Friday, November 11, 2011

The 100 Up Challenge

If you read Christopher McDougall’s latest article in the New York Times, “The Once and Future Way to Run” http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/06/magazine/running-christopher-mcdougall.html, then you have heard of the 100 Up. In the article, he talks about this exercise used by W. G. George in the late 19th Century to become one of the best milers in the world.

 

It is very simple. You basically do 100 (that is, 50 on each leg) high knee raises each day.

 

Within minutes, it seemed, one guy threw up a website: http://hundredup.com and another created a Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/274754402564073/ both with the idea to get a bunch of people to try this for 30-days. So, I joined the FB group and I’m going to give it a try. Will it make me stronger? Will it improve my form? Will it make me faster? We shall see.

 

This morning, I was just jumping around a bit to loosen up before my run and realized that I had done 10 “Ups” without even thinking about it, so I just continued and did 100 (of the “major” version). I was surprised because I thought they’d be harder and that I would have to start with the “minor” version, but there you go. So, one day down, twenty-nine to go!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Best Postive Exchange

Thanks to Caity at Run Barefoot Girl (www.runbarefootgirl.com), I’ve just gotten turned on to the Naked Runners Podcast (www.thenakedrunners.com). The Naked Runners are a couple of Australian guys (and boy, I am learning so much Australian slang!) on a mission to encourage people to run “naked” by which they mean without distractions. (I think they’d love to encourage people to actually run naked, from their personalities, but they are respectful of societal standards and laws about wearing clothing. . . J) They run barefoot or minimalist themselves, but beyond that, they want you to ditch the iPod and the watch and the heartrate monitor, to “strip it back” and “ditch the distractions.” Totally in line with my movement towards minimalism, to getting back to the essentials.

 

Yikes! This is really the next level for me. I am very attached to both my iPod and my Garmin and I have very good reasons for using these when I run. I love music and my runs are *the* time I get to listen to music. My Garmin is an invaluable tool for someone who travels as much as I do and currently I am using the heartrate monitor (for the first time in my life) to teach myself to run aerobically. Personally, I thought I was good because I don’t, and never have, run with a phone! But these guys are very enrolling, so I may just try “running naked” this week. . .

 

One of the features on their podcast is the “Best Positive Exchange” (BPE) – that is, sharing an exchange with someone you encounter on your run. I love that, so I will be reporting in each post on a BPE I’ve had on one of my runs.

 

This week, my Best Positive Exchange was with Noel. One of the joys of my Saturday morning run is that there are kids out and about just playing. So now for the second time in recent weeks, I’ve been joined by a couple of boys who actually ran along with me. This time, one boy started running with me and there were two others who at first laughed, but then joined along as well. I wasn’t running very fast, but they were young boys and pretty small—maybe half my height—so they were breathing a bit hard as we ran along. I have to say that I was pretty chuffed by that—that I was in good enough shape that running barefoot, nose breathing, at a pace where I could have been talking the whole time, I was running a bit too fast for these boys. Not bad for an old lady. Anyway, Noel was the first boy who joined me and after half a mile when they were stopping, he said thank you! I stopped, turned, shook his hand and thanked him as well.

 

Today’s run was great overall. I ran 8 miles on the road, which is the most I’ve done barefoot on the roads. Yippee! It felt like I took my feet just to the edge, but not over, so that is perfect.

 

The other great thing about today’s run was clouds! The sky was totally overcast until a few minutes after the end of my run (how is that for timing?!) which meant that it was much cooler than it has been for weeks. I don’t think it was over 80F, which is 20-24F less than it has been since the beginning of October. Very much appreciated. And it meant that I didn’t suffer even though I lolled around and didn’t get out for my run until after 9am. Would that tomorrow will be the same!

 

I’m going to Windhoek Monday for the VSO Regional Representatives meeting and 21st Anniversary celebration. It is much, much cooler there. The days will hopefully warm up (weather forecast says ~75F), but the low I predicted to be in the 50’sF which is scary enough that I’m going to bring my Moc3 shoes and my arm sleeves for running in the early morning.

 

Friday, November 04, 2011

Great summary of the Paleo/Primal template

Tim, one of my tribe on the IPMG (Int’l Paleo Movement Group) on Facebook just posted a very nice, clearly written summary of the Paleo/Primal lifestyle template. For those of you interested, wondering or questioning, check it out.

 

http://bigtimsprimaljourney.com/2011/11/02/the-primalpaleo-template/