Monday, June 6, 2011

Leaving my shoes at the door

(I'm not fat! I'm unfit!)
Wow. It's been a while since I've posted. Sorry to the two of you who are actually reading.....

Whatever. I haven't written in a while because I haven't really liked the tone or direction the blahg has taken and I wanted to re-direct, in honor of the name and spirit of the enterprise. So I'm hitting the reset button yet again to return focus to my rejuvenated spirit and whatnot, of which my grasping (or gasping, more accurately) for a return to my fitter, more energized self is a major component. I'll be chronicling my misguided and harder than they need to be activities for you to enjoy/mock. First up: Run Fatboy Run!

I used to run lots. My dad was one of the late 70's/early 80's 10k road racing types, so we spent a lot of weekends hauling around south Georgia to different races. I started doing the fun-run mile at some of them and have run ever since, off and on (more off than on, let's be serious!). I always loved running, but it was never easy for me and I would quit, then start again,then quit, then, well you get it. Anyway, I've always wanted to make running fun again and started looking for a way. Trail running is the first source of fun running I've rediscovered. Being in the woods and a little isolated helps me push a bit harder and keeps me on my toes, literally; the changing terrain and obstacles keep my mind actively engaged. The past few weeks of trail running have totally renewed my drive and "running spirit," as the hippies say. Variety is the spice of life, though, so I had to find more ways to keep me stepping out the door for a run.

I should note here, before moving on, that I have a tendency to take the most difficult option available more often than not. Probably explains why I get frustrated and quit stuff...Anyway...

Another reason I would stop my running was pain. I have less than awesome knees and would have to nurse an injury pretty quickly after getting back on the run, sidelining, setting back and just making me want to give up. So, I usually did. I noticed, though, that when I was trail running, my knees, legs, feet all felt great after a run, it was just my cardio holding me back (the past year of ultraslacking finally calling my tab). This was awesome! I could get fitter, sure, but I didn't hurt for the first time in ages, which meant I COULD get fitter if I kept at it. WooHoo!

Now, me being about as nerdy and researcher-y as they come, I of course began looking for reasons why three miles on the trail felt great, but a quarter mile on pavement made me want to walk home on my hands after chopping my leg off above the knee. I found a ton of stuff on biomechanics that I didn't understand, but also found information about running style and form. Down the rabbit hole I went and uncovered the wonderland of barefoot running. As in, no shoes. It borders on a religion, but looking past that I saw some really interesting stuff about reduced injury rates, better form, longer distances and fell in love. 
(not my feet.)
So here I am now, striking out daily for a run around the neighborhood without shoes. It's a little weird, but oddly invigorating. The transition is slow, due to the adjustments in my stride and running form needed to re-train myself, but so far it seems worth it. I'm enjoying the running like I did as a kid; if trying weird, new-to-me ways of doing stuff is what it takes to keep me moving, then heck, I might try running in clown shoes.
(Not really. Even I have my limits.)
So, I'm going to keep running; hopefully it'll give me the energy to post more frequently. If nothing else, it should provide more things to mock about myself for your reading pleasure. 

Thanks for reading!

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