Saturday, November 24, 2012

Time For Turkey, Taters And Giving Thanks

Today I'm loaded with turkey, taters and all sorts of things that aren't good for you, so who knows how many pounds of rolling thunder I truly am.

I don't know about other runners, but I try not to fret about weight fluctuations during Thanksgiving week. Just like the weight won't come off in big chunks, you're not going to put it on in big chunks, unless, of course, you don't get back out there moving again for a while.

My Thanksgiving strategy? One plate, one time through. Take what you want and enjoy and then don't worry about it. It's usually the second and third times through that kill most people.

And while you might float up a few pounds on the scale over the next few days, if you get back to walking, running, biking or whatever your preferred exercise regimen, and drink plenty of water, you should get back to normal soon.

The second key, don't let yourself eat too much of what I call accidental food. You know, the accidental doughnuts at the office. The accidental handfuls of party mix at your family gathering. Or even the accidental third piece of pie that tempts you from across the room and then slathers itself to your belly.

This is a great time to be thankful for family, friends and the fortunes of being alive. While it's easy to get caught up in the hectic nature of the holiday season, stressing out over what you eat shouldn't bring you down. You're going to take it off again after the holiday, and this year we have five weeks between Turkey Day and Christmas.

I have to say at this time of year I'm thankful for running because when you're out pounding the pavement you don't have to deal with Black (Thursday) Friday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday or Tapped Out Friday. Plus, you're doing something healthy for your body by going on the move.

So today is my family's holiday gathering, so you might not see the world's slowest human out on the streets, but if you do, don't be a turkey. Give me a waive.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Time To Pull Out The Headlights And Keep Running

Nov. 17, 2012 -- I've lost count of the days.

Today I'm an undetermined amount of rolling thunder. I skipped the scale and went straight to my work.

I wish I knew a good reason why we spring forward and fall back. Sure, I've heard all the excuses about kids getting on school buses in the dark. And farmers needing more daylight. And even a theory that it's all the work of the leisure industry lobby.

The bottom line is I don't like running in the dark. My run time has moved in the last week to after 5 p.m. and most nights closer to 6. While the warm autumn days have provided mild evening runs, it's just no fun running in the dark.

I guess there are always those alley cats who enjoy the darkness, but me, I'd rather know when I'm about to step on an acorn that could twist and ankle or send me tumbling to the ground.

I did an indoor workout on my Nordic Track, but that got boring after about 20 minutes, but I endured on for 30. Still, it wasn't like getting out and breathing deep while taking a good run.

I suppose the ice and snow of winter will eventually force me off the roads and into the basement or the gym, but maybe we'll have another mild winter. Last year I don't think there was a week when I was unable to get out on the road for at least a day or two during the week.

Could be a winter season for cross-training on the bike, Nordic Track and stair climber. Who knows, maybe I'll really learn how to swim this year.

Anybody else out there get really bored on a Nordic Track? I see tons of them at yard sales, so I'm sure that I'm not alone.

So I suppose we're all in agreement that it sucks when you can't get out there on the road, so enjoy every minute of these fine fall days. 

And remember, when you see the world's slowest human out running, just give me a wave.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Blame It On Daylight Savings Time ... I Am

Nov. 8, 2012 --

Today I'm 188.0 pounds of rolling thunder.

I'm blaming it on Daylight Saving Time. Or maybe it was the presidential election. Whatever it is, something has thrown me off my regular blogging schedule.

Sloth -- never! Procrastination -- fat chance.

Regardless of my writing frequency, rest assured that I've been out pounding the pavement. I would be the one moving just a step ahead of continental drift. 

Even though the temperatures have been up and down, this has been a generally good fall for running. I think the only days I've missed have been of my own making and not Mother Nature's.

The one thing I hadn't done in a while was pulling on those God-forsaken ankle weights and trudged around with them strapped to my legs for an hour or more.

Well, that all ended on Wednesday -- which happened to be my long-run day. So true to form, I strapped them on, pulled the Velcro up tight and trudged out the door feeling rather heavy.

Now I've been running with my wrist weights all this time, so added weight really isn't a huge issue. Oh, who am I kidding, going from 2-3 pounds on my arms to 5 pounds per leg is a big deal, and when I trudge up those really steep hills, there is a sense of accomplishment.

Yesterday was a great day for a run. I got out on the road in reasonable time and started making it around my normal loop. Go too early and you hit the high schoolers with their rolling eyes and whose-dad-is-that stares. Go too late, and you fight your way through flocks of middle schoolers who travel in gaggles and giggles and are far too self-absorbed to make way for the chunky guy with funny looking weights strapped to his ankles.

I usually catch one of the groups on my late-afternoon jaunts. During cross country season, even the slowest kid would put on the jets so as not to be beaten up the hill by the world's slowest human.

That's OK, at least I could push them a little bit. But now the season is long over, and on cool days only the hardcore runners are out on the street, so there's little hope of me passing anyone and a surety that I will get passed -- by a kid, a dog or a kid with a dog.

Today looks like another great day to hit the streets. So I'm blogging early in the hope that my car will be fixed and I can turn picking it up into my daily run. Now that would be the stars aligning, wouldn't it?

So as usual, if you see the world's slowest human out there running, give me a wave.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

I don't love running ... I like it

Day whatever, it's Nov. 4 just two days until the elections if that's your preferred kind of race

Like most things, after about 30 days, you start to lose interest of complete track of something ongoing such as the number of days you've run or blogged in the past few months. I like to think of it not so much as sloth, but more as the introduction of serendipity back into something I do for fun and enjoyment.

Hence, it's day whatever of my running blog, and that suits me just fine.

Recently, I added a like to Facebook page that said, "I love running." Personally, I don't love running, I run. I like running, although from my blog you can tell I'm not very good at it.

But I like what running does for me. It keeps your heart and lungs healthy. It gives you something to chit-chat about at parties. It keeps your weight down. And most importantly it gives you that great feeling after you've run for an hour or so. 

Yes, I'm addicted to the runner's high. The euphoria of all those endorphins rushing around my body. The friendly aches you get in your muscles that remind you that you’re alive.
In all honesty, I probably just have a crush on running. This isn't love, it's more like dating. I go out and do it almost every day, but it doesn't consume my every waking moment.

And I'm not a running stalker. I don't lust over new running shoes or the latest gizmo from Garmin. I pretty much know where I'm running and I buy a new pair of shoes every year. I did give in to my desire to own a lung exerciser and that seems to be working out OK.

I have to say writing a blog about running keeps you honest. You feel the need to get out there and move in some form or another. Frankly, I've felt more guilt not writing about it for the past week or so than anytime I miss my daily run, job, walk or whatever.

So Daylight Saving Time kicked in this week, which means we're looking down the barrel of a long winter of treadmills and bundled up trips outside to run in the cold, snow and ice. Last year was so mild that the outdoor running window really never closed. Hopefully, we'll have the same good fortune this time around.

Remember, whether you run, walk or jog, just keep moving. I will always be the world's slowest human, and I'm there for you every step of the way.