Personally, I received a pair of Injinji toe socks to compliment by near obsession my Vibram Fivefingers. I am excited to try these out because I have been wearing them totally sock-free, and therefore, I had a limit as to what temperature I could run (I cut off around 40 degree, at which time I just put on my Brooks). Now I probably have another 10 degrees of buffer to work with, which means more gloriously difficult but fulfilling barefoot runs.
I have been pretty fortunate with the weather lately. This week alone I had two beautiful and semi-warm days to throw on the VFFs and hit the pavement. To be honest, when the sun is shining, I am a far better runner. On Monday it was cold and cloudy, and my 7 miles were totally miserable. Tuesday was the exact opposite, and I put together a beautiful, reaffirming 4-miler. I even did hill-repeats (the first speed work in my Vibrams), and I felt like my legs had unlimited potential. Dayton is pretty flat, but I do have some hills right by my house. I went up and down this little gem 6 times during the 4 miles, and I felt great after it.
|Fact: Hills look and feel more intimidating in person.|
Speaking of cross-training, I had a solid week in that department. I have continued to work on my dead lifts and power cleans, which is really good for keeping me humble! Dead lifts let me know how far I have come, but they also show me how far I have to go with my core. While I have been working on my front side, my lower back hasn't had as much action, so I am really glad I am hitting that area strong. I also feel like my fore-arms are getting worked more than usual, which is a tough area of the body to do.
Along with my general weight-lifting, I am continue to work on my #fitfebruary push-ups challenge. I have been doing all different kinds of push-ups, averaging over 100 a day for the month! I am loving what this is doing for my chest and back! I am also loving the use of medicine balls and balance equipment for them because it forces your body to balance and adjust in the process. When your body is working that hard, it works like a body-wide plank, which is VERY powerful. If you have two medicine balls, try spreading them out on the floor and putting one hand on each. Then just balance on them and do a push-up. Try to get as low to the floor as you can, and feel your chest, back, core, shoulders and arms all working to accomplish the task - awesome, right?
|Two balls is better than one... for this exercise.|
I would think most of you drink a protein shake on the reg, so I don't even need to recommend that. What I do need to recommend is this: get vanilla whey of some sort, use milk (water and protein is gross), and then add banana, strawberries and blueberries. Yeah, your world will then be rocked! Not only is this combo delicious, but you are getting a tremendous amount of benefits. Personally, I like to know that the things I am eating have some sort of future benefit for my training, my body or my mental state, so this is a great way to go. Some people like to add peanut butter, and I do like it, but I also don't want the added fat. On a normal day, the only bad fat I have come from my morning coffee creamer, and I am not giving that up, so I had to prioritize.
Valentine's Day was fun, but it has been horrendous for my diet. I have students who have parents who like to bake, so I was showered with sugary snack. I also received many a chocolate and plenty of candy... Ugh. I really have no will power, so if things are placed in front of me, I tend to go overboard - the later part of this week has been no exception! I really should have seen this coming, but I intend on seriously cracking down on things next week because I foresee no set-backs on the calendar until St. Patrick's Day. I have still included some good things though, so I haven't felt too bad during my workouts; I just really want to tone up before race season and swim suit season!
I am becoming more and more involved on twitter, so make sure you follow me! I feel like the dorky kid at the table though because I have next to no followers! I just don't know how people get tens of thousands of followers! Plus, how do they keep track of all those people? I have a hard enough time keeping up with my current feed. I do like all the #runchat and other chats that come along because I learn one or two new things every time. Get on with me and let's talk running and fitness.
I am also curious as to how you feel about male bloggers. To be honest, I didn't expect for this community to be so widely dominated by women (definitely not saying this is a bad thing), so I sometimes feel a bit out of place. I was wondering if I am out of place, and if that is a good thing or a bad thing. I am also curious as to whether or not this has impacted my blog's following at all. This is just the social-scientist in me!
Finally, I am curious as to whether you have any suggestions or questions for me? I would love to hear from you!
How was your Valentine's Day? Did you get any running goodies?
Is anyone else a massive Walking Dead fan? I am. How did you feel about the new episode?
Does sunshine dramatically impact your run?
What do you add to your protein shake?
At what mileage do you feel like you are really "running"?