March
29
Posted on 29-03-2012
Filed Under (Inspiration) by Brian

I ran my last marathon in February 2010. It’s been roughly 25 months. Late yesterday morning, I was browsing through some posts on the “Bling Whores” Facebook group when I suddenly forgot how much marathon training sucks. I forgot about Saturday afternoons lazing around on the couch or dragging my butt behind my wife at the grocery store because I ran an insane number of miles earlier in the morning. I forgot about what it’s like to not have any free time because it’s all spent running.

Woe is me. No bueno.

I forgot that the first time I tried to run a marathon, I limped for 8 miles, then spent 5 quality minutes in a port-a-potty before limping another 19 miles to the finish line (my limping caused some meandering) before limping through a maze of Powerade tables, food tables, photo areas and finally a baggage tent where I was greeted by my family and another quarter mile limp to a bus.

I forgot that the second time I ran a marathon, I was cruising along like a champ well on my way to the goal time before I decided that consuming my last gel seemed like too much effort. I forgot that my calves cramped up at mile 24. I forgot the sound of the voices on the crowd lined street and the man who said,

“He’s cramping, honey! Look, he’s cramping.”

Only half as far? Muy Bueno!

I forgot that I long ago decided that the half marathon is my favorite distance.

I thought for a brief moment, “Hey, wouldn’t it be fun to run the Walt Disney World marathon this year?”.

And the thought didn’t get immediately squashed. It’s the 20th anniversary of the Walt Disney World marathon and my first marathon was the 15th anniversary. Some people run it every year. Maybe I run it every 5 years. The Florida Keys Ragnar Relay is the weekend before the Disney Marathon instead of the same weekend. So, I can have a Ragnar team and still run Disney.

I’m not committing. It’s 286 days away. I’ve been whipping kids into shape at track practice and frantically putting together Ragnar Relay teams for adults. I’ve been working three jobs and my thoughts have been running into so many directions that I sometimes wish I could just go back to stocking the shelves of the grocery store everyday.

It seems I’ve forgotten how much that sucked too.

My point is that the one thing I haven’t been doing a lot of is running. While a race is often good motivation, I need to prove to myself that I still enjoy that level of running without the lure of a race.

From past experience I also know I need a good running group to help me through the miles. When I ran my second marathon, I had Richie, Steve and Justin running with me every Saturday morning. Their early morning good humor made the miles fly by and those long runs were often the highlight of my week instead of something to be dreaded. On any given Saturday, one of us was always feeling good enough to challenge the rest of the group to run a little bit faster. Because of them, that second marathon was actually a lot better than I made it sound. I PR’ed by nearly two hours, after all!

So, we’ll see how the next few months go. Maybe I’ll hit a few beer runs on weekday nights to feel out the rest of the running community. There are always plenty of locals running Disney!

 

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March
12
Posted on 12-03-2012
Filed Under (Gear) by Brian

Today’s guest post is written by my friend Rachel.

Andrew Weil, M.D., a world-renowned pioneer in the field of integrative medicine with a Harvard education and a lifetime of practicing natural and preventive medicine, now has healing-oriented shoes! His Orthaheel products are designed to provide a supportive walking shoe that will help align your body while you walk your way to health. His Spring 2012 collection features AMS (Aided Motion System) orthotic technology, great styles and fresh colors.

Tips from Dr. Weil

Here are the top 5 ways to proactively lighten your mood through the simple act of walking effectively:

1. Exercise Daily. The goal is to get physical activity every day, which will result in optimal results for both mind and body. Aside from physical body improvements, regular exercise also prevents and relieves mood problems. Dr. Weil recommends daily walking as the best exercise for most people to obtain optimal benefit.

2. Get Outside, Connect with Nature. Insufficient contact with nature predisposes us to depression. Take advantage of regular walks outside – city parks, gardens and forest hikes. Seek out beautiful, natural environments to walk in to lift your spirits.

3. Laugh! Walk With a Friend. If you are sad or lack social connection, spend time with people who make you laugh and join them for a walk outside. Avoid Facebook, cell phones or email as your only means of connecting.

4. Meditative Walk, Repeat a Mantra. Mantra repetition is portable, convenient and easy to implement anywhere at any time, especially while walking! This type of repetition can also make the time pass quickly if you find it hard to stay motivated. Select an appropriate word or phrase that can be used as a tool to interrupt negative thinking and depressive rumination. According to this LA weekly article using CBD oil and find a quiet place to walk, as silence refreshes the spirit, reduces anxiety and makes it easier to be mindful.

5. Focus on Breath. If mantra repetition doesn’t work for you, focus on your breath while on a meditative walk and when you are stuck on troubling thoughts. Practice the 4-7-8 breathing technique to control anxiety. (Inhale for 4, hold for 7, and exhale for 8.)

I received a sample sandal from the fashion-meets-function shoe line from America’s leading wellness doctor. The line is set to inspire easier movement, greater endurance and enhanced energy. He collaborated with Phillip J. Vasyli, Australian podiatrist and founder of the award-winning Orthaheel® technology.

Because the shoes have AMS (Aided Motion System) orthotic technology, the inside of the shoe rounds up to aid in your foot’s arch. AMS ensures optimum comfort from the ground up, counteracting the daily grind of walking on hard, flat, unnatural surfaces. If you think back to how our ancestors learned to walk, the ground beneath them was not paved or black-toppped. Rather it was dirt, sand or gravel, something that curved with the arch of the foot rather than flattening the bottom of the foot.

“By allowing your foot to function the way it was designed to, the Weil Integrative Footwear line helps restore your freedom to move with ease,” said Dr. Weil, of the Dr. Weil Integrative footwear line. “Walking is what the body is designed to do and our goal is to promote movement with comfort and style.”

The pair I have is a leather flip flop with some studs and cutouts on top for decoration. They are stylish and comfortable. I like that the black leather has a distressed look, and the piece between the toes is a heavy nylon fabric, not pleather. I eased into wearing them, as suggested. First around the house a few times after work. Then while running some shopping errands around town. I didn’t have to do much easing. They were comfy and cute.

But the kicker – the day I KNEW I loved them – was the weekend I had a Gala on Friday night. After dancing in high heels for hours, literally, the balls of my feet were achy. My toes hurt as I crawled into bed. After removing all my layers of eye makeup, it was the last thing I thought about before drifting off to sleep. Then, Saturday morning, I had to wake up and be mom-on-the-go bright and early in the morning, and wearing these shoes massaged the balls of my feet and made them feels SO MUCH BETTER! They weren’t just comfy, they were healing. I was even able to do my shopping while walking around the Saturday Morning Market (it’s Florida, it doesn’t feel like winter here.)

I recently received a flyer in the mail from a local department store. They have some cute leather sandals with very similar styles. But they were completely flat on the inside. They didn’t have any of the added benefits of the Orthaheels. And on the inside of the strap of the Orthaheels, which you can’t see in this photo, there is a little sliver of elastic to help the shoe move with you too! The only drawback I have seen is that the woodgrain pattern inside the bottom of the heel is rubbing off after only wearing them for 2 months.

You can watch a video of why they work the way they do here:

[youtube]http://youtu.be/Pnf7Rp4ILiU[/youtube]

The line includes stylish, leather flip flops and sandals for both men and women; as well as soft, supple moccasins and premium slip-resistant lace-up walking shoes for women. Hand-sewn stitching, full-grain leather and premium suede uppers are fashionable details seeded in comfort and functionality. All styles include built-in Aided Motion System technology: Tri-Planar Motion Control EVA orthotic footbed and 1st Ray Flexor Zone.

While promoting a healthy lifestyle, the Weil Integrative Footwear collection also promotes a healthy world! The shoes are eco-inspired, incorporating eco-friendly materials including water-based adhesives and some recycled rubber, and are packaged in recycled cardboard boxes and tissue paper.

Dr. Weil donates all of his after-tax profits from sales of Weil Integrative Footwear products directly to the Weil Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting integrative medicine through training, education and research.

So, no more excuses! Get out there and start walking! If you think you can’t find the time for exercise, here are simple ways to get at least 30mins of walking in per day, depending on your lifestyle:

City Dwellers: Walk an extra five blocks to get to the next subway station closer to your destination. Or walk an extra five blocks in any direction to find a new lunch outlet.

Career Focused: Take your 2pm conference call outside during a walk.

Parents: Walk your kids to school in the morning, if they’ll let you.. .or at least part of the way so you don’t embarrass them. (Bonus: Vitamin D boost if it’s sunny!)

Shoppers: Park in the last row. (Bonus: Quick and easy parking spot. Instead of wasting that time and gas searching the lot, spend that time walking!) or walk to a nearby store instead of driving. (Bonus: bicep and core workout carrying your purchase home!)

Yogis: Walk to the studio in these 3rd chakra color flip flops. (Bonus: Get a good warm up for improved stretching and muscle tone!)

The footwear collection ranges in price from $89.95 to $129.95 and is available at Dillard’s and select retailers across North America. For more information and to view informative videos on the health benefits of walking and the Weil Integrative Footwear collection, please visit www.weilbeing.com. Or view the whole collection for men and women at orthaheelusa.com.

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