Monday, September 27, 2010
Yesterday our family did the Apple Cider Century bicycle ride in Three Oaks, MI. We chose the 25 mile option. It was very enjoyable. I have been doing this ride since 1994. It's a tour not a race. It's a two hour car ride from our home in the western suburbs of Chicago. There are about 5,000 bicycle riders, and the ride takes place the last Sunday in September. The scenery is nice with some hills, woods, fields, farms. Some parts of the route are different every year, but the route always goes past the pumpkin farm which is a very nice stop: I get to catch up on the football scores there (they have a TV playing a football game), get some free apple cider, free coffee, and there are activities for the kids for a small fee. There is one official rest stop and a spaghetti lunch/dinner after the ride, and the route is supported with a sag wagon in case you get a flat or need other repair. There are also policemen at busy intersections, but in general there is very little traffic on the routes. The weather this year was a little chilly but not too cold. We look forward to this ride every year.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
I purchased a pair of Saucony ProGrid Guide 3 running shoes on 5/20/10 from Road Runner Sports in Naperville, on sale for $70. The salesperson Sarah S. also convinced me to purchase a pair of Footbalance Custom Insoles (size 46) for $62 on sale. So here is my four month review of those items.
First, I brought my previous running shoes to the store so the salesperson could analyze the tread patterns on the soles and we could talk about how my feet felt in these shoes. Then, a free taped gait analysis was done on a treadmill at the store. The gait analysis was replayed to me where Sarah pointed on that I was a slight overpronator.
I tried on several shoes and tested them on the treadmill. I selected the ProGrid Guide 3 which is a light stability running shoe for overpronators. The insoles were custom molded to my foot at the store.
After four months, the shoes and insoles themselves are structually fine, no complaints. The nice thing about Road Runner Sorts is that if I did have a problem, I can return the shoes within 60 days, even after having worn them outside.
However, I am not convinced a stability shoe, is the right shoe for me, even though I am a slight overpronator. I sometimes feel soreness on the outside middle edge of me feet. I feel this with and without the FootBalance insoles. I had the same problem with my previous shoes, Asics GT-2120, which are also a stability shoe. I do not recall the problem with my shoes prior to the Asics, which were New Balance 1022 & 1023, which are neutral shoes.
I also had some plantar fascia problems while training, even on a treadmill. Plantar fascia is the muscle on the bottom of the foot. I think this may have been due to either overtraining as I was getting back in shape, or the rigidity of the FootBalance insoles.
Regarding the SmartBalance insoles, I have not seen any positive benefit. In theory they sound good and the salesperson raved about them and said she wears them in all her shoes (they are removable so you only need one pair). Even though they are not rock hard, they are fairly rigid, and I am not convinced having something fairly rigid on the bottom of my feet is in my best interest while doing high impact foot activity (running).
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I recently decided to clean my gutters. Out came the Werner 28' Type 1A Aluminum Extension Ladder - all 56 lbs. Now that's a workout! Raising and lowering this puppy, not to mention climbing up it, is not for the faint of heart. Every time I use this ladder I have a renewed appreciation for painters, roofers, siding installers, and other such professions. Strength, balance, and technique, and caution all come into play simultaneously. Well, it turns out some of my gutters are higher than the ladder can reach. I am now debating whether to purchase a 32' ladder, or hire someone to clean the remaining gutters. And, there are a section of gutters on the second story which cannot be reached directly by a ladder because they are above a one story sunroom which has a peaked roof perpendicular to the house, requiring a different solution. So there you have it - your typical homeowner project with the inevitable obstacles.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
This free website claims that by following their free training program, consisting simply of doing pushups three times a week (5 sets per day), in 6 weeks you'll be well on your way to being able to do 100 push-ups without rest. Today I completed day 1 of the program, and am very interested to see my progress after 6 weeks. I used to be able to do several sets of 50 push-ups at a time, but discontinued, now I am at 25. Push-ups are a great strength and endurance building fitness exercise that can be done anywhere, including travel.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Went to the Chicago Bears Training Camp today in Bourbannais with my son. It was hot (90's) but enjoyable, and no rain! Got autographs from the following three players, who although not household names are key players on the Bears. Tim Shaw - #58 - special teams ace - led team in special teams stops in 2009. Roberto Garza - #63 - Offensive Guard - had been starting Right Guard, and Right Guard for last 4 years with Bears, but now apparently Mike Tice is trying Lance Louis at Right Guard and shifting Roberto to Left Guard where he'll compete with Johan Asiata and Josh Beekman - we'll see how all that shakes out. Israel Idonije - #71 - Defensive Line & Special Teams - very versatile player and physically big - 6'6" 270 lbs huge and long arms - has apparently been moved from Defensive Tackle to Defensive End where he'll compete against Mark Anderson and Corey Wootten for the starting job - the other Defensive End position will be played by All-Pro Julius Peppers. My son received autographs from Tim Shaw, Roberto Garza, and Johnny Knox. Johnny plays Wide Receiver/Special Teams Kick-off Return. Johnny made the Pro Bowl his rookie season last year. Thanks for the autographs guys!
Other camp notes. Caleb Hanie looks much better at backup QB this year. RB Chester Taylor looks good running, he's elusive. LB Pisa Tinoisamoa went down with an ankle injury, hopefully he's ok. LB Brian Urlacher looks healthy. WR Rashied Davis looked good catching the ball, hopefully he makes the squad, he's a durable consistent player. TE are looking good and I don't see how Martz can avoid throwing the ball to them at least a few times a game. For a guy so fast, Julius Peppers is BIG, he has big thick legs when you see him live in person.
The Bears worked hard in this practice. Lots of sweat. Clearly the offensive is more complex than last year. It will be tough to make this new offense work the first year with a young receiving corps that has only had one year to work with it's starting QB Jay Cutler. There is a lot of pressure to perform or heads will roll, which is unfortunate, I would have much more confidence in this team going further next year rather than this year. But with big payrolls, expectations are HIGH!
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