Month: May 2016

FIXED ON GOALS

Presidiot Run a 5-27-16

The Presidio

Ever since I’ve gotten older, I realize I have the attention span about the same length of the life of a sand flea. I get bored easily. Oh Shiny! I can be drawn to fun, new things without much effort.

But I’ve composed a short list of goals I would like to…I WILL accomplish in the next three to five years, so my focus must be on them.

So, when a great sale on running clothes comes up, or I see something extra delicious at Trader Joe’s, with extra calories to match, the temptation is so great to give in. This gets worse if I’ve had a bad day at work, or if I’m feeling especially venerable. I decided if I have a catchphrase to remind myself, or to smack myself, maybe it will make it less likely to spend or eat too much. Or miss the gym, or be mean, or…

Sometimes the pressure is so great that’s when I’m at my weakest point. And it is then that I really MUST have the strength to ask: How is this helping me? How is reacting emotionally going to help me reach my goal?

View of Presidio 5-27-16

View from Inspiration Point, the Presidio

I had a weak moment earlier this week. It’s a lot harder for me in my fifties to bounce back from eating badly or missing a workout. Unlike just ten years ago, the weight gained doesn’t just fall away. It takes twice as long. But bounce back I did, with two great runs and I’m off to the gym early today, the Saturday of Memorial Weekend.

This isn’t to say that there are no fun things worthwhile spending money on. Last weekend I went to two concerts and saw some great live music. I don’t regret it at all and I know there will be more. Once in a while, I’ll feel like going out to eat, or buying a new outfit as well. But these things can be worked into my budget, not done at the risk of losing sight of my dreams.

Going off my way of eating or budget isn’t the end of the world, but it is a detour and could cause a delay in getting to where I truly want to go. I have to decide if it’s really something worthwhile, which some things are, or if it’s just an emotional trigger. It never hurts to ask myself this before making a choice.

I finished the week with a great 4-mile trail run through the Presidio last night after work. There are so many trails through this corner of San Francisco I love not even knowing where I’ll go and just letting it happen. The weather was perfect and it was an excellent way to start celebrating the long weekend.

Cheers!

The Spire 5-27-16

The Spire, the Presidio

WHAT IS CADENCE?

I raw 12 miles yesterday morning. Most of the run went great. I did have a couple problems at the end; I went out late last night and was probably too dehydrated, so during the 10th mile of my run, I felt nauseous. I ate a Shot Blok, drank water, but then started to get cramps from drinking too much. HAHA! Sometimes we can’t win. But I got my run in.

I never like going on the same route each time because I get bored so easily. This time, I switched it up by going down some side streets, first starting in the Mission District and then running down one of my favorite walks in Mission Bay along the water. I love it there; it’s rarely crowded and when the weather is good, it’s a beautiful place.

Mission Bay

Mission Bay

During my runs I observe other runners. I see if I can learn from them and sometimes I can’t help pointing out areas they could improve. Many young and/or novice runners don’t understand the importance of Running Cadence.

Cadence is how many steps per minute one takes in a run. And easy way to determine this is to count one’s footfalls for 30 seconds and then times two. Or, if one has a Garmin watch like mine, it tells you on the website your cadence.

For distance runners, the best cadence to have is 170 or above. It helps with one’s form and prevents injuries, as a higher step count lowers the stress on one’s ankles, shins and knees. I counted no less than 10 runners bounding across the sidewalk like springing gazelles. I could only imagine their cadences would fall far short. OK, if they were all sprinting, I can understand it, but something tells me they weren’t all testing their 440 meter limits; they were simply never taught about step counts.

The pros make it seem as if their step count is really low, but that’s not accurate. Their cadences are usually around 180 but they move so fast it looks like less.

It’s not as important when one runs three miles or less each time. However, if one wants to keep running for many years and be injury free or if one wants to expand out and start running half marathons and more, proper step count is vital. It may mean changing a little in one’s running at first. Take slightly smaller steps and see how that feels. It may make running easier. I can’t imagine myself lasting long if I took those giants steps running that I saw a young lady take today. It looked as if she was practicing for the triple jump!

I do love looking at my Garmin uploads after my runs. I can see where my steps may have gotten a bit too long and where they looked the best. The best is where I probably felt the best too, not surprisingly.

Running is a sport comprised of lots of physio-mechanics and I think it’s fascinating to find out all about everything.

Cheers!

DON’T HATE RUNNING

In a fitness instructor group I belong to, someone posted an article stating why lifting is the new running for women over 40. Many of the trainers chimed in how they hated running and how they were so happy when they stopped running.

Well…. I of course, had to add my voice asking why does it have to be one or the other? Why can’t those of us who enjoy being fit like both? I love to run, obviously, but I also really enjoy my time spent at the gym. Maybe I’m not a “serious lifter” like some, but I do plenty of tough work with dumbbells, kettle bells and barbells.

Ever since I can remember there has been this invisible and sometimes not-so-invisible divide between lifters and runners. Fortunately, stereotypes have been shed and more people on either side are agreeing that each has its merits. So when I saw this today and the agreements of how running is supposedly bad, it brought me back to the bad old days when lifters routinely discounted running.

I also saw this divide while studying for my trainer’s cert. Somehow, running has gotten a bad rap by the gym crew a while back and it’s still there.

I am all for adding strength training into one’s regular workouts. It has helped with my weight, my endurance, my strength and my lack of injuries. Frankly, I can’t imagine I would be running at all had I not added in strength training. But I also suggest that lifters stop their prejudice against running. Some seem to have an all-out dislike of cardio all together. Maybe because it’s difficult when one starts. But, like anything worthwhile, it takes time to master.

I only hope one day we lifters and runners can join together and understand we are both on the same side.

I have been away from my writing. Many things have been going on and not all good but I won’t bore anyone with all the torrid details. Except to say that stress sucks and I’ve had plenty of that. I have stress so bad right now that I grit my teeth at night (even with a mouth guard) that I have constant jaw pain. I take Advil for it and am trying to find solutions like meditation and changing my profession to ease out of it. I know will find a way and as most everything in my life, I know it won’t be easy.

But I’m still running, still getting out there and doing it. I am now more determined than ever to lose the weight I need, get the part-time personal trainer’s position I want and run like the wind!

Cheers!