Physical Funness for the Motion Starved

Fit more fun into your fitness while exploring the outdoors.


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You don’t have to be Kenyan to run

Run like the wind!

A fellow named Geoffrey Mutai won the 115th Boston Marathon yesterday.  Yep, Geoffrey is from Kenya.  Apparently a Kenyan has won the famous race for five out of the last six years. Geoff’s time, 2 hours 3 minutes 2 seconds, was the fastest marathon run by nearly a minute, and it smashed the course record, set last year, by nearly three minutes. Very impressive! I’m guessing he didn’t run with those tea-leaves in his hair.  The wind resistance would have slowed him down quite a bit. Anyway…well done and congratulations to you sir!

As of yesterday, Dean Karnazes has run his way from Los Angeles to Ohio. He has run across 10 states in 53 days. Dean’s on a mission to “Inspire a Nation.”  Maybe you’ve heard of Dean, he’s pretty well-known in the running world, he’s an ultra marathoner, author and speaker who lives here in The Bay Area. Apparently he’s pretty funny too. By the way, Dean is not from Kenya.

Anyway, Dean is running 3,000 miles from Los Angeles to NYC hoping to bring attention to childhood obesity. From what I can tell he’s doing pretty well.  As I said, yesterday Dean arrived in Ohio. According to his website, he’s running about 40-50 miles per day at an average pace of 11.5. Not bad considering the distance.  If you want to follow Dean’s progress, or spy on him to see what he’s eating, you keep track of him on his site.

My point — Check these guys out, they’re inspirational and deserve some recognition. The next time you go for a run, or in some cases a “trundle,” imagine you’re Kenyan, you just might run a little faster…

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No motion starvation allowed

What’s up for the weekend? I hope you will all be doing a little moving around. No motion starvation allowed.

On Saturday I’ll be participating in the first WTF Cycling team ride of the season. WTF is a bike team started by me and my best bike pals. The majority of us are retired bike racers that just can’t get the bike out of our blood so we formed a team. What does WTF mean? I think you can figure it out. If you’d like more info on WTF Cycling or would like to join us for a ride sometime, feel free to “like” us on Facebook so you can stay appraised of our goings on.

No matter what you get up to this weekend have a wonderful time of it. If you need a suggestion, how about a Scavenger Hunt?  I’m sending all my clients away for the weekend with this assignment and I expect full reports from them on Monday. Join in on the fun if you dare!

Here’s how it works — Go for a run, walk or combination of the two for one hour. As you travel along, hunt for the items listed below. Keep track of what you find and let me know how you did. I suggest you place this list in your phone so you have it handy. Check off the items on the list or better yet, snap a photo of your findings. I’d love to see what you come up with.

Be sure to warm up with some Jumping Jacks and a few stretches before you start to run, and stretch well post workout. Have fun and watch your step!

The List

Beware of Dog Sign

House with Green Door

A Bird House

Garden Gnome

Take Out Menu

A Swing

Graffiti

Someone 85 years or older

Water Bottle

Cardboard Box

Glass Bottle

Paper Bag

An Acorn

Feather

Nail

Fruit Pit

Pink Stone

Mushroom

Berry

Shell

Your Hunt Reports are due to me by Monday.  May the force be with you!

See you next week…


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Is the Universe trying to tell me something?

Not again!

I did it again, sprained my ankle. The same one I messed up a few months ago. It sucks, I’m not a good sick person and I don’t deal well with immobility. I was running on the trail about 2 miles from my car and like the last time, my foot just turned under. Me, my favorite Lululemon togs and a sexy white tank top all became airborne just in time to for a slew of Trail Worker Dudes to witness the calamity. Landing, I slid along the path picking up leaves and sludge turning my white top into a camouflage print. Like I always do when I fall, I screamed. It’s a reflex I have no control over and it does well to magnify the peril. Once on the ground I looked up to see 3 very cute young guys standing about 20 feet away looking at me in shock. They just stood there looking at me with wide eyes. Maybe the scream frightened them? Nobody said a word, they just looked at me. Feeling a bit foolish I let them know that I was okay. ”No worries, I’m fine, this happens to me a lot.” Then one of them said, “Are you sure?” “Oh yea, I’m fine.” At that point they mounted their official vehicle and I was left to stumble back to my car some two miles.  As I dragged my rapidly swelling foot along the trail I began to speak out loud using words that might cause one to assume that I was deranged. Then the tears started to come. Poor me, I fell again! Life sucks, whatever will I do now? I might as well just lay down and die. Poor, poor me!

Everyone has had setbacks at one time or another. The only way to survive is to adapt. So I won’t be able to go for a walk on the beach tonight or run this weekend but I can certainly do plenty of other things.  I’m just going to have to look outside of my little box and find new and wonderful things to do.

It’s important to be adaptable and creative in all areas of life. If one thing doesn’t work then you have an opportunity to try something new.  Maybe my fall today was the Universe’s way of telling me to pay more attention to my bike or to work a little harder on my upper body. My arms are starting to look a little saggy…

I have to look at this as an opportunity and use it to my advantage. Something tells me that if I do this right I’ll be better for having had this little spill. After all, I’m a Scorpio, you can’t take us down, when we rise, we rise up even stronger.


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The beach makes everything better

A day at the beach

Growing up in Southern California, I went to the beach every day until I moved to Nor Cal. That’s just what we did. Rain our shine (although there were few rainy days). Maybe that’s why I love the beach so much. Any time I’m feeling sad or anxious I head for the beach. Guess that’s why I like to run on the beach in the rain. Strange as it seems, it makes me really happy.

With the weather starting to get nice and the evenings staying light longer I’d like to suggest that everyone get themselves to the beach one evening every other week. I’m out there at least two evenings every week and it’s wonderful! Lets celebrate the season and the beautiful place we live and hit the beach!

You can do anything you like at the beach, walk, run, ride your bike in the hard sand. Aside from the emotional lift you get from being at the beach, working out in the sand requires added balance working your core and makes everything a little harder. Even just a few beach runs strengthens your ankles, arches, and all below-the-knee muscles more than running on harder surfaces. Sand work also burns 1.6 more calories than working out on hard surfaces. How do you like that?

The goal I’m putting in front of you is to simply go to the beach. However, once you’re there I suggest tossing in a few of the following exercises along with your walk or run. Bottom line, just get out there!

If you’d like me to tell you how many of each exercise to do I will, if not, just go out and play around, have some fun and mix it up.

 


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Train your feet?

Foot Love

I’ve had many wonderful trainers and coaches in my life but not one of them has ever told me to train my feet. Fortunately, I managed to figure this out on my own through various aches, pains and research.

If your feet aren’t fit then how do you expect the rest of your body to be? Your feet support three times your body weight when you walk, when you run they support seven times and when you jump, 10 times your body weight! Think about that!

When we exercise we usually focus on everything but our feet.  When your feet hurt that affects your ankles, knees, hips and lower back. Remember, The anklebone is connected to the knee bone.  Keep your feet in top form, and they’ll support the rest of your body making everything you do in your life a little easier.

Here are a few suggestions on how to keep your feet happy.

Stretch your arches every day – I like to sit on my shins, butt resting on my heals with toes curled under. You can also stand with your toes against a wall (one foot at time) and lean slightly into the wall until you feel a stretch along the bottom of the foot. Do each foot twice. If you don’t like those ideas, just sit on the floor and pull your toes back with your hand. The idea is to stretch the bottom of the foot.

Stretch your toes – Squeeze your toes together (they might crack) and hold for a few seconds, then flex them up. Do this a few times every day.

Don’t forgetAnkle Circles and Toe Points to keep the supporting joints flexible.

Stimulate the bottom of your feet – The soles of the feet are extremely sensitive due to a high concentration of nerve endings. Post workout give ‘em a nice soapy scrub with the loofah to wake up all those neurons & synapses. A little lotion massage after is always a good idea too.

Rule of thumb – As soon as you’re finished working out take off your shoes. Your feet will swell from the workout (or hard day at work) so give em’ room to breath.

Running Shoes – Replace your shoes every 300 to 500 miles.

Best foot friendly places to run – Rubber Track, Treadmill, Grass, and Dirt.

Any questions?

Giddy up!


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If they worked for Granny…

Recipe for recovery

Remember your Granny’s support hose? Ever get a look at a pair of those uncomfortable contortions? They looked like a full-length girdle, sort of. The good news is they’re back in fashion, although now they’re called Compression Socks.

Anyway — Compression Socks or sometimes-called Recovery Sox are currently all the rage. Essentially they’re a knee-high version of Granny’s support hose. Their soul-purpose is to create an upward flow of blood through the lower legs helping to get unoxygenated blood out and replace it with fresh oxygenated blood. A desired effect for anyone who wishes to increase circulation in the legs. I.E. athletes, diabetics, folks that work on their feet or sit for long periods of time.

Fresh oxygenated blood is what athletic recovery is all about, which is why athletes are willing to drop $30 plus dollars for these magic socks.  I have a pair thanks to my friend Mo.  At first I thought “gee, thanks Mo…what do I do with these? They’re ugly.” Now I am addicted to them. I can’t say for certain if they help my legs recover but I know they don’t hinder recovery and the squeezy feeling is oddly nice.  Kind of a tingly massageie feeling. I even sleep in ‘em sometimes.

Get your Google on if you want more info, or take a risk and pick some up.  They’re socks. Everyone needs socks and these are magic socks!


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Are your running shoes your friend?

Ouch!

Ouch!

The Guinea Pig 2011 Report – In case you forgot we’re following GP through the suggestions I make here on this blog. Last week I reported that GP was working on Post Holiday Detox. She’s drinking more water and eating much more fiber. GP is now feeling lighter and far less toxic.

Once GP began feeling lighter on her feet she plugged in her iPod and took things up a notch.  Rather than her usual 20-minute moderately paced trot on the treadmill, GP hit the incline button. In her own words here’s GP’s report…

Felt good Saturday after our adventure (Kelley took me into the woods for some circuit style activities using tree trunks and sticks) but did nothing yesterday, so I went to the gym today to do some intervals on the treadmill. I was looking forward to it since my ass was dragging and I had some work to do and my brain wasn’t working.

Warmed up for a bit then turned it on nice and easy–did some of your Trundling* work on an easy incline of about 1.5. I was feeling pretty good, so I did a short higher speed trundle (like 5.3mph). When I got tuckered out, I slowed it down, and cranked up the incline and did some fast walking until I was ready to trundle some more. I repeated this process for about 40 minutes (give or take my spazz outs when I dropped my ear buds or accidentally hit the stop button.)

To my great dismay, during the last 10 mins or so, my left hip started bugging me again. I go back and forth on whether it’s muscular or joint-related. I went and stretched for a while, did some balance work and core exercises, it was ok for a bit, but had some discomfort/pain by the time I got home. Just when I was starting to not totally HATE running. GP is not discouraged though. I will carry on!

Since GP is having some discomfort I have suggested that she revisit her posture as noted in my The anklebone is connected to the knee bone post. I am confident that some adjustments in her posture will make a difference and at the very least are a good place to start. The issue that GP did not mention, is that prior this workout she suffered a bad blister on her left foot which would affect how she runs. My suggestion was to discard her old running shoes and invest in some fresh footwear.

Here are the things GP was armed with before she went shoe shopping.

  • First – you need new shoes if you can see compression wrinkles in your midsole, a good rule of thumb is that your running shoes are good for 350 – 500 miles. Obviously this depends on how you run and how heavy you are. If your shoes give you blisters than they don’t fit properly.
  • Think about – where you want to run in your shoes. On the trail or on the road.
  • Go to a running shoe store where the staff knows about running. You need to deal with someone who knows about running shoes specifically and be ready to try on a few pairs of shoes.
  • Here’s how your running shoes should fit – Wiggle Room = You should have about a thumb’s width of room between the end of your longest toe and the front of the shoe. Hold It = Look for a secure, comfortable fit through the midfoot. Imagine a hand gently holding your foot in place. The Heel Deal = There should be little or no slipping at the heel.

GP now has new running shoes and is feeling better about her running. We’ll check in with her next week to see how her hip feels and if she’s taken on Kelley’s ab challenge, in Holding Kelley accountable.

Stay tuned…

* “Trundle” is a Kelleyism referring to a moderately paced jog.