Friday, September 27, 2013

What Happened to My Week & the UDFP

My week slowly went downhill in the fitness and food department.  I have no idea why.  BUT, next week is a whole new week and tomorrow is a whole new day.  It will all be just fine.  I know this.

It would be really cool to figure out what causes this though.  I'm guessing that it's just stepping outside of my normal routine this week in several areas, being generally busy and quite possibly a smidge of laziness.  What to do when this happens?  Maintain.  What else can we do?

I need to re-read my blog here and see if there's a pattern.  Maybe it's a quarterly thing, maybe it goes with the cycles of the moon - who knows?  But I do know it's happened before and it'll probably happen again.  But if I could predict it... nah, that won't work because schedule changes are unpredictable.

I need an Unpredictable Day Fallback Plan.  What to do when "<insert issue here>" happens.  Maybe everyone needs a UDFP.  Do you have one?  What is it?  Do tell.

I will come up with mine ASAP and let you know on Monday.

Until then, I leave you with an excellent example of a day in the life...


Thursday, September 26, 2013

It was a far, far busier day

Yes, today was way busier than I expected.  So, I'll just put this quick post out there because I sort of feel guilty if I don't post 5 days a week!  I know I don't have to, but I feel more accountable to myself when I do.  It's just one of those things I guess...

But yeah, today - CRAZY busy.  We did manage to get the senior pics done today after work - times 2 - my daughter and her friend who also procrastinated until the last minute.  But alas, I think we did quite a nice job.  There wasn't as much walking as I has anticipated though =(.

I also had another opportunity to walk today, but due to running late, I had to drive.  It was only like a quarter mile if that, but still - steps is steps, right?  I will do better tomorrow.

Anyway, after we got home from taking the pics, I got right on the post-production work of photoshopping/cropping/embellishing/etc.  My daughter cooked dinner, so at least I didn't have to do that!  After dinner, I went right back at it and I just now (9:45pm) finished the first set.  I'll do the other this weekend - pics are due Monday.  YIKES!

And I can't stop yawning... off to bed I go!

'Nite all... <yawn>

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Guess what day it is...

HUMP Daaay ye-ah!  I love that commercial.  And in case you haven't had enough of it in YOUR office, here's the vid one more time.  Come on, push the button, push it, you know you want to...

Alrighty then, how was your day?  Mine was pretty busy.  After work, we walked A LOT searching for senior picture locations.  I think it was probably around 2 miles.  And we're doing it again tomorrow - only this time we'll be hauling equipment for the shoot.  Yay for saving $ on portraits, but even bigger YAY on getting a workout while doing it!!  

With all this other activity I didn't get a chance to run yet, but I will soon!  Standard workouts are getting subbed out with quick hi-intensity stuff so that I'm at least moving while injured.

Here's another video, but this one is more on a serious note -  running technique.  I was so happy to find this video, as I get to put another face to a name from Born to Run.  This is Eric Orton - he coached/trained Chris McDougall for that 50-mile Copper Canyon race in Mexico.  He not only trained Chris, but Eric also ran in that race!  

I really like the way he explains this.  I'm gonna put it into practice.  And I hope to be physically able to run SOON!!  Aaaahhhhhhhh I can't wait!  I wish my body would get better NOW.  Ok, I'm done whining - it'll happen when it happens (but the sooner the better, right!?!)

Ok, off to bed.  Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Weekend and Whatnot

So even with all the snackyness of last week, I didn't gain like I thought I might.  YES!!  Lesson learned - keeping on exercising even when you don't feel like it - especially when snack attacks are relentless.  I showed a one pound gain, but TOM stopped by so I'm not too worried.

I added lots of fruits and veggies to the menu this week.  I plan to break free from all the snacks.  I love fruit so I'm looking forward to all the sweet healthy yumminess.

Yesterday my exercise entailed errands, lots of walking and chores around the house.  Meals were as planned.  Today, I was crazy busy all over the place at work and got lots of steps.  Did a quick upper body workout today too. 

I'm just plain beat today though.  For the last couple of weeks, most days I feel like I need a nap around 3 and some days I actually take one.  I'm not sure what's causing it, but I'm just going with it for now.

Yesterday, I was stepping off a sloping curb and rolled my right ankle.  Rolled it all the way over to where my ankle was literally touching the ground.  Fortunately my vehicle was there to catch me, but yeooooww did it hurt!  I checked it all out but other than the initial pain, my ankle didn't even swell or hurt at all later.  Amazing.

Back to some more running mechanics.  Here are a couple pics showing that heel-to-toe strike vs. how we run barefoot.  I know it's apples and oranges comparing the sand to track or asphalt, but you get the idea...

Well, I didn't get a nap today, so I'm hitting the hay now.  Have a sweet week! 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Book Review - Born To Run by Christopher McDougall

Running.  That word, for the last 20 years or so, has consistently been paired with the word "hate" every time I've mentioned the subject.  But I discovered it's not really running that I hate.  It's that I can't do it well - not since I was 10 anyway.  So, what if I change the way I think about running?  What if I look at it as something fun to do?  What if I could take away the fear of pain or injury?  What if I can find a way to do it, even at my age, and find pure joy?  I found a few answers to those questions in this book, Born to Run.

Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall, is certainly a book about running - but not just any ol' running though, in this book, we're talking ultra-marathons.  That's any distance greater than the 26.2 miles of a traditional marathon.  In Born to Run, the reader is taken on a journey into the Copper Canyons of Mexico to discover the Tarahumura Indians.  This tribe of reclusive Indians runs hundreds of miles without rest and is pretty much immune to the diseases of modern living.  

Pretty amazing, right?  I agree.  Here I am, can't even run a mile, and I'm inspired by people running 50 miles!  Even a hundred!  It's impossible not to get inspired by this book.

But first, let me tell you what I didn't really care for in Born to Run.  This book is all over the place.  One page you're in the present day, next page you're somewhere else 50 years ago and a few pages later you're 2 years ago.  It was a bit difficult to keep up with the wheres and whens.  This made the book a bit distracting for me and fairly easy to put down.  The information, the juicy stuff that I, as a flailing, yet aspiring runner, want to know, is scattered and often-times contradictive.  That said, I don't know how else this book could have been organized--how it could manage to cover the vast amount of information and back stories yet still produce an interesting read.  And Born to Run is certainly interesting.

The author is witty and entertaining.  There's also a good amount of running history that has been interspersed throughout the book.  But the best parts, for me, are the races.  One of my favorites is the Leadville 100 - one hundred miles of extreme Colorado Rocky Mountains' terrain - from elevations of 9,200 to 12,600 feet.  (I'd like to go see that one next year!)  The other race is what the entire book leads up to - a 50-mile race with the Tarahumura natives in their own back yard - the Copper Canyons of Mexico.  Both races are crazy dangerous and Chris McDougall knows how to tell a fantastic story.  He also trains for and runs in the Copper Canyon race.

Many people, from all walks of life, are introduced.  Scientists, exercise physiologists, doctors, runners from the past and present and even several Tarahumura Indians.  Each contributed to the story and helped tie it all together for a fun and informative adventure.

I liked that the author knows how I feel with running injuries and had gone to several doctors trying to solve the issues.  I feel kind of like he did - tell me I can't run and that's all I want to do!  

Other parts I found interesting... Plant-based diets - it was suggested that protein-rich diets may lead to cancer but plant-based diets reduce chances of cancer.  I haven't found much supporting evidence for that though - the best I can find so far is about a 14% lowered risk of cancer through a plant-based diet. The research quoted in the text is from the American Cancer Society and Dr. Robert Weinberg from MIT Cancer Research.  However, that research isn't only diet based, but lifestyle as well.  Overweight is bad ('cause I didn't know that already).  But you know for every supporter for reduced cancer through a plant-based diet, you can find someone else supporting a protein-based diet.  Which do you believe?  Oh, but as a side note, something I didn't know was that "chia" is a superfood.  Ch-ch-ch-chia!

Barefoot running is another interesting (and controversial) topic mentioned in the book.  There are many testimonies given that suggest we need to get rid of all the cushion and support of our current athletic shoes and run barefoot or at least in shoes that simulate bare feet (though not necessarily the ones that look like feet!).  I like the presentation of the information, I'm just not sure I completely believe it.  It's like this - we run differently when we run barefoot.  We run the way nature intended.  When we put on super cushioned shoes, we increase the impact of each step because our feet search for a solid stable surface.  Plus, there's this cushion/protection for our heel so we can run heel to toe, lengthen our stride and get better speed and distance.  This is apparently where so many running injuries occur - the impact.  

Running is something we can all do so it's a popular form of exercise.  The problem is that most of us weren't taught how to run correctly - we just take off and do it.  But "for every other sport, lessons are fundamental; you don't go out and start slashing away with a golf club or sliding down a mountain on skis until someone takes you through the steps and teaches you proper form."

Here's another interesting tidbit - no builder would put support under an arch, right?  What's the purpose of an arch if not to support.  So, maybe the arch of our foot is supposed to pronate or flatten out a bit - it's doing its job by supporting, but not rigidly so.  If we continue to support the arch artificially, then it will cease to function just like anything else that doesn't get used.  That's from the book - not my opinion, but it almost makes sense.  One guy (a doctor I think) mentioned that we should, instead, exercise the muscles in our feet and this will in-turn strengthen our arches.  One exercise I found on the web was picking up socks with your toes.  Another was calf raises.  Anyway, I think that this might work for those who are at their goal weight, but for now I'm sticking to support shoes.  I am doing the feet exercises though and as soon as I can find a place I feel safe running barefoot, I just might try it.  (Note:  A slow transition is necessary when going from decades of support to none at all - go straight from one to the other and you may as well make your doctor appointment before you go!)

I would definitely recommend "Born to Run" if you're even the slightest bit interested in running.  It will inspire you though, even if you aren't.  I'll certainly be looking for books about other runners found in this book - Scott Jurek and Ann Trason to name just two.  Check out this book from your local library - or through Amazon on your Kindle/Kindle app.  You might be surprised that you too were "born to run."

Well, that's it for me tonight.  I'll talk about my weekend and weigh-in and whatnot tomorrow! 

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