Sunday, October 7, 2012

Running without

I know I have said before what stuff I run with that makes the whole thing more bearable (lime popsicles, Boudreaux's butt paste, etc.), but I thought I would tell you the things I do without.  Specifically, those things that many a running book, magazine, you name it would imply are commonplace or even necessary:

iPod or playaway or anything that gets between my ears & the sound of the world around me.  This was a new one for me, actually.  Whenever I had used our elliptical I made sure I had something to listen to.  Running in the world, though it turns out things go better when I pay attention.  A big part of this is becasue of the sheer number of people out there with me who are themselves not paying attention.  As most of them are behind the wheel of a car, the odds are in their favor surviving-a-collision-wise, so I like to know when someone is flying up behind me & you can only know that by listening.  //here's a handy little physics trick- if you hear a vehicle behind you but cannot tell if it is getting closer or farther away, listen to the pitch.  If the overall pitch gets higher, the vehicle is headed your way.

light weight running shoes.  My goal has never been to get done faster.  In fact I run with weights in my hands so light-weight would never interest me anyhow.  That aside, I don't seem to have delicate feet that require specialized shoes that do whatever those shoes are called upon to do.  In part this is due to the interval nature of my running (& by running I mean walk 1 minute, run 9-12 minutes.  Or rather stroll breathing deeply 1 minute & then jog chanting I hate this I hate this I hate this 9-12 minutes).  Or even the reality that most of my route is on dirt road so I don't have that jarring pavement-pounded feeling at the end.  Whatever the reason, whatever the cause I have 3 pairs of $50 sneakers & rotate through them depending on how wet it is outside (the oldest pair is for days I know I will run through deep puddles).

a heart or blood pressure monitor.  When it feels like my heart is going to pound right out of my chest, I slow down (don't worry mom, this hasn't happened in months & it was just that one time).  It turns out that the target heart rate for my age is almost certainly 5-8 beats per minute too fast so it is just as well I never aimed for any rate in particular. 

a pedometer.  I admit I would cruise past those displays of snazzy watches that also told you how far you had gone, but I run more or less the same route every day (adding a bit every now & then as my run sets get longer & I need to cover more road).  In the end it was easy enough to drive the route & look at the truck's odometer.  I was glad I did, too, because it turned out that the point on one stretch that mapquest & run keeper & google maps & all of those said was the mid-point actually isn't, if you drive (or run or walk).  This is because one side of that point is very flat & the other side of that point goes up & down what used to be fairly substantial gullies.  When the road was first created, it did not actually connect the two paved roads it now does; it dead ended at the last house.  The road was leveled & lime rocked to that point, but the dirt track that connected this point to the farmers field just a but further on got pushed further still until it came out on the county road.  This extension is not for the faint of heart or faint of suspension, as it can still wash out in a bad storm.  Running-wise, what with having to go down the side of one gully & then up the other side, & then do that again a couple more times, this 1/2 mile is actually more than a tenth of a mile longer than the other half.  Yes, yes, if I had a pedometer I would have known this sooner, but I still haven't bothered to get one.

& last but never least, Nike.  I have managed to avoid plonking down my money on what used to be the premier women's running brand & is now & will forever be those Michael Vick supporting corporate whores.  I know what they said, that they supplied equipment to the league & did not have any control over who used it within the league & my response is if Abercrombie & Fitch can ban fat people from working at their stores & the Situation from wearing their label anywhere in the rest of the world, it seems to me Nike could have said "while we appreciate the league doing us this huge favor of wearing our apparel at no charge to them, we would like you to stop handing it out to every felon on the payroll".  But Nike didn't & they have since gone on to sign Michael Vick to an endorsement deal.  That was Nike's call & they are entitled to it..  Walking quickly past every Nike rack in every sporting goods store everywhere is mine.


  1. I stopped buying Nikes in the late 80s when they refused to do any R & D on aerobics because that was just stuff girls did. They changed their minds, but by that time Reebok was a force to be reckoned with.

  2. It took me four times to get the wv right. Very hard to read.

    1. I assume you mean the tiny cramped font in the comment window. I used to change it every few weeks & then Blogger would change it back for me; now they have disabled the tool I used to change it so I am still casting for the "right" way.