I am much more aware of what I fuel my body with versus just eating.
  4. Through Running I have gotten to meet a lot of great people both online and face-to-face, that otherwise wouldn’t have been a part of my life.
  5. Running gives me confidence to do more than I think I can – what was once difficult is now routine. That little hill on the circle that I had a hard time walking up last June, is now at the end of most of my workouts and I practice “kicking” up that little hill almost every day. I am more willing to step out of my comfort zone and try things that I might otherwise walk away from a good example of this is my involvement with #FitFluential.
  6. Running helps me break through expectations and stereotypes – I am an older guy with gray hair who has retired, therefore according to the old stereotypes I am supposed to be sitting in my easy chair, drinking beer and doing nothing but watching the games on TV. I prefer to be a participant, not a spectator and when I run I am. I become that crazy old bastard down the road who is always outside either walking his dog or running.
  7. Running has given me a focus for my blog “A Veteran Runnah” and gives me plenty to write about. I love to write and while my blog is just a personal blog I do take pride in what I write here, the ability it gives me to put my thoughts out there and possibly have others respond to them.
  8. Running is never the same – no run is exactly the same, even if it is the same course. The weather has changed, what you are thinking about changes, whether you are with someone or not, there are far too many variables for any run to be exactly like one before it or how it will be tomorrow. That is why I think many runners can run the same courses over and over without being bored about where they are running.
  9. Running allows me to get outdoors, to enjoy and see the variety of life. I run through different neighborhoods, roads, to the many trails and the many things that I have seen on these runs are: amazing, awe-inspiring or eye candy, while other things were shameful or things I never hope to see again, but if I had not been running, I would not have seen what I saw.
  10. Most of all after running for over 40 years, running is a part of who I am, running is not just something I do.

The reality is that

Since my return to running after a long absence, (due to a non-running related injury), I really appreciate running so much more than I had in the past – when I just took being able to run for granted. Before this injury running was something that I was always able to do, pretty much whenever I wanted to do it. This last period of not being able to run when I wanted to, really changed my perspective on what running means to me.
Hell I am even moving to more minimal footwear and trying hard to change my running form, back to the how I ran in the dark ages of the 80′s (yes forefoot striking)…which is a huge step for me.

How To Stay Connected to Running-Even When Injured

Aug 29, 2014 |

jogger-guy-running-with-sunStay Connected to Running-Even When Injured

This post is about what to do when you are injured and but want to stay active.

Stay Connected

(online or face-to-face)

Many runners when they are injured (whether it is running related or not) have the tendency to isolate themselves away from other runners and stop participating in a community that they were so active in before they were injured. Especially if the injury will mean a long period of not running.

Unfortunately, when they are injured many runners are thinking only about how their injury affects them (been there done that), not how they will be missed by the people they have become friends with and not how they can still contribute to the community they have been such a part of, even while they are injured.

Why

  • many are jealous of those who can run, when they can’t run and don’t want to be around people who can
  • no one “understands” how they feel about not being able to run (like nobody else has ever been injured)
  • don’t want to be a “burden” on others (you’re not)
  • don’t want to continually answer the question “When are you going to start running again?”
  • that people will get tired of hearing them whine about our injury (we understand – believe me we understand)
  • they no longer feel that we are part of the “group” if we can’t run (b.s.)

That is unfortunate, because when runners have an injury there is a process that we all seem to work through and a good blog post on those stages of injury is over at Shut up Run – Stages of Injury. Runners do need support (whether they want to admit it or not) in getting through those stages and getting back to the sport they loved so much.

Isolation

When a runner isolates themselves from their online or real life running support network:

  • it deprives the injured runner of one their natural running support networks that help them stay engaged with others who have the same interests
  • they lose contact with those who would stay positive about their return to running, even when the person doesn’t believe it will happen
  • they tend to be more pessimistic about whether/when and how they will get back to the sport
  • develop bad habits, i.e. eating, drinking, not doing anything at all to remain active, instead of what they can. Then find themselves completely out of shape in a relatively short time
  • they let go of the great friendships they have developed in that community
  • it takes them longer to return to the sport they loved so much
  • or worse the injured runner just completely leaves running
  • I am sure there are more, but this is a start to that list

These are all things that I have done and so have many other injured runners.

What can you do

You can sit back and become a couch potato, get fat, lazy and pessimistic about the future or you can make the best of a bad situation, pick yourself up, dust yourself and stay involved your running community.

What can an injured runner do to stay involved in running, even though they might be injured:

  • Volunteer to help out at local races, events, fun run or your local running club (help with registration at races or whatever you can do)
  • There are always online chats/hastags: #fitfluential #runchat #fitblog #runners #running and all the other online running forums to participate in.
  • help organize things for other runners, be part of the clean-up detail
  • if you have computer skills, blogging, know how to put together a webpage, useTwitter, Facebook, Google+ and other social media to  publicize the club and to attract new members, can help write a newsletter, etc. your local running club should be very interested in your help and you will be considered a very valuable asset to the club
  • figure out what other skills that you have, that can be a huge asset – carpentry, photography, writing, etc.
  • be part of a support team, I know of many times at local fun runs (back in the day), that injured runners would drive the “I’m done vehicle” for the other runners who couldn’t/didn’t complete a run. I have used that vehicle as a runner a couple of times during fun runs and it was a welcome sight. Just have some plastic bags to cover your seats – those damn sweaty runners.
  • if your friends are at a race and you haven’t volunteered to help, cheer your friends on in different parts of the race course (if possible) and be there at the end to help them out. You would appreciate it if the roles were reversed.
  • take lots of pictures of your friends running, races, fun runs, events, etc., they will tell you how horrible they look, but will still be thankful that you took the pictures of them in action and add them to their albums, blogs or however, they keep track of their photos.  Runners usually don’t have too many pictures of us running or at running events.
  • most of all stay our friend
  • An injured runner still has all that experience and knowledge that they gained while they were running and can continue to pass that knowledge on to other runners.

There are so many things that an injured runner can do to remain active in the running community and I am sure that you have more ideas to help injured runners stay active in the running community.

The reality is that

JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE INJURED DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU CANNOT REMAIN INVOLVED IN YOUR RUNNING COMMUNITY.

It totally sucks, to be injured and not be able to run whatever the reason (I was gone for almost 18 months this last time and it wasn’t even running related), but it doesn’t mean that you don’t have anything to give to your fellow runners while you are injured.

You can exchange the word “runner” for any other activity you enjoy and continue to participate – this is not just about about running.

What do you think?

What do you think, should injured runners just fade away from the running community or should they continue to be active and vibrant members of that community, even if they can’t run?

Finally

If you are injured look closely at the things that Mike at Just a Little Run…: Making It Count says in his post – it is all great advice! But remember, it is also important to stay connected to others who share your interests, even when you can’t actively participate. You still have a lot to offer other runners even while you are injured.

How to pick the right shoes when you have Plantar Fasciitis

Jun 18, 2015 |

Plantar fasciitis causes pain on the heel of an individual who has it. The Plantar Fascia is the flat tissue that connects the heel to the toes and if this becomes strained, you will have Plantar Fasciitis. Shoes that are used by people who have Plantar Fasciitis are made differently compared to the regular shoes that people use. The shoes should offer more heel comfort for anyone who has it. Head on over to www.thejoggersheel.com to learn more about the best shoes for plantar fasciitis.

How to pick the right shoes when you have Plantar Fasciitis

Comfort for casual shoes

plantar-fasciitis-shoes-sandalsThe shoe should have an orthotic foot bed to go with the alignment of your feet and a deeper heel support to keep your feet a little elevated. The material used for your shoes should be breathable in order to let your foot breathe especially if you are using it the whole day. The shoes should be made with a technology that lets you be more comfortable when walking around all day.

Width

The shoe should not be too narrow at the end because your feet cannot be constricted because it might make your case worst. It is important that your feet are able to breathe inside the shoes so you will not become uncomfortable after some time.

Length

Make sure to fit the shoes before you buy it because not all brands offer the same fit. Orthoheel is a good brand of shoes for people with Plantar Fasciitis because they offer an orthotic foot bed for better support and they recommend that you use shoes that are half an inch longer than your normal size.

For athletes

There are running shoes made for people with Plantar Fasciitis. The shoe is made with water resistant material for any fitness activity. It is also breathable to prevent foot odor and keep your feet dry during the whole time. It should also have Orthaheel technology for better comfort and support. There are also some shoes that can be used for casual walking and fitness activities.

Brand

Pick the brand that specializes in making shoes for people with Plantar Fasciitis. You can research on the internet about these brands and find the perfect one for you. For more info about brands check www.yourcomfyfeet.com. It is also recommended that you buy the shoes from the store itself and not form online so you can test it. This is important because you have a special case and the specialists should be asked which is ideal for you. Some brands will include a special cushion inside the shoe which you can remove if you have to because you should also ask your doctor if you can use shoes with a special cushion aside from it already being made for people with Plantar Fasciitis.

Look at the special brands that make shoes that are specifically for people with Plantar Fasciitis. It is not easy looking picking the right shoes, but if you already have an idea of the features you are looking for, you won’t have a hard time choosing your shoes and always ask your doctor before buying one.

From Elliptical Machines To Triathlon Training: How To Prepare For A Triathlon Race

Apr 25, 2015 |

I recently bought an elliptical machine (found the best Elliptical machine under $ 1000) to have at home to help me train for my running and as a part of building up stamina for my triathlon program. So, I have been asked multiple times why I would choose to go for an elliptical machine rather than a bike given that in a triathlon you have to use a bike. My answer is simple, because  triathlon tests not only the speed but also the discipline and endurance all throughout the race so to train on different machines actually gives you a edge. After I work out on my Proform Hybrid I go out for a light jogging and then I take my bike and do a 10K before doing 1 mile swimming.

But here are five helpful tips when you are preparing for a triathlon race that everyone can use.

Five Helpful Methods When Preparing For Triathlon Race Events

Do you want to compete continuously in a 3-sport event? Why not try triathlon. Triathlon is composed of three major sport disciplines that include running, swimming, and biking. For how many years, this kind of sport or hobby has rapidly increased its fame with sport enthusiasts and even with nonprofessionals.

Better, faster, and more determined individuals are only a few of the characteristics needed for one to be able to win in triathlon competitions. Triathlon is not a simple task where an average Joe can endure all the intense obstacles of the race. It requires perseverance, determination, utmost willpower, endurance, and stamina. That being the case, here are a few methods to help one prepare for triathlon events:

Getting Acquainted With Basic Triathlon Gears

Apr 25, 2015 |
triathlon_girl_black_no_words_decal-150x150

triathlon_girl_black_no_words_decal-150x150I have decided to try out triathlon and after doing some research and doing some testing with my exercise plans I have noted down the most important aspects to keep in mind when training as well as what gear is important. I thought I would share with you guys my results.

Use Proper Triathlon Gear

The importance of wearing the proper triathlon gears is that allows triathletes to perform aerodynamics at their very best. Gears that are made for triathlons are not just gears that are worn for display during the race. The main goal of triathlon gear usage is to maximize speed without any delay or discomfort to a person participating in triathlon events.

Triathlon for starters is very challenging and a difficult kind of sport. With that said, athletes in triathlon must withstand and outwit the hardship of the race, which primarily requires optimum health; mind and body. So, for one to be able to succeed with the different trials associated with triathlons, proper triathlon gears must be used.

Tri Running Gears

  • Hat – It is a protective gear for either hot or cold weather, a hat can protect a triathlete from direct sunlight and raindrops. Some athletes in a triathlon prefer to wear visors.
  • Hydration Pack – Keeping hydrated at all times to prevent exhaustion and dehydration must be properly observed during the race. A hydration pack is the perfect gear that is placed around the waist of triathletes; this is where a water container is attached intended for drinking.

About Me Playing Golf And Being A Creature Of Habit?

Apr 25, 2015 |
7-habits-150x150

7-habits-150x150We are such creatures of habit.

Do you have a certain daily routine that you follow and when you are not able to follow it, you feel stressed out because of it.

I am very lucky my daily routine has evolved into a pretty consistent and comfortable one, where I go at my pace, while continuing to get a lot done.

This morning I had to get up at 5:30 A.M. to make sure that I got to the hospital for my Dad’s procedure. So everything felt rushed and hurried, until around 9:00 when I was able to sit down in the cafe, while Dad was in the operating room.

What is my daily routine?

Wake up between 7:00 and 7:30 A.M., talk about what has to be accomplished during the day and then I get up and do my morning weigh-in (something I find that I need to do as a part of my personal accountability).

After that I go into my backyard and bring out my net return golf net and start hitting golf balls for about 20 minutesbefore I do some chipping and then putting. I am by no means a good golfer but starting the day by hitting balls it makes my day more focused and I really enjoy it, I don´t really play golf that often and the nearest hitting range from here is about 60 miles so a golf net is a great way for me to start the day.

When Iget back, inside I prepare breakfast – it is something I can cook . Since I retired I think there have only been 3 days that I haven’t had this meal.

  • 1/4 cup Oatmeal
  • 1tsp of Cinnamon & Ginger
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1 tbs Honey
  • a Banana
  • black coffee.

Healthy Smoothies for Athletes

Apr 25, 2015 |

runningIf you run or engage in any other kind of sport, then you are most likely aware that you need extra nutritional supplementation for your body. This is necessary for it to function properly. Athletes usually require more nutrients compared to less-active people. All the physical activity demands more from their bodies, and in order to keep up with the high performance and recovery, they need to compensate with the right nutrients.

For optimal performance of the body, the runner must consistently intake the following seven essential nutrients: iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc, sodium, potassium and selenium. Many of the athletes accomplish replenishing all these essential nutrients by taking supplements or multivitamins. Personally, I have found it more beneficial disregarding this traditional approach and instead chose a blend of green or other kind of smoothies. I make them from dark leafy vegetables or fresh fruit.

When you have a big event or competition coming up, you can prepare your body by loading up on carbohydrates in the days before the event. This will increase your glycogen stores and as a result you will have more energy on the big day. One way to get those carbs is by eating foods like bread and pasta. However, these foods are very filling and you might end up feeling bloated. An alternative and better option is getting those nutrients from liquid carbs. A smoothie can be a perfect snack or a healthy drink between meals.

From smoothies made from fruits and vegetables you can get all the needed nutrients and ensure that you get enough of them to ensure proper support for the immune function, also its recovery and general health of your body.

Popular nutritionists recommend to all the major players including smoothies to their diets. According to their recommendations, you should add plenty of fruits and vegetables. Especially beneficial can be smoothies made from carrots, beets, kale, celery, lemons, apples, watermelon and blueberries. One more popular mix for a smoothie includes the following ingredients: bananas, honey and low fat milk. This smoothie makes a staple snack on a day when you are trying to load the extra carbs.

Smoothies can make a perfect addition to a diet of any athlete. However, you should still exercise caution. Smoothies are usually high in calories and one drink can contain up to 600 calories and most of it is from sugar. As a runner, it’s important for you to keep your weight down and you don’t need a lot of calories. That’s why it’s better if you can make the smoothies at home. This will allow you to control the exact ingredients, whether you want a smoothie from greens or higher calorie fruits and vegetables.

Blending your smoothie at home you can create your own special drink by experimenting with the ingredients. Think of the fruits and vegetables that you fancy and then make up your own recipe. To make the smoothie you will need a blender. On Benefits of Juicing you can check out the models that are popular and which are the best blenders right now; and there are many different blenders available for making smoothies, juices or even blenders food processor combo (like this one) that you can use for making various drinks. With the appliance at hand, you can easily make the healthy nutritious drink at any time and in just matter of seconds.