Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Death by Treadmill......

We interrupt your regularly schedule programming with a guest blog!

A good friend of mine from high school shared this story with me, and I immediately knew it was blog worthy, just based how much I was laughing.  So, I had to share her story with you.. enjoy!

photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/zebrapaperclip/2988963345/

Death by Treadmill
Picture this… four treadmills lined up.  Guy using one on the far left.  I get on second from the right.  Twinkie gets on the one between us.  I’m going to town, I’m hustling, I’m living in the old days.  3.5 with some incline and 5.0 with interval – no incline. Couch to 5K- I’m blowing you away!  I’ve got the earbuds in, I’m rockin’!
Twinkie’s friend, Ponytail, squeezes herself between my treadmill and Twinkie’s.  There’s no more than seven inches clearance.  Ponytail’s ponytail is dangling in my space.  Twinkie shoots me a look out of the corner of her eye.  I see Ponytail’s ponytail is bobbing as her jaw moves.  I think, “yeah… they are talking about me.”  I hit the silence button so I can listen in. 
“Yeah, I’ll just stand here and bug her.  She’ll get off soon when she finishes her Air Supply.”
Uh Huh. You don’t throw that kind of crap talk around a 47 year old woman without repercussion.  Besides,  I’ll have you know I was listening to AC/DC, at high volume, ¾ of max.  That was followed up by a little ELO and topped off with Eminem and Pussycat Dolls.  Why not just ask me to move over to the empty tread on my right?  I would have.  Now they’ve made it personal.
They will not win.  I will continue my pace in my Pikes Peak Sports shirt, complete with marathon runner,  that everyone in the gym realizes I didn’t win in a 5K, but damn it to hell, I’m going to prove them wrong.  Twinkies, rude twinkies, little weasels, weasels with ponytails.  I will beat you if I have to stroke out doing it.  And let me tell you, they’ll be no 1.5 mph , nope I’m keeping up the 3.5 / 5.0.
My husband was on the elliptical at the beginning of this battle.  Now he’s walking the track.  Every lap he makes, he looks at me like WTF are you doing?  I just give him the eye as I tighten my grip on the silver-handled, heart exploding monitors and get ready to hang on for the interval.    25 Years of marriage – he knows exactly what is going on.  
I became concerned when the heart rate monitor was flashing warning.  I covered it with my towel.  I didn’t want Twinkie and Pony to see that my heart was on the verge of rupturing and in fact I was going to start bleeding from my ears and eyes at any moment.   For the LOVE OF GOD please get off your damn treadmill!
Full volume! TNT, Have a Drink on Me, Rollercoaster- Ohio Players and Chili Peppers – and now Cake.  I’m not going down.  I Won’t Back Down!  Pearl Jam for inspiration. 
Twinkie shut the machine off.  Yes, yes.  Now go on around the corner.  That’s it.  Keep walking. … Yes, they round the corner out-of-sight!  I turn off the machine and it rolls to a stop.  I let the tread carry me to the end.  I get off.  The room keeps going.  I’m stroking, I’m stroking.  Last heart rate – I saw it with my blurry eyes – 222.  HAHAHAHAHA 222  is that calorie or brain burning?  Explosion!  Danger Will Robinson! 
The room slows down.  I hobble to a weight lifting machine.  I collapse into a sweaty seat just occupied by a nice hairy man.  The leftover sweat is oddly comforting on the back of my neck. Attendant walks by – she is older than me.  “Hey, are you okay? Your face is really red. “  No, no I’m not okay.  My heart is exploding and unless I have my beer goggles on, I’m seeing two of you.  My ear drums feel like they had three layers of fuzz on them – oh wait that’s pooled blood from my aneurism.   “Yes, all good.”  I kind of drooled. “I’m just paying for that Twinkie I just ate.” 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Tag.. I'm it..

I was always "it" because I ran so slow... oh well.

Ok... so I've been blogger tagged, and I'm a good sport :-)  - thanks Kathy!! Here are the rules ...
1. Post these rules.
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
3. Answer the questions set for you in your tagger's post.
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
5. Go to their blogs and tell them you’ve tagged them
6. No stuff in the tagging section about "you are tagged if you are reading this." You legitimately have to tag 11 people! (I left it at 5...)
OK... here are 11 random facts about me:

I grew up outside of San Diego (with a few years in Japan), went to middle and high school in Alaska, lived in Seattle for 18 years.. now in Colorado

I am desperately seeking a 1977 Ford Bronco..

I love to cook..

I have 4 kids, ages 7, 7, 21, and 23

I took a summer job with Xerox in 1985 and have yet to leave..

It drives me crazy when people write the word "loose" when they mean "lose"

I went to high school and graduated with Sarah (Heath) Palin

My wife totally rocks...

My kids totally rock..

Raw celery grosses me out..

Kathy's questions ...

  1. What is your ‘must have’ song on your playlist? Tempted by Squeeze
  2. Name one song on your playlist that you are embarrassed to admit is there. Hmm.. Megaman X4 (video game music)
  3. Given the choice would you have a housekeeper or personal chef at your beck and call? Housekeeper
  4. Favorite childhood cartoon and why ... ?? GUMBY!  just because he rocks
  5. If you could pick any historical figure as your running buddy who would it be and why? (Anything goes ... Cleopatra, Napoleon, Freddy Mercury, Fred Lebow, Kurt Cobain... whatever) Einstein.. because the conversation would be great, and I think I could keep up :-)
  6. What is your favorite board game? Are you a good sport ... or like me? Scrabble! and yes, I'm a good sport.. I'm filling this out right?
  7. What is your bucket list race/tri? Leadville 100
  8. If you could pick one dessert to be calorie free what would it be? Cheesecake
  9. What was worse for you in PE class? Running laps or climbing the rope? Rope.. could never do it
  10. What is your favorite book to read over and over? hmm.. tough, but I do love Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.
  11. Who was your first childhood celebrity crush? How do  you feel about him/her now? Any of the original Charlies Angels... yes, I am that old :-)
My questions to pass on ...
1.  What is the most physically motivating song on your playlist?
2.  Do you have a bucket or "life" list?
3.  If yes, how many have you checked off?  If no, why not?
4.  Why do you blog?
5.  First foolish thing you would spend money on after winning the lottery?
6.  Best Christmas memory?
7.  Favorite part of the day?
8.  What was the last movie you saw?
9. Last book read?
10. What country would you most like to visit and why?
11.  What was for breakfast today?

Aaand, here are the lucky bloggers!  Tag.. you're it!
Coy - First in Philly
Nora - Mama Runs Barefoot
Kyle & Robbie - Run Faster the Kids are Catching up!
Andrew - Barefoot Chiropractor
Stan - 9run

Thursday, January 26, 2012

So many shoes.. So little time

Wow... with a post title like that, I feel like Imelda Marcos..  and now I've gone and shown my age..

Ok.. so I don't have 3000 pairs, but I had to chuckle to myself as my running shoe collection is starting to grow.  Perhaps that isn't that crazy, but considering the fact that I'm a proponent of barefoot running and the natural running style, it seems I should not have any shoes at all!

Anyway, here is my shoe progression to date. To the left are the ASICS I bought last spring when I decided to take up running. I did the gait analysis, learned about my pronation issues, and it was determined these were the best for me.  After two or three months of running (or attempts at it), painfully swollen knees, and some good insight from my doctor, I swapped those out for the Invisible Shoe huaraches. It was late summer, and I spent a fair amount of time building up distance in those, and also running short distances barefoot.  Changing style made for incredibly sore calves, feet, and achilles.. but never that damaged kind of pain, but the kind you get when you put in a good workout.

My feet continued to get stronger, but then winter came... and it got colder.  I added Injinji Toe socks to my sandals and that got me through a few months, but eventually the temps dropped and the snow came.   So began my pursuit of the ideal minimalist trail running shoe, and I settled on the royal blue Vivobarefoot Neo Trails.  A great winter trail shoe that I did a very initial review on, and will provide a complete one soon after logging more miles.  At this point, I should have been fine.. BUT.. there was an awesome contest on a great blog called Running and Rambling  for a pair of the brand new Merrell Barefoot Road Gloves, which I somehow managed to win!  I am anxiously awaiting for those to arrive, so yes, there is a pair missing from this picture!  When working with the Merrell rep to get the shoes I won shipped, I mentioned I would review them on my blog... and at that point the awesome rep at Merrell offered to send me a pair of the Barefoot Trail Gloves also which just came in two days ago (pictured on the right).

The 2012 Road Glove from Merrell I am awaiting.. courtesy of http://www.runningandrambling.com/

So... to make an arduously long story short,  this budding barefoot runner will soon own 4 pairs of minimalist shoes... 1 pair I plan to do a follow up review on, and two that I need to log some miles in to review also..   I guess the good thing is I need to run a lot more :-)

1-28-12 Late Breaking news:  After the race on Saturday I popped into Goodwill since it was nearby... lo and behold.. sitting on the shoe rack (with a golden aura around them) was a pair of basically new Vibram VFF Flow's just like the ones below... in my size... for $19.99...  no way I could pass that up... so, the shoe collection grows!  Anyway, if you have any feedback on these let me know.. looking forward to my first run in a VFF.

And if you were wondering, the answer is yes.. when the weather gets warmer I plan to continue my barefoot running progression that got cut short last year.  Is my goal to end up a pure barefoot runner? Probably not.. especially since I am so enamored with trail running, and many trails around here can be pretty tough.  However, I still feel it is the best way to develop the correct form, plus its just so much fun.  But beyond that, my running will be in my huaraches mostly, and one of the minimalist trail shoes once I figure out which ones are the right  ones for me.

 Of course.. I should have a pair for snow.. a pair for rugged trails.. a pair for semi-rugged trails with partial snow... a pair for smoother dirt trails... a pair for smoother dirt trails when it rains... a pair for boring road runs...    guess I should start building a shoe rack!

Anyway... thanks again for listening to me ramble..   hope you all have a great weekend.  I am running the 2nd race (4 Mi) of the Pikes Peak Road Runners Winter Series on Saturday morning... now.. hmm.. what shoes to wear?

Have a great weekend!

"The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art." -Leonardo da Vinci


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Peer pressure, or coincidence??

When we moved to Colorado about 4 1/2 years ago, we had been working as a family to try and be more healthy.  My wife and I have always struggled with our weight for all of our lives, and we had slowly been working towards trying to eat better, exercise etc.

Over the last year, we really made a concerted effort to truly understand how food impacts us, and to strive to eliminate processed foods, inflammatory foods, and to concentrate on whole organic foods whenever possible. During this time we both started exercising more, and I developed my Incline addiction, and a passion for trail running.

During the time we've been in Colorado, I began to notice something about the community here that I didn't catch right away.  What dawned on me was that whenever we were out and about shopping etc, the number of overweight people was really low.  Having always struggled with my weight, I know that I would often see other people and think "well, I'm not as heavy as that guy" etc.  I know that's not the right way to think, but it's human nature nonetheless.  Everywhere else I have lived, that was fairly easy to do, but not here.

So, that led me to wonder how much of this has had an impact on the changes we've made.  I know that the steps we took last year were just part of a longer progression that we had started before, but how much of that feeling of being the odd one out contributed to a push to accelerate our pursuit of improving our health?

Doing a little research, I discovered that Colorado is considered the fittest state, and the only state with an obesity rates being under 20%.  Of course, the state also offers great outdoor activities that support an active lifestyle, but so do a lot of other states.  Regardless, I guess I'm happy we live in such a healthy community!

Peer pressure or coincidence, either way I'll take any help I can get to continue the journey to better health and fitness.  And more importantly, transfer that healthy lifestyle on to our boys so that to them it's not a lifestyle change, but just "life".

Anyway.... food for thought I guess... (pun intended).   Interested to hear your thoughts on this, so please share!  Thanks.. and have a great week and weekend!


Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.  ~World Health Organization, 1948

Saturday, January 14, 2012

I am a trail runner...

Today I ran the first of 4 races in the Pikes Peak Road Runners Winter Series.  I entered the short series, which included today's 3.3M run, and to be followed by a 4M, 5M, and 10K spaced out two weeks apart.

The course this morning was at Cheyenne Mountain State Park,  and it was a great trail that kind of worked its way up into the foothills, had some ups and downs, and the dropped back down to the finish.  It was a really beautiful sunny morning, with temps in the high 40's.  The trail was reported to be 20% covered in snow/ice, so it was also a great opportunity to log more miles on the Vivobarefoot Neo Trails that I did an initial review on here.

The run itself was a little crowded at the start, and there was a bit of single file walking up the icy single-tracks, with no opportunity to pass. Granted, a few times I wasn't complaining, but at others I could have moved faster but was not able to.  Regardless, what dawned on me as I was negotiating the single track, the ups and downs, the ice, snow, dirt, rocks, and frozen rutted mud... was that I simply LOVE trail running.  Perhaps it is because two days before I ran the same distance in our neighborhood, running a loop along the roads, and it was more of a struggle, and not nearly as enjoyable.

I think there is something about negotiating varied terrain, the proximity to nature (sometimes too close), and the mystery of what lies around each bend.  Also, I am not a fast runner by any stretch of the imagination (think of a turtle on Valium), but plodding along a technical single-track gives you that impression of speed with the trees and various natural obstacles seeming to whiz by.

AND... I also learned that I truly love to run downhill, and although I am a plodder on the flats and uphills, I know one of my few strengths at this early stage of my running life is running downhill trails. I attribute that to all the time spent coming down the Barr Trail after climbing the Manitou Incline.  I guess it goes to say that most people would probably prefer running downhill, but maybe not.  In today's race it gave me the opportunity to both make up time, and recover at the same time... a double bonus.

The rest of the Series are on trails that are not nearly as "trail-like" as this one was, so I guess I'm going to have to work on making more road-type runs a little more enjoyable.  But of course, I'll just keep at the Incline and Lovell Gulch Trail , and find others to get my trail fix :-)

As for the Neo Trails?  They performed very well.  About 3/4 of a mile into the race, the uphill climbs on ice packed trail started, so I popped on my YakTrax for extra traction on the ice, which was very helpful.  I also appreciated it on the downhills towards the finish which were also ice covered.  I was concerned about how they would feel through the minimal sole on the Neo's, but I didn't notice them much at all until hitting a little pavement at the finish.  So far I've logged close to 40 miles on them, so will probably look to provide an updated review after getting closer to 75 miles in them.

And before I forget, I wanted to give a shout out to Tim Bergsten, and Pikes Peak Sports.  It's great to see Tim out there snapping great pics, video, and providing encouragement to everyone participating.

Well, thanks for tuning in again..  I'm hoping that the conditions for the 4M in two weeks are such that I can get back into my Invisible Shoes huaraches...  I love the Neo Trails, but I do miss the near barefoot freedom of the sandals.

Have a great weekend, and drop me a comment if you have any feedback, comments, jokes, or random thoughts... thanks!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Irish Soda Bread!

It's been awhile since I've posted anything food related, but today I came across a GREAT recipe that I had to share.  It's another one I learned about from Lillian's Test Kitchen.

Lillian's Test Kitchen is (as noted on her website), "Gluten-free, dairy-free, cane sugar-free, soy-free recipes. Made for the very first time. On Camera."  We've got a lot of great cooking ideas from here, and since we are working to minimize these things in our eating, it's been a great resource.

Anyway, the video is posted below, and I've put the recipe (originally from elanaspantry.com) on the recipes tab above.  Just made this today, but I left out the caraway seeds, and added 1/4 cup of Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips.  Wow... talk about good eats!

Anyway, give it a try...  it's a really great treat, made from good stuff.

Irish Soda Bread!!!! from Lillian's Test Kitchen on Vimeo.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Congrats to the Winners!

First of all, I want to thank everyone that participated in the Happy and Healthy 2012 contest!  I appreciate all the great comments about changes you've made, and what you have planned in 2012.  Thank you also for following my blog and Facebook page.  I hope I can run more contest in the future.  I'm also grateful to the terrific sponsors for the contest.  

Speaking of contests..there is a GREAT one for a pair of Merrell Road Gloves.. check it out at Running and Rambling!

And now the winners!

1st prize of a custom made pair of 4mm Contact or 6mm Connect Invisible Shoes is Robbie-Lynn!

2nd prize of any Road ID product goes to Pensive!

And two 3rd prizes of Pikes Peak Sports T-Shirts goes to Robin S. and Stormy!

I will contact winners directly, but if you don't hear from me please contact me by clicking on my name by the "about me" in the upper left corner.

Thanks again.. and stay happy and healthy!


Thursday, January 5, 2012

What's in your smoothie?

About a year ago, we did a month long elimination diet that was recommended by our doctor and nutritionist. It was a great way to get our bodies "reset" and eliminate inflammatory foods and their effects from our systems.  The great thing about it was that it helped identify food intolerance when we introduced stuff back in to our diet.

During that time, we had smoothies every morning, and that habit has kind of stuck.  I make smoothies 6 or 7 mornings a week and have found it to be an awesome way to start the day with several servings of both fruits and vegetables, as well as some protein. Good thing is that our boys love them too.  It also prompted the eventual replacement of our blender with a Vitamix 5200C which is awesome.  I could probably make a rock smoothie with it.

Anyway, our current blend is organic apple juice, almond milk, banana, organic frozen peaches and blueberries, carrots, spinach or kale, rice protein (vanilla), and a probiotic powder.  Sometimes I change up the fruit, or add coconut milk also.  It really packs a punch and carries me through to lunch pretty well.

So... what's in your smoothie?  Always looking for ideas or to hear what others might be doing to get their days started off right.

And, if you haven't already, make sure you enter the Happy and Healthy 2012 contest here.  Contest runs to Sunday, and I'm looking forward to contacting the winners!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy and Healthy 2012 Giveaway!!


Ok... my first contest!  A great start to a great year!

I am so happy to be able to share some great prizes from some of my favorite companies!  This is almost like a mini-version of Oprah's Favorite Things... well, very mini as I won't be giving away any cars, and I don't expect any of you reading this to burst out into tears of overwhelming happiness... BUT I am happy to be able to share some of my favorite things from 2011!

As you know, I am a big fan of Invisible Shoes and their awesome minimalist huaraches.  They were my first minimalist shoe, and my running vehicle of choice!  So, I'll be sharing the love with a lucky winner who will be sporting a custom-made pair of 4mm Connects, or 6mm Contacts courtesy of Steven Sashen and our friends at Invisibleshoe.com

Also, I was recently fortunate enough to win a gift certificate to Road ID from my friend and fellow blogger,  The Barefoot Chiropractor.  This is a great running product! I used to take my drivers license with me for ID purposes, or my cell phone, only to forget them in the car, or in my shorts etc.  My Road ID wrist band has all critical contact info, is comfortable, is reflective, and looks great!  My wife worries less knowing important contact and health info is always with me when road or trail running. This is one of the best ways to stay safe out there! Thanks to the great folks at Road ID, one lucky winner will receive any customized Road ID product of their choice!

Finally, I have really enjoyed using the Pikes Peak Sports website to share information with other folks in the Pikes Peak area, make blog posts,  participate in contests, take part in discussions, and to stay informed on local outdoor activities.  Pikes Peak Sports, and my friend Tim Bergsten, run a terrific site and Facebook page.  They have done a lot to support runs, the Incline, and other activities in the area, and I look forward to seeing them continue to grow in 2012!  So, from these terrific folks, I am happy to be able to provide the winner a Pikes Peak Sports t-shirt so they can be the cool kid on the block!

The contest starts Sunday January 1st, 2012 at 8PM MST, and runs until Sunday January 8th, 2012 at 8PM MST.


To participate, please leave a comment below confirming  EACH of the actions completed in each comment (don't summarize in one post).  The more you do, the more entries in the contest! (Up to 5 entries per person) NOTE: If you choose to post anonymously, please leave your name or first name and last initial, and then make sure you click on my profile and email me with contact info so that I can contact you if you win.. thanks)

1.  Leave a comment below and tell me about one healthy lifestyle change you made last year in 2011, and also let me know at least one of your goal changes for 2012.

2.  Share this blogpost for the contest to your Facebook page (links at bottom), and leave me a comment that you shared it.

3. "Follow" or subscribe to this blog (link to the right), and leave me a comment to that effect.

4.  "Like" Barefoot Inclined on Facebook (click, or see link to the right), and leave a comment that you have "liked" it.

5.  Share this blogpost for the contest on Twitter (see links below) and leave a comment letting me know.

After the contest closes on January 8th, 2012 at 8pm MST, I will be using Random.org to generate sequence numbers for all comments received, and generate the first, second, and third place winners.  I will contact winners via the email addresses provided when commenting (but not shown or shared).


1st Prize: Your choice of Invisible Shoes 4mm Connect, or 6mm Contact huaraches, either in a DIY kit, OR better yet, Custom-Made!   Courtesy of Steven Sashen and our friends at Invisibleshoe.com 

2nd Prize:  Your choice of any customized Road ID product (Up to $35 value), courtesy of Roadid.com.  The best way to run safe!!

3rd Prize:  A fine T-Shirt from the great folks at Pikes Peak Sports!

Ok.. there you have it!  Good luck, and cheers to a Happy and Healthy 2012 from Jeff 2.0 and Barefoot Inclined!