Archive | July 2014

Time to Shake Things Up

Since January, there has been good days and bad days. For awhile there, the good days were out numbering the bad days but lately it seems as though I have been slipping backwards and the bad days are once again out numbering the good days. There are a number of reasons for this which I will not get into here but with those reasons now behind me, I hope that I can once again get back on the road to recovery. With so many bad days, triathlon training just did not happen not even when I was fully dressed for a run or bike ride.

I decided a couple of weeks ago to be part of the Bank St Running Room team that was taking part in the Canada Day race. I thought that since the Kilt Run went pretty good, that I would be ok for this race. Even before the start of the race, I had a strange feeling but I decided to proceed with the race any ways. The run itself pretty much sucked as my time was over 42 minutes. As I approached the finish line, I was over come by emotion. Going through the finishing chute, I just grabbed my medal from one of the children that were tasked to present them and kept running until I found a spot where no one was around. At that point, I broke down and started to cry most likely from having so many bad days leading up to the race. Once I regained my composure, I decided not to stick around for the post-race breakfast with the team but to go home.

As with other episodes like this, it took a lot of energy out of me. I spent the rest of the day resting and well, pissed off that this happened again. It being July 1, I was going to make this the day that I get back on track with my triathlon training and to get my health back on track.  When I awoke on the morning of July 2, I was already in an extremely blue mood. Had it not been for my dog Bogie whining to go out at 11:00, I would have stayed in bed all day. Bogie having taken care of his business, I sat on the couch watching tv, though I have no idea what I was watching as nothing was registering.

Around 3:00, I decided enough was enough, it was time to end the pity party and time to shock the system. But would that shock be? After showering, I looked in the mirror and decided the beard that I have been sporting since January had to go. Rather than shave it off myself, I decided to treat myself to a proper shave at a local barber shop. As luck would have it, the barber shop was empty except the two barbers on duty. Being at the barbers, why not kill two birds with one stone and get a hair cut at the same time. My usual hair cut is a #3 blade on top and #2 blade on the back on sides but I told the barber to go with a #2 and #1 instead. With the hair cut complete, it was time to proceed with the straight razor shave. I have had these a few times over the years and there is such a different feeling when it is completed.

As she finished the shave, she asked if everything looked ok and if there was anything else I wanted. I pondered on that for about 30 seconds or so and then I asked her to do something totally different. I’ll let the pictures below do the talking.

Before

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After

after

Aftering seeing myself in the mirror, it certainly was a shock. Not the pretties of heads, especially with a few scars on the back that I totally forgot about. Though not overly noticeable in the pictures, I have a serious case of the white walls. This is not a look I plan to have for long, maybe until the end of summer. When I looked at the photos above, it was a shock to see the toll the last six months has had on my physical appearance in comparison to the picture below which was taken in November 2013. I look so tired and there is no joy in my eyes at all.

me

I hope that I can return to looking happy and healthy very soon. So tomorrow brings a new day, where I will start training again by going out to do a track session with the group from the Running Room. Further to that, a friend who has done several triathlons has offered to help and coach me train for a triathlon at the end of August.  Having someone to answer to and having an appointment to do training, will get me out the door each day. There will be no excuses, I have to do this if I want to get healthy, both mentally and physically. Another thing I will start to do each day is to write in a journal in which I will write my successes of each day, as well as write a few goals for the next day. I have been a big goal writer for many years, those goal were short, mid and long term goals but I need to focus on very short term goals so that I can see my successes much sooner. This will give a sense of making progress and I really need that feeling right now.

So tomorrow is the start of a new beginning on so many fronts but priority is heath and once I make progress in that area, everything else will fall into place.

Until next time….Dreams do not work, unless you do!

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These Shoes Were Made for Running: Review Hoka One One Bondi Speed

After my bike spill last year and the multiple injuries that accompanied it I knew that it was going to be a while before I ran. My first run was the Santa Shuffle in December, a nice little 5K to help raise money for the Salvation Army. As the run began I felt pretty good but it did not take long before I started to feel some pain. The first place I experienced pain was in my left knee which took a good beating in the bike spill and I was more or less expecting this to happen. The area I was not expecting any pain was in my wrist. How does ones wrist start to hurt while running. I guess it must have been the old foot bone connected to wrist bone thing.

Running causes a lot of impact on the body, so if I wanted to get back to running sooner than later, I knew that I would have to find a shoe that had more cushioning than the ones I was currently wearing. When I did the Rideau Lakes Tour, I talked to a guy in Kingston about the different shoes he was wearing. He told me about how good they were and all the cushioning it provided. It took me a while to remember the unusual name but once I did, it was to the internet to find out more information.

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The shoes I am talking about is the Hoka One One Bondi Speed. The first thing I will say about the Bondi Speed is that they are not the lightest shoe on the market, weigh in at 12.4 oz for size 10.5, but if you want that extra cushioning that is one sacrifice you will need to make. These shoes are the poplar opposite to the minimalist shoes that have been all the rage for the fast few years. Though they are slightly heavier than most shoes, you would certainly not notice it on a long run. From the Hoka website here is their techniqal info:

COMFORT AND CUSHIONING: The midsole foam is 30% softer than the material used in traditional running shoes, and there is 2.5 times more volume than in most running shoes. The extra cushioning dissipates up to 80% of the shock associated with heel striking when running and allows for as much as 20mm of compression in the heel, plus extra protection allowing you to soar over asphalt surfaces.

ROCKERED MIDSOLE GEOMETRY & LOW HEEL-TOE DIFFERENTIAL: A 4.5mm heel to toe drop and rockered profile creates a unique rolling motion that encourages proper form by allowing a runner to easily strike the ground near the midfoot.

CONTROL: The unique, patented bucket seat is recessed up to 20mm within the midsole unit so as to best position your foot for optimum precision. This high degree of control also ensures you maintain responsive contact with the ground at all times.

STABILITY: The 25% wider outsole platform is designed to counterbalance the excess height of the oversized midsole. This large surface area ensures that you will maintain a stable footing, no matter how hard you run.

SUPERIOR TRACTION: The outsole is specially designed for use on the road, the high surface volume of the lug pattern as well as the shallow treads ensure good grip on even wet surfaces and high levels of abrasion resistance even when you push your shoes to the limit.

FEATHERLIGHT WEIGHT: Relative to its size, lighter than most road running shoes at less than 10 ounces, they make running uphill as much fun as they make running downhill and with less body fatigue.

BENEFITS: Engineered for maximum cushioning, comfort, protection and energy return, while still offering lightweight, nimble performance and uninhibited movement. Run more efficiently with less injury and quicker recovery.

When you look at the shoes you would think that with the thick sole that it would take a little time to adjust to them. For me, there was no adjustment at all. I really liked the cushioning but the cushioning just did not cushion the impact but also made the foot spring back. The foam does not give that squishy feeling but a controlled responsive feeling.

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The one thing I did notice though is that the shoes’ upper was not overly breathable. Having run in them on a couple of hot days now, my feet got very hot and I ended up with a blister on one foot after a long run. Thinking it might be the socks, I changed those with some relief but still at the end of the run my feet were very hot.

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The shoes fit like any other running shoe though you will find that your foot sits lower in the shoe. It is a mid to wide shoe and the toe box  feels just right to me. The shoe comes with two sets of laces, traditional and speed. I put in the speed laces as that is what I will wear during triathlons. There is also a very strong pull tab at the back for ease of entry. This pull tab has last longer than any other on other shoes I have had. There is no doubt people will see you coming in the daytime with the shoe being bright orange but at night, there is more than enough reflectors for people to see you.

 

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Over all a very good, especially for those with knee or joint issues. I would certainly buy another pair and they would become my long distance running shoes. When I got these shoes, I could only get them from the U.S, I am happy to say that there are a number of Canadian stores selling the Hoka line of running shoes, that will give runners another option to the main stream running shoes.

Until next time…..Keep on running