Stomp of Approval!!!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Pushing thru to bliss

Sometimes a run doesn't feel good at first. I've had this happen several times. I take off running and something isn't quite right. Theres one little nagging issue that keeps trying to get you to throw in the towel and cut your run short.

Sunday morning (yesterday morning) I went out early for a long run. It was around 33° when I left the house and it was all drizzling from the night before. All the roads and side walks were soaked and freezing cold.

It hurt. It was as if I had never ran barefoot before. The cold wet ground kept my feet from warming up too much, thereby amplifying every little change in the running surface. It felt like I was running on crushed ice.

For those of you who might not know to much about me, here's 2 key bits of info about Chaser Williams.

1) I'm from Texas. It stays over 95° about 10 months out of the year here. I don't get to run in the cold all to often.

2) I don't like the cold. I would rather run in 100°+ temps than run on anything below about 60° 

Now that you know this, you could imagine a rainy 33° run isn't my idea of a good time.

But I pushed thru the discomfort.

I was determined to run 15 miles.

I had a goal, and nothing short of getting ran over or the trots was going to stop me.

So I kept running.

At around 6 miles either my body adjusted, or the sun was finally warming the ground up, because my feet felt perfectly fine again!

The rest of the run was absolutely amazing! I felt great and probably could have gone on for another few miles afterwards!

I probably would have ran some more, but it seemed that every 4th or 5th house I passed was cooking bacon.

I'm not a huge bacon fan. Its good and all, I'm just not one of those guys that think bacon is the end all be all of the meat section of the food pyramid.

But when it's cold, and your already a little hungry because you haven't eaten yet, and the sun is just starting to light the road infront of you enough to be seen, bacon will break you.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Update and bad runs

A week and a half ago I created a post saying that I was running again and that I had 30 something days until my birthday run of 30 miles.

Well I'm still running! Yay!

My wife and I are also trying to eat better again. This time were slowly making changes. Every week we make a change. No sweets the week of Halloween was a tough one. More water intake wasn't a big deal for me, but I'm actually finding it difficult to fit in 4 to 6 servings of fruits /veggies a day. Next week is no more bread.

My runs have been going pretty good for the most part. I'm running at night now instead of in the morning. I'm not sure exactly what I think about that. My weekend long runs (yes, I've started them! ) are still in the mornings. Last Saturday I got up and knocked out 10 miles, and I'm actually preparing to go run another 10 miles right now (it is Saturday morning right now) and plan on running another 10 miles tomorrow morning.

Most of my runs feel good, but I did have one that started off like crap.

Everything felt stiff and disconnected. I couldn't find a good rhythm. I was bouncing too much, and my feel were slapping the sidewalk. Usually when this happens I take a few deep breaths thru the nose real slowly and try to get my body into a state of relaxation, but it wasn't happening this night. So I decided to do Fartleks instead.

For those who don't know, a fartlek is where you run at 2 different paces for different amounts of time/distances. For this run I chose to vary between my normal snail's crawl pace and a very hard effort pace.

Instead of choosing a distance or a time to alternate paces, I decided that when I got exhausted from running fast, I would pick a location as far down the sidewalk as I could see and run just past it. Then I would creep along again until I felt I had regained my composure and then take off again.

This took a bad feeling run and made it a good run that left me with some burning legs that were actually sore the next day. I don't get sore legs very often, so it was a bit of a suprise!

It made me think that I can go out and enjoy a good run every time I feel good, but the real challenge is to go out and enjoy the bad runs too. It's all about pushing yourself thru adversity!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Back at it again!

Rollercoaster training.

It doesn't work!

I've always said the key to being a good runner is consistency. You've got to put in the required training time in order to succeed.

They keep switching my hours up at work. So for the last 2.5 months I haven't been running. Since I haven't been running, I haven't been eating right. Some I haven't been running or eating right, I've been gaining weight again. Yay...

But they put us back on our normal hours starting this week, so I've started running again. Sunday night I went 3.6 miles and last night (Monday night) I went for 2.

I've got 37 days until my 30th birthday....  I feel that's an adequate enough amount of time to give me a really good challenge for running my age in miles. Just have to continue the gradual build up in mileage. The key will be long runs on the weekends. I feel that if I can get in one run over 20 miles between now and December 4th that hitting 30 might be plausible.

But we will see....

Monday, September 22, 2014

What is all about.

I really wish I could place pictures in the body of my posts, I really do. I've complained to the creators of this app probably a dozen or so times, but they don't seem to care. The picture at the bottom of this post is what stirred up these thoughts.

My drink of choice is water. It's all I've drank for the past... 10 or 11 years now. I'll occasionally have a glass of juice or some kombucha or a home made smoothie. But if I'm eating food, 99.99% of the time is washed down with water. Even when I'm not eating I still drink water.

Unless there's alcohol involved. All bets are off then.

But my kids have only ever seen me drinking water. Daddy doesn't order a soda or a sweet tea at dinner. And I damn sure don't order a beer, yuck!

My astute son had picked up on this, and the fact that daddy is a decent runner (good in his mind, and that's fine for now) and had decided that water makes you fast and tea and Dr. Pepper (the only soda he knows) makes you slow. So he only drinks water now!

This made a pretty profound impact on me. Growing up I didn't have a good example of how I should eat. My dad would get off work and 3 or 4 Miller Lites down before he ever got home, then he would eat whatever it was that mom had cooked that night and wash it down with a few more beers while going back for seconds and or thirds. So naturally I thought that the right way to eat was to eat everything in sight, regardless of what it was. So that's what I've spent most of my life doing. Eating everything I can get my hands on.

That's not good.

I need to not only eat the right food (something I've been working on the last 2 or 3 years) but also eat the right quantities. I want to set a good example for my kids in every way I can. My wife and I have them riding their bikes while I run and my wife rides along with them. We all really enjoy it.

I really want my kids to experience the true joy and pleasure of running. It's something that I have always enjoyed. Yet, at the same time, I don't want to push anything on them.

They need to discover the love of things on their own.

All I can do is continue trying to be a better example for them.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Bites

Over the span of my life I have been bitten by various animals. Dogs, turtles, snakes, small children and other assorted vermin and such.

Some of the bites have been pretty bad. I spent the night in a hospital one time because I got bitten by a Copperhead snake... twice. It was at a cross country meet when I was a freshman in highschool, and it got blown way out of proportion.

I was also stung in the head by some red wasps when I was around 10 years old and my head and face swoll up like a damn basketball. My face was so distorted that I looked like Quazimodo (the hunch back of Notre Dame). That one hurt.

I also got bit by a Water Moccasin (aka; Cotton Mouth) one time when I was probably 12 or so. It barely grazed my right ankle (luckily! ) and I ran a little fever and my ankle swoll up a little bit. I kept that one from mom...

I've also had less severe, but equally as painful bites.

Ever seen a Cow Ant (aka;  Velvet Ant, which is actually a female wingless wasp. That explains a lot!) Before? Those things are a bitch! Their tougher than nails and make you scream in pain. Geeez... that's some bad memories there.

The Banana Spider (that's what we called it at least, I think it's also known as a Golden Orb Spider, maybe?) Is another pain rendering insect. The leave you with a massive whelp that burns for a few hours.

But now I'm encountering something new. I think they might be spider bites, maybe?

They're concentrated on my lower thighs, just above my knee caps. I'm not even 100% sure their bug bites. I don't know what they are, but they itch a little and are quite tender to the touch.

I've included some pictures below. These were taken at around 5 this morning after a 2 mile run while putting some gas in the truck on the way to work. You can see about 6 of them on my right leg, and 1 big bastard on my left.

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Learning Experience

It's difficult to talk to your kids sometimes. I have a big problem communicating with my son. It's not that we fight or anything like that, it's just that we both get frustrated quickly with each other. He's a very very sweet kid who is extremily kind and wears his heart on his sleeve (it's going to be hell when he starts really getting into girls...), but he gets frustrated with me when I laugh at him for being such a literal person.

I want to have a good relationship with my children, and communicating is the heart and soul of a child / parent relationship. So I have been working on a lot of things.

One thing I've found that works is when we have good one on one time where he gets to do something he enjoys, and learns something new at the same time.

So today after school I decided that we could go on a journey together.

Me running and him on his new bike.

He rides his bike GREAT, and quite fast when he gets the chance. So I want worried about him, I was more worried about me keeping up with him throughout our hilly neighborhood.

I aimed for going about 2 miles, so we strapped on his helmet and I strapped on my Garmin watch and we took off together. Within 2 minutes he's taking his head off about his first day off school. At the house I couldn't get a full sentence out of him!

Around. 75 miles we had a little hiccup.

We were traveling down a pretty steep hill when he somehow ended up behind me. I think he missed the turn I took and had to turn around and play catchup. I called out to him to make sure he was still behind me and he replied with "Daddy, watch out. Daddy, watch out!!!!"....

BAM!

His front tire his the back of left heel just as I'm starting to lift that foot off the ground, effectively jamming the front of my foot back into the cement road where my toes fold under and my foot gets dragged / pushed forward. I skinned 3 toes and had a painful spot on the back of my left heel now.

Great....

My son, being the caring sweet child that he is, freaks out and immediately asks if I'm ok and apologizes repeatedly. Then tells me "daddy, I said for you to watch out. Didn't you hearded me saying that?"

Haha!!!

Then when he sees me foot bleeding he starts panicking a little and asks if I need to go to the hospital.

No bud, I'm ok. It's just a little road rash. No biggie.

Are you sure? We need to find a band aid.

I think it will be ok buddy. Let's just get back home.

Ok.... are you sure it's ok? Your foots bleeding a whole lot.

Yes Bubba, it's fine. Let's just not run into daddy anymore, ok?

....

Funny kid.

But we did have a great time! We did 2.03 according to the Garmin, and we talked the entire time. If we had stayed at home we probably would have just sat on the couch and watched Pokémon or some other nonsense.

I think we will go again soon, but this time we will discuss how to pass before we take off.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Running with music

I love music. I really do. A good song that speaks to my soul is something I really about. I even listen to music when there isn't any playing, there's a constant soundtrack within my mind that seldom stops playing.

But I don't listen to music while I'm running.

You won't find me with headphones on while I'm out on the run. I just don't do it. I have music in my head while I'm running. Hell, sometimes I'm even singing out loud. But I don't listen to music.

I feel like you miss out on too much of the world around you when you intentionally tune it all out. You miss out on the best music of all, the song of Mother Nature.

You can't hear the birds chirping, or the frogs croaking, or even the angry little Yorkshire Terrier drag the little metal chair that he's chained up to across the wooden slats that make up the back porch of his owners lovely home that's just off the Tee Box on hole 7 on the local golf course. You can't hear the Wood Pecker going to town on an old Pine Tree in search of his first meal of the day, or the soft crunch of a small herd of deer just inside the tree line, afraid of being spotted in the days first rays of sunlight.

You also can't hear other runners approaching. So when I pass you and smile and wave and you come across as a total ass hole, don't worry about it, I'm sure the latest Nickelback album totally rocks.... Douchebag...

And then don't look at me like I'm the dick on the road because I scared you when you finally realized that you weren't, in fact, the only person in the neighborhood that goes running early in the morning.

.........

You also can't hear the soothing sounds of the water lapping against the shore as you run out to farthest extent that you body can take you without going for a swim. That's when you look up and realize that you in a beautiful place that you wouldn't have seen any other way... other than maybe a golf cart, but then you wouldn't have as much appreciation for it, would you?