POFIFOTO! Redux

Dec 17, 2013 by

POFIFOTO! Redux

If you’ve ever subscribed to a magazine, you know that after some period of time, the articles start looking vaguely familiar.  That’s because they repeat.  You know that.  Well, below is a repeat of a posting I made in July of 2011.  I think it was the fourth post I ever made, and I don’t think many people saw it.  That is one reason I am posting it again.

Another reason I am re-posting is this may be the most important lesson I have learned in the last few years.  Wish I’d known it 30 years ago.  Turns out the advice can be applied to almost any goal, running related or not.

So, in the next few weeks, as you ponder resolutions and 2015 goals, think about this:  Just start.  It is not enough to dream.  You’ve got to do something.  Start small, and keep making small steps toward your goal.  You may be surprised where you end up.

Hope you enjoy the repeat:

POFIFOTO! (First published July 2011)

Put One Foot In Front of the Other

Put One Foot In Front of the Other

In my favorite part of the Rankin-Bass Christmas classic Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, Kris Kringle gives Winter Warlock a gift, melting his icy persona and eliminating Winter’s magic powers. Now faced with having to walk, Winter doesn’t know what to do. Kris gives this simple instruction, “Put one foot in front of the other” – or POFIFOTO for short.

So it is with running. Just start. Put on some shoes (or not) and hit the sidewalk, road, trail beach or treadmill. Wherever. It doesn’t matter. Don’t make excuses.

Now, more than likely, if you have never been a runner or if it has been a long time since you ran, you are not going to be able to run very long. That is OK. Your running muscles need time to build up.

So, start small. To borrow from baseball lingo, just start hitting singles. Don’t worry about a home run yet. Try something like this: for the next 5 days walk for 5 minutes to warm up, then run for 10 minutes. Finish with 5 minute walk cool down. Even if you were able to run the entire 10 minutes (unlikely), stop at 10, and finish up with the 5 minute walk. If you are not sore the next day, go for 12-15 minutes of running. It is highly like your feet and calves will be talking to you, though. If it is too painful, skip the run for the day and go for a bike ride. Then, try again the next day. At the end of the five days, take a day or two rest. Now commit to another 5 days, and increase the running to 15 minutes, still walking to warm up and cool down.

If you cannot run 10 minutes (I couldn’t at first!), then try something like this. Walk for 5 minutes, run 1 minute. Repeat this for 20-30 minutes. The next time out, increase the run time and decrease the the walk time. Follow this for a few weeks. It won’t be long before you’ll be running 20-30 minutes non stop.

Here are 3 keys to successful running start

1. Start slowly. Give your out of shape feet and legs time to build strength.

2. Consistency. Commit to 3 – 4 runs a week or try every other day. You be surprised how much you’ll progress in a month.

3. Variety. Sure, running can be boring, but it doesn’t have to be. Change your surroundings. If you run on a treadmill, get outside. If you run on the street, try a trail run. Invite a friend or your kids to go with you. Just mix it up!

Get started today!

POFIFOTO!

 

 

 

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Running with the Crazy Man Next Door

Sep 18, 2012 by

Running with the Crazy Man Next Door

Me (Left) and the Crazy Man from Next Door

Editors note: This is a guest post by Charlie The Dog.

Hi, my name is Charlie, and this is my first ever blog post. Several months ago, I was a lonely lost dog wandering the countryside. My fortune changed one day when I came upon a group of adult humans gathered around a tall fence. They were watching some young humans hit a bouncing ball back and forth over a net with some funny looking sticks.

I wanted to chase the ball, but I was too tired and hungry.   The fence was keeping me back anyway. That night, one of the humans, a big man with a deep voice, put me in his truck and took me home to a new life.

My new life is great. I have two new dog friends and plenty of food and water. I’m not fenced in, but with all this good food and water, who needs to leave?

There is one slight problem, though. There is a strange human next door. He wears funny colored shoes and clothes.  Well, I think he does. I’m color blind so I can’t really tell. I do know he runs up the road and back almost every night. Sometimes more than once. Then on Saturdays he’s gone for hours. This seems crazy to me.

A few weeks ago, I started following him to see where he goes. Sometimes I’d get too close and almost trip him. Not on purpose, of course. Other times, I’d keep back and wait when he’d go down the cul-de-sac  where the mean dogs live. Those mean dogs don’t have a fence, either, but they don’t leave the yard.  It is almost like there’s an invisible force holding them back. Still, I don’t take chances down there. Every now and then, I spot a rabbit and chase it through the woods. I WILL catch that rabbit one day. Not sure what I’ll do with it when that happens.

Last week, I was following the crazy guy again, but I kept getting distracted by pickup trucks driving by. They all looked like my owner’s truck, and I wanted to chase them. The crazy running guy wouldn’t let me, though. When we got back close to his house, he went inside for a few minutes. When he came back out I ran to meet him, like I usually do. I thought he was reaching down to pet me on the head, but instead he attached sometime to my collar. What a minute, I thought, what is going on here? I pulled back and  realized he was holding the other end of a LEASH! Oh no, not me. I’m a country dog. I don’t need no stinkin leash. Then he started running again and said “Come on, Charlie”. Well, I obeyed. We had a great time, and we’ve gone a few more times since.

Apparently, running with dogs is new to the crazy man next door. You may be considering it or may have done it. Either way, he wanted me to share these tips with you:

  1. Make sure your dog can handle the run. I had no problem running with the crazy man. Not only am I young, he had seen me run around after him before. He knew I could handle it. (He is also slow, so that helps). If your dog training partner is out of shape, start out with walks and build up gradually.
  2. Beware of hot roads. Hey, remember, we dogs are barefoot. Roads can still be hot in the evening. I like to run in the grass just off the road.
  3. Use a four to six foot nylon leash. Avoid the retractable leashes. With a nylon leash, you can loop it around your wrist easier.
  4. Take some water along. If you are running long enough to take some water along, take some for the dog, too. Better yet, take some for the dog even if you don’t need it.
  5. Avoid other dogs, if possible. We don’t do down that street with the mean dogs. Sometimes other dogs don’t like visitors. Please be careful.
  6. Be prepared to clean up. Sometimes a dog’s got to do what a dog’s got to do. Be prepared to clean up.  See if you can get the dog to take care of business before running!

Any other tips? Crazy man says please share in the comments below.

POPIFOTO! (Put one paw in front of the other!)

Charlie

Me, Charlie

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Give Your Toes Independence!

Jul 3, 2012 by

Give Your Toes Independence!

Two years ago, I bought my first pair of Vibram Five Fingers (VFF’s) and first pair of Injini Socks on the same day.  As you may know, VFF’s are “barefoot” shoes that have pockets for each toe.  So, if you want to wear socks with VFF’s, then you need some toe socks to go with them.

I decided wearing some ’70’s vintage striped knee high toe socks would push the ‘you look ridiculous’ meter over the top with the VFF’s.  I opted for Injinji’s instead.  Plus, they are moisture-wicking, which I don’t think had been invented  when those original toe socks came out.

These days, I rarely wear the VFF’s, but I do wear Injinji socks on almost every run.  They work just fine in regular shoes.  I still like Swiftwick as well, but right now, I favor the Injinji’s.  The moisture-wicking is great and the toe pockets prevent blisters and maybe even give the toes a little bit of independence.

Injini Giveaway

To celebrate the Fourth of July and try to increase readership of this site, I am giving away one pair of Injinji socks to a subscriber.  This is not a media sample (I don’t have any of those yet!) and is coming out of my own pocket.  To enter the drawing, follow these two steps:

1. Leave a comment on this post with your shoe size.  The socks come in sizes, so I’ll need to know what to get you.

2. Sign up for this blog’s mailing list, if you do not already receive the e-mail updates.    The form is at the bottom of this post and also at the top of the right column on this site.  I will not share your address with anyone else.

If you already receive the e-mail updates, and are reading this in email, simply leave a comment with your shoe size at this link: http://palmettostaterunner.com/?p=1381.

At 9pm Eastern time on Wednesday, July 11th 2012, I will randomly select one name from the e-mail list.  I’ll contact the winner via e-mail Wednesday evening or Thursday morning to get shipping address details.  Sorry, Mom, you are not eligible.

Have a fun and safe Independence Day!

POFIFOTO!

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Four Strategies for Vacation Workouts

Jun 27, 2012 by

Four Strategies for Vacation Workouts

Last year our family went on a week long beach vacation.  I wrote about my obsessive run plan for the trip in this old post: Vacation Running. I’m not taking a summer beach trip this year, but I think I’d do some things differently now, no matter where we go.  Here are some ideas for you.

Myrtle Beach State Park Pier

Four Strategies for Taking Your Workout With You on Vacation.

1. Don’t do any workouts at all.  Blasphemy, I know. This would definitely be the hardest for me, but I am improving (I think).  My problem is sitting still.  I don’t mind lounging by the pool for a bit, but after a while, I want to move around.  Just remember – it is a vacation after all.  Missing one week of workouts won’t set you back.  You may be surprised that nagging injuries may heal up.  Plus, if you’re vacationing at Disney World or the Grand Canyon, you’ll more than likely not feel like putting any extra miles on your feet.  Your body needs rest time, too.

2.Cross train.  No place to bike or swim at home? Why not try it on vacation?  If you are at a beach location, then try swimming in the ocean or find a pool with a lap lane.  Also, coastal locations can be perfect to try some cycling with the lack of hills.  Many resorts have bike rentals for riding on the beach.  Some resorts, like Hilton Head, have extensive bike paths inland.  These are often shady – a nice bonus during summer heat.

3. Cut mileage way down for the week.  Why not limit your self to one “Rave Run”?  Take a minimal amount of gear and plan a run around a must see location. This could be a plain beach run at sunrise or a  local State Park trail run (see post: Myrtle Beach State Park).  This way, you see something new and you compromise with the mental hurdle of a complete layoff .  If you are going to a cooler locale, there may be some local 5K or 10K’s going on.  Show up and register on race day. You may even get a shout out from the race awards announcer for coming a long way to the race.

4. Engage family members.  I hope that most people think a family vacation is about connecting with family.  Why not introduce them to your obsession?  They don’t have to do a long run or even run at all.  If you’re on the beach, just take a few long walks and throw in a light jog for 100 yards every now and then.  You could visit a local park and walk around.  How about a hike in the woods?  It is not hard.  Just ask them along.  Who knows where that might lead.

Any other suggestions?  Leave a comment below.

POFIFOTO!

 

 

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Random Running Ramblings

Apr 27, 2012 by

Random Running Ramblings

A Few of My Shoes

If you’ve poked around my site here, you probably know I have been a runner a relatively short period of time – since December of 2008.  Here are some random (and mostly useless) facts about my journey since then. Enjoy!

Most unusual find on a run: Smashed iPhone.  It had been run over by a car. I was tempted to take it with me to try to locate the owner.  It did seem to power on.  I had many more miles to run, though, and did not want to carry it.

Weirdest roadkill encounter: Raccoon.  OK, not really all that weird.  Encountering roadkill is one of the bummers in running, though.

Strangest live animal encounter: I startled a turkey vulture as he had a big deer breakfast in a ditch.   He came up out of there fast and returned the favor, startling me.

Strangest smell: There are many farm fields on my usual run routes, so at various times, I am hit with fertilizer or onion harvest smells.  However, the other week, on a new route, I passed a house that sits very close to the road, and I swear I caught a whiff of some stuff that was prevalent in concerts I attended in the ’80’s at Greenville Memorial Auditorium.  Hmmm.

Races run: 25 (2009: 10, 2010: 5, 2011:7, 2012 YTD: 3)

Race Distance Breakdown:

  • 5K: 7
  • 10K: 6
  • 12K: 1
  • 15K: 1
  • Half Marathon: 7
  • Full Marathon: 3

Age group medals won: 2 – a 1st and a 3rd in a couple of small 5K’s.  Both in 2009.  In my second ever race, a 5K, I was pretty excited about winning first place in my age group (yes, there was more than one in the group) until I saw the overall winner was my age.  He beat me by about 8 minutes.  My first encounter with local running phenom and ageless wonder Eric Ashton.

Miles run: Almost 3300

Pairs of shoes I’ve used: 13 (not including the two pairs from the Merrell Barefoot line that I use for casual wear and work.)

Books purchased about running: At least 11. That’s all I could find in 2 minutes of searching my bookshelf.  I’m sure others are scattered about.

Current running magazine subscriptions: 3 –Runner’s World, Running Times, Trail Runner

Pounds lost: 20

Waistline inches lost: 3

POFIFOTO!

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The Tim Tebow Effect

Apr 20, 2012 by

The Tim Tebow Effect

Sorry readers, this post has very little to do with running.   If you’ve read through my website, you know that as a runner I try a lot of different things to learn and improve.  As a blogger, I try to experiment as well, and this is one of those times.  I heard a pastor say the other day that if he mentions Tim Tebow in the title of his blog, then readership doubles for that post – The Tebow Effect. Shouldn’t be too hard to go from 2 to 4!

Here’s my Tim Tebow comment, just to make it partially legit:  As a graduate of The University of Georgia, I have a sworn duty to be anti-University of Florida in anything sports related.  I’m pretty sure it is written in fine print on my diploma.  However, in this case, I am making an exception. I like and admire Tim Tebow, and wish him the best in New York.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming….

POFIFOTO!

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