Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Running Gear (and too much food)

Justin's Post
I'm happy to say that so far I am still sticking with my exercise routine.  Yesterday I did sit-ups and pushups and today I went for a 5 mile run.  As I've mentioned before, I really enjoy running because of the peace, quiet, and especially because of the time it gives me to just think, reflect, enjoy music, etc.  As I was running today I was thinking about when I started running and what I wish I had known.  So here is a little guide on how to get started running and the basic gear I'd recommend.

The first thing to realize is that you're not going to be able to run long distances right away.  Start small by jogging around the block (or walking) and build up from there.

Plan for your run.  Don't eat a big meal ahead of time and give yourself time for stretching.  Plan your route by going to google maps (or a similar site).  Try to avoid busy streets and try to run through neighborhoods or parks to make the run peaceful and scenic if possible.

Your running gear is important.  For a long time when I started running I suffered from blisters and random aches and pains unnecessarily.  This is a basic list of gear that I'd recommend for starting out.  There is a lot more stuff you should look into if you wanted to start running longer distances (8+ miles), but this is a good list for starting out.

  • Running socks.  I cannot stress how important good socks are because bad socks will chafe and give you blisters.  I recommend Nike Dri-fit socks, but whatever brand you buy make sure they're primarily made of a synthetic fiber like nylon or polyester.  Cotton is bad.
  • Running shoes.  Your shoes are as important as socks, but expect to pay at least $100 for a good pair.  (If you're like me, that represents a significant investment.  So if you can't afford good shoes at least make sure you have good socks.)  When you buy your shoes make sure you go to a store that specializes in running shoes.  They'll have staff members specially trained to look at your feet, see how you walk/run and find the right shoes for your.  For years I just bought shoes at a regular shoe store, but when I finally went to a specialty running store I was paired with the most comfortable running shoes I could have imagined.  I use Mizuno brand shoes, but there are tons of brands that make good running shoes like New Balance, Brooks, Nike, Asics, etc.
  • Underpants.  As with the socks you want to avoid cotton and go with a synthetic fiber to minimize chafing.  Right now I'm using Champion C9 underpants.  At 57% they have more cotton that I'd like, but they've worked okay so far.
  • (Sports bra) I have absolutely no experience here, but I've heard its super important for women to have the right sports bra.
  • iPod.  Obviously this is optional, but having some quality time alone with my music is one of my favorite things about running.  It definitely ups the enjoyment.
  • Shorts with pockets.  I have to have pockets in my running shorts as a place for my iPod.  There are iPod carriers that strap to your arm, but I definitely prefer pockets.  I didn't find the strap-on carrier to be very convenient because I couldn't operate the iPod through the cover and would have to take it out to do anything.  I also like having pockets to carry other gear I might need like gloves or a hat when its cold (I often start with then and take them off when I warm up) or snacks for really long runs. 
What I was proud of today
Not eating the free donuts that someone brought into work today

What I wasn't proud of today
Taking a second helping of dinner tonight despite not being hungry.  How dumb is that?

Track of the day
The Devil - Benton Paul


I've decided that I'm not allowed to make the peanut butter filled chocolate cupcakes anymore.  I made them Saturday to take to church and hand out to my choir members (I'm the choir director) to thank them for their hard work leading up to our Easter Sunday performance.  And then I promptly forgot to take them to church.  Which meant I had 24 (very cutely wrapped up with clear cellophane and baker's twine) cupcakes on my counter when I returned from church.  I passed a few off at Easter dinner, thank goodness, but too many remained in my kitchen.  Over the past few days I've finished off a few, making poor decisions like "well, this will be my breakfast" or "well, this will be my lunch."  I will be glad when they are finally gone.
This leads my directly into my discussion of food.  This week my goals were to exercise daily and stop eating by 7 PM - since I am a notorious snacker (especially while crafting, blogging or watching TV, which is pretty much what I do after the kids go to bed).  I'll touch on the exercise thing later, but as for food... well, the problem is, I like it.  Food was never really an issue for me when I was younger.  I ate what my parents fed me, no more.  When I got into college, I rarely had time to eat.  Grab and apple on the go, right?  Since I got married, I had money, time and someone else to cook for so food became a little more important.  After moving closer to my family I decided I needed to learn how to cook, officially.  And therein lies the real problem.  On my other blog, you can read all about my forays into food, but to sum up, I decided I really, really love food.  I love cooking.  I love baking.  I love complicated dishes.  I love easy dishes.  The more delicious the better.  It doesn't matter what the ingredients are or how bad it is for you.  If it is yummy, I want to make it.  I want to wow people.  There's nothing better than Justin's praise after a successful new recipe attempt.
And so, I made things like this.  And this.  And this.  And we packed on the pounds.  And now I have to somehow make myself like whole grains.  Butter substitute.  Not frying things.  Less cheese.  How do I make myself like less cheese?  I'm from Wisconsin!
I am happy to report that I have not been snacking unnecessarily this week, so far.  I have not eaten after 7, I have stuck to normal meal times, and I have been drinking more water.  Also, for our "Yummy Monday" this week we had a pretty healthy dinner - New England boiled dinner, to be exact.  Cabbage, carrots, potatoes, and venison ring bologna all boiled and seasoned.  I resisted the urge to get out the sour cream for the potatoes - yea! - and for dessert we all stuck to just ONE cupcake.  That's willpower.  
Anyway, all of this is great.  However, I know I have such a long, long way to go.  And first off, we have GOT to get rid of all these Easter treats all over.  One slip of the hand and you've got a fun-sized twix in your mouth and there goes the no snacking thing...
Anyway, I've been less than stellar about exercising everyday, but I did break out the jump rope today.  It was pretty fun, brought back memories of my youth and I was pleased to find that I hadn't lost the touch - unlike Justin who apparently never learned to jump rope... 
The major problem is that it is suddenly frigid and windy and I have noooo desire to do anything but hibernate, let alone go out for a bike ride.  I'm going to have to bite the bullet and force myself though, or next week's weigh-in will be pitiful, too.

No comments:

Post a Comment