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Lazy day - Really?

Friday, October 28, 2011

I did not run for the second day in a row. I did feel lazy, but I know that I really did a lot of good things today including walking several dogs and celebrating the end of my daughter's swim season with a great party. So I'll just call it a busy day with some walking thrown in.
I find myself taking a much more relaxed attitude about my exercise. Some days life just gets busy and sometimes it's a good kind of busy. On those days I remind myself that I exercise to live, not live to exercise. You could put in a lot of other words instead of exercise.
Exercise, running and swimming and horseback riding and hiking and riding my bike are all good things to do - as are the 500 other things I enjoy in life. But deciding to do just a few things every day and then doing them with passion and with energy is better then to squeeze as many activities in as possible. This is all part of using the Maffetone method, but of course Phil Maffetone did not invent these ideas, he just tied them into a holistic approach to endurance training by talking about the consequences of excessive stress in our lives.
The idea that less is often better than more is very foreign to most of our (the American) way of life. Even people who profess to live simply typically live much more complicated lives then did their grand parents. Success is so often defined by how many things we can juggle in life while maintaining a confident and strong exterior. But on the inside we may be overwhelmed or even close to collapse. The MAF test is helpful in seeing early warning signs of overdoing it in one or several areas of our lives. Getting sick frequently is another. Feeling tired all the time or lacking energy in the mid-afternoon can also be caused by too much stress. Getting to know ourselves well enough to catch these things early prevents a lot of pain, both physical and emotional.
Tomorrow I will try a longer run in my Vibram Sprint's if the weather is not too cold. Maybe I'll talk my husband into coming along. I did not run for 2 days and I miss it. I guess I have finally become a runner. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HOUNDLOVER1 10/28/2011 2:43PM

    Martha, I love the way you phrased that. emoticonSo true!

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MARTHASPARKS 10/28/2011 2:17PM

    Yes, you are definitely a runner! I agree with what you shared in this blog. Less can be far better and juggling too many balls is a guarantee that something will drop _ usually YOU!

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KKINNEA 10/28/2011 12:18PM

    Yay runner! I agree, I exercise to live and not the other way around.

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Rest Day and Rant

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I ended up having to bathe one of the dogs and take it to the vet which took all my exercise time. It probably did not hurt to take a rest day because I woke up at 4:30 am and had trouble going back to sleep.
Tonight my daughter and I attended a local health fair with lots of booths by different organisations. At one stand, set up by dieticians, there were all kinds of nutrition advice posters and one of them suggested eating half whole grain. Half? Really? When I asked about it the people said that most people are not willing to make bigger changes in their eating habits. I understand that, change is difficult, but to SUGGEST to only eat half whole grain...
The other part that bothered me was the suggestion to look for fat-free or low-fat items. I thought there was enough evidence by now that eating fat does not make you fat. Quite the opposite, our body needs a significant amount of fat to function. Most of our brains consist of fat.
In most cases low-fat and fat free items have been processed more and have things added and the sugar content of these products is almost always higher. Since I have stopped using low-fat and fat-free products (except for foods that are naturally low in fat like fruits and veggies and beans) I have been able to maintain on far more calories. I can't say exactly how many since I hardly ever count, but around 3000 on days when I exercise for about an hour. Anyone who I have met who successfully maintains on a low-fat diet needs to keep track of calories. Coincidence? Maybe, but I don't think so.

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2BE-MYBEST 10/27/2011 10:50PM

  Years ago when I was only say 15 pounds over weight - I started reading everything I could get my hands on and started eating whole grains and low fat everything .................here I am 20 years later still doing the low fat thing and whole grain stuff till a few weeks ago . Now I need to lose 50-60 pounds. I agree with you! I am making a change now that many would say is for the worse. LOL There is so much conflicting information out there I don't know who to believe any more! Well, I did the low fat and whole grain everything and only got fatter. I am ready for some new ideas.
Good Blog!!

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HOUNDLOVER1 10/27/2011 11:43AM

    You are right, fat has double the number of calories compared to carbs and protein. That's why I hardly ever ate nuts for many years. But isn't it pretty convincing to hear from people who try Atkins (not that I recommend it) that they are never hungry. Fat gives food flavor and makes you feel full. It's impossible to get enough fat-soluble vitamins (A and D) and have your body absorb them if you eat low-fat. From my experience eating low-fat always leaves me hungry, usually at night when I really don't need calories to be able to sleep. Try it for just a week and see what happens: full-fat yoghurt, milk, olive oil, nuts, avocados (but choose organic at least for the dairy) and see how your body likes it . emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/27/2011 11:44:59 AM

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ANGEMCC 10/27/2011 7:48AM

    He he, half whole-grain? I agree, that seems like madness. What if you're already on whole-grain? You might take their advice and go backwards!

Some fat is good, but it's pretty calorific - e.g. a handful of nuts can out-weigh a breakfast! Depending on your choice of cereal :-). I tend to try to avoid fat a little for this reason. Having said that, I avoid products labelled as low-fat, because as you've rightly said, they're generally full of sugar... which is also calorie-laden.

It can be quite the mine-field, making good food choices. And there's so much conflicting information out there.

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Finally - running faster than walking

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Well at least by my standards I'm running faster than I'm walking. emoticon
treadmill was at incline of 2, avg. heart rate was 131

Mile 1: 4.1 mph
Mile 2: 4.0 mph
Mile 3: 3.8 mph
average speed: 3.9 mph

When I started 2 weeks ago my average speed was just under 3.5 mph so I'm quite happy with the improvement. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PAPAMIKIE 10/28/2011 1:28AM

    To me Chi Running / Walking are mostly about form. Speed will come as we get our form correct. Imporvement of self is what this journey is about, not absolute change, but relative change.

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LINDAKAY228 10/26/2011 8:27AM

    Way to go! You are improving and you should be proud!

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Review of Vibram Sprint

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I had not planned to buy more running shoes yesterday but when I saw that several Vibram models were on sale at a local store I decided to get a pair. I decided on the Sprint because of the combination of the thinner sole and the adjustable cross-strap which makes the shoe fit my foot better because of my high arch.
I ran in them this afternoon. Because I did not want to be distracted I left the heart rate monitor at home and focused on this new experience. The first mile I ran on the treadmill. The shoes were very comfortable although having something between my toes felt strange at first. Then I tried running outside on all kinds of surfaces: asphalt, concrete, fine gravel, very coarse gravel, grass, bark and soft dirt. I definitely had less ground feel than barefoot and surprisingly I think I had no more ground feel than in any of my different types of aqua shoes.
When I went up a somewhat uneven grassy hill the Vibrams performed better than aqua shoes because my feet did not slip around at all and I had better grip. Downhill there was less of a difference.
After that I tried some uphill walking, both on the treadmill with incline on 15 and outside. The first time I tried I got a cramp in my midfoot until I went back to jogging. The second time I focused on relaxing my feet and the cramp did not recur.
The temperature was in the upper 40's and my feet did not get too cold while running outside.

Overall I can't say that I prefer Vibrams to water shoes.
In order to be worth the price they would have to last at least 5 times as long as water shoes. In addition they cannot be worn with regular socks and toe socks are very expensive in comparison. It is possible that wearing Vibrams regularly would lead to a better distribution of body weight while running because the toes start spreading out a little more. It seemed that I was feeling a little more pressure on my big toe and less on the ball of my foot while running. After I took off the Vibrams and put my water shoes back on it felt like my heel was lower in the water shoes than in the Vibrams, which is strange because the Vibrams don't have a built-up heel.
I will try a MAF test on the treadmill in Vibrams tomorrow and see if there is any difference one way or the other.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HOUNDLOVER1 10/25/2011 3:15PM

    I think to a certain point. I have been running in water shoes for over a year now and I just bought ice skates that people described as wide and my feet fit in great with double socks. It's mostly the front of your feet from the ball of the foot forward that gets wider (and in my opinion healthier). I don't wear shoes with a really narrow toe box anymore. Even my cowboy boots are the kind with a square toe box. I consider it a small price to pay for anatomically normal feet. emoticon

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MARTHASPARKS 10/25/2011 3:00PM

    I use water shoes every day, so I may give those a try.The people I know who use them are all runners or climbers. My feet are wide and after a summer of flip flops, I can barely get into my shoes for a while. I would think that regular use of these might widen your foot to the point where you'd need different regular shoes.

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KKINNEA 10/25/2011 2:42PM

    They do sound Vibram-esque without the added cost. Interesting!

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HOUNDLOVER1 10/25/2011 1:19PM

    Sometimes they are called aqua or amphibian shoes. They come in many very inexpensive varieties originally to use at pool side or for water exercise. You can buy them at Walmart or Target in the spring and summer or on swim supply websites like swim2000 or swimoutlet, cost is usually 10-15 dollars. They are flexible, light weight, no heel, arch support or padding(except for expensive varieties) and I wore them for a lot of winter running in one size bigger with wool socks.
These days I think they are more often sold to runners than to swimmers.

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KKINNEA 10/25/2011 12:48PM

    Thanks for the review of the Vibrams. What are water shoes?

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4 mile outdoor run

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I ran on a trail with mile markers today. It was asphalt and I had a head wind the first two miles and the wind in my back the other two.

1. Mile: 13.20 min average speed 4.5 mph
2. Mile: 15.30 min average speed 3.9 mph
3. Mile: 15.30 min average speed 3.9 mph
4. Mile: 13.40 min average speed 4.4 mph
average speed total: 4.2
average heart rate was 130 bpm.
I also found a sale on Vibrams Five Fingers Sprint today for $69.00 and decided to give them a try. They felt very comfortable and are the only kind of Vibrams that fit me well. The cost of the other running shoes I like, the Merrell Pace Gloves is $110.00, far overpriced for my taste. Minimalist shoes could hardly cost the manufacturers more than $10.00 to make given that most of them are made in China.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KKINNEA 10/24/2011 12:00PM

    Oy, headwind can be so difficult. Nice to be able to run on marked paths!

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HOUNDLOVER1 10/24/2011 11:42AM

    emoticon It's all baby steps! Seriously, almost anyone can get there by starting with slow walking.
The Vibrams do look funny, but they have the advantage over other minimalist shoes that they spread your toes out a little, more the way nature intended them to be, which makes for better balance when running or walking on uneven ground. Especially for people who have worn a lot of shoes that are narrow in the front/high heeled they can be a very healthy change by gently stretching some smaller muscles in the foot. And, yes, they are very comfortable. You get used to the looks after a while, particularly since they are getting so popular now and some people wear them just as a fashion statement. emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/24/2011 11:45:41 AM

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MARTHASPARKS 10/24/2011 11:05AM

    I am a little envious of your ability to do this. Hooray for you! emoticon The Vibrams look pretty silly. Are they comfortable enough to compensate for it?

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