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A Prescription of Running!

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Running, my full time job

About five months ago you could have asked me if I enjoyed running, and I would have answered with a fully confident, “Of course I love running, it’s hard but I still manage to run almost everyday and train hard.” My sentiments towards the sport and the athletes who take on running full time remain unchanged. I still have runners I look up to at every level, whether that be my teammates or elite Marathoners. However throughout these past five months I’ve learned a little about the sport and a whole lot about my training . You see I am naturally driven by my current state of mind, like most people are. This simply means the work that gets done is heavily determined by how I “feel” right now. The days I “feel” lazy I become unproductive in my studies or work.

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Similar to how I chose to become indolent in my work when I wasn’t having the most ideal day, my work wasn’t getting done and nor was I running . This all was put into perspective over the summer when I worked at a day camp, with little 8 and 9 year olds. I worked 6-7 hours a day. Not long, I know but I arrived home everyday after work “feeling” drained. Alongside my work I had a running schedule I had to follow. So now you see the only three things I had to get done within a 24 hour span was sleep, work and running. Two of which I was checking of my to-do list, daily. However when it came to my running I only completed 60% of what I was suppose to be doing, the rest of the time I was too busy “feeling” tired, so I would sleep. Fast forward to when school started, I began running with a team. Joining a team wasn’t a time for me to use how I “felt” to drive my actions. I had to abide by the rules. I came to practice and ran, even it was at 6am. It didn’t matter if I slept at 1am the night before, I still had to do what was expected and I did. Regardless if it were work or school, I made sure to finish my tasks in fear of making a bad grade, having an unhappy boss or a coach who is displeased with my performance.

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Even though I once viewed my daily routine of practice, school, work, and practice again as a chore it has only taught me one thing. My feelings will never produce results. It’s always up to my actions and hard work to produce the results I am looking for. The PRs a runner dreams about will remain a dream until he/she learns the work that goes into making what others are out hustling and bustling to make their reality. After all, the difference between a person who runs high millage and one who runs only on good days is that the first dreams about the day he/she will get faster while the latter just waits for the time to come. Now when I or any other runner out there has a day(s) where their body is telling them, “Wouldn’t rest be more favorable?”, you be sure to reply with action that reflects your true purpose and drive.

Running Hiatus.

These past three weeks I haven’t been running. It was mainly because I didn’t have time and I needed a break. It’s because I thought since I will start some intense training in June, I might as well take a breather. Needless to say these few weeks I have felt deprived of what I love to do. Even though I chose for things to be this way, it raised the concern of when should a runner take some time off. I know there are people out there that do some hardcore training year round and manage to go injury free. Image

I have yet to suffer from some serious injury but that’s probably because I have some down time for my body to recover. However I would love to be the type that runs year round and enjoys every season. For now, I will countdown the days until I start up my running again. I can’t really have blog post when I’m not running because that is when I am the least creative.

 

Therefore, I want to pose the question: Are you a year round runner? When would it be the right time to take a break from the sport?

An Efficient Running Diet!!!

For a month now, I’ve been thinking about switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet.  For my purpose I have become more and more aware of how much our diet affects how we feel and run. I am now more convinced that our body does not easily digest meat and can run a lot more efficiently if we give it simple but nutritious foods. 

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Scott Jurek is a living testimony of how effective a non-meat based diet is. In his case he is a vegan. As I have discussed in my past post, Scott is a seven time Western States 100 miles champion and a two time Badwater champion. Asides from his training, his diet is what helped him to get to where he is. He gives an in depth look at his journey into ultramarthoning in his book Eat and Run.

 

I am mainly writing this post to get your opinion. I am not a vegetarian, yet. I am curious about your diet. I guess my two biggest questions are, what is your diet? Do you believe it has worked for you or are you also looking for something that can improve your lifestyle and overall health? 

Is running purely painful or pleasure?

Over the years I have encountered a good amount of people who ask, “How is running fun?” or “Are you not suffering when you run?”. I can’t help but to think of a good response. A majority of the time I will answer it is painful, it’s not always easy. That answer always strikes a conversation. Who enjoys pain? What could you possibly get out of a dreadful activity? Why not just do some P90x or insanity to get in shape? As a reply to these questions, I care more to see what you other runners would say. I am well aware that running won’t always be seen like this:

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I can assure you this picture was not taken 20 miles into the marathon. Even if it was I would not be surprised, the man might have some Taraumara in him. In short, I can say I run most of the time with the goal of punishing myself. How I handle the punishment will determine what type of runner/person I am. Running a 1,600 feet climb over the course of a mile never sounds pain free. However the reward comes at the end of the run. I can either assure myself that my mental and physical strength  were strong enough to help me get through my run or I can man up and face the fact I was too much of weakling to conquer my run. If you are thinking I am being too hard on myself, I’m not. Every human has limits, we however are not able to reach those limits. Just when you think you have nothing, there is always something deep down that will push you to great measure. I said it, your question has been answered. Every runner has their own take on it. Each opinion lets you see why a runner runs and what motivates them to do this on a regular basis.

Therefore I am interested in hearing from you, runner or not. Is running a painful or pleasure-filled experience for you? If you don’t run, how do you perceive those of us who do?

Why do you run?

As a runner I have always struggled to answer the question, “Why do you run?”. It’s a simple question but I did not have an answer to fully satisfy the question. However, as I was running  things began to solidify. I began to understand why I am motivated to go out everyday and run. Despite how I feel, I always have the desire to run. All runners have a side of them that strives to reach those personal goals; in the end, the reasons that resonate deep down are what keep a runner loving what they do. Today was one of those days. I decided to run a quick 30 minute run. My intentions were to push every mile and to suffer through the pain. As I was running, certain thoughts and memories would come up that I face in my life today.  At points in the run where I was out of breath and could not push it anymore; I would tell myself pain only hurts.

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Whether I am filled with anger, happiness, or sadness, running is my outlet. I can use hills as a punching bag, or downhills as a reward. No matter how hard my run is I know there is always an end. As hard as things may be, life always has a way of working out. For those who have asked me this question, here you go, this is why I run. Every runner has his/her own reason to why they run but what unites us all are the challenges and rewards running has to offer. A runner can freely discuss their interest about the lifestyle and there is always a person there who can relate and share the same experience.  This here my friend is why I write, I acknowledge there is someone out  there who can relate to my running lifestyle.

I have always wondered, Why do you run?

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.