Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The ultimate 4-hour Cardio Playlist part 3

31. Break - Three Days Grace
32. Animal I have Become - Three Days Grace
33. Faint - Linkin Park
34. Walla Walla - The Offspring
35. Monster - Skillet
36. Goin' Down - Three Days Grace
37. Do or Die - Dropkick Murphys (sometimes this serves as an alternate starting point)
38. Little Smirk - Theory of a Deadman
39. I Gotta Feeling - The Black Eyed Peas
40. Stay Away - Nirvana
41. Told You So - Drowning Pool
42. Take Back the Fear - Hail the Villain

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

How I should have been running all along

Running in the hippie shoes is completely different than how I ever ran before and while it's all mental, I can't say I ever consciously decided to change my approach to running.

In an interview with Amazon about the book "Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes and the Greatest Race the World has Never Seen," author Christopher McDougall describes our collective problem as "We treat running in the modern world the same way we treat childbirth—it’s going to hurt, and requires special exercises and equipment, and the best you can hope for is to get it over with quickly with minimal damage." I can't comment on the childbirth aspect, but that was my exact approach to running - it was painful and something that I knew was good for me, but I didn't enjoy it and wanted to get it over with as soon as possible.

Not only that, before I ran a single step I would plot out my distance and every turn of my route then continually monitor my time, to make sure I was staying within a 9:00 to 10:30 pace. With the hippie shoes, I knew I couldn't go far right away, and I realized it doesn't matter how far I go! That realization was so liberating. Now, instead of serving the arbitrarily chosen distance, I turn on the iPod stopwatch - just to make sure I'm increasing my time, but not going too far too soon - then I just go. If I'm a minute or two off, it's of no concern whatsoever. No longer do I run laps at the park; I haven't stepped foot inside the Y since I got the shoes.

Now I just go. I drive to a safe neighborhood I like, park the car, and go. If I feel like turning, I'll turn. If I decide to run the entire time in one straight line then turn around, so be it. Running along mostly empty streets without having anything to count (laps, time, distance) has started clearing my head and I sing along, but mostly my brain is filled with only one thought: "Man, this feels great!"

For what it's worth, I track my distance after I'm done, but just for my own curiosity. mapmyrun.com baby :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

I'm baaaaack

My beautiful pink Mizunos have been sitting in the trunk untouched since July. Yet the barefoot hippie running shoes seem to be working great! Sometimes one little piggy feels like a blister is starting to form, but that's nothing a little vaseline won't prevent. I feel like I'm going impossibly slow in them, yet my average time is still right around 10 minutes a mile. When I was doing the longer runs, especially the first time at a distance, it wasn't unheard of for me to get closer to 11-minute miles, so the "speed" seems to be right on track.

Distance wise I started with .5 miles then I stopped tracking distance and went to time. 12 minutes, 18 minutes, 23 minutes, all is well in my running world. My left calf has occasionally hurt but not in a "there is something wrong and this is serious pain" kind of way, but more like "I'm using a muscle I don't always use and it feels great" kind of way.

This weekend: 30 minutes baby! (sigh, what a setback that I was doing 7 miles and now I'm back to 3. Yet I have the muscle memory so it won't take nearly as long to build up the distance again).

There is a rock and roll marathon in New Orleans the week after Mardi Gras. Perhaps that will become the new goal. If I'm doing a winter marathon, it's definitely going to be somewhere warm!

Here's a great website to find races of any distance throughout the country http://www.runningintheusa.com/Race/List.aspx?Special=marathon

Monday, September 13, 2010

Lovely days at the park

It's sunny and warm, I finished work early and I'm off to try 1.4 miles in the hippie shoes. Happy times in Michigan! Let's enjoy the warmth and sun while we still have it!

Also on the agenda: lifting weights. I read that Serena Williams doesn't like her arms - she said they're too big. What the heck? To have arms and shoulders like hers is my goal!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The first step to becoming a hippie

A few weeks ago I went to the running store to see if they carried the minimalist hippie barefoot running shoes. They don't. Most things I'll buy online, but I wanted to try these on before shelling out. REI was my best bet, so I ran up there and asked Brooke in shoes if they carried "the minimalist barefoot running shoes." She knew exactly what I meant and pointed me to the Vibram Five Fingers, helped me with the European sizing then reminded me of REI's return policy, in case they didn't work out (basically, they will return anything at any time in any condition). Plus they were ten percent off. Score!

I don't know if shoes were the problem, but I know I was wearing heavily cushioned shoes and messed up my leg. Brooke mentioned that after the shoe companies started with cushioning shoes, leg injuries have skyrocketed. Neither of us profess to be shoe experts, but we have the same information with the same cause. Can't be a total coincidence.

After wrangling each little piggy into its own opening, I took a lap around the store and the toe separation wasn't nearly as bad as I was expecting. All the information online says to get used to barefoot running very gradually. I started with a half mile today. Could I have gone further? Absolutely! Maybe the desperation work on the bike and elliptical worked like I was hoping. It's been several hours and my legs feel great, even though Vibram's website warned me that I might feel it in my calves. Tomorrow: .75 miles!

I ran by Mom's work wearing the shoes and she asked the most appropriate questions when she saw my shoes: "What is on your feet?" My new running shoes! (the ugliest shoes I've ever bought)


Hideous! I look like I'm about to go swimming. Incidentally they are waterproof so I certainly go swimming with my webbed feet.