June was an interesting month, as I really kicked my Belly Fat Cure eating program into high gear and I actually shed a lot of weight during the month of June. But at the same time as far as my running is concerned I got very bored with the running and have pretty much taken a break from it. Not just a couple of days here there, but more like a whole week. I’m just getting the feeling that running is not the most effective use of the time I’m willing to spend on my health.
In May I ran 51.65 miles, but in June I only put in 35.03 miles. And the funny thing is that I’ve been weekly measuring my weight and taking inch measurements of my waist circumference and in the weeks I’ve not run at all, I’ve lost more weight than the weeks I have run. So this is rather discouraging for wanting to continue running. So maybe rightly so or not, I’ve decided to take a bit of a break from the running. I haven’t replaced it with any other form of exercise yet, but I think it might be time to start incorporating some weight training to replace the ineffective cardio workouts. The only challenge the cardio workouts were becoming were just attempts at running the same distances in shorter times and they really weren’t feeling like much of a challenge.
May was a very similar month to April so it didn’t have the same surprise factor when looking at the end results. In fact, the improvement seems almost minimal. I did have to take a break for a few days because I simply wasn’t home with access to the treadmill for a period of three days which I feel hindered a little of my progress this month. It was definitely the longest stretch of time I’ve done without running since I started doing the treadmill work at the end of November.
The new shoes bought in April were wonderful in May, it’s such a welcome relief to be running without pain and giving me the chance to work on building my speed. I spent most of the month just working on trying to get two mile runs done in less time and I’ve managed to shave some additional time off my average pace per mile.
Yesterday, after visiting my mom for Mother’s Day, I stopped at the Apple Store at Westfield – North County Fair and needed to exchange the Nike+ sensor I had bought in December because I couldn’t get it to work yesterday and I thought it might be a dead battery. The battery is supposed to be good for 1,000 miles, but so far I’ve only gotten about 200 miles on it. So I was a little ticked off that it wasn’t working so I could get in a 2 mile run before visiting my mom.
Before I determined the battery was the most likely source of the problem, I thought the 3.0 beta of the Operating System (OS) was causing the problem. I had managed to get a few runs in using the new OS, even though a couple of those runs ended up not being tracked because the Nike application crashed the iPod. Just to be sure I reinstalled the Operating System but that didn’t fix the problem. So on that basis I figured it was the battery causing the problem.
Well I printed off my purchase receipt since the store emailed me my receipt at the time of purchase. (How cool is that?) And sure enough, I walked right in, talked to one of the employees at the Apple Store and they were more than happy to help me out with no grief whatsoever. The Nike+ sensor was exchanged for a new one in just a matter of minutes and they even went so far as to renew the warranty to the date of the exchange as opposed to the original purchase. I am extremely impressed with the service I received at the Escondido Apple Store. It’s so rare to see service that doesn’t treat you like a criminal for needing assistance. I am so happy to be recommending their stores.
April was a phenomenal month, much better than even I could have expected. The month did get off to a slow start with a couple of really painful days that cause a few days off from the running on the treadmill and getting my taxes finished took a couple of days away from the running as well, but the second half of the month, I just stepped it up a notch and finished the month exceeding even my expectations.
As my blog readers already know, I purchased some new Nike running shoes in the last week and they’ve make the biggest difference in the world in my running. I never would have believed what a difference it could make had I not experienced it myself. A friend of mine, Antonio Roderick, recommended getting sized for running shoes and I picked Road Runner Sports to get sized for new shoes. Their evaluation of my feet determined I have high arches and and overpronate when I run, so I should pick shoes from the “Stability” category of running shoes and $70 bucks later, I had some new shoes that feel so much more supportive of my feet, and having done a few runs in them now, have relieved me of all the pain I’ve endured the last couple of months. Sounds like $70 well spent to me.
Since running has become part of my routine and my endurance has been building steadily since I started my running program at the end of November 2008, it seemed that the cheap Court Classic brand shoes I bought from Costco many, many years ago but barely used prior to my running program needed to be retired. They were fine for a couple of months, as I went from a complete novice at running to about the point when I first got afflicted with shin splints. I suffered through the shin splints and the increasingly sore knees for longer than I should have, but what can I say, I’m a little stubborn about feeling like I’ve not gotten my money’s worth out of the products I buy.
I was chatting with Antonio Roderick, a friend of mine from college via the chat feature of Facebook and he was applauding my running program having read one of my progress reports I posted here to my blog. He suggested that I really ought to go to a store specializing in running shoes and have them evaluate my run so they could pick out running shoes that are ideal for my feet. Not only would the shin splints go away, but they would make a world of difference.
One of my favorite applications that I’ve been using on my iPod Touch has been the Pandora Internet Radio application. Despite having a collection of over 12,000+ songs on my computer to put on my iPod at any time, I sometimes get bored with the music I already have. Perhaps it’s just the knowledge that there’s no chance of hearing anything new which creates the boredom, but in any case, sometimes random play is just not enough.
Well, the folks at Pandora have just the cure for the boredom, it’s their Pandora Internet Radio which is available both online for PCs and Macs to access through Pandora’s Website and the application they have made available for iPhones and iPod Touch. All you need to do is specify an artist or even pick a specific song, and Pandora’s Internet Radio will build a playlist of similar songs from similar sounding artists and you instantly have access to the world’s most perfect radio station, the one custom created just for you and your mood at that moment.
With another month down, it’s time for another status report. March was a pretty good month. Due to the fewer days in February I saw a drop in the total miles run from January to February where I went from 41.67 miles down to 37.45 miles. My total miles run for March was 43.88 which was an increase over the miles run in both January and February. It’s more significant to look at the increase between January and March as both months have the same number of days, the increase over January was 2.21 miles and due to addition of three additional days to the month over February, the increase was 6.43 miles.
I’m pleased to announce the opening of “Ryan’s Incredible Store” as a compliment to Ryan’s Incredible World. Ryan’s Incredible Store is powered by Amazon.com (so you get Amazon’s great prices and incredible service) with products personally selected by me.
As February comes to a close I wanted to give a little status update on my running progress. February was a fairly good month, I was able to get in 37.45 miles run. I have burned approximately 7766 calories in 8 hours and 23 minutes worth of running. With an average pace of 13 and 25 seconds per mile. I started the month running two miles per session and ended the month doing the same but pushing my fastest speed up during the run to make it a little more challenging. I also attempted a couple of days doing three mile runs, where I would do the standard two mile run, with the quarter mile cool down before ramping the speed back up for another three quarters of a mile before cooling down again and ending the three mile runs.
As I didn’t do an update on January’s results, I’ll share those here as well. In January, I managed to run 41.67 miles, with 8636 calories burned in a total run time of 10 hours and 41 minutes and an average pace of 15 minutes and 22 seconds per mile. January started out with runs lasting a mile and a half per session and ended with mile and three-quarter runs.
At end of November I decided to take a more proactive stance on my fitness level, or rather lack there of. So I have been forcing myself to use the treadmill that my roommates have available in the house. Granted prior to this decision, I’ve probably used the treadmill a total of three times since I moved in.
I definitely needed a better motivator for getting on the treadmill with some semblance of regularity, as telling myself I should was not translating into finding myself anywhere near it. So I decided I was going to have to forcefully create some motivation by creating a negative consequence for failing to do so. And so as of November 30th, 2008, I employed the strategy that I was not allowed to touch my computer until I had done at least one mile on the treadmill. At least until the being on a treadmill enough times had become habitual enough that I wasn’t going to avoid the treadmill by getting caught up being online.
The first week was a struggle, as everything tends to be when you start something new and want to make a habit out of it. I spent the first week just adjusting the speed of the treadmill up and down sporadically as I needed but aiming for one mile as my target goal. Each day I progressed a bit further in my ability to either stay at longer durations at higher speeds or pushed it further to higher speeds. And to make the sessions more tolerable, I employed the use of my iPod playing sections of various custom made music mixes I’ve made over the last decade.