The Saturday before last I decided that enough was enough. I chucked my Chucks because they had holes worn through the bottoms. The rough terrains that I cover would often times hurt. My socks would last two runs before they were worn through and useless. So I set off to Ross to see what kind of kicks I could find. When I found my sized section the shoes pictured to the left jumped out at me. I've seen people with these before and I felt like they were weird and stupid. So I bought them... because I often do things like this for the fun of it.
I get home and put them on and I was really blown away! They are very light and they support me very well. It makes walking and running very easy. The toe slots took about ten minutes to get used to but now I wear them to dodgeball as well. They breathe so my feet don't sweat very much.
I hate shoes. I hate socks. I absolutely abhor them. I hate having my feet covered or wrapped and I'd prefer sandals or bare feet over shoes any day of the week. Having said that, I noticed something about two months ago. My feet don't stink. At all. Two years ago, if I wore a shoe with no socks more than three times in a short period of time then those shoes would be gross and pretty much ruined. My foot odor was strong and offensive. The inside of the shoe would become slimy and the smell would seep out of the shoe while I wore it. Now, my feet don't stink at all! In any shoe! I wear dress shoes at work and I rarely wear socks. I'll kick them off under the desk while I work and wiggle my toes in the draft down under. I wear my shoes five days a week with no socks and they are not ruined. The footie shoes still smell new-ish after two weeks of service. I believe that this is due to the change in my eating habits. And mostly, I think this is neat!
Running. It's coming along quite well I must say. Week two of the Frank to 5k: Real World Challenge was a success. For week two it was running for a minute and a half then walking for two minutes. This alternates back and forth for 21 minutes along with a five minute warmup and cool down walk. I have been focusing on increasing my speed on the walks in between. My normal gait is a very slow stride. I'm never in a hurry and I often times stop to take in the scenery. For cool down that's great, but I realized that it doesn't do much to keep the heart rate up when I'm doing interval training. So each time I go I push to keep a moderate walking pace in between. Everything went swell last week but there was one incident that was funny and slightly bizarre.
A small part of me felt cool, having those kids running behind me. Like I was some hero in a movie that just saved the world and all the kids in America would run and follow him in the streets (I use sidewalks). After a few blocks the other part of me felt weirded out. If someone looked out their window and saw me it looked pretty much like I was a massive pedophile pied piper, jogging through the neighborhood and leading the children to my windowless white van full of candy and drugs. Plus I didn't like the feeling of being followed. To shake them off my tail I moved into the street and crossed to the other side of the road. Just like the horses that carried the wraiths in Lord of the Rings, the children were stuck on the other side of the river shaking their fists in a menacing fashion. (Not really but they did stop). Luckily that was my last lap so I didn't have to worry about running into them again.
Week three has me running for a minute and a half then walking for a minute and a half. Followed by running for three minutes and walking for three minutes. Two sets of each. The stakes have been raised! I made it through all three days successfully. And I didn't run into those kids this time either. I did get frustrated though. All my life I've been the type of person that does what I'm naturally good at. If I wasn't good at something right away, or showed improvement easily, then I would chalk it up as being "not my bag" and moved on to something else. This definitely applied to exercise and health in general. This week I was faced with the challenge of not running fast enough to my standards. I survived day one. It was really tough running for three minutes straight. I hate the feeling of being out of breath. It's like choking or drowning to me. At the first sign of breathing issues I just wanted to chalk it up. Call it quits and say that it's too tough for me. But I pushed through that feeling and finished the running session. I recover quickly. During the walks between the running portions I catch my breath almost instantly and I'm refreshed when things pick up. I resolved that if I make it through day one completely then I will push through the entire week. If a portion is too challenging, and I have to physically stop, then I'll repeat the week. This is not a race (figuratively speaking. I am training for a 5k run). I have time to focus on the small improvements.
This morning I finished week three and I decided to try something. Next week I believe that it will be intervals of three and five minutes. So when my cool down song "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk came on I decided to see if I could run the entire song length. This is after me running for the full day's session. I settled into a rhythm and paced my way through the song! All six minutes and nine seconds of it! This gets me pumped for the next week. On Saturday I think I'll do a bonus day of running. In all honesty, I want to get to the point of running every day of the week. Overall, I don't get too sore after running, so it's feasible, but I want to make sure that I'm not overdoing it. We'll see. For now, I'm gonna plan for Saturday and then starting week four on Sunday!
I need a nap before the festivities kick off today so I'll sign off on this now.
Until the next episode.