Saturday Walk and Manhattan Running Company

I made it out this morning to take my 5k walk despite being tired from getting to bed so late. Jon didn’t join me due to a sore throat and looming cold, so I made it to the track solo after grabbing breakfast and a bottle of water. It was a tough walk today. It’s warmer, and the sun made things a little more uncomfortable. Not complaining in general…I love the sun and I’m glad to see it might stick around for a season. But this means I need to invest in sunscreen and get in the habit of carrying a water bottle while I walk.

Even though I was tempted to stop after every lap, I didn’t. I made it around four times…which I think is more than the 5k distance at that track…and I maintained the hour and a half walk time. It was slightly longer due to stopping to take a phone call and to text Jon, but it was close.

I also got to break in my new shoes!

Pay no attention to the old school carpeting.
Pay no attention to the old school carpeting and the super baggy sweatpants.

The Most Comfortable Pair I’ve Ever Worn Adidas shoes I bought for five dollars at Goodwill were too worn in the sole to be able to walk and jog comfortably. I have another pair of Adidas, but they’re not as comfortable for wearing in general.

About a week ago, I received an email from Manhattan Running Company that reminded me of their free gait analysis. I figured it would be a good idea to try it out. Plus, I’d like to start supporting some of the city’s small businesses and keep my money local, so Jon and I went up there to see what they had.

They did a test to see where I put my weight when standing (on my toes, apparently), then they had me jog on the treadmill so they could record what my feet do when I’m running. The woman who helped me showed me my video alongside the video of a runner with an overpronation. It looked so weird…like his ankle was going to snap. I know part of it was an optical illusion…but it was a little unsettling, even though I know it’s common and one of those things that differ with people.

I learned two things with my analysis: I don’t have a pronation and I strike on my toes, not my heels. Apparently there’s no right or wrong way to do it. The woman mentioned that runners who strike with their toes have to work harder. However, word on the street is that that’s how barefoot runners run. And while I have no intentions of running barefoot, I figure I’m just going to stick with what’s comfortable for me, even if it is the less efficient way to do it.

I picked from a few different shoes and ended up with the blue ones based on fit, comfort, and price. They were on sale, and I can’t say no to a discount. Because I mentioned the email, I also got a free pair of socks,They may be the most comfortable socks I’ve ever worn (besides hand knitted socks, which aren’t ideal for exercise). They’re really lightweight and soft. I didn’t “get” it before, but I think I see why runners invest in more expensive socks.

Besides the gait analysis (which I think is a really cool thing) and my wanting to support a local small business, MRC is just a cool place in general. They have all sorts of running gear. We’d gone there before because they were the only place in town we could find armbands to fit our phones. The service was great too, and the woman who helped me was nice and patient in answering all my questions. There’s always that thought that a place is going to get weird when I tell them I want to run at my size, but I didn’t get a judgmental vibe at all from them. If you’re in MHK, I recommend this store. If you’re not, definitely check your local listings for a good small business running store. Keep it local, peeps…if you can, of course.

When Jon needs new shoes, I think we’ll head back up there and get him fitted and analyzed too. Hopefully they have his shoe size. Dude’s got big feet. Either way, I bet I’m buying more socks.

I only tried out the new shoes with walking, so tomorrow I’ll test how they feel when I run. Even though the walk itself was rough, the shoes felt awesome. Side note: during my test, I realized that jogging on a treadmill is actually easier than jogging on the track. Didn’t expect that one.

After the walk, I was pretty much out of commission for the rest of the day. I showered, did some stuff online, and watched some movies. Beside this blog, I tried to do some other things that required thought, but I just couldn’t. Every once in awhile, I just need to let everything rest, and this was one of those days.

Here’s to hoping I’m a little bit sharper tomorrow so I can check some stuff off the to-do list.

A.

Quiet Days and Post-Christmas Indulgence

Work today was weird, but in a good way. There weren’t very many people in the office (there weren’t many people in the whole building, to be honest), so it was really quiet. I managed to get a bunch of stuff done with a minimum of stress. Definitely my kind of Friday.

However, it was also a very indulgent Friday. I took an early break to get Starbucks for me and some others in the office who were craving a treat. I had failed to get breakfast before coming to work, so I was starving. My choice of treat from the ‘Bucks was a creme brulee latte and a ham, egg, and cheese sandwich. To avoid any delays or limits in the drive thru, I went in to place the order and was greeted by this guy:

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Then for lunch…which arrived way sooner than I expected due to the flying of time today…I ventured out and picked up a Little Caesar’s Hot ‘n Ready and some crazy bread for the few of us who were feeling the pizza action. It was delicious, but it was definitely feeling.

I walked on my breaks, but that didn’t seem to help overmuch with the fullness. My current thing is walking and reading. My Kobo Mini is the perfect size to carry in my hand, and since I’ve gotten better at walking, I can now do it on autopilot, which means I can read and still navigate the halls. I’m actually finding this enjoyable, which is good, because it means I’m apt to take more walks and get more steps. I haven’t tried it on the treadmill yet, though I’m sure it would work fine. I wouldn’t even have to hold it, I could just prop it up on the panel. Maybe I’ll try this soon. Might be good for “recovery” days, because…

…I’ve decided to go ahead and try the Couch to 5k program again…this time training to RUN. I’m kind of excited about this.  Though I wanted to get the Zombies, Run! 5K app, I think I’m going to hold off and keep it simple for now. I have the free app that Jon and I started doing when I was upping my walk endurance, and I’m going to make some playlists specifically for training. I’ll still do the Zombie missions on most recovery days, and the reading and walking (or reading and doing the sit down machine) will help change things up so I don’t get bored.

I realize this isn’t going to be easy, but I’m up for the challenge. I mean, heck, I couldn’t even walk at the beginning of 2013, and anytime someone said the word “run,” I pretty much figured that was never going to be something I’d do. But I’ve managed to surprise myself by being able to run the zombie chases. Maybe by the end of 2014, I’ll be able to run a short distance.

I figure that even if I run slow, it’s still more fun than walking. And like walking, I’ll slowly but surely increase the length of time I can run at once, since that’s kind of how these things work. We don’t start out awesome, but we can eventually get to a point of awesomeness. My first goal will be to run a mile without stopping. Right now, that goal seems pretty impossible, so just wait until I reach it…that moment is going to get its own reward and blog post.

To kick off this decision, I went to the track today and did the first day of the C25k program, just to get an idea of where I’m starting from. As expected, I’m starting on a pretty low rung of the running ladder. I managed to get through half of the thirty minute session before I reverted to just walking. The program is five minutes of walking to warm up, then alternating sessions of a minute of running and a minute and a half of walking. At the halfway mark, I gave up running for a couple reasons. One, there was ice on the track that I had to be careful of, especially because I was out there without Jon tonight. Two, my ankles were cramping (I really need to figure out a good way to relieve that). Three, for a healthy dose of TMI, I really had to go to the bathroom and since the bathrooms at the rec center aren’t open, I had to be careful of how I moved. I mean…I really had to go.

Walking through the parking lot lake also added to the discomfort, since my feet were nice and wet.

As I said, I’m starting off slow, but I’m actually proud of being able to do that first session for fifteen minutes. Now the first short term goal is to be able to do it for a full thirty minutes. Once I can do that, I can progress into the actual program. Go me! Even that little bit of running was effective. My legs are really sore tonight.

I showered right after getting home, and even though I didn’t check off much of my to-do list today, I think I’m ready to lay down and read for a little while. Tomorrow is supposed to be nice, so Jon and I are going to Topeka. We have to do a little bit of clothes shopping anyway, so we’re making a day of it. We’re going to the zoo and then probably to walk around Gage Park. We might do some geocaching, we might see a cheap movie, we might just cruise around and find ways to get into trouble. Either way, I’m really looking forward to getting out into some good weather.

A.

Christmas Caches, Groceries, and Getting Outdoors

It was a beautiful Sunday. I know it’s too much to hope that the worst part of winter is over, so I made sure to enjoy the sun and the slightly warmer temperature today by getting out and doing things in the outdoors. After solving another puzzle cache at home, we went out to do some geocaching, grabbing several in the Countdown to Christmas series.

The plan was to get the caches, go to the gym,  then go get stuff ready for gaming. Unfortunately, our game was cancelled for the day, so we changed things up a bit. Since we had to go grocery shopping anyway, we went to town to do that before heading back to Wamego. Instead of going to the gym, I used the daylight to do a zombie mission at the rec center track.

I made it around the track twice, walking for forty five minutes. I decided to go ahead and do the zombie chases even though I was walking the longer duration. It wasn’t bad at all. I did four chases and even jogged a little bit longer on one of them. They weren’t as hard as they’ve been in the past, so at some point, I’ll have to legitimately lengthen all of the jogging sections. The fact that I can jog even a little bit is pretty crazy, but I’m loving it!

Jon made us soup and sandwiches for dinner, and I watched The Polar Express to solve another puzzle cache. I also worked on a writing project for my mom. My writing brain doesn’t want to work tonight, so I’ll have to finish that tomorrow. I’m going to finish off the night with a shower and some reading before bed. It wasn’t an overly strenuous day, but I want to be fresh for another Monday. I’m hoping this coming week isn’t as harsh as last week was.

A.

 

Puzzle Caches and Time Management

I was mentally prepared for the day, which was good, since I had a ton of stuff to tackle and didn’t want to fight against brain fuzz. However, my time management skills were and will be put to the test over the next couple weeks, both due to work commitments and self imposed goals. In relation to those goals, I’m currently enjoying an app/site that one of the webcomic artists I follow on Twitter and Tumblr clued me in on: HabitRPG. As someone who enjoys rpgs, I love the idea of being able to gain experience and level up by cultivating good habits and losing hit points when I give in to the not-so-good ones. It also has a fun rewards system and a to-do list, which makes checking things off even better than checking them off a normal to do list. This might not be for everyone, but so far, I’m having fun with it. 

December is the month when I start wanting to organize and purge and finish projects so I can start the new year off with a clean slate. Right now, though, things are crazy. I have a few different projects I have to work on and a few more I want to work on. I also want to enjoy social time, get my daily exercise, and do some geocaching before the weather gets snowy. So tonight was my first test in time management, and I was fairly successful. I didn’t do everything I set out to do, but I accomplished quite a bit.  I suppose I could have done something else if I’d avoided Candy Crush Saga, but I need my relax time too.  I’m hoping I can time manage my way through the next few weeks. 

After work, Jon and I went to grab a couple geocaches. One of the local cachers is doing a Countdown to Christmas puzzle cache series, and we’re trying to solve the puzzles and follow along with it as best we can. We picked up the first two today, which marks our first official puzzle cache finds. There’s a series nearby that we’ve been working on solving, but we have yet to go out to the field and find the physical caches. 

Since yesterday was a rest day, we wanted to make sure we got some exercise tonight, and with the weather giving us a couple more days of warmer winter weather, we went to the rec center for a walk and some zombie missions. I realized once we got there that I hadn’t downloaded the next story mission, so I did a supply mission instead. I only did two chases. Halfway around the track, both ankles cramped up, so I had to finish out slow. If I had to guess, I’d say it was because I didn’t pace myself well for this one. I find that the ankles cramp when I start going faster than I have previously. My legs and ankles eventually acclimate, but those first couple times out are rough. From the start, I walked faster than usual and I jogged faster during the chases as well. Breathing was fine, back was fine, legs were fine…but my stupid ankles decided to give me grief. 

I’m going to keep pushing through, because we talked about upping our walks to one hour and our gym sessions to forty-five minutes, so that’s a thing that’s probably going to happen soon. 

After grabbing some quick dinner, we came home. I helped Jon write some content for his website, then I worked on my own projects. Though I’ve done a good bit of rambling on this post, the day wasn’t anything exciting, but overall, it was good. 

I’m sleepy tonight, so it’s off to shower and sleep so we can do it all again tomorrow. 

A. 

 

Random Updates on Things

This week is moving along at a decent pace, but today was another day where not much really happened, at least nothing that’s blogworthy. So based on things I did today, I thought I’d give a couple general updates.

Health and Fitness: We walked the track tonight since it wasn’t too cold and we wanted to do something different from the gym. I’m really happy with the progress I’ve made with walking and just being in better shape in general. I can walk a mile in just under a half hour now, though if big hills are present, it takes a little longer. As I mentioned in some recent posts, I’ve recently acquired an interest in jogging…which seems weird for me…so I’m rolling with it. I haven’t done much yet, but I’ve moved from walking zombie chases with the Zombies, Run app to jogging them, and I’ve been feeling really good about what I’ve been able to do.

It’s not always easy for me to remember that it’s okay to be a beginner, but I’m working on it. Eventually I plan on moving into the C25K training with jogging and walking, but baby steps have to happen for me to get there. And there’s a chance that those baby steps will take me two years, but I’m okay with that.  In the moment, I actually need to take a step back and handle current issues, like my sore hip. I keep saying I’m going to the chiro for it, and yet I keep putting it off. I have no clue why I’m procrastinating, but tomorrow…tomorrow is the day I make my appointment.  Tonight will be heat and Biofreeze.

Nanowrimo: I’ve made really good progress with my Nanowrimo story. However, for various reasons, I’ve started a second piece to work on at the same time. My first one is erotic fiction, and I’m finding it challenging. Sometimes the writing flows well, and other times I get stuck trying to make one scene sound decent and not being happy with it, so I give up. Plus, I like to use my breaks and lunch to do some writing sprints, and I’m not sure how comfortable I am writing sex scenes at work. So I decided to start another story to write at work while I work on my first one at home. Combined, I’ve broken 30,000 words.

I’m not sure if this can be considered cheating, but don’t worry, I’m still planning on breaking 50,000 with the one story. Part of the reason I’m doing two is to enter a contest that Marissa Meyer is holding (thanks to Erica for cluing me into this one) and I don’t think the material for the first book will go much over 60,000 words. Also, I find that switching between the two projects helps me write each one faster. I don’t know why, but it does. And I don’t have an outline for my second one. I picked a starting point and went with it and I’m having a blast doing it that way. If I want to make something of it, I’m going to need to do more research, but the joy of Nanowrimo is that I don’t have to worry about that right now. I just have to write.

I think that’s all the updating I have for now. There’s a chance I won’t get a post done tomorrow night. It depends on what time I get home from a Girls Night In. Come to think of it, late night gaming might get in the way of a Friday post too. But this weekend should be pretty chill, so expect some catching up if I miss out on the next two nights.

Until then…

A.

Jogging and a Trip to the Zoo

I felt okay when I woke up this morning other than a pain in my shoulder that’s been irking me for a couple days. I wasn’t as stuffy and dizzy as I’ve been the past couple days.  My plan was to take it easy, but I still wanted to get out and do something. We started out by finding a couple geocaches out in Belvue. We had planned to go for a few more, but hunger and the need to find a restroom cut those plans short.

The nearest restroom happened to be at the rec center, so since we were there anyway, I snuck in a supply mission on Zombies, Run. I did it with zombie chases. I didn’t do walk/fast walk…I did walk/jog. That’s right. It wasn’t a lot of jogging. In 20 minutes, I only got two chases which are only a minute each. But it’s a start. It was also enough for me to see how jogging is way more fun than walking.  I’m thinking the zombies will be a good way to ease into eventually training to jog a 5k. The only issue I really had from that little bit of jogging was that it made whatever has been wrong with my hip worse, so I spent the rest of the day limping around.

We had lunch at Subway because I love me a Subway tuna sub, then we went to the Sunset Zoo to stroll around and visit our animal friends.

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Colobus monkeys, with Kasasa, the newest baby. His current hobby was jumping on the heads of the older monkeys.
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Like many of the animals today, the hyenas were having none of the excitement of the zoo visitors. They just wanted to nap.
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This pic is harder to see, but that’s an otter in a cereal box. He wore it has a hat for awhile.
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Red Pandas are adorable…especially when they smile at you like that. Okay…adorable and a little creepy.
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The newest addition to the bobcat family. The others were sleeping. She had to play all on her own.

We put in some reading time at the library, grabbed a snack at the gas station, then went to gaming.  Now I’m off to shower, get ready for tomorrow, and ice my hip. I’ll be making an appointment with the chiro this week (something I probably should have done a week ago).

Have a great start to another week, everyone.

A.