A little levity with Maria

It’s another big storm, and it’s headed right for areas that don’t need it to head to them, but let’s try to have a little levity with a stupid version of an incredible love song from an impeccable Broadway classic:

(Sung to “Maria” from “West Side Story”)

Maria

Please don’t come back here Maria

We just want to basque, in the warm tropical sun, and drink our drinks with umbrellas

Maria

Those lovely islands, full of wonderful people, please spare it all please

Maria!!

Darn you…Maria!!!

Signs of Old (1)

Let’s just make this simple…Father Time is making his way down my street.  I’ll be putting some timely observations of when this seems to be happening.  Today just so happens to be related to my morning run:

Did a nice 50min on the treadmill, and even before I was able to get on there, I had to take the incredibly long period of time to warm up.

So what does warm up mean?  Before ol mister FT showed up, it was nothing more than a hop, skip and a jump right into my run.  Now…oh no…it’s a warm walk up to take the kids to the bus stop, then another long walk to wherever I am going to start my run, maybe another few minutes to limber up the legs, and then finally a short walk just to get started.

Not done yet…now I have to stretch afterwards too!!!  Another post for another day.

Droplets of goodness!

“I’m singing…in the rain…just singing…in the rain…what a wonderful…feeling…”  You get the point.  Look…singing, walking, doing anything in the rain is all about the moment.  It just depends on what the specific situations are.  Let’s explore!

First scenario…if you’re a runner…and you haven’t experienced this one…expand your view!  Wake up in the morning…step outside expecting a full blown heat brigade (summer time), and it’s like an oasis when you open the door to see the overcast blanket that covers the sky!  When it’s raining, instead of blazing heat…it is an open invitation to go out and enjoy yourself!  Look…if you think you’re not going to get wet…wrong…if you think you’re not going to get a little chafed…really wrong…if you think your hair is not going to get messed up a little and that every last piece of you is going to be soaked…I think you get the point.  But, seriously…it’s just awesome!

Second scenario…cold weather rains…or as some like to call it….PR time!  Imagine a nice cool temperature run, flanked by a nice misty or even steady (not downpour) rain that allows your body to stay at a nice temperate zone throughout the entire time period.  Yeah…that’s what it’s all about!  No cramping!  No excess fluid intake!  No heat related injuries…or well…limited.  You want a PR?  Stretch…wear some layering…prepare to get a little wet…and get out there for these runs!

The last one is…well…sprinters paradise…but not in a good way.  These are the surprise, freak showers.  We all get it…sometimes a small quick run allows the mind to clear and things to get done. It doesn’t help when the skies open up and a downpour occurs.  Especially when you need to get somewhere or don’t have a way to “dry out everything!”  Sometimes we all just don’t plan well, and rain happens.  All one can say is try and embrace it and get a little wetter than you had anticipated…ok…a lot more.  Plus…it gives you a chance to work on your sprints!

If you can enjoy the different factors of a little rain…then believe you and me…it’s gonna be a good time!  There is something about running through a misty pouring of water around you while you get your heart rate a soaring.  Things get soaked…shoes get soggy…socks feel like a swamp…and your shirt sticks to you like a sweet tooth to a piece of cake!  Get out…get wet…and get running!  But please…before you go out the door…just so while you are slipping and sliding all over the place…do us all one favor to eliminate at least one of the crazy factors….look down….and lace up!

Photos: http://drivenoutside.com/blog/?tag=bike; http://leif-j.deviantart.com/art/Marge-running-in-the-rain-60795033?moodonly=24

“Dread” – mills…

Do you ever stay in one place for a long period of time?  Do you ever just stand in one spot for over an hour…or even 10 minutes?  Do you ever just allow yourself to glare at one point on a wall for any more than a few seconds?  Then why is there such a love with and passion for a type of running that just makes me cringe…treadmills!

This multi-million dollar industry (exercise equipment that is) gives us (the consumer) an opportunity to pack our homes or offices or hotels or gyms with huge pieces of electronic machines that make you sweat!  Sounds great…in the short term, but let’s dive a little deeper into this groove of the running community.

First, this is not about the elliptical…or stationary bikes…or any other piece of cardio equipment that might get invented in the next few years.  This is a running blog…so it’s focused on one piece of these belted movers…the treadmill.  This thing is really a monster if you break its components down.  There is a huge rubber belt attached to gigantic wheels on each end that spin at revolutions only a car could handle…and then runner’s jump on there…speed it up to paces not seen by a common person and…well…go!  It just sounds…scary! (oh yeah…throw in there electronic programs that only computer science majors could understand…I just want to run)

Runners belong outside.  They belong in an environment where they can experience the thrill of finding and exploring and intervening with nature at its highest.  This just doesn’t happen on the inside of a hotel gym (which are usually 10×10 rooms packed with sweat filled, humid air) and a tiny LCD screen projecting either FOX News or ESPN.  It just doesn’t happen on the inside of your local fitness monstrosity packed with guys who are larger than they should be, and girls who go to the gym…well…to be “seen” at the gym. 

Look to be honest…treadmills injure some runners.  No lie!  A runner’s natural gait is to run with their feet at a certain distance in front of them at a width…and that’s the key thing here…a comfortable width respective to each person.  What does a treadmill do?  It constricts!  Remember those big ol sidebars that are on the left and right side?  Whether consciencesly or not, they provide a narrowing of this natural width, which forces the runner to bend their legs slightly un-naturally.  And any “slight” un-natural move gets amplified extensively over a long treadmill workout or series of them.

Just get off the machine.  Really…is there any other way to put it?  Yes…there are certain instances when there are no other options…but if you’re a serious runner…get outside.  Get away from the TV and the gym “sights” and explore.  The oxygen outside is much better than the sweaty, humid, gross smell of the indoors.  But please…if you do have to get on that motorized monstrosity…be very…very…very careful.  In fact…as always…take a second…look for loose parts…look for weird electronic components that aren’t supposed to be there…and please…look down at your feet…and lace up!

Photos: http://www.amazon.com/Bowflex-7-Series-Treadmill/dp/B000BGMFHO; http://epic-treadmills.com/treadmills-for-cheap

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