Life Goals and other Random Nonsense: January 2007

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A Fox in New Sox

Of all the purchases for marathon training, one of the best so far has been new socks. To date, I have tried out 4 different kinds. I bought two pairs at Sports Basement when I bought my shoes:

And my sister got me two pairs at REI:
  • SmartWool Running Socks
  • REI Running Socks
My favorites so far are the Ultimax Running Low Cuts and the REI Running Socks. All of them have great built in arch support which I have never felt in my socks before, but the Ultimax tend to be the firmest around my arches (which I like).

I also like that the Running Low Cuts and REI ones are a little thicker than the others. It seems that they are a little less breathable but provide a little more cushion. Since it has been chilly on most of my runs, I don't miss the wind rushing through my socks, and the cushion feels good as I increase the miles.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Tai Chi + Running = Chi Running

For Chanukah my parents got me the book Chi Running by Danny Dreyer. I am only a few chapters into it so far, but it is really helping me think more about how I run.

Chi Running is basically the combination of running with Tai Chi (the Chinese Martial Art often described as "moving meditation").

I have been trying to apply some of the techniques to my last few runs, and so far it does feel a lot better. I always used to think that if it was a really good run, I would be totally exhausted at the end. This book talks about ways to run that actually make you feel more refreshed, erergized and relaxed at the end than you were at the beginning!

He highlights so many things to focus on while running that I never really spent much time thinking about before: breath, posture, cadence, stride length, and the ideal arm angles and movements - just to name a few.

And the theory is that by focusing on all of these, rather than just letting your mind wander, you actually end up feeling more relaxed and refreshed.

So far, I think he is on to something.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Waking up is hard to do

I have been in training for almost three weeks now and so far I am doing pretty good at sticking to the training plan. I am finding out that getting up in the morning to run before work is really much harder for me that the actual running. That should not really be a surprise to anyone who has ever seen me in the morning - as you may already know - getting up early has always been hard for me - to say the least! But the bad news is that I have had to cut a few morning runs short so I could still make it to work on time. I am committed to keep it up though, because getting up early is part of the deal for the Big Sur Marathon. According to the website, "bus departures are staggered between 3:45 and 4:45 am" for the starting line... maybe next time I will pick an afternoon marathon!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Energy Gels

Among other things, my sister got me a great selection of energy gels for Chanukah. With so many out there to choose from, I am excited to sample a few, and will be blogging about them in future posts.

  • Clif Shot - Mocha
  • GU - Espresso Love
  • Hammer Gel - Raspberry
  • Honey Stinger - Honey with Cocoa & B Vitamins
  • PowerBar Gel - Green Apple Flavor

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Just for Kicks

The kicks? Mizuno Waverider 9s, size 10.5.

I picked up two pairs of these at Sports Basement (add link) in San Francisco a few weeks ago after reading some great reviews on Yelp about how helpful their staff was.

After a few minutes of watching me walk back and forth I was told I had good arches and "neutral" support would be my best option. After trying on about 5 pairs from the neutral pile, I settled on these beauties.

Just so I knew they weren't pulling my leg, I brought my brother-in-law with me, and he was diagnosed as "flat-footed" and sent to the other end of the basement. In the words of the salesman "you two couldn't have any more different feet!"

Well we both ended up with shoes that day and tested them out on a three mile loop around Lake Merritt in Oakland.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Homestar Runner
A little shout-out to my one loyal blog reader so far... You know who you are! Keep on running homestar!

This is my first mobile post - via email from my Treo- so it will be interesting to see how it comes out.