Surprise!

I just got an email containing information for runners for a 5k on Tuesday – apparently I signed up for this a couple of months ago, and promptly forgot. This could be interesting – my toe is still painful if I put pressure on it (burn blister taking forever to heal), and I haven’t run in 2 and a half weeks (except the 1 mile to the gym which has been more of a jog than a run).

So, apparently I will be at the 1st of January Hillsborough NJ Resolution Run this week. Is there any other run I have felt less prepared for than this? Should be an interesting start to the year…

New addiction

Apparently I could easily get addicted to classes at the gym. In addition to the pilates class I posted about the other day, I have now also tried the following classes:

  1. BodyPump – a barbell class.
  2. Hatha Yoga
  3. BodyFlow – a combination of Tai Chi, Pilates, and Yoga

Despite not being able to complete some of the moves in the Pilates, Yoga, and BodyFlow classes I have still enjoyed them way too much.

BodyFlow was the one I did today, so that one is freshest in my mind. It seemed tougher than the Pilates and Yoga classes, but I do wonder if that’s partly because I am probably also fatigued from so many new things this week already, plus there were more people in there and maybe I was sweating more just on the basis of the room being warmer than in previous classes.

I surprised myself at how much I was actually able to complete (although clearly I could not bend as much as the instructor, or other people in the class, for some of them), the major problem was really anything that involved tucking my legs in (for example simply sitting cross-legged is a problem for me).

The Yoga class was yesterday – I did really enjoy it, but as with BodyFlow, I found some of the moves tough, but I didn’t get as hot and sweaty. I think the BodyFlow was faster paced, so that might also explain that.

BodyPump was good fun, and I think I will do it again. I could definitely feel the effect on my arms, and my legs come to think of it. This was the only class where I almost regretted that I had run to the gym, but I managed the jog back and I think the run helped me unwind a bit.

I also want to try the following, but I may have to wait over a week or more until I can coordinate getting to a scheduled class:

BodyAttack – a cardio workout class.

CXWorx – a 30 minute intense workout.

My poor wife is going to get impacted by me wanting to be out every evening either running or doing a class, or both.

Trying something new

Several months ago I joined a gym. I went there for the first time today. No, I’m not that bad – it only just opened on Thursday (but the pool won’t open until next month).

When I joined the gym it was mainly for the pool, but it does also have the benefit of having personal trainer sessions and regular nurse visits as part of the membership. The other thing I thought I would probably try is some sort of class to work on my stretching/flexibility. I’ve always had a problem with flexibility  (at least since I was about 8) – I have none at all. I think I am the least flexible person on this planet, and I feel like I actually proved that this morning.

As I wasn’t working today I went to the 7am Mat Pilates class. I ran there, as it’s only a mile away, and I thought that might be a good warm up (although it was below freezing at that time). I really didn’t know what to expect, but it didn’t seem too bad at first. However, one of the earlier stances/moves/exercises (what do you call these things? Anyone?) did manage to cause a rather large cracking noise somewhere in my shoulder. Later on, I started to have problems – raising my leg and holding it out straight was tough, and my legs would start to shake all over the place with the strain, and forget it when we got to the point where we were sitting up straight, with legs straight out in front of us (that part was just about okay, but then the instructor expected me to be able to bend forward!).

Despite being mildly embarrassed by my ability to move my body in certain ways, I plan to keep going whenever I can (the final schedule is still being worked on) but as of now they have a Saturday morning class which will coincide nicely with the end of my long run, so at least I’ll be forced into some post-run stretching (I have actually stretched after a few runs this year, but I could probably count how many times on my fingers).

I’m not going to the office this week, and I’m not sure I’m going to be able to run (my toe is still not healed enough from the burn), so I will probably try out a few different classes when I can – it doesn’t look like there is a yoga one I can make it to. That’s a shame as that was on my list of things to try.

Maybe one day I’ll be able to get somewhere close to being able to touch my toes.

RUN NJ

No running for me this week, but something exciting did happen that is running related – I got my new license plates. I still can’t believe these plates were available.

photo_4

Back to why I haven’t run this week, other than just because it’s been a busy week. Well, it’s been almost 4 weeks since I burnt my big toe, and on Saturday I was trying to get in a 12 mile run. I got to 6 miles happily but my toe was starting to hurt a little. Figuring it was just a bit of pain I pushed on, but by the time I got to 8 miles it was more painful. So, I stopped, took off my shoe, and found that my sock was soaked in blood. I was 2 miles from where I had parked my bicycle, so partly walked, partly jogged back, and then rode home. It turns out the healing blister was rubbed raw. Hence the decision to take time off (that plus my knees have been bothering me a little since I did that long run a couple of weeks ago, so it was probably a good idea to give myself a break).

This week has been a fun week with the club (RVRR) with the Holiday Party on Saturday night, and then a pub crawl on Wednesday (singing carols right before leaving each bar, and jogging/walking/whatever between bars) – both great nights.

Oh, and when I say I did no running, I did not include the run between bars on Wednesday night as evidenced below.

rvrr_pubcrawl

I’m going to miss the club run tomorrow in favor of a night and day in Manhattan – starting with taking the kids to see our friend Mercy Bell perform at the Folk Art Museum – I recommend checking out her music, and support an independent artist by downloading her album – mercybell.com – go on, she’s only asking for a minimum of $1 for 13 great songs, how can you turn that down?

Running in the cold part 3

This morning our outdoor thermometer said it was 27 degrees, so a bit colder than my last post on running in the cold. This time, however, I have some new kit and wanted to get in a short run – I was fortunate enough to get hold of some Icebreaker Merino Wool clothing (disclaimer: I have no association with Icebreaker at all).

So, today I ran in just my Under Armour short sleeved compression shirt covered with this (picture taken from the Icebreaker website):

and then on the bottom half, these tights with shorts on top (so I had a pocket for the few bits and pieces I had with me):

(and Injinji socks, and a thin headsweats beanie).

Given it was that cold, and these things seem pretty thin, I wondered how these would hold up, but I knew that Merino was supposed to be good for just this sort of thing. Anyway, I was just right for the entire run – apart from my fingers feeling a little on the chilled side as I only wore my Under Armour liner gloves, and I think that’s probably the borderline temperature for those. I do have a pair of Icebreaker liners, and I had word those at the 10 miler and they were perfect there – probably at least in part because they are water resistant, so next time it rains I’ll be heading out in Merino wool for a run.

I’m definitely a fan of this range of clothing now, and wondering when I can get some more – they seemed expensive when I was first looking at them (I didn’t personally pay for the items I’ve already got so I didn’t have to deal with it then), but having worn these today in these temperatures I don’t believe they are really necessarily that much more expensive than any other sportswear specifically designed for cold weather.

On a side note, I also have a pair of their boxer shorts, and those things are the most comfortable things I have ever worn in my life, but at $40 a pair I can’t justify replacing my entire underwear collection.

I did just look on Amazon, and it appears, for those items that Amazon has available, they are able to give a 30% discount which seems like a reasonable deal. For other stuff, it seems that if you sign up for their email list, they send you a 20% off coupon.

Anyone have any other favorites for running in the cold?