Follow Your Body and Pace, Not Your Garmin

SteamtownWhile plenty of running apps guide you on how to run a marathon, how to achieve your target finish time, the target pace, average speed, and all sundry, the best advice I have received is “Follow your pace and your body, not your Garmin.”

Not from Garmin, but a buddy, with whom I ran my first marathon. After a couple of marathons, I now know more than ever what he meant. For, I have paid the price each time I did not take his words seriously.

Sometimes I have listened too much to the running app instead of my body. Yet running apps lie, lie and lie! Those moments their GPS locator fails! It did not occur to me [stupid as it sounds] that running apps timing is based on GPS availability!

Well, I had never paid serious attention, until that sweet-bitter race! My finish time was totally different from the official marathon finish time, I learned that my running app did not correctly record the time, in plac
es it was MIA! It just continued on from where it had stopped recording.

Sometimes, I listen to the paces of fellow runners, and either follow, maintain my pace or slow down. This could either be both a good and bad for achieving my race goal.

A week and a-half ago, I did my second marathon of this year, after Boston in April. For this last marathon, it was a great idea to strike a balance between holding back and following “the crowds”. For most the run, I decided my own pace; oh I take that back, MapMyFitness [and sometimes RunKeeper] decided my pace.

Then and again, I tagged onto a runner or a group of runners. About three miles to finish, I found myself a pacesetter who pulled me along to finish. If she did not come along when she did, I would have slowed down, especially at Mile 25. I did not expect that nasty hill near the finish. Let me just say, from mile 23, it was all uphill. But she was still running as fit as a fiddle, and had done this race before.Pacesetter

So, I just tagged along, and that helped me conquer the steep hills. In fact, she saved me from a would-be shocking terrible finish. I had no idea, my apps were not telling me correct timing! I was holding back, thinking I am running faster than my target pace. All wrong!

I know that going too fast can also be detrimental to a good finish. Boston 2015 comes to mind. I had a great time, running out there with lots of cheers, the weather was not too bad and my legs felt in the best shape ever. I was not listening too much to my running app, but my body.

But for the last six miles, particularly the last three miles, I experienced the most difficulty, staying the course. Plenty of times, I wanted to quit and walk. It was gruesome climb after climb. The course is a pain in the butt, plus the wind velocity of the day. Damn! It beat me so bad. But I am proud because I had great pace/mileage.

For my next marathon, I plan follow my body and legs more than my Garmin. Yes, I am going to invest in a Garmin again! You know, ever since I started running with my phone [which is kind of for security purposes] I put off buying another Garmin after my previous one broke. I thought, running apps work as good as a Garmin.

But there’s no better GPS technology than a Garmin to locate you, while mobile network provider sleeps off. Implying, the “security phone” is actually not secure the entire course. Your mobile network provider might not rescue you, if you run off in the thicket of the forest!

Above all, remember to have fun running a marathon, color your hair, read the placards and give a power touch whenever a spectator asks for one. High 5 the kids, stretching their hand out to cheer you on along the course. Respond with a “Thank You” to the spectators as much as possible. It means a lot to acknowledge those who have foregone their sleep, standing out in the freaking cold, the heat or pollen to fuel you up.

Next up, Chic-Town?Pacesetter too

Running Alone, In a Sea of Runners

 [I wrote a week ago, on the even of Steamtown Marathon 2015, Saturday, October 10]

I recently reSteamtown Expo signad a blog thecatchmeifyoucan.com, the blogger explaining that she chooses to travel alone.

I do not! I neither choose nor like to travel alone, but I do. Nor do I choose to run alone, but I do.

As I sat in the cafeteria of Nazareth Students Center at Maywood University in Scranton, PA, reality checked me. I had just picked up my running Bib and pack for the 20th Steamtown Marathon 2015, happening the next day, October 11. I realized that I am actually running the marathon, as the only person I know.

I am running the marathon alone, in a sea of runners. How could that be? Just like my usual runs, which I always run solo. Even though the Pocono Area Running Club (PARC) exists in my neighborhood, but its schedule does not permit. See, I told you before, “Choice is Illusive!”

That I am running solo, is probably not unique.  I bet there are others like me. I have seen a couple of runners, sitting by themselves around here. But who knows if they are waiting for friends or family? Well, others, thankfully, have families who accompanied them to pick up their race packets. And will probably stand along the route to cheer them on tomorrow.

What is actually unique to me, is that I am the only black woman I have seen here, thus far. True, I have seen a couple of black men, but no black women in sight. And because this is America, we see color and race very quickly.
Steam town race packages

So, how do I always end up traveling and running solo? As I said, I do not choose solo life; it just finds me. But it is not a deterrence to me. I will still run, even if I am the only person I know. I registered alone, so why should I expect to meet anyone I know at the race!

Well, Boston/BA
A 201
5 was different. I expected to meet plenty of runners from my alma meter(s), even though I trained solo in Mt. Poconos. My first marathon – Standard Chartered Nairobi marathon, was the only time
I registered, trained, traveled and run with a group of friends. I enjoyed every bit of it! Matter of fact, I had a pace-mate.

Since then, I have registered for each successive marathon alone, and run so
lo. At the Edinburgh Marathon (EMF), I run solo, but expected to see my friends cheering me on along the route, and meeting me at the finish line. Bet
they underestimated how fast I run! I saw none along the route. In fact, they arrived hours after I was done running, and had downed umpteen gallons of beer!

Now, here at the Steamtown Marathon, I am eating my pre-race dinner, all alone, sitting alone, moving up and about alone. Deterred? I am not! And while I feel…

IMG_1445
…unprepared,   underprepared, undertrained and overwhelmed, I am ready to go out and conquer he World. Let’s Steamtown!

Where has all the time Gone?

Boston StrongI do not know about yours, but right here I wonder, where has all the time gone? Days seem to run pretty fast here. The other day, it was Monday, now it is Saturday, going on to Sunday!

Dear Calendar, Please allow me to catch my breath!

This is the second weekend of May 2015, and the second week, since I did the Boston Marathon. I am in “recovery mode”; I think I am doing pretty good. Doing nothing crazy, with my body. A couple of runs here and there, not going for mileage, yet. Just happy to go out, when I can.

My legs are doing quite great, back to pounding the tarmac. No 40+ miles per week runs at present, just enough to keep me excited that I went out and did it. A week ago, I ran only 10 miles, this week I have already done 13.9 miles. And it is it not even the end of the week. I still wake up on a couple of weekends, and just do it.

Don’t get it twisted; I am not down and out just yet. You’re probably wondering how I can fall that far from grace! I know, it can be a little haunting and taunting not to do 40+ miles per week. Though, I am not freaking out at all. I know I need a little break.

Good news, my fundraising efforts seem to be styling up; I have two new donors to my CrowdRise account, with $100.00 each, thanks to my stellar performance in the marathon. I am still hoping for more! If you would like to support, please click here to support.

Judging by the number of likes my marathon picture got, I trust the same support will come through. I have no doubt the folks who liked the picture, will also like giving $5.00, $10, $50 or $20 to my cause. supporting Tufts Medical.

For now, I am looking forward to my next big challenge, perhaps Steamtown Marathon this October, if all goes as planned. I will train smart and strategic. I want to do the downhills and uphills, per run course. I should have a PR, right? That’s if I get a mastery of “Downhill-Uphill Running

Running never stops. I strongly believe that, if I can conquer running, then I can conquer back my weight, pre-Bartonsville. That battles seems more uphill than “Heartbreak Hill” along Boston Marathon course.

Nothing is unattainable. We just have to dust ourselves and try again!

Running also opens up other great joys, achievements and awards. I am still thankful for those who stake their time and efforts to watch me grown and achieve big, and participate in my actualizing and celebrating my happiness. Family and friends helping out in many ways – chauffer-ing, sharing a pie of their possession with my Child, Super grateful!

Hoping that my zeal to run and accomplishments, will translate into other areas I sick success, family finances, ownership, career and adventure.

Ignorance is Bliss, Sometimes….

IMG_4254Literary societies pride themselves in the abundant availability of information. They privilege the ability to read and write, communicate and publish. Evidence of one’s name imprinted on a couple of publications, bestows a level of respect and titles, and a sit at several ‘high tables’ as a respectably important member of society.

In academia, we know the common saying, ˆPublish or Perish”. So real that tenure-track aspirants spend their maiden post-PhD years teaching, conducting research, writing and submitting articles to academic journals for publication. While publishing does not guarantee tenure track per se, at least it gains the pursuant important visibility and respect within and outside academia. Writing and publishing provide one a sense of comfort and confidence, adds a paragraph onto one’s literate portfolio, and the self-endowment to sit on one’s very high horse.

No doubt information is very useful, even to everyday living. We need information to operate the microwave, drive a car, assemble furniture, or cross the road. Even in our professions, passions and personal lives, access to information enables our career progression, personal growth, goal attainment and reaching for the moon. Information shapes our job applications, helps us prepare for big events like training for a marathon or nurturing our children into well-developed human beings. Yes! The ones who will take care of you when you are of age; I mean, put you up in a nursing home with abundant information sources – Television, remote control microwave, smartphone, book library, and a temper-pedic with a button to call room-service.

Sometimes, however, too much information is undesirable. Ignorance is Bliss!

For instance, right about now, I am overwhelmed with all the information flooding into my brain as I prepare for Boston Marathon 2015. I do not remember any other time, while training for other marathons I have done, receiving this much information. This time, plenty of emails, newsletters and bulletins mailed, e-updates, web information and running apps. Add to that, Webinars! Really?

Please believe me, I recently signed up for a Webinar on preparing for Boston 2015! I thought I was gonna be about logistics in preparation and getting to Marathon Day, April 20. I did not expect another academic seminar on “panic relief”, “fluid prescription”, “emotional” and “psychological” stamina during the marathon, or a whole chapter on Maslow!

Perhaps this is, indeed the “thrill of a Big City Marathon”? Perhaps it is just Boston

source B.A.A

source B.A.A 

Marathon? I can understand the ‘paranoia’ among the organizers, trying to deter another 2013 bombing. Understandably, extra caution needs to be taken to secure the race before and on the day, to ensure safety, confidence and security for all runners. It never occurred to me that some people actually suffer panic attacks during or in the middle of the race, requiring specialized treatment.

Yes, I know of colleagues who have run to the porta-potties to ease their running stomachs along the marathon course. I know folks who have taken a break, read a novel, adjusted their socks, and got back onto marathon route. None required specialized support and rescue, or sessions of webinar preparation!

In my imagination, running is something one picks up out of interest, as a hobby, ultimately becoming routine part of their existence. Granted, some folks run for their livelihoods and dedicate themselves to as much preparation, training and mentoring as possible. Still, I doubt any of them started out as “textbook runners”. Most of the world’s most elite runners are from very poor backgrounds, and some started out running with no running shoes. While, they have grown into world phenomena, I doubt all they sit around reading textbook from “theoretical runners”, on how to run a marathon. I am sure they might read up on what to expect when registration materials are sent out to them, and perhaps log onto marathon websites.

I must say, all this information is freaking me out! I already have enough responsibility keeping up with my run apps, reviewing run assessments and statistics after every run. Plus the pile of information on training and staying in the winter; buying the right running shoes; tapering; keeping the pace; nutrition and diet during training and on marathon, I am e-receiving from my team coach, and the B.A.A newsletters.

source B.A.A website

source B.A.A website

I want to stop reading, but that is not feasible. I am worried I will miss out on last minute details. Too much information seeping through my ears into my head on marathon preparation is making me crazy. I already have enough worries, whether I will attain my target pace and finish time. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful that I have all the community support through my marathon running team, I am yet to meet, and the marathon organizers…But please, can I have no more information….Please leave me in my Blissful Ignorance.

It is March 20th! 31 Days to April 20th

Yesterday, Friday, March 20 marked exactly thirty-one days to April 20th, which will be a Monday!

You may be wondering, why the fuss with “the 20th”?

Worry no more, March 20th is the Official First Day of Spring 2015; April 20th is the set date for Boston Marathon 2015. Incidentally, both days are gut wrenching to me.

While Spring officially began – it also snowed, expected to accumulate to six inches. Isn’t life too strange? Just the other day, we were happily clad in our little skirts, kissing Winter goodbye, saying hello to Spring blossoms!

April 20th is also beckoning me, with nervous blossoms! I have to be ready to run 26.2 miles of the Boston Marathon, and do it with a good finish, better than my current record of 3h:56min. I have tried training with discipline, or so I think. Yet, I do not feel as strong as I was last time I ran a marathon in 2013. I said a lot about my fitness and training experience this time around, in my writing last week.Bye Bye Muzino_Fotor

This week, I have thus far put in 27.4 miles out of a possible 48 miles in three days. I still have two days to run this week, seven miles tomorrow – Saturday and 14 miles on Sunday. I am hoping to beat my procrastination and run Saturday on snow. Where the hell are my YaktraxYes I Can still achieve my goal for this week, and slightly more! I am more optimistic about Sunday, shhh don’t tell anyone I am losing my umph! Turns out, I spent Saturday at the gym taking a break from the concrete

I guess I need to go into that “Taper Zone” yesterday, even though the run schedule I am using is telling me otherwise. I still need to put in more strength training at home and the gym. This week has tested my strength, and questioned my resilience. I have done better time than this week. Ugh! Blame it on the weather, speed training, long distance running and low strength.

In all fairness, the weather has not too bad, except for a few windy days that required gloves and facial masks. I have ran through worse winter days. This time, I went for speed on plenty of runs, burning out on the climbs, without quick recovery – State of Mind.

Typically, my runs begin with setting up four different run Apps, followed by fitting on three pairs of gloves that take a hell lot of my time, before I start running. Somebody please point me to a pair of gloves warm enough to withstand the brisk winter cold. I bought the most expensive skiing gloves from my area sports store, but my lil’ fingers still froze real bad!

Along all my running routes are plenty of steep climbs, especially the last two near competition of my runs. After all the speed running, they kind of burn me out with a not so stellar ending. I am yet to regain my stamina. I am consoling myself that I will do better running with a group on Marathon day and finding pacesetters.Though, the 3+ run apps I am using kind of take their toll on me. I would not recommend it to anyone. Though, each has its story.

One, is the longest I have used ever since I started running Apps back in June 2013. It also has most of my friends from around the world, allowing me to follow their fitness activities and and stay inspired. From time to time, it offers me a chance to subscribe to a challenge with occasional benefits of “one-month free Elite Membership Passes” and access to all my running statistics in comparison to others, thus boosting my running. proficiency.

In 2014, I subscribed to another App that combined running with a good nutrition monitoring package, allowing me to submit daily food intake and monitor calorie intake. Gone are those days of obsessing over what I eat, submitting daily food intake! I got so confused trying to monitor food intake, and ate more to make up for the calories lost during exercise. Out with calorie counting; hello disciplined eating! Plus, this App also tracks my running gear mileage, alerts me when I need to replace my shoes, and recommends equally good ones.

The third app is relatively new, offered to Boston Marathon entrants. I started using it late in training, so it is kind of off Boston Marathon schedule. The fourth is my charity App I use to I donate all my mileage run or walked (I rarely record any walking) to the a charity of my choice – Every Mother Counts.

Running with four apps can be daunting, especially the three loudest Apps! Each has own timing and cues- when one says “speed up”, another says “slow down to blue zone”, then another says, “you are behind your target time.” Too confusing, but I suck it up and concentrate more on my first choice, that I started with for marathon training.

Hopefully, next week is gonna be much better, with 52 miles lined up, the last planned long distance run. Thereafter, it will be speed training and more speed training. Hopefully, no more snow days! OR somebody better ship me off to train on top of the Sahara…

And while we start the Spring blossoms, please do not forget about me. I am still asking for your support, toward my Boston Marathon charity, Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition, kindly click on this link https://www.crowdrise.com/doreenlwanga to donate toward my fundraiser. Together, we can support and sustain good health, wellness and fitness research and services to the public.

56.7 miles in a Week averaging – F Weather!

Last week, I run a total of 56.7 miles, over six days, in an average of single digit weather. The weather last week was terrible with snow, ice and wind, all moving at high velocity. I had to suck it up and do what I have to do, run it. Success does not wait, nor does marathon training.

That is why we invest in YakTrax, to providing traction and run smoothly over snow. Proper running shoes, a warm jacket – there is nothing better than Free Country, a warm cozy pair of running socks – shout out to Cabot & Sons, plus head, neck and mouth gear smitten in Buff’s multifunctional wear. You should see me out on the road. I am all good to go. My mittens are with me, supplementing my Columbia gloves. Which reminds me that I lost one of them, and need a replacement, as well as a replacement of the running shoes.

I am proud of myself for 56.7 miles. I hope to replicate that, going forward. The first step is always a challenge, especially thinking of the gush of the wind awaiting my body once I step out of the door. I am grateful I am able to overcome that. Add to that, treading carefully the first 0.4miles of my route, to avoid slipping on icy roads. Sometimes I forget my YakTrak when I step out of the door, and have to walk carefully on the snowy sides. But even when I have them, some of the roads are too icy to take chances of falling, so I walk and my pace suffers. And Yes! I need to replace the YakTrax – wow! more money going out!

Did I say that the pace is also affected by wearing gloves? That’s right! Since I have to double glove – I am yet to find one pair of gloves that keeps me fully comfortable, I have to start the running Apps before starting the run, and that counts against me. The least of my worries, it should be. As long as I go out and do it!

Now I need to really go out and get some money, fundraising on the road for my charity. My ideas it to myself a mobile billboard, and collect any donations possible. Please help me raise money as part of the Tufts Marathon Team (TMT) to the Boston Marathon 2015, to support research on nutrition, obesity, hunger and famine, and to sustain programs that promote health and wellness across the university and within our host communities of Medford, Somerville and Boston’s Chinatown. Here is the Link to my Tufts Fundraiser. You can also support me personally, as I train for the marathon

The Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition offers a very specialized program designed to study adolescent obesity. Dr. Christine Economos is the chairperson of the study, and is also the Director of Child Obesity 180 at the Friedman School. She is currently a committee member for the Institute of Medicine report, “Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention: Solving the Weight of the Nation.”

According to our coach, Don Megerle, additional funds are also raised and donated to the Tufts Personalized Performance Program. This program was actually an offshoot of the original Tufts Marathon Team concept. The program educates and trains seniors at Tufts to become Life-Coaches in the fields of health, nutrition, and personal fitness. There are 15 seniors enrolled in the program, and they assist me during the year with various projects related to the marathon. Marten Vandervelde, Director of the PPP, ran the Boston Marathon with the TMT three years ago.

Fundraising takes the same zeal as training to run a marathon

As someone who has tried my hands at both, I must admit that fundraising takes the same zeal as training to run a marathon. When you are doing both at the same time, one partly to benefit the other, it gets more complicated. In training for my first Boston Marathon (2015) with the Tufts Marathon Team (TMT) I am also trying to fundraise for the Tufts nutrition, health and fitness programs at the Tufts Medical Center.runtheworld

Sometimes I get overrun by training for the impending marathon that I forget to keep the fundraiser as active. Yet, the former requires as much dedication and consistency as the latter. The consequences for falling off either one, are detrimental, haunting, and costly in financial dreams and ego.

Yet, both involve a wider public audience of friends, family and strangers, who will come through to support your cause. A public fundraiser banks on the assumption that it would not be hard to get as little as ten kind souls to donate at least five dollars each. That makes it $50.00, in an instant! For my personal fundraiser, I would be US$755.00 away from achieving my humble fundraising goal to afford me a much needed pair of running shoes, training gear and a few hours in the gym for strength training. I should say that my initial fundraising goal was US$1130. Thanks to a kind soul who paid my hefty Boston marathon registration fee of US$325, reducing the goal to US$805.00, of which I have thus far collected two donations!

I also have a major and much bigger fundraiser of US$5,000, as a requirement for running with TMT.  All proceeds go directly to support the Tufts Medical Center. So far, I have not even raised a single penny of it, through my social networks that I am using. Never mind that sometimes weeks I sent out at least two emails.  I am a little taken back by my abysmal performance thus far, considering I have  outstanding expertise in social networking and fundraising, from cold calls to emails, door-to-door, telephone, grant writing and crowd sourcing.

All hope is not lost, I am still giving it my all, as much as I am trying to keep focused on my marathon training plan. The gist of training for a marathon is to set your goal, aim a great finish and come out strong and accomplished. Similarly, the aim of fundraising is to have a strong rewarding finish with the goal netted in the bag (and over) and satisfaction attained. The proof of training for the marathon is in the time covered in 26.2 miles; the proof of fundraising is in the money raised. How much public clout one is able to attract, is a satisfying measure of one’s accomplishments. Ten or twenty cheerleaders could be as resourceful (or even more than) as 100, if their love and support helps one successfully accomplish set goal.

Which explains why I believe running provides a great opportunity for soul searching and reflection on goals, accomplishments, strategies and ultimate product. I run at least five days per week, aiming for at least 42 miles per week. I fall short sometimes, due to the inclement weather or family obligations. I live in an area of steep climbs, mountains and heavily snowed-up winters. The back roads are narrow with hardly any sidewalks. The main roads are all concrete, without much defined sidewalks. When it snows, the roads are not cleared immediately, which starves me of running space.

I am not really scared of running under a snowfall, I have done it several times – rain, sleet, wind or scorching sun. I am more concerned for motorists during snowfall or immediately thereafter, who have to navigate the slippery roads and keep away from barely-there sidewalks to create leg/running room for me. Often under better weather conditions, many move into the middle of the road to share the road with me, though it is more complicated when the roads are still covered with snow or low visibility.

But that does not stop me from going out to put in the mileage or show face in the public. With my YakTrax strapped to my running soles, I go out and run in the snow, providing enough room for motorist to drive safely, while also keeping myself far away from the main road. Or I go out off-peak hours, when road traffic is low, mostly after the morning work commute, before lunch hour. I schedule all my runs during the day before dark, to avoid getting hit by a speeding motorist or attack from bad people. Makes perfect sense, since my color is not as reflective in the dark as my running gear (smile). Thanks to my currently flexible schedule of [unintentional] underemployment, I have more flexible hours during the day, when child is at school.

Why don’t you join me and support my cause(s), to make me a happy runner of my first Boston Marathon 2015, and a proud accomplished fundraiser for more health, fitness and nutritional programs at Tufts.

To support my person fundraising goal of US$805.00 toward the purchase of a new pair of shoes (Zappos tells me it is time to replace both pairs I have used for the last one year), running gear, and a few gym hours of strength training, please click on this link http://fnd.us/c/9vY4b

To support my fundraiser for the Tufts Medical Team of US#5,000, please follow this link https://www.crowdrise.com/tuftsboston2015/fundraiser/doreenlwanga to my personal profile on crowdwise.

And, feel free to donate to both, as much or as little as you can.

Come Run With me!

Thank you!

So much for Adidas Marathon TR 10

Needless to say, I returned them to the shop…..! BAD IDEA…they were painful to my knees and ankles! Really hard on the feet…NOT comfy AT ALL! Especially running on concrete….!

And, after just one day exercise – 23.6 miles run and 3.89 miles walk, they got ripped on the top!! see the pic herein below.Image

They are the greens on the top row…

And, I got them, a day before this CHEAPER option….Climacool Aerate 2 -…which are serving me MUCH better! More comfortable, perfect fitting (yet 2 sizes below the others), and more aerated! 

Lesson Learned: Never seek in-store recommendation for a marathon shoe [similar to asking for directions while on a blind run…just continue your blind running, and you will get there!]. Mistake I made, was to ask the sales associate if he has a good in-store marathon shoe. I think he wanted to make a sale, so he took me to the expensive ones.

I don’t mind paying an extra buck for a proper running shoe -especially when I am preparing for a marathon; I take these very seriously. Last year, I ordered a Saucony Kinvara 3, the Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon….and I should say it is the most value-for-money shoe I have ever owned…I am serious! Ok, I have had Brooks that have impressed me before, until I lost one foot…somewhere. But my Saucony K-3 smoothly bounced off the concrete. I was super-protected. I did not feel no pressure on my foot or heels or knees.

But then I was in Uganda, and Runner’s World was my rescue. Now that I am back in the US, I decided to go into the store. and took advantage of Columbus Day Weekend Sale. They were priced at $69.99, quite more expensive in comparison to plenty of the shoes in-store that weekend, but still less than Amazon.com listing.  I bought them in Green color [but cannot find one with an online review]. Absolutely surprised how light and comfortable they felt stepping in them, and trying them around the store.

Then, I put them…one day…and that’s it. Fortunately, Adidas store accepted them back…and gave me my full refund. Thankfully! Now I can look for that Merrell shoe I tried on at Ready-Set-Run. I thought I had got deep in my head the model of the shoe. 

FYI, I was listening to  Drs TV show, and they were talking about Athletics shoes v. High Heels…which one wears out your knees and ankles faster. Verdict: Athletes shoes. Apparently, the extra padding makes you tip down on heel and knee as you run. placing plenty on pressure on heal, a lot of which is absorbed on ankle, knee joint. Overtime, this causes trouble around cartilage and pain and damage of cartilage.

Unlike barefoot walking or you land bare with high heel-shoes. I am very sure I will try out barefoot shoes. They are  natural; they mimic barefoot running. Drs said, in fact it is better to run barefoot on the ground or grass. I have actually tried barefoot running….in our tennis court. But that was not that easy on the concrete. But when we run around in the grass with my son, we go barefoot.

Anyway, off to find my next magic marathon shoe. For now, Adidas it is –the Climacool

 

Anyway, thought this might interest you

Why I Run……

I run to keep fit
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I run to sweat it out
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I run to challenge myself 
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I run to give back to charitable causes
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I run to achieve a goal
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I run to inspire my son

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 I run to be a part of the social experience
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I run to meet exciting people
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I run for mental health
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I run to express myself
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I run to suck in nature and its beauty
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I run to feel forever-21
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T.G.I.F (Thinking GOAL Is Fulfilling))

Half-way into the year, I have achieved the biggest goals that I set at the beginning of this year. Now, I am embarking on other major goals as the year folds up.

They say, the first step to recovery is confessing that you have a problem…..and I am experiencing that straight in my face….watching this TV Show…don’t know what it is…my first time….on drug addicts on the road to recovery. The addicts are saying it all…Names of drugs I have repeatedly heard of, or never at all.  Scary as it is, the judge has to listen to all this…and viewers like me have to suck it in. If I were into drugs, I would quit right now..or join a recovery center…Well, at least they are setting themselves goals…right?

I am thankful for setting goals; getting into jogging and running marathons are one of those outstanding examples.

I started jogging back in Atlanta, GA, as therapy. I was going through financial uncertainty – between jobs. I went on to participate in my first social run – the 2003 Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta, GA – an annual even on July 4. Oh! I also did the Atlanta’s Finest (Police Department) 5K Road Race, and won Best Female Category, and received an engraved mug in the mail. 

Thereon, jogging has become great resource for my mental health, physical fitness and enjoyment. Setting myself the challenge of waking up to jog every morning in grad school in Boston, MA helped me stay sane- with little sleep but I could wake up and make it to my morning classes – that holy grail called International Legal Order. I even tried signing up for the Boston Marathon 2005, but the cold winters chased me from training. At least I inspired classmates, who had never jogged or been to the gym to get out and exercise.

I kept going when I moved to work NYC, using jogging to wake me up into a better mood. spent the first four months of my pregnancy jogging on the roads in Uganda, every morning from my family house and around the hills of Rubaga to Makerere.

Plus, keeping myself goal oriented to jog, helped me achieve my goal of having my baby all natural, no medication, and no epidural after 12 hours of labor! Post-partum, I resumed my jogging as soon as Dr. said, “you are good to go”. But I did not beat myself to lose weight; my goal was to breastfeed my son, and make sure he was growing health. I knew the weight was gonna come off. 

Once we got to Uganda, I resumed my morning road runs; forty-five minutes every Mon-Fri and 21-23k on Saturday, until that car accident in January 2011. Good for me, I did not break or fracture any bones so, once recovered I made another goal of continuing with my jogging from track and field at the place I worked. Then, l I ran the annual MTN Marathon 10K in 2007 and 2010, and graduated to 21K in 2011 and 2012. With my running group – The Hash and Kisementi, I did my first full marathon in the 2012 Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon, October.

I became a running bunny – set and accomplished all running goals, ran every monday with The Hash, Tuesday to Friday by myself, and Saturday and Sunday with hashers.

I am thankful that I am setting myself another goal of doing the Boston Marathon 2014 with the Tufts Marathon Team [again]. My other goal is to raise $5,000 toward Tufts Medical, Nutritional and Sports program. I hope I can stick it out training consistently when the winter comes full fronto, here Pocono mountains and woods of Pennsylvania, where I live now. 

I do not under-estimate the resourcefulness of social networks, family, will power, stamina, fall [yes] and hard-times in helping me fulfill my dreams. I also believe in mantras in aiding me achieve my goals. Here are my top three:

     “Everything happens for a reason; even the hard times.”
     “Whatever does not kill you makes you stronger.”
     “Life always gives us what we ask for, but with a few twists and turns.” [according to G-Monnie]

So, T.G.I.F. – Thinking GOAL Is Fulfilling! Image