Boston Marathon!

Today 2 people died, and many were injured. My heart breaks for those who witnessed this tragic event and had to suffer from the explosions. All we have are our prayers and our encouragement to offer the people of Boston. May God bless those who ran across the finish line and into the hospitals to donate blood for the victims. In times like these we should be thankful for what we have and focus less on the things that are insignificant in our lives but more on our friends and family.

Running Shoe problems!

For awhile now I’ve struggled with picking out the right pair of running shoes. I got into minimal running about a year ago and I thoroughly enjoy it. However, it does have it’s downsides. 

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I own the New Balance Minimus Trail zero. Weighing in at only 4.4 ounces, it’s lighter than the lightest track shoes. Despite having the looks and being extremely light, the shoes have terrible wear and tear. Asides from all of the specs Minimal shoes have their downsides. On my daily runs I do not stretch, simply because I feel no need to. At this point I experience some occasional lower back pain after my runs. My only problem while running in my old, fully cushioned Asics was that I literally felt like I was picking up a five pound weight on each foot, thus resulting in me getting into minimal running. So in attempt to resolve these problems, I will be looking to invest in some road shoes from New Balance’s Minimal line. 

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While I am not sure the MINIMUS 10V2 are the solution to my problems, they’re defiantly the step in the right direction. If I’ve learned anything over the years, it’s that everyone doesn’t run the same or is biomedically engineered (Born to Run insider) the same. But what we do have in common is that we all aspire to find he proper gear to make our runs more fun and efficient.

 

How do you select your shoes? Have you found you’re perfect pair?

Liebster Award Nomination

Hello everyone, I was recently nominated for the Liebster Award by a fellow blogger, Reflections of a single girl. I just learned about his nomination and I would like to first thank Mariel for nominating me. To accept my nomination I will answer the questions that she has prepared for me. I will then nominate eleven bloggers and come up with quetions for them to answer. Enjoy 🙂

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1.  If you could have one song as the theme song for your life, which song would it be?

Easy. I chose Jason Mraz’s song Living in the Moment. Rather than me explaining why I live by this song you should check it out, it speaks for itself.

2.  Do you believe that it is better to have loved and lost than to never loved at all?

Absolutely. I acknowledge I am young and I still have time to find the right girl but if it came down to it I would want to experience one of life’s greatest gifts, even if it’s for a short time.

3.  What can always bring a smile to your face?

My sister. We are both similar in many ways. She understands my type of humor and knows how to brighten up my day. This doesn’t go to say she’s an angel because she can still annoy me. But at the end of the day I will always love her.

4.  Words you live by?

As cliche as it might sound, live everyday as if it’s your last.

5.  Biggest fear?

I am a man I don’t fear anything… Except when I am driving and a big fly comes into my car and I go wild screaming and shouting.

6.  What is your favorite book?

I am not much of a reader but boy was Born to Run an amazing book. I’m a big fan of National Geographic and Runner’s world because they’re consistent reading materials that I can rely on.

7.  What do you believe are your  three best qualities?

I don’t know what my BEST qualities are but I work on being a loving, knowledgeable and happy person on a daily basis.

8.  If you could have any super power what would it be?

I would love to fly. As heavy as humans are it would be amazing to leave the ground for an hour or two, plus I could easily avoid traffic jams.

9.  If you could marry a movie star would you? Who?

Simply put, Mila Kunis. She is smart, funny and beautiful. I also loved That 70s show. If anyone has connection, we need to talk 🙂

10.  What is the most important thing life has taught you.

Honestly life has not taught me much. I personally believe that in a couple of years when I am in my late twenties I will learn some valuable lessons.

11.  What is your funniest childhood story of yourself?

My mom told me when I was young and in Ethiopia my parents did not know if I was going to be a boy or a girl. So they accumulated all of these cloths for boys and girls. I ended up wearing girly cloth until I outgrew them.

Here are my nominations:

1. Fit Recovery

2. The Running Teacher’s Blog

3.  Teach to run

4. Unsporty Women can run

5. la petite runner

6. Love and anthropology

7. A promise to dad

8. It’s a Marathon AND a Sprint 

9. Keep up with the Fenders

10. yogisguidetohealth

Last but not least 🙂

11. Grey Cells on the Run

And the nominees will answer:

1. Where do you see yourself in five years?

2. Do you run? If so, why do you do it?

3. What do you value the most?

4. What song, food and drink would you not mind having for weeks?

5. Who is you biggest inspiration?

6. Guilty pleasure?

7. Describe yourself in three words.

8. If Bill Gates could buy you one thing, what would that one thing be?

9. What is your favorite book?

10. If you could live anywhere in the would, where would that be? Why?

11. What do you blog?

A world that runs.

Have you ever imagined what this world would be like without violence, who hasn’t. But more importantly what would this world be like if everyone ran, now this is what goes through my mind. Instead of addressing problems like violence, drugs, poverty and disease individually, we have to gear towards a more collectivized answer. What might that be?

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Running. Running is the cheapest form of therapy, yet the most effective. People often feel the need to seek out the guidance of a doctor when all they are being payed to do is to sit and have an ordinary conversation. In those minutes the patient relives their struggles and pains that they are going through in their life. The same goes with running, but what’s different? Your body suffers physically and mentally. After running your course, you learn the true meaning of life and that what you are going through is only temporary. Pain is inevitable, you just have to embrace it. There’s always the easiest part of the course, it’s up to you to live in the moment so that when that time comes, you will know that the difficult times played to your advantage.

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Going along with your therapy bill comes a hospital bill. In most instances people end up in rooms like the one above because they failed to take care of their health. As cliche as exercise might be, it is not a surprise that it works best. Running in particular builds discipline and  a passion for fitness. One who runs only suffers from having incredibly amazing health. The number one thing I strive to work towards is discipline. I continue to train my body to crave running, in return I get all of the added benefits. There’s no need to train yourself for a healthy diet because you will instantly want to eat well , so that your body won’t lack the energy or motivation to run more.

 

This all goes to say my answer for our problems is running. Running’s ability to improve your mental state will not only save you money and time but it will allow you to minister onto other the true meaning of life.

 

Downsides to running?

The running experience has it’s ups and downs. There are many things we may love and some things we may strongly dislike about running. Here are my two biggest dislikes!!

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1. The start. The start can be  nerve-racking for many reasons. To me, the thought of having to get into rhythm is a dreadful process. Most importantly, you never know how you’re race will turn out, especially when you are racing the longer distances. A person can put in hours and hours into their workout but could have something as simple as a cramp stop them. Secondly, you never know if you are pushing it too much or if you’re not pushing it enough. This takes time. I get an idea of how my race will turn out about half way through it. Regardless of having a  good race or not, I love the feeling that I’ve already set the pace and all I have left to do is focus on enjoying my time.

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2. Regrets. Every runner has faced this at one point or another. We all have a goal in mind that we start off wanting to beat and at times those goals may have not been met.  How we go about handling our regret is more important than pondering on how you could have ran your race. Whenever I have a bad race I use it as an opportunity to go harder the next time I run. Having a bad race here and there helps me look back on what I did wrong so that I don’t repeat them again. As cliche as it might sound, failure is essential to a runner’s success.

As I’ve mentioned in my previous post. A runner can do one of three things when they cross the finish line. They could, think back on how they could have performed better, regret their performance, or lay there on the floor knowing they gave it their all. So next time you run think about the end result. The pain is temporary but the feeling you get afterwads will last forever.

Is anything that you dislike about running?

Thanks for reading!

The politics of running!

If there is one great thing about running that we can all agree on, it’s that there are absolutely no politics involved. Running is an activity where conservatives and liberals can share the pains and joys of the sport. We can look beyond our differences and focus on our true passion. There’s no need to look for middle grounds or bipartisan agreements.

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The picture above is from the 2012 women’s 5000 meter race. There are about seven countries running in the race, that’s seven different cultures. These countries were able to put aside the hatred that may have existed to chase after one goal, gold. Everyone is understanding of the determination and struggle it takes to get to the Olympic level. If everyone from the picture has one thing in common, it’s that they all sacrificed money, time and effort to get to where they are. Similarly, runners of all levels are nothing short of appreciative of the unity that running may bring. You would often hear stories of how a runner was able to help out his/her opponent during a big race. Unlike any other sports, running produces  people who are kindhearted , openminded and supportive.

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There’s something about running that brings a group of people close together. When you think of yourself in a room with random people you don’t know, you often find that it is more challenging to socialize than being in a room with people who share the same interests as you. If you’ve ever ran in a race you know what I mean. It doesn’t take a whole lot for a runner to reach out and start talking to another runner. As runners we have this deep interest for networking and gaining more insight. This is why we buy books, attend seminars, go on group runs and write blogs. As a result of our desire to make more friends and learn more about the sport, we find ourselves unintentionally fueling our passion for what we have grown to love and adore deeply.

Fun ways to becoming a faster runner.

As fun as running is, it isn’t the easiest thing to drop your times by doing the same workout everyday. There are some that will recommend lifting weights or fitness videos. While those might be good suggestions, I find them to be boring and hard to commit to. I am a huge supporter of taking on an exercise routine that works different muscles that running would have otherwise have never used. My two top interest that I am perusing are rock climbing and Spartan racing. 

ImageOne of my goals is to gain upper body strength. Rock climbing provides the best alternative  for reaching those goals. The great thing about climbing is you do not have to schedule a set workout for different parts of your body. You can simply enjoy yourself, while not having to worry about working every muscle in your body. Another added benefit is you gain a skill that you wouldn’t have otherwise obtained by lifting weights.

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 For those who are like me and love to compete Spartan Racing is right up your alley. There are different levels, just like running the race goes from distances of 3 miles to 15+ miles. However what makes this fun is that there are obstacles throughout the race, like the one above. The obstacles range from rock climbing or swimming in freezing water. These activities will do a great job of making me a faster runner, while I am enjoying what I am doing. In the end I could take on whatever cross training routine but no matter what that may be I will still be a runner. 

 

What are some of your cross training workouts? Do you find it’s helping you in your running?

The Gods of running!!!

To me there’s nothing that gets me wanting to run than seeing others running. Whether it’s seeing road runners or marathoners, I always envy them in that moment when all I could do is watch. Three of  my favorite ultra marathoners are Scott Jurek, Anton Krupicka and last but not least  Michael Arnstein.

ImageThis is  Michael Arnstein. I like him for different reasons, one being he’s a fruity runner. He eats nothing but fruits and vegetables. As crazy as that may sound, the results he’s gotten from his diet are remarkable. He dropped his marathon time by 15 minutes and also PRed in many of his races. He also takes initiative to spread the good word about fruitarianism. Every year he hosts the Woodstock fruit festival. Woodstock is basically a camp for people of all ages. There are fun things such as an UNLIMITED supply of only fruits and vegetables. You can also participate in cycling, different fitness classes and an endurance run at the end of the week. If he’s performing at a high level in his late 30s, there is no questioning if his diet is effective.

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Some may know the man on the right, Christopher Mcdougall, author of the book Born to run. On the left is Scott Jurek. He set the record for Badwater untramarathon and a 24 hour race. He’s attitude towards running is what sets him apart from other runner. He is one to branch out and learn about other runners and ethnicities. In fact he is currently in Ethiopia and has been to Mexico where the Tarahumara Indains live. Besides being an outstanding runner Scott has written a New York Times best seller, Eat and Run. His book is inclusive of his experiences as an ultra runner and some of his top notch cooking receipts.Image

Anton looks like the portrayal of Jesus when he runs. Not many excuses cross his mind on those dreary afternoons. Aside from being a two time Leadville 100 mile champ, Anton has the life many people envy. He endorses many of New Balance’s minimalist shoes and Ultimate Direction’s hydration pacs. Everyday he wakes up and runs the mountains in the back yard of his Boulder, Colorado home. I am easily motivated by these three men’s passion for taking the sport to an entirely different level. This all goes to say women are respected just as much as the guys are in the ultra distances, in fact there are countless races where they have finished hours in front of some of the most respected runners.

Who or what motivates you?  Lastly, Why do you run?