Giving Thanks

Today’s Run

Time – 44:56
Distance – 5.2 miles
Pace – 8:34 min/mi
Elevation – 72 ft.

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Out with the group at Runwell tonight. Sean and I went out fast, turned around a little earlier than the usual 3 miles out, and then came back quick. It was a good, hard run, and I enjoyed the company. Thanks, Sean!

Obligatory Thanks

It’s that day here in the U.S. where every blogger, Facebooker, Twitter user, and Instagram account will stop and give thanks for something. I can go through my list and talk about The Wife, Little Buddy, the Teenager, and Baby Girl. I can mention my job, my friends, a little Superhero I know, and all of the other things that make life enjoyable. I could even be super-predictable and mention how I am thankful for running.

All of these are good things, and I am thankful for all of them. But I am most thankful for the fact that we all get to be thankful. We are all so busy, and lives are so full, that its hard to stop and remember to pay attention to those things in our lives that require or deserve thanks. We have a day set aside to do so.

Of course, we should be thankful everyday. To make sure to give away a day for thankfulness is a wonderful way to spend those hours. Especially if you get to do it with family and friends. I will be together here today with mine, enjoying our time and fellowship together. I hope you get to do the same.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Group Run

Today’s Run

Time – 55:55
Distance – 6.0 miles
Pace – 9:14 min/mi
Elevation – 111 ft.

Group run with Runwell Edwardsville. Quick run, felt great, but it was cold! Glad I was running fast (for me) because it would not have been fun if I hadn’t kept the internal heat high.

Congrats, Jen!

Huge congratulations to Jen from Runwell for her 100-miler this past weekend! Way to go!

Partly Inspiration, Partly To Blame

Today’s Run

Time – 50:13
Distance – 5.01 miles
Pace – 10:01 min/mi
Elevation – N/A (This app is getting worse)

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Group run with Runwell tonight. It was a new trail that I hadn’t run before, and it got DARK quick! Since it was a trail, though, no need for the vest. I probably am going to have to get a headlamp in order to keep up with the miles for this winter. Either that, or get over the spirit-draining existence that is treadmill running. Not a big deal, I know, but running outside is 90% of the inspiration. Sun, air, temperature, and sounds all come together. It’s why they say that time outside is good for you, according to the health experts at Harvard.

Fun Stuff Found Online

We’re not full-blown cord cutters here, but we do watch a lot of Netflix, iTunes season passes, and YouTube through our AppleTV’s. They are easy to use, and simple to manage subscriptions, so I like having them as our devices of choice.

This leads to a lot of discoveries and interesting watchings through YouTube because we get suggestions based on viewing history. Of course, we like Casey Neistat, Wranglerstar, Sage Canady, and others, but one that I found at the beginning of this running journey is Billy Yang. He’s a filmmaker and YouTuber living in L.A. He’s actually part of the inspiration for my desire to run Western States.

I guess you could say that makes him partly to blame. Sorry, Billy…

Check out the film that started it for me here:

Toesocks…Yes, That’s a Word!

Today’s Run

Time – 52:22
Distance – 4.57 miles
Pace – 11:27 min/mi
Elevation – 179 ft.

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Easy recovery run today. Lots of miles over the last week means that I needed to keep the heartrate low. Strava says that my “Suffer Score” for today was 42. For reference, yesterday’s run was a 106. Today was easy. Tomorrow, on the other hand, should be about 10 miles. It’s not going to be as much fun…

Toesocks Make My Feet Happy

I did a little more Christmas shopping for myself today. The Wife hates when I do this, because I get to know all my presents in advance. I like it because I get EXACTLY the right thing (I’m a bit weird about this…there’s a reason I have two autistic kids).

I bought another two pairs of Injinji running socks today. They’re a pain in the rear to put on, and they feel super-strange for the first twenty minutes or so, but then it’s like a whole new world, especially on runs. My toes don’t blister. They don’t feel cramped around the edges. The socks don’t bunch up.

I’m not paid to say this, I don’t have a sponsorship deal with them (but, come on, Injinji!), and I buy my socks like everyone else. They are awesome. These will definitely be the socks I’ll start out with on the big runs to help keep the blisters down. I don’t know if I’ll have the time to change into these throughout the 100-milers, but I’m willing to test these out.

Why I Love Breakfast

Today’s Run

Time – 1:01:41
Distance – 5.89 miles
Pace – 10:29 min/mi
Elevation – 194 ft.

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Went out late today for a run as I got back from work a little behind schedule. It was a long day, to say the least, and I was really looking forward to my run. I decided that by hook or crook, I was going out running. As soon as I left, I knew this would be a run that was a “don’t-stare-at-the-watch” kind of day. So I just ran. And ran. And ran. 5.9 miles and a little over an hour later, and I was done, although I didn’t want to be.

Today is the day that I figured out that I can do this Western States thing. I know that it’s not some life-altering event to run just under 6 miles, but I felt good, I enjoyed every bit of it, and I realized that, with the right training and an adequate amount of time, I’m going to be able to do it. This is 100-mile run is going to happen.

Breakfast is the most “looked forward to” meal of the day

Is it strange to get to the end of the day, after dinner and the evening treat, and realize that you’re looking forward to eating breakfast the next morning? I’ve gotten to be like that now. Every evening I get excited about waking up and eating again. I’m not hungry when this happens. I don’t have a specific craving, per se (although I’ve been hitting the granola and Greek yogurt pretty hard as of late). I’m just amped about waking up, hitting the button on the coffee maker, and sitting with a book on the iPad in the morning and a solid breakfast. Usually it’s the Greek yogurt and Bob’s Red Mill granola or the Coconut Granola from Trader Joe’s, an apple, and a cup of coffee. Sometimes I make crepes with oat flour and brown rice flour (see recipe here), which I cover in a thin layer of Justin’s hazelnut chocolate butter. Mmm…so good.

I guess the weirdness really is that I think about these things at 9:30 at night, just about 90 minutes after dinner. It’s what gets me up in the morning. I’ve reached a point now where food has a special place because it is special. It’s not just stuffing my face with whatever garbage I would come across. Or hitting the Starbucks for a cookie and a Frappuccino at all hours of the day or night. Food, now, has a meaning. It’s fuel for the run. It’s the kind of stuff that doesn’t make my head hurt, or mess with my heart, or make my body tire and sore and break down.

Food can be good, it can be medicine, it can make me a better person physically, mentally, and emotionally. I don’t get as moody, the wife tells me. I have a clear head all day long, and I can tell when I get a hold of something that’s not good because I fog up almost instantly. And, most importantly, I don’t have weird pains, or aches, or acne (in my late–30’s, even!), or a layer of fat around my heart, lungs, and organs. I’m not slowly constricting the blood flow to all the parts of me, or stealing the few nutrients I was getting to give to layers of fat cells around my waist.

Food can be great for you if the food going in you is great. I think that’s what I’m looking forward to everyday.

And to think that breakfast used to consist of two Pop-Tarts and a liter of Mountain Dew. Ah, to be 22 again and able to eat anything…