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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

10 Run Commandments... What??

So I've toyed with the idea of doing a 10 Run Commandments for a few weeks, after my Snow Flake 5k Saturday, the idea surfaced again when I asked a fellow runner what would make their list; they said "cotton underwear, no one told me I shouldn't wear them, I did and learned the hard way".  I took to FB yesterday to get a gauge on what else was out there.

Write them on the soles of your kicks and in your heart...

For the exact verbiage I revisited my original post, "What would make the list of your 10 Run Commandments? Thou shalt not wear-then I stopped typing at 9:46 am, because I realized I used the wrong wear, dammit, thank God for the edit button on FB. 

My face when I notice an error after I posted something... 
Ok I'm back after editing the post. LMBO!!  The last of the sentence was: "cotton underwear to run in, ever... Lol".  It was funny hearing my friend describe their experience and we laughed at her pain.

I took the Tighty Whitey cotton brief warning for granted, until someone asked: "Why not cotton??? What Happens??? What should one wear??? With in minutes her questions were answered, "Go commando or microfiber undies or you will chafe your hind parts" for good measure she tossed in blended wool socks.. Lol.  

So here are my 10 Run Commandments as I received from the running gods and a few of you. 

1. Shut up and run, but before you do, get fitted for a decent pair of kicks and if you don't know ask somebody, trust me stuff will come up and you'll have tons of questions-find somewhere safe to float your concerns.

2. No Quiero Taco Bell, Chilly or anything spicy before a run.  Tom suggested pooping before going out and a long run and you're not sure carry a fanny pack, with toilet care package.  And what ever you do, Pam said do not trust your fart, Sharting is mother!!!  If nature calls your name walk clear off the trail to drop a deuce-thanks Jim.

3.  If you run please match, no sense enduring the pain and compounding it by looking bad in the process.  Think of it as homage to your mother's admonition to you when you were younger, "always wear clean underwear in case you get into an accident."  Shorts over tights is confusing to me, but whatever gets you out for a run by all means rock out!!  This issue had fellas on both sides of the aisle.  Seth strongly advises against it.

4. Don't spit a luggie in the wind.  Look both ways before shooting a snot rocket

5.  Thou shalt not leave home without body glide  especially If thy thighs rub 

6.  Thou shalt not run without band aided nips.. Apparently this is an issue for some  just make sure their not Miss Kitty band aides.

7. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors bling, pace or any of their accomplishments or commit adultery with other fuel than the one you trained with on your runs.

8. Thou shalt not wear white socks with black running kicks or  dress shoes for that matter, only Micheal Jackson can pull this  off, lets keep the tradition dead along with members only jackets.

9. Thou shall line up with the correct pace group, if you know you're not going to finish minutes behind the elites start where you trained, you're not going to become miraculous faster on race day and it only causes bottle neck. 

10. Thou shalt honor thy rest day...

Disclaimer the running gods did not authorize this message

Whatever you do or where every you run have fun and enjoy the gift of running.


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Dreams Don't Live on Shelves... Run after yours in 2015

Freddie came home at the end of his shift with a book that someone left behind on the bus, he said "most of these things get tossed in the trash-no one every claims them, so it was free game".  Freddie was a NYC Bus Dispatcher, he's since retired from that job, he was my father in law but, after the divorce that stopped and now he's just Freddie.  

Random thought: What if gyms posted a sign for the New Year that said, 
"No New Friends at This Time, See Us in  March if You're Serious"
When he handed me the navy blue book without a cover and worn edges I took it and turned to the spine and read the title-it was Think and Grow Rich A Black Choice by Dennis Kimbro and Napoleon Hill.  The inside flap had a note from Sharon to her husband written in 1992, that said: "To my husband, this book has opened up many doors within me to reach for new heights.  I hope you will enjoy it as much as I have and together we will be able to achieve all our dreams and more."  Sharon closed the inscription with: Love your wife-and signed her name in case he forgot, along with Merry Christmas.

Thinking about how I can turn 2015 goals into Habits so they become automatic... 
I devoured that book and felt bad for Sharon's husband, having to explain that he lost the book, but those feeling were dwarf by my ginormous gratitude-the book is packed with timeless principles that predated The Secret by Rhonds Byrne.

Hmmm someone wrote a book on the topic:  The Power of Habit by, Charles Duhigg
Dreams don't live in book shelves they reside in our hearts minds and in the clouds along the highway.  Sitting in traffic, north bound on the Merritt Parkway heading to Fleet Feet Sports in West Hartford, to exhange my BOCO AT's for a 1/2 size smaller-I should have tried in the 11.5 while I was there last week.  

Newton BOCO AT.. Bring on the snow, when it starts I'll start asking for the Spring... Lol
After a few treadmill runs in them they felt fine, but they seemed to bunch in the toe box when I cinched the laces, its one of those irritating things that nag at you like a hang nail-you're better off clipping it put a band aide on it and be done, instead of gnawing your fingers raw.  

When thoughts of hangnails and BOCO's faded my gaze settled on the horizon and it was magical, what a glorious site, neatly filed away were the hopes aspirations dreams ideas and goals of millions of humans.  Across the hallway, on the South bound side were  room clouds of needs, problems standing waiting to be assigned solutions.  Then it happened, silent eruptions, Trillions of FB like button burps illuminated the sky like the 4th of July.  I'd never witnessed an Aha Storm before, what an experience.  

Pre Race at the Nyack Snow Flake  5k with Heather, Sorry for taking off its a habit... Lol
Someone, somewhere had just received an answer to a pressing problem that kept them awake at night and awakened them early most mornings without a clocky-(an alarm clock with rims, that rolls off your nite stand and forces you to give chase, to disable the snooze).

Introducing the Clocky an Alarm Clock on Wheels 

This could very well be your year to dust off some old plans, dreams goals or ideas and get to work, before someone is driving along the highway and your idea dawns on them, which will certainly give you a case of the shoulda's-don't shoulda on yourself this year, you'll have enough folks volunteering to shoulda on you at not cost and you won't have to post the position. 

Post Race with Tim "The Blur" because just like that he's gone finished in 21:00 and change...
So be weary of the shoulda heads this year, share your give up goals with them they'll help hold you accountable and you'll enjoy proving them wrong. Whatever you do, don't share your go up goals with shoulda heads.  I wish you all the best in the coming year.


Saturday, December 27, 2014

2014 Rewind... A 5k Glance at The Highlights

Facebook's marketing suggestions based on my site visits elsewhere and ads telling me that one of my friends likes a particular dating site, or web page, is hilarious to me.  What if they didn't want anyone to know? Oops, too late.  And if I was predisposed to conspiracy theories, I'd get an eerie feeling in my gut big bother was watching my every move and it would make all my leg hairs salute, right down to the few on my big toe.  I did like my sentimental recap, it triggered this post-the idea must have come from his scrap booking big sister, Matilda.

Last year I posted a collage pic of images from my marathons.  I finished 2 full and 3 half marathons.  In the comment section I wrote a sappy comment: "Something special happens as you prepare during the weeks leading up to the race, the night before, the morning after and then there's the race.  Some people are going for their personal best or seeking a sense of accomplishment".  Those were a few of the ramblings that echoed in my head and I stand by them today.  

2013 Year in Review
When the show closed on 2013 and the curtains opened for 2014, I didn't have a long list of races scheduled, but I knew I was going to run, in races and around town for the sheer pain, sweat and fun of this crazy endurance sport.  This year I completed 3 Full and 4 Half Marathons and enjoyed every millimeter.  Cheshire was the first marathon in 2014 and it was my 1st time fund raising for a cause, with the help of family and friends we raised over $500.00 for Best Buddies in Ct-I set a conservative goal and finished 104% of my target).

Running Buddies not to be confused with Best Buddies of CT
Cheshire Half Marathon... Brooks Launch

In June I followed up Cheshire with the Stratton Faxon Half in Fairfield CT.  June was also my first blog post-a review of the Adios Boost V2.  After Fairfield, I photo copied my marathon training plan and posted it on my bathroom mirror as a reminder.  Between Late June and early July, I was attacked by a Hobo Running Bug-(Full disclosure enclosed in my up coming ebook).  In a nutshell the Hobo Running Bug bite causes nausa delusions and hallucinations in runners, experts attribute it to the number one reason, runners want to qualify for Boston-in essence they become Unicorn Hunters.  

FairField Half Brooks Glycerin 12's

The first 2 quarters of the year I wasn't blogging, but that changed when Dr Adios Boston suggested keeping a journal as a way of stave the side effects of the HRBB-(Hobo Running Bug Bite).  Things really started boiling after the PA Grand Canyon marathon in July.  

PA Grand Canyon Marathon Hoka Rapa Nui 2 
In June I moved from Bridgeport to Wallingford to be closer to my job and discovered new running routes and trails to conquer-with cows down the block from my house.  To keep my sanity, I run and write.  Inspired on a run, the idea of weekly challenges was born and I milked it until the week before the Sam Elprin Half Marathon in September, where I set my first Half PR of the season.  Two weeks later I broke that PR in the city of Brotherly love.

RnR Philly Hoka Clifton's

The anticipation of running NU Hartford this year was had me amped because, I had determined to qualify for Boston.  Let my Stuper Ego tell you the story, I punk'ed out because of a little rain and cold, "You shoulda man'ed up and went ghost busters, balls to the wall, but nah, you ran conservatively).  The rational, less aggressive voice in my head was thinking about my safety-guess who's laughing at me as I punch the keys?  Yes, Stuper Ego-its all good I don't take myself to seriously.  

NU Hartford Boston Boost 5
My last Marathon was MCM, it was initially scheduled as coaster run for the experience.  But, since, my BQ attempt was pushed back, cruising wasn't an option.  Two weeks to recovery from a marathon and then run another one full tilt, was my Stuper Ego's attempt at being rational-it worked. Lol.

MCM the original  world record holder Adidas Adios   

All in all 2014 was my most fulfilling, enriching, rewarding, challenging and creative summer's to date-running did that and I'm grateful.  Setting goals, pushing myself beyond the fringes of my limits into uncharted territory-was scary boisterous, discovering gems in a lively organic introspective manner that couldn't be achieved in a sedentary state.  Thanks for sharing the journey with me, Happy Holiday's and a Runtastic Prosperous New Year!!!!  


Friday, December 26, 2014

Look Who's Talking?

Sneaking a peak in my father's closet when I was 7 or was it 9, I discovered a collection of shoes, brown ones, multiple black ones, a few cordovan and a couple of suede shoes were in the mix.  Each of them were stuffed with wooden blocks.  My father was a carpenter by trade and I couldn't understand why he needed that many pairs of shoes, they obviously weren't for work and why would he stuff them with wooden blocks? When the time was right I was going to ask about the seemingly odd practice.  "Daddy what are those blocks you put your shoes?"  I knew the first audible response was going to be a "chupes"-(a sound made by Caribbean parents when they suck their teeth to express disgust or contempt) followed by the answer.  I waited patiently, and like London's Big Ben there was my long exaggerated "chupes"-and answer, they're shoe trees.  Why would you put trees in shoes, I asked?  Daddy said: "to absorb the moisture and keep the shape"-this is when my fascination with shoes started.

When I started running the obsession continued, minus the tooth brush cleaning era of my Rejects, Pro Keds, Converse's, Shell Tops or Puma's.  During the early years my parents weren't buying a new pair of kicks each week, so I had to clean them to keep them crisp.  When I started working and buying my own sneakers I wasn't beating the hell out of them and I wasn't going to ruin them with creases, by running in them.  I've developed a relationship between my feet and shoes, cultivated through the years.  My shoes talk to me.  

Preparing for this post, I asked the question in a few online communities: "Do your feet talk to you during a race, get bored or tired of running in a certain shoe?  If so, what are those conversations like?- Almertria said "something is seriously wrong with you lol."  While there may be pinch of truth sprinkled in her comment, it doesn't stop my feet and shoes from talking.  

What was that? You enjoyed the ride...
I don't know about you but, new shoes are constantly trying to pick me up, offering to provide me with the ride of my life, whistling clamoring for my attention, can't a guy go out without being hassled-I feel cheap.  My first running shoe convo happened after my 3rd pair of Asics.  "If you put on those damn Nimbus one more time, I swear, I'll scream from the top of my tongue, loosen my laces and trip your Ars on the run".  Whats wrong with the Nimbus? For starters they ain't nimble. What do you mean? They came highly recommended from the guy in the sneaker store, plus they had great reviews. I'll tell what's wrong with them, they're ugly clunky looking trainers that women tend to wear on their way to and from work on the LIRR, Metro North, Amtrak, any alphabet or numbered train in the evening leaving from Penn or Grand Central Station, seeking relief for their toes, from pumps that have tortured their feet all day.  And since you clearly aren't a woman, and you don't wear pumps-please, not the Nimbus.  After that tongue lashing, the Nimbus stayed in the closet for 3 years until this past Sunday when I recycled them at my LRS.  

Donating, making room in my sneaker libaray for more kicks...
Our feet most certainly have feelings and a mind that wants to express itself, as we insist on pounding the asphalt, walk through the mall attend a wedding or sit through a long boring meetings or a dog and pony show.  Well maybe its just me.  

When I fled Nimbusville, I slid down to Glycerin Ave., the 9's were fine they carried me through my first Marathon.  After 5:23 I was tired of lifting my feet off the ground and I'm convinced they got heavier after each mile and begged me to stop, slow down, just walk, please not another freaking step. 

Is there hope for a sneakerholic?
Everyone has their favorite brand, a go to shoe for race day, long slow runs, tempo, and track work.  At a minimum we're talking about 3, maybe 4 pair of running shoes, some are stored in a gym bag in the car, locker at work, lined at the front door for easy access, in the basement, den or neatly boxed and filed away in a closet.  Some of my kicks are stacked near my bookshelves, like reference material, some in the closet and others are air drying.  I imagine there's someone who has a meticulous system of tracking the mileage of all of their kicks on a numbers spread sheet in which they receive mileage and maintenance updates, yeah I'm not that guy-not that there's anything wrong with that.

Love my classic  U2 iPod 
Shannon said "My toenails talk.  They jump ship.  Doesn't even matter what shoe I'm in or what size.  They simple say, "bye, I'm out" and they're gone.  We get mixed messages, when the great "sneaker debate" launches between our ears.  Our feet want a break and ask for some cushion and our mind says we don't like cushion we're a part of the natural running movement.  This summer I turned my ankle before the PA Grand Canyon Marathon and aggravated it during the race, My feet were pleading for the Stinson's, "please give us a break, Cmon man have you no decency, cut us some slack we just hooked you up with a decent time".  After nursing the ankle it got better and wanted out of the Stinson's and Rapa Nui's,  it was around the release of the Clifton's and then Huaka's.  

As my strength and confidence returned I was rolling out in my Boston's, Skechers, Salming's, Sayo's, WR18 and Triumphs.  With the weather changing and snow waiting back stage,  I picked up a pair Newton BOCO AT's, for foul weather.  Ok where's the snow?

Bring on the snow!!!
If you're anything like me your feet are going to talk you into some new kicks in 2015, mine have already started dropping hints. Brooks Launch please, pass the Altra's, Yeah, I'll take two pairs.  Hoka if you don't mind, I love a challenge, I'll have its namesake-Challenger ATR, Bondi 4 and since change is the only Constant in life why not through in the Constant.  Tony Post's Runventure looks like a Merrell and the Zante is supposed to make Fresh Foam 980 marketing debacle disappear.  Too many shoes to choose from checkout Competitors 2015 guide for glimpse of what's in store or Runner's Worlds wish list.  Happy Trails in 2015


Friday, December 19, 2014

Top 5 Shoe Updates of 2014

July 2, 2014 marked my initial blog post and shoe review, since then I've written 74 post and read countless blogs from fellow bloggers like: Peter Larson @Runblogger, Sam Winebaum @Sam's Running Places and ThingsSteve Speirs@RunBulldog and Thomas Neuberger @Believe in The Run and I can't neglect to mention video reviews from Etan Newbury the Ginger Runner.  

Five different running bloggers, varing opinions, simlar taste in some shoes dissenting views in others, but they all share a common passion for a sport that I've grown to love and they add value to the running community.  

Because I haven't reviewed or run in every shoe on the market, I can't speak candidly about them.  What I can do is point you in the right direction.  For a list of those shoes that "Failed to Launch" Check out Runblogger's Most Disappointing Shoes of 2014

My Top 5 list is based off of the those sneakers I've actually run in.  When I sit down to review a shoe, I attempt to remain objective.  If a shoe rocks I'll say so, if it doesn't live up to the hype IMO I'll say so-(casing point view my post: Paradigm the Hoka Killer), this post stimulated conversation as folks went hard for their brand. 

While I didn't care for the Paradigm-(Sam digged it), I did like the Altra One 2. With out further delay, on to the reviews: In no particular order, or not, think of it as a concert with multiple artist performing.

First to the stage, the Altra One 2. because, it makes for a great segway after talking about a shoe from a brand that didn't soar in my mind.  I didn't write off an entire brand because of one shoe in their line up.  I gave them a go because of the CEO's courage to weigh in on the conversation, big ups to Golden Harper-(My Altra One 2's were purchased at full retail) See Peter's review here: Altra One 2

The Altra One 2 proved you can't judge a shoe by its looks...

Adidas Adios Boost 2 Continues to set world records.

Adidas returned the original Adios style upper... 

Mizuno's Wave Rider 18 

Mizuno delivered with this update resolving issues from the WR17

Adidas Boston Boost 5

Adidas Boston Boost 5 on of my favorite shoes...

Saucony's ISO FIT Triumph for me was the best overall update in 2014

Saucony ISO Fit Triumph 

There you have it, my Top 5.  Who's in your Fave 5 feel free to share in the comment section.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Strategies for the Off-Season... Well maybe Just 1 or 2....

To be honest I don't know what's worse adjusting to the taper or the off season, yes I said off season.  I hope I'm not violating some runners creed etched in the pavement somewhere that says "though shalt run always except the Sabbath"-that's 313 days in case you were wondering, I know because I just did the math-it wasn't hard. lol!! 

Even elite athletes take breaks-(check out Competior's take on subject) and since I was recently called an athlete by Habid in my local Gulf station-I will take a break during the off season.  After one of my runs I stopped in the station for chocolate milk and a Cliff Bar; Habid is always cordial and is especially intrigued because I run like a mailman.  

"Hello my friend" this is how he greets once he hears the bells on the front door jingle and sees me make a bee line for the cooler and then sweep over to grab my Clif Bar.  When I finally reach the counter, Habid says: "Can I ask you a question?"  Sure, what's up?  "Are you an athlete or something?"  I was stumped for a few seconds, because until that precise moment, I considered myself a runner.  In the space between his last word and my next, I tried to figure out how to answer his question, to keep him from waiting I said: nah I'm just training for a marathon.  "Oh, ok because I see you all the time running, even in the cold and rain". Yeah, "I'll take a break soon", as I collected my stuff and headed out the door.  On my way up the hill to my house I shook my head in a slow confident assurance, "I guess I am an athlete".  For more off season tips checkout Runnersworld spin.

During my supposed layoff from training I tune in to Marlon at Lean Fast Strong on IG and Shauna Harrison who's also on IG for some daily challenges to keep from going stir crazy during the blistering cold and dating Dreadmiller.  These two are killing it!!! And I swear they be trying to kill me when I attempt some of their moves. What do you do to keep sane?  Leave a comment and let me know...-(go on leave a comment now... lol) I decided to tackle a restoration project.  

Look past the flaws and scratches 
That's not entirely the truth,  I didn't step out the house on Saturday looking for a desk to restore-I was looking for one to purchase.  But not IKEA, I wasn't up for the drive or the building project afterwards with the hex nuts, directions and left over parts.

Character stands the test of time
My first stop was the Goodwill, where I snaked my way through the clothing aisles to the furniture section and there she was waiting for me.  A little battered worn with a bow on top.  I could see the potential underneath the nicks and scratches, she was flexible with character and personality.  Whoa $9.99!!  She was inexpensive not cheap, my eyes turned into high beams while I admired my discovery.  

As I'm checking out my desk-(yeah I claimed but hadn't paid for it, yet!), I hear the guy next to me say  "that's a nice desk" I quickly translated that to-if you walk away from that desk I'm going to buy it and stick in my daughters room, promise to restore and never do it.  I gave him the stank eye and moved quickly.  The tag was perforated and instructed me to bring the bottom portion to the cashier.  Yeah, okay, I'm not following directions today with this eagle hovering over this helpless desk that was in need of some TLC.

See the potential in even in adversity, start plotting your next move!!

Avery and Capril were promintely etched in the top of the desk, as I stood hunched staring at the inscription and unrecognizable impressions, I wondered how the desk made its way to the Goodwill.  Who were the previous owners?  Was it a married couple moving into a new house and didn't want to carry the piece with them?  I don't maybe they argued about it, "just throw it out", No! Somebody can use it.  After a long frustrated sigh they suggest taking it to Goodwill.  Thank you unknown stranger I appreciate.

I figured I'd spend more for the paint and fixens than I did the desk.  What's missing from the above picture?  The brushes!!! Correct-I picked up two cheapo China bristle brushes and forgot them on the paint counter.

Remake yourself during the off season, start building a base!!! At your core you Rock!!

Fortunately, I had a back up at home, because it would have sucked to go back out to store.  Time to get down to work, the first step is to clean off, and sand the desk so the base coat will have something to stick to.  After sanding you can use a tack cloth to remove the excess sawdust, I just used a damp paper towel-it worked fine.

There's something therapeutic about sanding painting or cleaning in small doses that helps me see clear to solution when I have a lot on my mind.  And I did, not heavy, I just needed to sort through a few things.  With that in mind I applied the krackle after the base coat, krackle is a solution that gives your piece that distressed look.  CeCe Caldwell uses Elmer's glue to achieve the same effect or affect you pick... Lol. Click here for her video.

Apply the peekaboo color as the base 1st allow it to dry then add the Krackle...

So here's the pickle, when I started my blog I jumped in the swallow end with no expectations; it was and still is a passion, a labor of love.  With 74 post completed, thousands of visitors from around the world and the curtain closing on 2014, I was faced with the inevitable question: Where do I go from here?

According to directions the krackle is supposed to stay on for 3-5hrs, but don't let it completely dry, otherwise it is back applying more krackle.  While the Krackle was drying I grabbed a cup of coffee from DD, surfed the web then headed back home to check on the desk. 

Don't you love it when a plan comes together?

The krackle was dry to the touch so I applied the top coat... Ahhh things are starting crack up!!!  I'm pleased with the outcome thus far, the finally step would be to apply some aiging dust and wax-both of which I don't have.

Thought of adding an asphalt street theme down the center And sneaker logos on the fringe

Late night coffee keeps me up, now I'm wired and inspired when I should be sleeping-instead I'm heading to my 24hr Wal-Mart looking for aging dust and wax.

I may paint the legs black or burnt orange... hmmm.. 

I was 0-2 !! But I did find a Mac Life magazine, with a road map and tools to help me plot my next steps-its going to be a wonderful expedition.  

I'm bout that Mac Life.....
At my core I'm a Runr4lyfe, but that the name is used in multiple variations already and I was okay with that at first. But now that I'm considering going to another level I've got to look at myself as a BRAND.  This point was reinforced by an inboxed conversation on FB and Ole book in my Library by Catherine Kaputa, UR a BRAND! 

Its always cool reading your old notes in the margins...
Before my caffeine high wore off and I driffted into wonderland, I opened up the magazine and download a few GET apps, HeyDay, Litely and Drawing Desk

I had turned the idea of branding over to my subconscious for a solution before I called it a night, heck, let him work I was tired.  After a few Zzzzzz the caffeine and water triggered my bladder alarm and there's no hitting the snooze button when that thing goes off. so I took the stroll to the btrm.  When I snuggled back in bed I started doodling with the Drawing Desk App and this came out.  Stay tuned for the finished version.

Yeah I know its hard to read... "Running Maven"
On FB I asked: "What do you call the intersection where contemporary and antique meet and got a some responses here are a few: Jim said "Today or Present", Angeline added Modern or Vintage, Tom's response reminded me of a line from "Picasso Baby" "Vintage Modern"  Hope tossed in "Shabby Chic"...  What do you think?

"Shabby Chic" the intersection of modern and contemporary 
Tackling a furniture restoration project is just one strategy for coping during the off season and it proved successful me.  Don't get it twisted I'm still running and working out though.