Get These Crippling Things Off Of Me! (And a Book Review)

My run mostly walk was cut short the morning due to my pathetic excuse for footwear. I’ve recently learned that I am a “supinator”

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No, no. It’s not a bad thing, just means I tend to walk on the outside edge of my feet. Since the sneakers have no lateral support and are rather elevated, it means that my feet slither over the edge and my tootsies end up smashed against the outside edge of the shoe. Ouch. I wanted to rip them off my feet after the first 1/2 mile, but I decided to just walk and curse the maker instead.

I think if I could be barefoot all the time, I would. I didn’t always feel that way. Actually, at one time I was somewhat girly and actually enjoyed shoes. Heels on occasion even!

Not now. I see them as prison-like cages for what I now consider to be two of the most important parts of my body. So since our society requires the use of shoes, thanks to the sharp objects/sticky substances/germ covered everythings one might find on our paved roads, I will conform. Aside from all the icky things you could step in, you’d have to have diamond-hard calloused feet to survive barefoot outdoors after a lifetime of wearing shoes! I have found these though

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They are the Merrell Pace Glove. I tried them on in-store and they are super comfortable. The price is a little steep though for what they are…a couple pieces of fabric and some Vibram? I might give them a go though because they honestly feel like socks with a firm sole.

Book Review

You might be wondering where all this talk of barefooted-ness is coming from. I recently finished reading a really incredible book, Born to Run by Chris McDougall.

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In this non-fiction story you’ll follow McDougall’s adventure to find and understand the hidden Mexican tribe, the Tarahumara, or “the running people.” Armed with little knowledge of their whereabouts, he seeks to find their secret to living a healthy life and running long-distances, through the desert, barefoot. As a runner himself, McDougall’s fascination with the sport and this small group of people who have perfected it is evident.

“Born to Run” chronicles not only McDougall’s trek to find and understand the Tarahumara, but also gives insight on the history and physiology of running, the experiences of some of the world’s top athletes and Ultramarathon runners and the science behind the barefoot running movement.

Although the book jumps around an  obstacle course of topics, there is one member of the cast that pulls it all together, an eccentric gringo named Caballo Blanco. Blanco was welcomed into the Tarahumara tribe and acts as the link for McDougall to the nearly unreachable tribe. He is also the mastermind behind the climactic race that caps the story. A race to end all races. Pitting the near-primeval Tarahumara against America’s top ultrarunners in a marathon through the Copper Canyons.

Bottom line. One of the most captivating stories I’ve ever read. McDougall’s use of imagery is unmatched. Whether you’re a runner or a couch potato, the hottie in stilettos or bare-curious, you’ll find yourself in love with the eccentric characters and intrigued by the methods to their Herculean madness.

 

Ever run barefoot? Thoughts about the concept? Leave a comment below!

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With the Best of Intentions

I mentioned New Years resolutions just briefly to Frank this morning, a conversation that was fleeting. We both admitted that we don’t generally get into that, my reason being that I know I will never follow through. However, after a little more consideration, I realized that a list had already been made of goals I have for myself. One of my professors gave us an assignment, a Strategic Plan for the next 10 years of my life. I will spare you the details, but would like to include some of the things I have planned for 2012 that I KNOW will get accomplished!

  • Find a job that will take me through the end of my semester (January 2012)
  • Track our spending and get our finances under control (January 2012)
  • Graduate College! (May 2012)
  • Find and move into our new home (May/June 2012)
  • Continue blogging consistently (3x/week +)
  • Workout and track it (3x/week +)
  • Find new hobbies that do not revolve around technology
  • Try Zumba

That’s all I’ve got for now. Might add more later, but I feel like that is a good, obtainable start.

This evenings Workout: Full Body Workout w/ Dumbbells 

     10 Minute Warm-Up: Literally danced around my livingroom for 10 minutes! I closed the blinds, cranked up Comcast’s Hit                           list and went to town. I’d be lying if I said I don’t do this when Frank is home… but I tend to spare him my most rump-shakin’ moves. Maybe I should give Zumba a try after all!

Followed by this short ab workout

     Abs: 30 reps of each 

Crunches

Side-Bends (each side)

Bench Leg Raises (our coffee table is a nice substitute for a weight bench)

Dinner

Dinner was simple and delicious! Like I’m sure many of you are, I’m trying to get more fruits and veggies worked back into my meals. I still did some candy snacking today, but I’m hoping the extra produce I ate today kind of cancels it out.

I sautéed some green peppers, onions and mushrooms in olive oil. Then I fried an egg and put everything on to a toasted english muffin with a little mustard and a mountain of greens! I also had a sliced banana on the side (I always tend to enjoy bananas more when they are sliced. Weird.) I washed everything down with a glass of chocolate milk. I’ve never been a fan of protein shakes and I heard that chocolate milk can substitute for a shake after a workout. Works for me and it is a lot cheaper than whey powder.

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Have you ever kept one? 

Somebody’s got a case of the Mondays

You know those mornings where the last thing you want to do is get out of bed? Yeah… me neither. 🙂 No, but really. Today was one of those days for me. Despite feeling lazy, I had made a promise to myself last night that a workout was on my list of things to do today.

I’m part of a group on Facebook called “Hot For the Holidays!” (hold your giggles please) and someone posted this Fit Ass Exercise Challenge. I thought, how hard could it be? I’m doin’ it! Well, reality hit in me in the face at around Rep 30 on Leg 1. Ouch! I shoved through it and although it says not to rest, I did anyway. It ended up taking me 9:02 to get through both legs and I was hurtin’!

See? I timed it for proof.

I wasn’t feeling very creative this morning so I opted to round out my session with an old pilates DVD.

I tend to get annoyed with all the yapping they do on workout DVDs, so I popped it into my laptop, turned the sound off and watched an episode of “The Big Bang Theory.” I need a distraction when I work out at home otherwise I tend to quit early. 30 minute show = 30 minute workout!

The DVD was significantly easier than I remember, but it has been a while since I’ve done it. The only really challenging part was the Thigh workout. I’m guessing that was thanks to all that stepping I’d done prior. Oh well, maybe some extra abs later today.

Breakfast was simple thanks to Tina over at Carrots ‘n’ Cake. Have you visited her blog yet? She is new to my Feed, but she has been blogging for years! Anyway, I knew I wanted to use the cranberries leftover from last night’s dinner  and I was excited to see her Cranberry Oatmeal post this morning! I made a few alterations (added almonds and an extra splash of milk because the flax made the oats too thick), it was really yummy!

I love almonds and cranberries together!

I’m off to get dinner started, a (hopefully) easy crock pot specialty! Oh… and to study for finals =/ Semester is almost over!

Upper Body Cardio & Apple Cinnamon Oats!

I took advantage of a quiet house and did a living room workout this morning. I had planned to go for a run, but it was 15 degrees outside! Brrrrrr!!!

I did this workout to get my heart pumping and my upper body moving! I was sweating bullets by the end I definitely plan to do it again. I’m finding that I really enjoy combining my cardio with weight training, especially being able to do it at home. There is a fitness center available on my campus, but it is always full when I go in there, so I usually just end up on the treadmill or elliptical for 30-45 minutes and never get any strength training in. Workouts in the privacy of my own home watching movies = Win!!

That's "Bee Movie" in the background!

After my workout I wanted something really yummy for breakfast, not the usual boring cereal

Old lady cereal.

Instead, I was in the mood for Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal! I’ve had a lonely little Ambrosia Apple sitting in the pantry, getting mealy all week. I decided to use ‘er up!

First, I peeled and chopped the apple then tossed it in a pan with some water, a hunk of butter, cinnamon and some brown sugar and let the apples get all warm and soft. Then I moved that to my bowl and cooked up some Instant Oats in the same pan.

Then I mixed everything together, topped with some almonds for extra protein and a swirl of maple syrup for some added sweetness. Bada bing-bada boom- Breakfast!

Quaker, eat your heart out!

Recipe

One apple

2 tbsp Water

2 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tbsp Butter

Handful almonds

Swirl of syrup

1 cup Instant Oats

1 3/4 cups water

1. Chop and sauté apples, cinnamon, butter and water until soft.

2. Prepare oats as suggested on package

3. Combine apple mixture with oats, top with almonds and syrup

4. Enjoy!

(makes two servings)