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August 27, 2008

Friction

Hi everyone!  Sorry I'm running so late this week but I've been really busy with one thing or another.  Anyway...this week's topic is friction. 

As a new runner, I'm having to deal with friction more and more.  From the universal problem of thighs rubbing together to runner specific problems like runner's nipple, body friction can seriously hamper your workout enjoyment.  So today I'm going to make three recommendations based on what I've learned.

Body Glide - This stuff is amazing.  I'd not heard of it until about two months ago.  It is kind of like a stick deodorant in shape and how it is put on.  I got it after the first time I ran 5 miles....and one of my nipples got all inflamed. 

Since using this product, I haven't had a problem.  Now I put it on my feet too.  It helps protect the skin on my feet from all most of the friction that comes with running.  bodyG

Body Glide!  Good stuff! 

Compression Shorts - A while back, when I got too small for my old XXL sweat pants I went out and bought a few of these and some shorts to wear over them.  I wish I'd tried this MUCH earlier in my journey.  One of the problem big people have when they start exercising is their thighs rubbing together.  I've suffered from rashes, gouging, and boils....just from all the fiction of my legs rubbing together.

blackshort

But no more!  Not a single problem since I upgraded my workout gear to include compression shorts.

Duct Tape - You heard me....duct tape.  About a month ago I got a REALLY bad blister on the back of my heal.  This blister is partly due to a deformity of my heal bone.  I have extra bone back there and it sticks out.  So any running shoe that I get CONSTANTLY rubs on that spot...and to make matters worse, I have to wear a shoe that is slightly bigger so as to have room for this super bone.  So again, my shoe slips around in the back and rubs that small, boney protrusion. 

I have a pretty good callous there but it can only protect me from so much.  When my running mileage started to increase, this became more of a problem.  Lately, I've been worried about more blisters...causing more hang-ups in my workout schedule. 

I've been told by a number of sources...tape it up!  However, I've been very skeptical.  Part of it was...well...the cost...or the lack of cost, really.

I wear a nice Polar heart rate monitor, UA compression shorts, UA socks, Brookes running shoes....and you want me to wrap my feet with $3/roll duct tape?  Really?  You've got to be putting me on!  No way....tape

But eventually, I gave it a try.  On one of my short runs, I put a single piece of tape on the back of my heal.  Then put the rest of my foot gear on.  Cautiously I took a few steps.  It didn't feel too weird.  Yeah...I guess I could run in this. 

It was like night and day.  That constant rubbing on my heal was GONE.  I couldn't feel a thing.  The tape hung tight to my heal and took the brunt of the friction.  To me, it was like my shoe never slipped at all. 

Later that week I tried it on my long run....9 miles baby!  No blister....no raw skin.  It was fantastic!

I'm sure there are other tricks out there, and as I discover them....I'll blog them.  So stay tuned....

Progress Report

I stepped on the scales and found that I'm ALMOST back to where I was before I skipped out for 3 weeks.  Less than a pound to go.

As stated earlier, my long run is up to 9 miles.  I might have to throttle that back a bit as I did have an ankle injury this passed week.  Not during my run....but I can't help but think it might be related.  Anyway, I'm thinking of toning it back a bit. 

Surp

I can't add to this.  Its funny on its own.....

OTE:  Friends visiting from Spark People be sure to check out the home page to get your humor fix.  And those of you that are hitting the site from elsewhere, check out my page on Spark People.

August 18, 2008

YOINK!

That's the sound my head makes when I'm running and I 'zone out' or 'lose time'.  I think of them as 'yoink moments'.  I had one last Saturday.

Now that you've heard the 'setup'.  Here's the story....

Alarm goes off...oh..crud...what..huh?  Oh, yes...get up.  Must run...

What time is it?  Blurry eyes....force focus... 6 bloody AM.  I really need to have my head examined some day. 

As I put on my gear, I wonder what sort of fresh hell is it that I'm doing today.  Oh yes, I'm going to try 7 miles.  What the duce is wrong with me?  I should just get back into bed and sleep like any sane person.   BUT NO!  I have to subject myself to this 'running thing'.

I wonder to myself, "Is this what being on crack is like?"

More awake now, I'm starting to think in complete sentences.  I have everything I need.  So it is out the door I go...

Yuck...the humidity.  It must have rained again last night.  No sane man would want to run in this.  Hmmm...that's twice so far that I've questioned my sanity today.  I wonder what that's all about.

But this isn't any normal humility.  This sort of hangs in the air and is oppressive to your every breath.  I swear I feel 10 pounds heavier than when I was back inside the house.

Then the drive to the trail shows me that I am NOT the only crazy person planning on running in this.

Stretch, walk, stretch...okay I'm ready.

The first mile goes by without much issue.  My shins and calves are a bit tight and I'm waiting for that first flood of endorphins to take away the minor discomfort that comes with running.

I'm thinking about data storage structures to help pass the time and YOINK!

When my yoink moment is over and my brain engages again, I look around and I wonder to myself, "Where the heck AM I?"

I keep running until I see a distance marker.  That's when I realize I'm only a half mile from finishing....from FINISHING!  This is an 8 mile course!  I'd run the whole thing. I've only ever run 6.25 miles before.  

The Aftermath

Funny thing about adding additional mileage to your run, it seems to get easier to recover from.  The first time I ran 6 miles, it almost killed me.  But the day after running 8 miles, I feel just a tiny bit stiff.

On my next running day, I did my short run (4 miles).  I felt a little off but not enough to cut it short.  I think I was still recovering from the 8 mile run.

Progress Report

Not much to report at this time.  I've dropped most of the weight I put on while I was on my two week   

TFG Posts from the Past

I like to look back on some of my old posts to see what I was doing a year or two ago.  Last year at this time I was also trying to lose some weight that I had temporarily put back on.  Also, I had a small tirade about drivers in North Carolina.

Check it out....

Turning the Tide

Well, that's all for this week. funnydogs07fs5

Dalmatian Dog says, "Hey, one of my spots just fell off and is walking around on its own!!"

NOTE:  Friends visiting from Spark People be sure to check out the home page to get your humor fix.  And those of you that are hitting the site from elsewhere, check out my page on Spark People.

August 11, 2008

First off....

First off, I want to say 'thank you' to my loyal readers.  I had been worried that taking a couple weeks off without warning would cause some of you to lose interest and drop out of sight.

Not so...

So far people have been very supportive about my two week sojourn.  I want to thank you all for being patient with me.

Back to the beginning

One of the things that worried me most about taking any time off from my training schedule comes from something I read somewhere that said it takes a few weeks of 'not running' before you start to lose the distance you worked so hard to achieve.

The maximum that ever managed to run was 6 miles.  If you missed the story on how that run went, then check out the blog....

TFG Runs 6 Miles

Keeping in mind what I went through just to get that far, I wasn't wild about losing it.  And so it came to pass that when I started running again, I managed about 3 miles.

However, I became filled with hope when two days later I ran 4 miles without difficultly.  So today when I was running I was hoping to do another 4 miles.

While I was approaching the 2 mile mark I took stock of how I was feeling.  Everything felt fine...no reason to turn around yet.  And the morning was nice and cool...seemed a shame to cut the run short.  I bet I could do 5 miles again.

Then it occurred to me...I keep saying I'm training to become an endurance runner, maybe it is time I start acting like one.  Yea Robert...surprise yourself...NO ROBERT....AMAZE YOURSELF.

So I ran out to the 3.25 mile marker....running back to the .25 mile marker.  For a total of 6.25 miles....just over 10k!  First time I've EVER gone that far.

So I didn't really lose anything after all.  And funny thing, it wasn't nearly as painful as the time I ran 6 miles....not even close.

So now that I've run 10k, I'm not so nervous about the race I'm signing up for next month.

That's really about all for this week.  So this week's blog is going to be short.

Maybe next week I'll get some help with my blog.....

funnydogs38pg8

NOTE:  Friends visiting from Spark People be sure to check out the home page to get your humor fix.  And those of you that are hitting the site from elsewhere, check out my page on Spark People.

August 04, 2008

Identity Crisis

"Geez Robert, you are a machine!"

It was an innocent enough comment.  One of my coworkers was making a statement about how well my weight loss had been going lately.  But that statement prompted the following from me....

"Yes, I've been feeling like a machine lately."

And that's where it started. 

Recently I've turned my life upside down as I've become more and more serious about my running.  I've changed my diet around, changed my workout days, even dropped two of my favorite workout classes at the YMCA to make room for my new found activity.

Which was fine at first but lately I've been feeling something is amiss....something just isn't sitting right with me.

So I took a step back....stopped everything.  If there is one thing my many failed dieting attempts have taught me it is that I need to have my head right if I'm going to stay on track.  If I can't keep my head in the game, then I'll burn out...or lose interest.

It took me a couple weeks to really sort out what was bothering me.  And it happened to coincide with the healing time that I needed for a nasty blister I got on the back of my heel...so timing wise, it worked out just fine.

The problem was that I really didn't know what was wrong...just that something was.  It wasn't until I talked with one of my other coworkers about it that I realized what was my boggle.

You have to go back a ways to really understand it.  For those of you that struggle with your weight, you will probably understand this more than the rest will, but being fat is....comfortable...its easy.  So when I created this Token Fat Guy persona, it was an easy role for me to play.  I was that fat guy at the gym with the funny T-shirt that shows his starting weight on the back...easy.frontback

But when running, I couldn't be that guy.  Cotton T-shirts and running don't mix.  And all my TFG shirts are size 2XL...way too big for me to be running in now that I'm a size L.  And while I'm on the subject of shirt size....I'm not really that fat anymore.  Sure, I've got more weight to lose but already lost 3/4th of what I set out to do. 

Plus, every time I turn around, some one on Spark is telling me that I need to change my name from TokenFatGuy to TokenFitGuy or TotallyFabulousGuy or something like that.  And while I know they mean well, they are right, I'm not really that heavy anymore.  I can't hide behind my fat any longer.

So that's where I am.  If I'm not that fat guy any more, who am I?  I'm not sure yet.  I just don't know.  I have some ideas....but I'm not ready to go public with them yet.  I need time to sort out all of that.

However, knowing that I need to do this, I can pick up with my weight loss efforts and continue on my journey.  Sunday I started lifting again.  My triceps are killing me today.  Today I went for a run.  Nothing big, just a 3.1 miles.  Both workouts felt good. 

And that's something I've missed.  Some of my runs and lifts were getting to be forced.  I wasn't enjoying them.  I think part of my problem with that was I wasn't getting a break...ever.  With the new workout schedule, I was lifting 3 days a week and running 4 days.  I no longer had a true recovery day.  This was something I missed. 

So against the advice of some of my fellow runners, I'm throttling back to running 3 days a week.  I'm still a beginning runner.  And I'm in my 40s.  Until my body gets used to all this pounding, I need that extra day of recovery.  Maybe next year I'll go back to running 4 days a week, but for now I'm listening to my body and dropping the extra day.

Lack of Progress Report

Being off diet and not working out for two weeks, I've lost some ground.  But it isn't anything I can't get back.  I've still got plenty of time to get my running to the level I'll need for the half marathon I want to try in December.  And the small amount of weight I've gained will drop off now that I'm back on my plan.

And before you ask, I'm not telling how much I've gained back.  I'll announce when I've reached 199 again, and that's it.  It shouldn't take too long.

Well that's about all the touchy-feely that I can stand for today.  Time to get back to doing other stuff.

Hoser

Remember to increase the water you leave out for your pets during the summer...they need the extra!

NOTE:  Friends visiting from Spark People be sure to check out the home page to get your humor fix.  And those of you that are hitting the site from elsewhere, check out my page on Spark People.