Sunday, May 11, 2014

Weekend in Recap: running, shopping running related things, more running

The goal for this blog is to document all my runnings, other workouts, and all the food I make as a hobby.  But sometimes my workouts are just not that interesting to devote a whole post on, or worth my time thinking of something interesting to write about it.  And when I put it off like that and do a more interesting workout or exercising related activity, things accumulate.

Thus the lumping together of my weekend.

Friday Run

Went for a run on Friday.  I had wanted to do a loop in Vermont, a loop I saw on the running route website that I thought was manageable for me.  But it was so cold that day, I gave up on the idea as I was being blown into an icicle on my way home to change.  It had just stopped raining and was very cloudy, and the wind was merciless.  So I decided to finally hit the football track.  It was close to home, you run in loops like a hamster, and if it starts to rain you can just run home.

When I finally hit the track after weeks of fantasizing about running on it, it turned out to be incredibly boring.  I realized now that I am no longer satisfied with running in one place (treadmill) or running in loops (track or pond).  I really needed some interesting scenery to keep me going.  It's all part of the motivation and fun.  I especially like to try new route, because not knowing where I am going somehow keeps me calm and focus on running ahead into the unknown.

I lost count after 4 laps.  I must've done 8 or 9, and called it a day.  It was freezing but kind of suffocating at the same time.  I think I much prefer running in the heat than in the cold.  Not good for New Hampshire life, but it makes you cherish the summers here even more.

Saturday Boston Trip

On Saturday I went into Boston.  I had something I was intending on attending in the morning, but for some most ridiculous reason (that's too irrelevant for this blog), we didn't go.  We (my friends and I) were supposed to carpool to Boston, do our thing, with me taking off on my own afterwards and come back via the bus.

But I was too wound up to not go.  I was too mentally prepared to get out of here for the day.  So at 11am I hopped on the bus anyway and went by myself, and boy it was worth it.

My main mission for the trip was to find a pair of new running shoes.  I was unhappy with the two pair of trail running shoes I have, and really want some professional opinion on what is the best for me.  And professional opinions I got, thankfully.

There are two City Sports and one Marathon Sports stores within walking distance in Boston, and countless shoe stores in between.  One was near Washington Ave, and had a basement outlet.  I went in and a sales person was very nice in helping me.  He let me take off my shoes and walked away and toward him, and told me that I'm more of a neutral walker and should pick from their line of neutral shoes.  He skillfully pointed out the features of different brands and models.  They even had the new Soucony Kinvara 5, which I just read about and didn't know were out already.  I looked around a bit more and left the store.

I then went to the second City Sports, since it was the next on the way.  It was more crowded in there, and the selections were a bit different, but not as numerous, and they had fewer sales.  I left.

I eventually made my way to Marathon Sports.  It's a small cozy running store on Boylston Street near where the Boston Marathon bombing occurred last year.  It's actually right next to a candy store I went last year, but I had never paid attention to it then.  And it was bustling with activity when I went in.  Everyone wanted to get fitted, and there was some sort of line forming that was very mysterious to me. What's worse, the employees don't have any ways to identify themselves; they look just like the customers, and only revealed themselves as they rolled out professional opinions or brought out shoes.  I was just standing about, trying to catch the eyes of someone who's hopefully trained to looking for eye-catching confused customers.  I befriended an equally confused lady, and we got fitted together by this really nice girl.

The procedure was similar.  We had to take our shoes off, roll up our pant legs, walk really fast away and toward her.  We also had to stand feet shoulder length apart and together, and were inquired about our injury history.  Then she got us some shoes to try.

I think she was really good.  She bought me a pair of Brooks Dyad 7 and a pair of Asics Fortitude 3.  I tried the Brooks first, they felt good, in that I didn't really feel anything in them.  They were a good fit.  I ran around the small store, and ran outside around the block on concrete (the store was carpeted).  I liked them.  Then I was asked to try the Asics.  They also felt okay.  But I could feel the structured heel that didn't quite fit with mine, and the rubber strips they put around the side (for decoration, I presumed) were rubbing against my little toe.  I didn't quite feel them as much when I was running, but I wasn't sure if after a longer run I was going to get blisters from them or not.  Needless to say, I preferred the Brooks.

The Asics Fortitude 3.  The mint colored strips were bothering me a bit.

I was only given these two models as options.  I was told that I have flat and wide feet that don't need a lot of arch support but do need more room around the mid foot.  I'm also a neutral walker like the other sales person said.  And only these two models (at least, the only two they sell, I suspect) had soles wide enough at the mid foot for me.

The top is the Brooks, and bottom Asics.  You can sort of see that the mid food does constrict as it rises from the heel before expand at the forefoot.  And if you pay attention to most of the other shoes, they all constrict in the middle.  There's a curve.  

Both models were priced the same.  $110.  Which was quite out of my planned price range, which was, sadly to say, $65.  I was defiantly determined to get something simple.  But the saleslady told me that the small mid foot section of most shoes is what was giving me all the shin splints I've had, and I think she's got a point.  She was nice enough to write both models down for me.  And I'm chagrined to say that I left without buying anything.  I was going to buy a selection of GUs just to try for taste, but the line was long and it didn't seem worth the wait.

I'm happy to say that I found a pair of Brooks on for $20 cheaper than the retailed price.  I think I'll be getting my shoes later this week and I can't wait to give them a try!

At the end of the day, no shoes, but I did buy new running socks, some GUs from City Sports (fewer selection), and sunscreen, which was greatly helpful for today.

Sunday Run

Today was such a beautiful day, I went to a nearby town in Vermont to do a loop that I thought was going to be short.  But I ended up missing a turn so it was a longish run in the end.  I did bring some money and stopped for a soda after 3.2 miles.  I mistakenly chose a ginger beer, which was delicious but too sweet so when I got home I was desperately thirsty from the sugary drink.

I had a GU (peanut butter flavored, and tasted just like peanut butter with its texture) and a bun I got form Chinatown yesterday for breakfast so I wasn't weak by the end of the run.  Putting in some energy is important I now realize.  

The run was so pretty, too bad I forgot my camera.  It's so sunny out but had a nice breeze.  I had a hard time running at first, then I realized that I was slowing climbing up the whole time, so that when the trees cleared at the top I could look down, and look far onto the other mountains.  The people were out doing yard works and whatnot, and there were plenty of runners and cyclists about.  They were all so nice and smiled and waved at me as I shuffled by.  There was a small (manmade I think) pond, and a small stream along the way.  At the end, when I finally looped back out onto the main street, I was kind of sad that it had ended, although it took me another 1.7 miles to get home, and there was a huge hill (downhill on the way there, you have to pay for what you enjoy) going back up, and in the end I was panting so hard, the sad feeling long gone.  

Still, I think I will loop farther out next time.  It's just such a nice day to run.

But I was also sad that even though I ran most of the way and only stopped to walk for a little bit (first time after 1.5 miles, I just couldn't do it anymore, and later on only when I felt I was lost and stopped to look around), it took me way longer to do an approximate 5K than I did at the race.  Granted I wasn't in a hurry or had a time goal in mind, but I had always thought that if I started my Nike+ workout as soon as I start running (which was what happened today) and skipped all the warmup beforehand, and if I just keep running nonstop for most of the way, I would be faster than my race time.  The truth was far different unfortunately.  I maintained mostly a 13:30 pace, and just shuffled happily along.  Oh well, I think I can run a lot longer now and keep at it for further, and that's all it matters right?

On Food

As I run more and more I feel that I've become less and less of a "glutton", as my blog title suggests.  I used to be obsessed about food and felt the need to quench any sign of hunger, and now I'm just annoyed by it.  I'm annoyed when people salivate over food they either cannot get or cannot make, and am just baffled at their self-torturing exercise in lust and loss.  I am annoyed whenever I get hungry now, which is usually right before I would go for a run.  The annoyance was particularly prominent when I ran out of bananas on Friday.  Instead of going crazy over what I wanted to eat or where I would go for food, I just try not to think about it too much.  And after I run I usually don't have any appetite.  For example, I came back from my run almost 2 hours ago.  I showered and I'm writing this blog.  I think I'm a bit hungry and really want soup, but I'm too lazy to make soup so I think I'll just have a sandwich and water later on.  See, indifferent about food and eating, this never happened to me before.  

I don't eat quite as much in the evening now either.  I used to compulsively eat, especially in the evenings, just so I have something to do.  I used to have cravings about ice cream, chips, random things at night and now I don't desire any of them.  I eat dinner (a rather late one, but that never stopped me before) and that's that.  I rarely take tea anymore either.

And yesterday, I went into Boston thinking of all the different things I could eat while I'm there.  I thought about seafood, Chinese food, other asian cuisines, or just small bars and cafes that are not chains.  But in the end I had to force myself to get a customary bubble tea and had a sticky rice wrap while waiting for the tea, and felt like a pig for doing so.  The bubble tea wasn't really good so I tossed half of it.  I was genuinely tired after visiting Marathon Sports, since I think I ran quite a bit in jeans and jacket in very warm weather, I stopped for an ice coffee and thought their small size was too big.  I passed Legal Seafood but had no desire to go in.  I bought candy not because I really wanted them, but I just felt I should.  And in the end I was debating whether I should catch the 7:30 bus so I could get home at a reasonable time or go to a restaurant and catch a 9:30 instead.  Instead of going to a restaurant and justify my trip to Boston, I bought some packaged food and pastries, and a McDonald meal and hopped onto the bus.  

What's wrong with me?  While I don't want to continue to be a disgusting glutton who's bulimic without the throwing up part, I don't want to be dispassionate about food either.  I still want to appreciate and enjoy food, but now I'm just disinterested.  I did lose some weight because of this (yay), but at the same time I'm kind of sad of what I also lost.  Maybe this is just a transitioning period and things will get better later on.

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