Friday, February 11, 2011
This week I have been "cold running" which means two things: 1) it's been cold outside at 5am, and 2) I have a cold! This is one of the things that always seem to plague me. I take a break from running, and then a week or two after I start back up, again, I get a cold.
Usually, my response to getting sick has always been to stop exercising to let my body rest so I can fight off my cold faster. From what I can tell, I don't think it ever did much except stop me from running because two weeks later I am back out of the habit and back out of shape.
So, after getting back into my running schedule for about two weeks, Sunday night of this week I realized that I was developing a sore throat. Here we go again! However, I recently had read that running while only mildly sick may actually improve the body's immune response and help get you well quick. It was definitely worth a short!
I don't run on Mondays, but Tuesday was cold and really windy. I decided it was probably better not to expose my sore throat to the wind, so sleep in. Wednesday and Thursday, however, I decided to buck my usual trend and went ahead and ran, anyway, since it wasn't as windy, even though it was still cold.
I am happy to say that my cold has been really mild and I feel like I could be over it any day, now. I don't know if the running made the difference, but I am happy, none-the-less, because I am feeling mostly better and even better, I am still on track with my training schedule!
Thursday, February 03, 2011
So, when fall hit Las Vegas the weather cooled down into the 60's and 50's. I asked my wife to pick up some $2 knit gloves at Target and they worked wonderfully right through my half marathon in December when the coldest temperatures I ran in were the upper 30's/low 40's (was 42 at the start of the half marathon). My fingers got pretty cold on a few mornings when the temperatures were the coldest. It was never too bad, but one a few occasions I did wish for warmer gloves.
So, I added some more expensive gloves (it's not hard to get more expensive than $2 a pair) to my Christmas list and Santa pulled thru with a pair of Under Armor "Coldgear" gloves that are described as "On their own, ColdGear liner gloves make an excellent low-bulk option for joggers embarking on frosty morning runs". ( www.rei.com/product/754475 )
They work fine when it's 40+ degrees, but when it is actually frosty (30 degrees) my fingers still get cold. I used them this morning at 5am when it was 25 degrees AND wore a pair of my $2 Target knit gloves over top of them and my fingers ached and hurt for most of my run, even when I pulled my sleeves over them (two layers of sleeves, as a matter of fact). In fact, as I write this, my thumbs still have a dull ache even though it's 12 hours later and I'm working in a 73 degree climate-controlled office while wearing my knit gloves for the first half of the day.
So, do you - one of the three people that read my blog - have any suggestions for some actual GOOD cold weather running gloves that keep my hands AND fingers warm (but won't make them roast) when the thermometer hits the upper 20's/low 30's? We have some skiing and snowboarding gloves, but I can't imagine running in those gigantor gloves. Yes, it does get that cold here, every winter. No, it won't be as cold, next week - and after it warms up in the Spring I won't need them until at least November - but it does get that cold here during the winter every year - and I can always use them next year.
Of course, my wife will string me up in unpleasant ways if I buy any more athletic gear... but I'm asking anyway. You know... for next year.
Wednesday, February 02, 2011
My name is Evan and I'm an exercise clothing addict.
In the past I would just exercise in old t-shirts and cloth shorts. Along the way, I picked up a couple exercise shirts and the more I exercised the more I loved those shirts. However, somewhere between then and now I became addicted to buying exercise clothing.
My wife is almost powerless to stop me from buying more exercise gear. I L-O-V-E jackets and sweatshirts. I have plenty of running shirts and shorts that I used during the summer and fall, but few realize that winter in the desert can be quite cold. I've always been very warm-blooded and I sweat quite profusely, so I worried about wearing too many clothes when I went running, even when it was cold. However, it seems that I've lost a lot of fat in the last couple years and am not so warm-blooded after all.
A few months ago, my wife accidentally bought me a long-sleeve compression shirt when I asked her to look out for some long-sleeve running shirts. I loved it so much that I bought a second one. Then I bought a cool running jacket that lasted me for a couple months. I wanted to replace my cotton sweatbands and ended up with not one, not two, but four BondiBands. But, the cold weather seems to have gotten colder (or I've lost some more fat) and I've been running with beanies and knit gloves (and a cool pair of running gloves I got for Christmas), and yet I still come home with a chill. I searched quite a while for some reasonably-priced arm sleeves to keep my arms warm and when I found them at the Las Vegas RNR Marathon Expo, I bought TWO pairs. Recently I bought two long-sleeve shirts and another running jacket that has thumb holes in the sleeves (awesome!) and then had to go back to buy an awesome Nike short-sleeve shirt that I didn't really even need (but was oh so cool and fit me perfectly).
My wife has complained that I am buying gear I don't know, but I know I need most of the gear I've been been buying to keep me warm and looking athletic and not like a burglar when I'm out running at 5 in the morning. Today, however, I realized I had a problem when I received my Zensah "Fresh Legs" shin/calf sleeves (to keep my legs warmer so i can still wear my shorts when it's in 20's and 30's) in the mail and was hiding them from my wife so she wouldn't think I was buying more exercise clothes that I didn't really need.
I know I have a problem, but I've done some strength training in the gym and toned up a bit, and I've lost some weight and most of my belly from running; and when I played in a softball tournament a little over a year ago and the only jersey they had left was a medium and it fit just a bit tight - but a good tight - I've been unable to stop myself from buying newer and cooler (and warmer!) clothing and gear.
So, I've taken the first step and admitted I have a problem. I know I have enough exercise gear to last me through the rest of winter and the spring (and probably also the summer), so I shouldn't need to buy anything else until late fall at the earliest. Though, I will probably need a new pair of running shoes, soon. And there was this awesome Adidas running jacket on clearance at Khol's, and....
This blog also available at: thisoldsole.blogspot.com/2011/02/add
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
It has now been almost two months since I ran the LV RNR Half Marathon. I took the opportunity after the race and over the holidays to take some much needed time off to rest and recover, but that means I have now reached the most difficult stage of running. The post-race motivation hangover. From July right up until the race I was pumped keep up my training and to push towards my goal I was excited to achieve, regardless of the weather or my work schedule or any other circumstances. However, once the goal was achieved, all that motivation evaporated and then so did all my momentum.
I knew this could be a problem, but I had what I thought were great ideas for keeping myself motivated. I would train for a triathlon or maybe a marathon, or maybe I would do a lot of speed-work and work on my mile, 2-mile, and 5k times. They were all great ideas, however, without another set goal in front of me, the energy to implement those ideas has been severely lacking.
My SIL has found great motivation to keep running by training to run a 5k every month this year. I found a great local 5k in February and thought that would be perfect to get me running again this month, but I won't be able to run in it as I found I had already scheduled other plans with friends for that weekend. March is the Hoover Dam Half Marathon & 5k that I ran with my SIL last year, but this year is my wife's turn to run in it (if she can recover sufficiently from being run over by an employee inside of Smith's Grocery store) and my turn to hold the baby, take pictures, and play coach & cheerleader.
Two weeks ago I found out that there will be a half marathon in Summerlin in April. It looks almost perfect. I am in almost a perfect position to begin training for it as I haven't completely lost my training from December and I have been running 3-4 miles, two to three days a week for the past few weeks. I could easily be back to running 5 or 6 miles for my long-distance run this weekend and I would have two full months to work back up to running 13.
On the not-so-perfect side, are a few, let's call them "issues." First, the course will not be flat. Summerlin is neatly placed on the slopes of a giant ancient alluvial fan which means that unless we neatly traverse it along a counter, it will not be a flat race. That's not that big of a deal as I can run without the expectation of setting a PR and just enjoy myself. Second, training means I will have to start waking up at 4:45am, again. Lately I have found it difficult to wake up any time before 10:00am 5:30am. Third, the SIL may or may not be able to run in this one, so I may have to go it alone. I must say that training to run a race by myself just isn't as exciting and there's no energy to feed off of from someone else working towards the same goal. Lastly, it was hot or warm for most of my training last year and I loved it when the weather finally turned cold; however, now, despite buying some awesome cold weather gear, I continue to look at the thermometer each morning and cringe if it's below 50 (which it is every morning), and often go back to bed if it's below 40 (and it's been in the 30's almost every morning).
I did manage to get up and run 3 miles yesterday (it was 44) and today (it was 48). This warm-ish weather is supposed to hang on for a few more days. Maybe it will stick around long enough for me to get back into training mode? I want to run as if I am training to run in the Summerlin half marathon, and then see how it goes before I sign up for it. But, really, I should just commit myself, now, and then do it. I know I need to make up my mind because the the longer I wait, the harder it will be to motivate myself and the more likely it will be that I will end up not running the race. If only i had the proper motivation. Aaah!! I used to be indecisive, but now i'm not sure...
update: The weather service says the lows will be back to the mid-30's by this weekend. At least I can run during the day on the weekends...
This blog also available at: thisoldsole.blogspot.com/2011/01/war
Sunday, January 02, 2011
Of all my weaknesses, the worst one is probably my craving for sweets, namely for soda. Whenever my wife heads to the store, if I ever ask her for something, it is for a Dr. Pepper, or a Coke. We don't keep any in the house because if we did then there would still never been any in the house - if you know what I mean. Soda is that one thing that I will mindlessly order out of habit at any dining establishment without considering the effect on my daily diet.
So, on Friday my wife heads to the store to pick up a couple of things for New Years and I innocently ask her to pick up a couple 2-liters of soda for lounging around the house and watching football. She doesn't drink soda - especially one with caffeine - so I am obviously the one who is going to drink them. She nervously jokes about whether I am going to drink all 4 liters of soda in one day. I nervously laugh her off because I may drink 1 or 2 liters, but not all 4. [ominous foreboding]
New Years morning rolls around and just before breakfast (which rolls around at 10am, mind you, because of feeding the baby and sleeping in, etc, etc) my wife makes a wise crack about me not having had any soda, yet, and that I better get started if I plan to finish all 4 liters [ominous foreboding]. I again assure her I do not plan to drink it all in one day. She then goes on to explain to me how she has gone over 2 years without caffeine - ever since we decided to start getting pregnant up until now while she is still breastfeeding our 7 month-old baby - and she doesn't think that I could last that long without any. I insist that I have more than once gone 2 whole weeks without caffeine (on purpose) and could do it if I wanted to [ominous foreboding].
Long story short, she bet me that I couldn't go one full year (365 days) without drinking any type of caffeinated beverage - coffee, soda, energy drinks, tea... you name it - and I accepted. The challenge starts Jan 2 [ominous foreboding].
So, I hadn't planned to drink all 4 liters of soda, today. However, due to the nature of our bet, I suddenly had 4 liters of soda on hand and 365 days in front of me that I can't use to drink it. I couldn't leave 4 liters of temptation lying around the house - and the challenge started the very next day - so I had to take one for the team and eliminate both bottles of soda the best way I could.
I drank them.... BOTH.
Yes, I steadily, but surely, drank all 128 ounces of soda in one day - in less than 12 hours, in fact.
So, if you want to count the stats, here they are:
2-liter Dr. Pepper = 6 12ounce servings = 150x6 = 900 calories
2-liter Coca-Cola = 8 8ounce servings = 100x8 = 800 calories
I don't even want to go into the rest of what I ate, today (McDonald's Big Mac and a "boat load" of fries, plus lunch and dinner), but needless to say, I consumed over 4,000 calories (including the 1,700+ calories of soda). Also, needless to say, I will be running tomorrow and thank goodness I will not be drinking any more soda for quite some time. I will need to skip them, anyway, to make up for all these extra calories, and, as you can see, it is 11:50pm and I am still awake writing this blog.
I promised my wife I would get to bed before midnight, tonight, so I better finish this up. Hopefully I don't keep us both up all night, but something tells me this could be a long night and the beginning of a long and tired year [ominous foreboding].
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