I titled this post running because that seems to be the latest activity to spring forth in my life. I've always been a runner, and loved it. Most of my running has been shorter runs associated with some sport I was in. Never thought about running for distance until a friend turned me on to its wonderful powers of clearing the mind and soul. So gathering some long-lost self-motivation, I set out to run.
My first few runs weren't what I was looking for. They felt good but my (hand-me-down) shoes needed replacement, my form was for short runs, I was more tired than I expected, and a little worried. So the first thing my 'coach' recommended was start at the beginning, with the most important item: shoes. I went to a Fleet-Feet in Sacramento and got custom fitted with some shoes, complete with fancy inserts. I ran my ass off after getting those shoes, logging almost 20 running miles in that first week. The runs felt great, but was still worried. For the first time ever running, my lower legs were hurting, shin-splint-type pains.
By this time I was already sold on running. While running, after running; my mind was clear, it gave me time to unwind (previously reserved for the couch and a beer), and made the body feel awesome. I had so much more energy, even with the running. My thoughts seemed clearer and less confusing. Even though I was running alone, I felt less alone (kinda weird?). So despite these new pains, I was determined to continue what was really inspiring me.
I dove into researching my pains, solutions, etc. I decided to work on my form. I decided to stop running for a week, let my pains heal, and keep my workouts strictly to my bike (which even with running was logging 30 miles a week). After looking into my form, I also studied my new shoes, and more specifically the new inserts. The inserts were supposed to assist with my pronation but I really felt that it was too much. The inserts had a real stiff bottom. The new shoes were already designed to help this and were known for how well they did this. I decided to try them without.
So after a week of run-rest, a day off presented me with an opportunity to get back on my feet and see how healed I was. I started off focusing on form. I took shorter strides, WAY less heel-strike, slowed my pace (fast enough to still maintain a conversation). WOW! I felt like, endurance-wise, I could run forever. The new stride quickly reduced painful impacts and really helped my endurance. My pace didn't seem to suffer much either. I ran the farthest I've ever run, 6 miles, almost a 10k. And, ran for over an hour straight, including making it non-stop up the last 3/4 mile stretch of STEEP hill to my apartment.
This one run shot my confidence level up to a new high. Was exactly what I needed. We'll see how well the excitement and training pays off as May 1st I have my 1st race ever, The Avenue of the Giants run, where I will be running the 10k. My son will there as well with one of his friends running the half-marathon. I also have some other friends running in the race as well.
I finally broke down and bought a Kindle. So tired of my constant reading habit cluttering things with so many books. I've already got a list of 1st books to get downloaded which includes about 6 running books, some home brew classics, and a few random books. Can't wait for it to come!
I am officially out of my last home brew and waiting for the ingredients to arrive for my next batch, a Honey Porter. This should be a really great beer, especially since Porters are one of my favorites.
I also had my first real sushi experience. For some reason I always had a trepidation over raw fish. Well, that has sure changed! I went to a place in Eureka called the Baymont. Fantastic sushi rolls! I will now be seeking out good sushi on a regular basis 8) My personal cooking and nutrition has really changed as well. Even though weight is never an issue with me, trying to maintain my weight is. Whenever I start exercising again, my weight drops and I am shrinking again, nothing fits. So I have been more aware of what I am eating, spending less on quicky meals on the way home, and buying more healthy foods AND cooking them. Home cooking is always SO much better and really glad to be on this route again. Plus I used to cook all the time and loved it, glad to be back in the saddle.
Personal life is still blah. Nothing new or exciting, nothing much developing. Starting to find a friend or two in the area which has helped. Never can tell what life has in store for you so I'm just keeping my options open and enjoying life and people day by day. Always nice to meet new people and have someone to talk to. Staying as close to my kids as is possible at this distance from them without a car. It has been a tough road but my kids are old enough and strong enough to be weathering the storms without their father quite well. They are awesome kids. Sam just went to his senior prom Saturday night. Emily just had her birthday on the 1st and seemed to have a good time.
So able to kill little bit of time at work. Work has been good. Need some days off badly! Was in Sacramento training for a week, came back 1 day off, then worked a 60 hour week, 1 day off, now my regular 40 and FINALLY 3 days off! WOOHOO. Not sure what I'm going to do but want to do something and a few runs will be in there. Am planning a trip to Eureka, eat some sushi, have some personal things to take car of, maybe a run, whatever the day shows. I'll just be glad to not be at work for a few days, I don't care what I do, as long as its not sitting around like a vegetable like I'm used to doing.
See you at the finish line!