Motivation for Faster Running

If I look excited in this picture to you, I was. It’s because I took it last week, immediately after I ran the fastest 10k I’ve run since 2012. It wasn’t anything terribly impressive (58 minutes, and my best is 54 minutes), but I was really excited about it. I was coming off a hip injury, getting ready for a half-marathon, and fighting humidity and asthma. I felt fantastic.

When I started the run for the morning, though, I didn’t expect to do any speed work. I hadn’t anticipated a fast run. I was planning on a slow, easy run that pushed probably 70 minutes, give or take a few.

Instead, I got outside, put in my headphones, and ran like the wind–or at least what felt like the wind. Want to know why? Because I didn’t want to be late for work.

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Running Shoes and Gender Roles

I’m a lot of things, but I am not a stereotypical guy. I mean, the only oil I want on my hands is for my cuticles. When people buy my wife lotion and candles as gifts, guess who ends up using them?

This-Guy-Office
With that in mind, you can probably guess how I react to brightly colored running clothes–especially shoes.

Giddy Captain Picard
Unfortunately, men’s running shoes tend to be plain and subdued (read: dull and boring). Women’s shoes, on the other hand are brightly colored and fluorescent (read: awesome and wonderful).

After reading a few reviews online for running shoes, I got pretty irritated at what I read. I hope they’re the vocal minority, but from the current state of men’s activewear, I think there’s a lot of stereotyping going on about what men want to buy and wear.

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My End-of-Summer Self-Evaluation

Star Wars Books by BJs

Well, my semester officially starts in under a week. Summer break is behind me, and I’m at that weird point in the limbo between vacation and work where I get in a kind of funky mood and evaluate myself in unfair terms.

Did I enjoy my summer enough? Did I have enough fun? Was I productive enough? Did I write enough books? Did I run enough, eat healthy enough, and stay in good enough shape for the coming Fall and Winter?

I think about all this after I listened to Eat, Pray, Love and Born to Run, and I realize I really, really, really need to learn to friggin’ let go. But still, I had my goals for the summer, and now that it’s over, I can’t help but see how I stacked up. Continue reading

My Word Is “Run”

Running Fitness Meme

I’ve been on a audiobooks-while-running kick this summer. Thanks to a great post over at Run To The Finish, my most recent audiobook is Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Since I’ve been working on my own memoir lately, I’ve really started digging on other people’s stories, too.

One part of Gilbert’s book that really stuck with me was the idea that everyone and everywhere has a single word to best describe them, a personal word. She talks about how Rome’s word is sex and how New York’s word is achieve and so on and so forth.

So as I was listening to this section, it made me really think about the last few months of my life. Almost everything has changed, much like Gilbert’s in Eat, Pray, Love–admittedly, though, mine has been a lot more positive than hers since, you know, my life wasn’t wracked by divorce and similar tragedies.

I have, however, done a lot of unadulterated soul-searching and made a lot of changes, not the least of which was moving to new city and state. I thought about my new city, my new state,  and my new self. And I’ve come to realize that as hokey (and probably obvious) as it is, my personal word is run.  Continue reading