On Wednesday I talked about stopping my running streak – and the comments were all very positive and supportive. Over these past couple of weeks I have had the word inspirational used to describe me .. which already makes me uncomfortable. But my concern with my LAST running streak was that it did make for a good story, and I know a few people who did later streaks, some ended up fine and others wonder if it resulted in their injuries. Which all brings me back to my ‘Five Reasons Never to Take Fitness Advice From Me’ post. Yeah … still true.
Anyway, I have a few (mostly) running related items and my ‘Five Foods’. So let’s get started!
1. Saucony Kinvara 5
The Kinvaras are highly regarded lightweight 4mm drop shoes, which are very popular because they are both light and well cushioned. The fit on the first few models seemed to fit most runners – but then the Kinvara 4 came along and there were many complaints about the toe-box. Even my pair – which lasted over 1300 miles – shows considerable wear at both ends of the toe-box.
The Kinvara 5 addresses that and pretty much any other complaint. In fact, the entire toe box has been reshaped (if you can see it in the picture above. The rear ankle padding has had the contour removed without reducing the cushion, the overall feel is more cushioned, they are still incredibly light, and extremely well fitting and comfortable. I’ve only done two runs so far … but these are definitely some of the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn – and it is like meeting up with an old friend who looks even better with age.
2. Polar Loop
Yesterday I (finally) got the Polar Loop after a whole series of mix-ups and miscommunications that has had the heart-rate monitor part sitting on my counter for three months! Anyway, I got it all set up and configured, I took it on my run with me. My first thought?
Having to permanently cut a wrist strap was really stressful – especially since my first cut went through one of the pin-channels. Fortunately I intentionally under-cut the first time just to be sure. I ended cutting more this morning and now the fit is perfect … for me.
– Love the wireless sync to the phone
– Not a huge fan of the display – it is useless in sunlight as the LEDs wash out and the time-out is rather fast for activating and then shading … not an ‘on the go’ solution
– The iOS app and PC software is solid, but doesn’t match up with Garmin app Lisa uses for the VivoFit and the site I use for the FR-15
– Also love the easy charge-sync cable
– Not a fan of the ‘cut-to-fit’ thing – if I did it for Lisa, no one else in the house could wear it. Since it fits me it would fit Chris and could be cut for Lisa, but would be too small for Danny.
So … my overall impression is solid but given the choice I would buy the Garmin VivoFit again for fitness tracking. However, I have not tried the heart-rate monitor integration. So that will be an interesting test.
3. The Importance of Taking Care of Yourself
One thing I always talk about is safety – and that includes hydration and fueling. Being caught unready to handle a situation due to too much exercise and too little food and water is very dangerous.
Over at Runblogger, Pete linked to a post from his coach about the time that he fainted in what was really a totally avoidable situation. But the way he describes it is something that we should all reflect on:
1. No matter the run, immediate re-fueling and re-hydration is essential. This was already a rule, but I ignored it on the day.
2. Pre-run nutrition needs to be better. If you’re going to run 19 miles in a day, you can’t go into the afternoon run with a calorie deficit.
3. Don’t be so stubborn. Real life does impact running, and sometimes you need to slow down and realize that being tired has an impact on your body.
4. Anniversaries of Historical Importance
This week marked the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the 25th anniversary of the Tian’anmen Square standoff. I loved the takes on both of these important milestone’s at Carina’s blog – and really, you should check out each of those links. I wasn’t around for D-Day (my parents were only 2 and 4 years old), but I remember Tian’anmen Square well.
5. Is Being ‘Fat’ Not So Bad After All?
Admittedly I am not a huge fan of this article in general, because it basically comes down to mostly being yet another ‘my BMI says I am overweight, but I am very healthy, so everything you’ve read is wrong’ story. But along the way he highlights (through links) some important things – mostly that BMI is largely useless as a metric as it only alters the weight equation by adding height without taking body type into account.
A few things of note:
– Most of his points relate to being ‘overweight’ – obesity remains incredibly bad for you.
– Being overweight is MUCH better health-wise than being underweight.
– For someone who is overweight, social stigma and shaming and discrimination are the biggest problems.
– Perfect health is a complete myth.
Again, I have a load of mixed feelings, but definitely have seem many people online who are underweight and have dealt with injuries and other chronic health issues as a result. This week Amy posted a great article about when she realized she was too skinny, and includes before and after pictures … it is an amazing post with some great comments.
6. Running Around the World
This isn’t new, but I never noted it, and still makes me smile. Astronaut Mike Hopkins tweeted the following back in March:
Ran for ~1 orbit today. 12 miles on the treadmill while the station travelled more than 25,000 miles. I’ve now run around the world.
Yeah, so there is THAT … which is pretty awesome.
I have to confess that I am loving this series, as it makes me reflect on myself and my life. I wouldn’t really think I would be learning about myself – but I am. And today I learn something again, as I list out my ‘five foods’.
Day Six: Five Foods
1. Ice Cream – No matter what, I will always love ice cream. It is one thing I will always allow myself – and I have stopped going ‘light’ or whatever. I get what I want. One of the first things I did with my Nutribullet was to figure out how to make desserts – and I make a wonderful banana-based ‘soft serve’ that can be chocolate, fruity, peanut butter or whatever … and it is awesome.
2. Steak – steak has always been my favorite meat, but not something I get very often. I will have it for my birthday (and did), and also on rare occasions. I will have it for Father’s Day next weekend as well. I tend to eat a diet of mostly fruits and veggies and some lean meats … but I just love a nice juicy steak. Preferably with a nice glass of red wine.
3. Sweet Potato – I have mentioned it before, but growing up sweet potatoes were only at Thanksgiving. Then as a young adult I would have them at restaurants on occasion. Now? Whenever I can. Whole, mashed, cut up as oven-fries, grilled, roasted, whatever.
4. ALL the fruit – I always have fruit with breakfast and lunch, and would say that the vast majority of what hits the Nutribullet is fruit-based. To make this choice even easier, from Mayo Clinic:
The following are technically fruits: avocado, beans, peapods, corn kernels, cucumbers, grains, nuts, olives peppers, pumpkin, squash, sunflower seeds and tomatoes.
So yeah … it is ALL about the fruits for me! Sure I love my veggies … but fruit rules my world!
5. Smoothies – I enlisted Lisa’s help for this on … I have now had my Nutribullet for two months – and I use it every day, some days twice, and occasionally even three times. I have found some great go-to recipes for thin, thick and spoonable smoothies that are sweet or savory, and really … I am thinking of what I will have for a post-run smoothie even as I type this!
What is your favorite running shoe and/or gadget, and how about your favorite foods?