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Wish List Wednesday… I wish I had time/money for my 2 passions

This week’s wish has me pondering the difficulty I am having choosing between my 2 active passions. I honestly wish I had the time and the money to be committed to both capoeira and running, but I dont. In this time of transition and progress in my life, things I love have to be sacrificed.

I wish I had the time/money for my 2 passions

I wish I had the time/money to be dedicated to both running and capoeira

Set up- Capoeira in My Life

Im not the greatest capoeiraista in the world. In fact, im barely passable at it, but I love the art, the action, the music, etc. In its most pure form it remains one of the most beautiful things in the world to watch.  I used to kill at capoeira. I mean I was the it guy ads far as training hard and often. 5, 6 days a week and 2 times a day over the summers at my peak. If their was a capoeira road trip, I was there. If we had a presentation, I would leave work early and go without dinner and be there. If there was a workshop an hour away, I would find away to be there.

Capoeira took me places- Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans, and the time of my life in Brazil. Capoeira- took ME places- increased my physical fitness, built my self confidence, opened my eyes to a whole new world of people, gave me friends, and a home away from home.

Good times in New Orleans with some capoeira peeps. One of the many great experiences this wonderful art has given me

I have been training capoeira for 4 years. For those 4 years it has been the major player, the major direction in my life. It was both escape and fun, adventure and diligence. It just isnt anymore. Why? Why has it shifted?

1.  Closing of the Original Academy– New one is nice- but with less classes, incovneinet times, and a longer distance – it just doesnt work for me. Its just not the same. That old place I put blood, sweat and tears into. This place has no significance to me

2. Vanishing Friends– All the people I came up with and started out training with have moved or moved on. I miss them and the newbies continue to come and go

3. Multiple Directions– Work got more intense this year, possibly moving, running, trying to develop a personal/social life leaves a diminishing amount of time and money for capoeira

4.  Opened Eyes– Capoeira took me completely out of my shell. It spurred the urge for discovery of new things, new experiences, and a wider world. Sometimes that interferes with the capoeira grind.

5. Running-. When my fitness level plateaued after a few years of capoeira and I got in a bad habit of binge eating I put on several unwanted pounds. I knew I needed to amp up my fitness level significantly since we were not going that intensely at the moment inside the academy. I started to work the elliptical, lift weights, spin, and most importantly run. Running eventually took over. Capoeira two  a days became running two-days. Time I would spend learning capoeira songs, became time spent reading reading running blogs and Runners Worlds. Big purchases became more focused on races and running gear and not on capoeira trips. I used to know when all the capoeira events were, and who was going but that information got substituted for race calendars. Stories about great training sessions became stories about hitting great runs.

I still train capoeira, and I still love it but my devotion to it has diminished. There just isnt enough time and money for both. Im down to once maybe twice a week. Sometimes when I train it is with nagging soreness and minor injuries from running and other exercise as well. I wish I had time for both passions, but it doesnt work in any reality. More and more I am having to chose between him.

Regular training at the old academy, I spent so much time in that place it was remarkable. Good memories

The Ideal Wish-  Time for both

That capoeira was more convenient so I didnt have to give it up. That the academy was closer so it didnt kill me in gas to get there. That there were classes on the weekends, or at closer locations;  so I could go train and keep running. That I had the money to pop down to St. Pete or Srasota every now and again and train capoeira down there. Or that the group would focus more of its events in Tampa closer to where I live so I can be more involved. That capoeira would be there when I head up to Tallahassee in August. That I could find a healthy and natural balance between 2 amazing physical activities that I find resonance and enjoyment in.

Getting ready to play for my 4th cord at a capoeira batizado. A day after this I pr-ed in a half marathon in Tampa with a time of 1:36. I was incredibly proud of both. Equally proud.

The Reality- A decreasing role

Capoeira increasingly plays a diminshed role in my life. At the most I can get down to class twice a week on a good week. The academy is just too far away, and the classes fall on nights that no longer work for me. There is just too much else in my life I need to put my energies in. That includes running. I have distinct running goals that I want to achieve, and at the moment they supersede the vague capoeira goals I have.

Additionally, most of the event side of the group has shifted itself down to Sarasota and St. Pete. This could make for 1 hr, 1 and half hour drives on a car with 145,000 miles on it. I cant justify it to myself when I need to be careful about my expenses.

For as much as it is difficult to improve as a runner without spending money and investing in it, there is  simplicity to it. All I have to do to improve my running is put on my shoes and step outdoors. It isnt that simple in capoeira. You have to take trips, pay for classes, go to workshops, and travel all over. I can train by myself in my house, but it just isnt capoeira if I am by myself. You need a teacher and a group. That is the way it works. Running can be as solitary or as social as you like. Capoeira has to be social and interactive. That is a huge part of the reason I love it.

When I end up at grad school at FSU it wont get any better either. Our group had an academy up there but the teacher left, and I have been told there is no capoeira up there. To be honest, I have no idea how much time/money I will have anyway to dive back into being a full training capoeiraista. My guess is not that much. Especially since I still want to continue running and getting better as a runner.

A sloppy armada, because I am leaning back and wont land in a solid base. Easier to diagnose poor capoeira form in a picture, than poor running form in a picture

The Possible- Down the road

Even if capoeira disappears from my life for 3 years when I am studying up in Tally, it will not be the end of me as a capoeiraista. Once you are “baptized”, your one for life. Once it gets into your blood, your hooked. In that sense to me it is like running. Ever since I considered myself a runner, I feel like i will be a runner for life. At this moment, capoeira is slowing down to a pause and running is taking front and center position. Both capoeira and running are journeys, and wherever I land after getting my degree will have capoeira. And I will be training. And running. And training. And Running. And finding that balance.

Enjoy Your Run. Enjoy Your Day :0

Wish List Wednesday… Competition and Downsizing

I am personally undergoing a period of personal transition and progress in my life. With the possibility of a major move nearing closer than I would like to admit, Im starting to both downsize my life and my house. Im finding the experience oddly liberating, to dispose or donate items that I have accumulated in 10 years of living in Tampa. While I was doing so, I stumbled across my old pair of soccer cleats and shinguards which is what prompted me to write this weeks posting about missing that edge of athletic competition. 

Downsizing to me means to pare down. To strip my life of the things I really dont need so I can maximize what I actually do. This is why these WLW postings will now only focus on 1 wish and a couple of updates.  That way I can focus on that one and avoid postings which may be too too long.

Onto this weeks wish….

I wish that I had athletic competition…..

Set up- Seeking friends

Back when I first moved to Tampa, I got lonely really fast. I was depressed beyond belief and desperate to meet people and I hadnt yet settled into my new job or area. Fortunately I came across a flyer for TBCS. Tampa Bay Club Sport, as I found out, is a locally run organization that organizes leagues of different sports and different ability levels for the purpose of fun and social interaction. Soccer leagues, tennis, kickball, flag football, volleyball and others were on the list back in those days. This was a revelation to me and I instantly signed up for the next availble season. For the next few years, I played in one league or another on and off. I loved the camaraderie of soccer followed by beers afterward or the relaxation of a good hard game of beach volleyball. In the later years I got to play soccer with my sister in a coed league which allowed us to bond in a whole level and connect socially as adults as a full time.

I used to love hitting the soccer fields for TBCS. When I first came down here, this was some of the only socialization and physical activity that I was getting

Sadly it has been a couple years since I stopped playing in these leagues. Why? While the leagues were always fun, I was never able to make it into a new social circle (always stuck on the fringe), the lengthy drive was getting to me, and I was starting to get more into capoeira. Capoeira was offering 5 nights of week of intense physical training, and close friendships. We were going out wednesday night every week for drinks following class with huge groups, and hanging out on the weekend. My physical shape was starting to improve significantly as well. The academy was alive and vibrant and I so dove headlong into it. Sports fell by the wayside. A few months later I tried to get into a game of pickup soccer with a friend from capoeira and ended up with a torn meniscus that required surgical repair. After that point, capoeira became my focus until running came on the scene.

Capoeira’s intense training and intense friendships caused me to fade away from sports. The torn meniscus in soccer didnt help either

I miss sports badly. I used to play sports all the time in high school, and I want that edge again. Success as a runner and a new found physical fitness have spurred my desire for that basic competition. Plus capoeira has been reduced to only 2 short nights a week of training availability. I spin, I run, I lift,  I run, I run, I take classes, but I would much rather fill ONE of those nights with a game of tennis, a well played soccer game, even a sandy mess of a beach volleyball game.  Get my workout in, and get my sports fix as the same time. Sadly, both the time and the money are currently lacking for this type of deal.

The Ideal Wish- Get back into sports

That I could join other sports league and have a regular soccer game. That I could have a weekly scheduled tennis set with a good friend. That I could go out and play a game of volleyball with some semi competitive people and then chill at the beach afterward. That I could take the “best of shape of my life” fitness and apply it again to sports. That I could take my new found personal confidence, built on my running, and meet friends again and make deeper connections. That I could achieve that lovely edge of competition that running has sparked in me again.

Beach volleyball can be fun, competitive and one of the best workouts you can get. The fact that it is along the beach doesnt hurt either

The Reality- Too far and too much 

For as much as I loved TBCS, the leagues were not cheap. Something like 55 to 65 bucks per season. Even though capoeira has cut back, I still have to pay for that and my gym membership. This leaves that much of an investment (plus the cost of gas to get to games which are not close) as simply too much. I toyed with the idea a couple of times, but the expense was just too great. On top of which, the strong possibility of relocating shortly would make commitment to a league somewhat senseless.

The Possibility- College competition 

Hopefully when I relocate to grad school, opportunities for this competition will arise on campus. The school I would be attending is a massive state school and there has to be available leagues for me to enjoy. I havent done the research but I am hopeful. That being said, I dont need to be drawn into anything I dont need during the beginning of my classes. I need to focus on my academics, adjusting,  and of course my running. Once I get settled there and things calm down, I plan on seeking out some competition and using my new level of running based fitness for sports.

A not so subtle hint about this fall 🙂

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Wish List Wednesday Updates

Wish- I wish I could turn a non-running friend into a running friend

Update– My friend ME who has back problems came out for me this am and put in 2 miles. I dont see him being a runner, but I think he heard the passionate way I talk about the topic and the level of workouts I put in and wanted some of that cardio. I count this as a huge success. It made this mornings interval workout feel really awesome

Wish- I wish I could like salad

Update– I dont see myself making salad anytime soon. Yesterday I used a free pass to Sweet Tomatoes and filled a plate with a bunch of their salads and greatly enjoyed myself. I dont think I would put forth the effort to produce high quality salads (and yummy soups and baked goods) like they have, but all their salads were super tasty and I didnt go home unsatisfied. So, some progress there.

Enjoy Your Run. Enjoy Your Day :0

Wish List Wednesday… Changing Minds and Changing it Up

A common theme in some of my posts is need for companionship and friendship. Another common theme is my need to change things up somewhat with my cooking. Both are addressed again today.

Todays running wish…

I wish I could change one of my non-running friends into a running friend!

Set up- “I only run when I am being chased”

This is not something that will necessarily save me money, but it will add quality to my running without adding expense. No seriously. Most peole hate running and I am well aware of that. They think I am a weirdo for the multiple workouts I do and the fact that I seem to enjoy the challenge of long distances. My friends may admire my dedication to my passion and my achievement, but they still regard it as something that doesnt interest them at all. Running is hard work. Running is boring. “I only run when I am being chased” are common lines I get back from my non-running friends. The thing is- most of my good friends are fairly healthy people. For example- one of my good co-worker teaching friends is in tremedndous shape, she is a smart eater and does an intense dance class at her local gym. A mother of 2, her fitness level is outstandingly high. She could run. She hates it. There are more examples like it. I guarantee you if I could introduce one or 2 of them to some light running, they would enjoy it. They would find it enlightening, engaging, enthralling, and be hooked by that runners high. After all, I went from hating it to loving it in a very short period of time.  It doesnt seem to be a skill Im good at- translating my interests to others. I would like to try though. I would love to be able to jog it out with a close friend and enjoy the day.  A different kind of running achievement accomplished- value added (to my life and running and others) at zero expense

Im pretty sure that this is how most of my non-running friends think there experience will end 😉

The Ideal Wish- Just get to a 5k

That I could convince just one of my non runner friends to jog with me a few times and then maybe run a 5k with me. For as much as I hate paying for races, I would pace a friend of mine to a nice finish in a 5k if it meant solidifying their interest in running. It would be worth the 20$ to me. I do like running with people, but I prefer to spend time with those I know well and it would just be enjoyable to jog with a buddy than jog by myself or with strangers. Yes I have bonded with new runners who I met after pub runs and 5ks, but it isnt the same. To already have a good friend and to get them into something that you love, would be a thrill that would really make me ecstatic about my running passion.  There are not many options out there that can add a fun component to your running without additional $$$$,  and this really could.

I think a 5k is totally doable for just about everyone out there, including my non running friends

The Reality-  A series of non-options currently

I cant see this happening any time soon in time. Its sad, but a combination of busy schedules, lack of interest, and various injuries have prevented any interested parties from lacing it up. My friend HS is super busy and has her own interests. I tried to convince her to do the 5k I just ran (she expressed some interest) but not so much with the follow through.  My friend ME who stays with sometimes loves to hear stories about my running and even has expressed an interest in being into it. However he has a couple of serious back injuries and I dont want to shove him headlong into something when he is not healthy. Those are my 2 best options. There was a guy I trained capoeira with who tried to get into it.  He wanted to do a 5k, and I was game to help him out. Then his schedule changed and I dont get to see him any more. Another capoeiraista who I was just becoming friends with starting jogging to lose weight, but then quickly hurt himself and gave it up. I guess the reality is that it is difficult to get into running and sustain it as a habit until the point where you actually enjoy that. Compound that with the fact that Im not the persuasive person in the world, dont have the best social skills, and like my group of friends small and that means it will be difficult to get anyone I know currently into running.

A lot of beginning runners ( I know of) give up early when they develop a small injury and never try again. Disappointing but understandable

The Possible- 41 x 40

Make a new friend, and get them into running. In fact I have decided to add that phrase specifically into the 40 x 40 list I just created. A 40 x 40 list is forty things you want to do by the time you are forty.  I compiled mine just last week and it is full of the ridiculous, the challenging, the sublime, and the simple. This wish can be become a reality if it is put on the list and it will be. So now its a 41 x 40 list. I think with the new direction in my life, there will be plenty of opportunity to get it done.

Now onto my nutrition wish….

I wish I knew I how to grill….

Set up- Nothing like some grilled food

Holy crap do I love grilled food. Grilled chicken, grilled pork,grilled fish, and even now grilled veggies. You name it, and you put it on the grill, and I love it. Done right, it add such flavor and quality to your food. My dad is a stellar grillsmith, my mom, my younger sister, and even my brother. I never learned how. I have never been comfortable around grills. I dont particularly like being responsible around large tanks of propane, nor  am I comfortable with large amounts of charcoal and lighter fluid. Plus I hate cleaning up and maintenance which are 2 things that people who grill a lot have to do. Finally my house (townhouse) is not the ideal spot for grilling. There is a lack of space for it for sure. Still I have seen my neighbors swing it, so if I was better at it I could make it work. If I was halfway decent at it, I could probably use my parents range as well.  I would love to be able to grill. I would love to be able to have that flavorful variety to my cooking at only a smaller additional cost. I would love to spice up my cooking with some lovely grill marked meats and veggies

That just looks delicious. I can practically smell it right now- but could I make it?

The Ideal Wish- Become that grillsmith

That I was a grill master. That I would take lovely marinated or rubbed pieces of chicken, pork, and beef and slap them down in that grill and hear that sizzle. That I could enjoy the fun experience of stepping outside and smelling that delicious cooking grill smell which is unlike any other in the entire world. That I could bite into that juicy goodness that is a perfectly grilled piece of food and savor the flavor. That I wasnt intimidated by the gas tanks, charcoal, and fluid- elements of fire- that a grill causes.  That I could enjoy a cooking option which is healthy and allows me to to use simple ingredients which ultimately dont cost that much, and which I largely had already. That I could cook well in the semi primal way.

Grilling offers so many possibilities, and healthy ones at that

The Reality- Lack of space, experience,  and $$$

Firstly I dont really have a lot of money to afford a nice grill or even a small hibachi style for that matter. I probably could make the smaller one happen, but I want some practical experience doing that before I own and I have none so far. Like I said, I dont trust myself around machines that could cause an immense fire. I also know myself too well. I dont like cleaning stuff up. I ruined my George Foreman grill fairly cheap these days) because I was a slacker about cleaning it off, and finally and begrudgingly throw it out. So with a regular sized grill would I be much better?  Im not sure, so I dont know if it is fully wise to invest in a grill. I feel like I would enjoy it the first few times I learned how to do it and slack on the upkeep and end up ruining it.

I loved my Foreman when I first got it, but I was pathetic about taking care of it. It is one of the reasons that I never bought a grill when I moved into my townhouse

The Possible- Practice first or back to the Foreman

I would like to try supervised grilling a few times on my parents grill or a friends grill. Under the guidance of an experienced cooker and in a relaxed environment so I could get some of the basics down and just feel more comfortable. Then possibly I would get a small hibachi, and make it a point to grill out once a month. If I simplified it to that a little, I could make more of an effort to be responsible about it. Or– I could get another George Foreman grill and use it a lot and make a deal with myself. If I can maintain that, then maybe I can advance myself to getting a smaller grill and doing the once a month thing that way. Either process is a possibility these days.

Maybe Ill get one of these little guys down the line once I know what i am doing

Enjoy Your Run. Enjoy Your Day :0

Wish List Wednesday- Cross Training and Cross Culture Cuisine

This week’s Wish List Wednesday, has me wishing for that ideal instrument for some hardcore cross training and for some extra dough to experiment with cross cultural cusine…

This week’s running/fitness wish is…

I wish I had a road bike……

Set Up-  How to cross train best?

One of the most popular conversations among runners is how they best find their exercise when they are not running. Weird huh? We spent so much time talking about running, and actually running that the flip side of that experience becomes almost as crucial. What do you do on days when you just cant run or need a break from running but still want a workout? There are tons of answers to this X training  question from p90x to yoga, from water aerobics to rock climbing- everyone has their thing. I cross train a variety of ways – using group fitness at my gym, the row machine, and my punching bag at home. There is one more thing I would desperately like to do to be able to cross train effectively though. While all of those options keep me fit and strong, there is a simpler solution that could provide a more natural open air workout and still have me prepared for my next run successfully. Cycling. Cycling is routinely described by runners, fitness experts, and the like as the most effective form of cross training for runners. I would love to get into cycling. One big problem. No bike. New bikes are ridicuously expensive, and used bikes are still “out of my league” costly.

I would love to be able to add this to my cross training routine on a weekly basis.

The Ideal Wish- Just ride away

I would love to be able to use Saturdays (my biggest cross training day) day to just grab my bike and gear and go for an extra long ride of who knows how many miles. I would love on long workout days to be able to flush out the legs with a short ride. I would love to be able to run in the morning on those hot hot hot Florida days, but still enjoy the outside in the afternoon with a spin on the bike. I would love to be able to take my bike out to a short sprint triathlon and try it once or twice and see how it would do. I would love to be able to join a group ride for a little bit and too relax and settle in to meet some new people. I would love to be able to use my bike to make me a well rounded athlete, and therein a stronger runner.

I couldnt tell you if this is a really good cycle or not, but I would love it have it

The Reality-  Nothing “only” about $200

I dont have one and I cant afford one. Everyone acknowledges that the price of a nice new bike/cycle is incredibly expensive, but many like to suggest to me purchasing a used bike. “You can find a used one for only $200” is a popular quote I have heard from people. Right, just two hundred dollars. Yeah thats realistic. If by realistic you mean totally not existing in reality. That doesnt even begin to cover the oost of helmet, clothes, and other gear.

Right now I have to be content with the ocassional neighborhood spin on my parents road bike and the copious amount of spinning I do at my gym. I love to spin, I love the workout, the energy, and the camaraderie. Im no fool, I get its not cycling but it is all I have right now to get a cycle style workout. Many cyclists dismiss it as “aerobics on a bike” which is fair, but it serves its purpose. Besides most spinners dont necessarily view it as cycling. Instead they see it as good HIIT training and an acceptable substitute.

Im an avid spinner, do it several times a week and really enjoy it

The Possibility- Ride it until it is mine

I dont see much movement on this one. Ill keep spinning as long as I am a member of my gym. I honestly have terrific spin instructors who make each class an enjoyable experience and a hard workout so I am always happy to take those classes. I guess I will definitely make an effort to ride my parents road bike a little bit more, maybe take it out to the nearby park with its loads of trails to become a more seasoned rider. I honestly do think that if I kept riding it more and more, they would probably grow tired of it and just cede it to me since they barely ride it anyway.

Now onto my nutrition wish…..

I wish I could experiment with my more global cuisine…

Set up- Global variety is good

To me one of the tenets of a healthy eater is that they are varied and experimental. No matter how many calories you count, you really shouldnt eat the same things over and over again. You need to broaden your horizons, eat a variety of flavors, dishes, and food products. That way you give yourself more options to eat healthy dishes and avoid getting into a eating rut. Eat the same foods over and over (no matter how healthy) and you get bored with your day to day diet and you are more likely to find easy unhealthy options to satisfy that variety. Open up your palette to the world, and your options to eat healthy and strong are almost unlimited.Unscientific yes, but I honestly believe this. Personally,  I would love to be able to do exactly that. Tampa may not be the most cultural of cities, but it does have a wide variety of ethnic restaurants that I would love to sample. The problem is I have little extra cash to eat out, and not many friends interested in experimenting

They serve this at a recommended Vietnamese place in Tampa. Sooooooo want to try

The Ideal Wish- One new place a week

I would love to be able to go out to a new exotic restaurant once a week and try a brand new dish or new ethnic cuisine. I would love to go out with a friend or family to that Ethiopian style place in South Tampa, the Spanish place in downtown Tampa, or one of the Middle Eastern places that dot the area. I would love to be able to go back and try that Vietnamese place  or Korean BBQ I had many years ago. I would love to be able to sample new cuisines the way my parents sample new wines or my sister samples new beers. I would love to be able to embrace the global food possibilities that exist around me.

This is a Middle Eastern style place I would very much like to try in Tampa... mmm kabobs

The Reality- Be grateful for what you can get

Not much in the budget for eating out. My dining out experiences on my own are limited to the occasional trip to the exotic locale known as “Subway”.  Truly out there as you can see. Im not deprived, I do get to eat out quite a bit because my parents often invite me to their functions, occasional dinners out,  or treat me to dinner at their club. However there  is nothing new at these places. Members of my family are consistent eaters, they find a few tasty restaurants and they stay there. They dont really want to experiment with most things new or wild. This is not an indictment on them, it is a solid proactice. After all if you find a tremendous BBQ place like Leroy Selmons in Tampa, why deviate from that? If the menu at your club serves terrific chicken parm or well prepared fish, why do you need to go anywhere else? I get the mentality even if I dont share it.  Besides in my case, beggars cannot be choosers. My parents can be too generous when treating me to things. When it comes to meals out, I just shut up and thank them and enjoy whatever Im getting.

Nothing wrong with Leroy's, I love it, I just want to expand a little

The Possibility- 2 Choices

A couple of things are possible here:

1) Supermarkets- Find the ethnic foods isle, and every week pick out a diferent food/product that I would like to try from a different part of the globe. This could be made as ultra cheap as I like it and is massively convenient.

2) Farmers Markets- Local farmers markets are great places to just stroll around and see what fresh and local fruits, veggies, breads, cakes, honeys, jams– err you name it  – is available. Most farmers markets around here also feature food stands from a variety of different ethnic areas. Generally speaking you could probably sample one or 2 cuisines for right about ten dollars and not break the bank. Next time the one near me comes back, Im trying the Ethiopian place.

Maybe at the next farmers market, Ill get to taste the flavor my friend has been raving about

Enjoy your run. Enjoy your day :O

A Huge Weekend Runcheap Thank You To… 2 For a Dollar Fruit at 7-11

This weekends huge runcheap thank you deals with a combination of convenience and cheap cost:)

Thank you 7-11 for providing a cheap available fruit to someone who is constantly on the go and doesnt have the time for a longer shopping experience!

Thank you for realizing that amongst the unhealthy loads of crap that you typically sell people, there are some of us out there who need a healthier option and need it quickly!

Sometimes I think the writers for big fitness/nutrition sites both online and in print operate under the assumption that all of us have endless time to peruse nutrition stores, the aisles of organic supermarkets, or stop at every fruit stand on the side of road to spend several minutes picking out the best fruit. Guess what? I dont. I drive a lot, and I am constantly on the go and I dont have the time to do all that, or the cash to always drop several dollars on tasty fruit. Sometimes I just need a good piece of fruit on the go cheaply. Sometimes I just want a nice filling apple or a nice banana to temporarily satisfy a growling stomach prior to a hard gym workout. Or perhaps I just want a bit of healthy nutirtious energy before a run. 7-11 offers their fruit 2 for a dollar, and they are everywhere along m driving routes. It is just so simple, a quick in and out. The entire transaction takes maybe 2 to 3 minutes and I am back on the road headed to my destination and with something delightful.

I have to drive considerably and thus convenient stores are well, convenient for me. It is nice to know that there is always cheap fruit available quickly

I know a lot of runners and fitness experts turn their nose up at places like convenience stores, 7-11’s, and other little hubs that you can wander into. With some good reason. Their deals typically emphasize unhealthy fattening items, and they seldom have anything that is truly fresh. Also I obviously dont have the time for hard data nor access to it, but my super informal survey is that most people leaving those places arent leaving with a healthy selection. However.

A ginormously big huge however. That doesnt mean that there are not nutriious options available at those places. A good percentage of these locations around where I live sell things like fruit, granola bars, little boxes of cereal, canned tuna, even greek yogurt. Those items are there. Thats right, there are healthy or perhaps healthier options at these places. People just chose not to buy them. If I wrote a nutrition column, I would focus on teaching people to make healthy choices at typically unhealthy places/convenient places. Places where real people go often. Take 7-11 for me. I drive 80 miles a day on my soul sucking commute and I try to stay fit via multiple workouts. Obviously this means a lot of time at gas stations. Its very helpful to know that I can pop in and pop out of a store like this and have a Granny Smith and a Gala apple in the palm of my hand. Its helpful to know that 2 fresh bananas await me so I can multitask filling up my car and filling up my stomach with a preworkout snack.  I dont have the time (I really dont) to go all the way to into a supermarket (not on my route to work and often not open after I workout in the early morning) and purchase something.

1 of these guys and Im good to go for a gym, and good to go after the workout to refill.

Yes of course I keep fruit at home.  But when you are on the go sometimes you dont account for that little extra bite you may need. Or maybe  you decide you just want to jog a few extra miles because it is so beautiful outside.  Or maybe a I hit that morning workout with extra intensity. On those days Im really thankful to know exactly what I can get before I enter the store. An apple is great before a lift session and great after a run to me. Bananas are instant energy, and I was so glad Disney used them during the marathon at aid stations. Good, cheap, fruit keeps me running healthy, running cheap, and running strong. Nice to know there are convenient cheap locations all over the place to get them when I need them. So Thanks again to 7-11 for providing that “2 pieces of fruit for a buck” deal. It may not be the best deal on the planet cost-wise, but its easy and convenient and ALWAYS there when I need it.

I cant tell you how many times, I have dropped a quick buck for a pair of these many a time, and then downed one, and then hit a good run.

Enjoy Your Run. Enjoy Your Day :0

This Weekend’s Huge Runcheap Thank You To…. The Dailymile

A Huge Weekend Runcheap Thank You To Dailymile!

Thank you Dailymile! Thank you for providing one of the best services on the web without costing me an extra penny!

I first read about dailymile.com in Runners World of all places. It was in an article about finding local runs when you travel, and it had suggested this as a resource. Intrigued by what precisely it was, I went online the next day and started to play around with it. From a slow trickle at first; it has become my full blown exercise log. Everything I do exercise wise goes on Dailymile. The site is a superb medium for me to post my workouts for a variety of reasons I will get into below. Thanks Dailymile.com for providing an exceptional, free, online, social networking site based on around fitness and friendship

This site is simply superb

1) Exercise Log–  Every fitness expert I have read highly recommends recording workouts as a means fo reflection and tracking progress. Plus, its fun to look back and see just how much you accomplished on some weeks. Fresh with this advice I made several attempts to get handwritten fitness notebooks started. They would generally last about 2 weeks before disappearing into the sunset/black hole that is my car or when I was too lazy to physically handwrite them in there. I had given up on logging workouts and tracking progress that way for several months until I discovered Dailymile. Now I have this free service that tracks my weekly mileage and pace, allows me to list the variety of different fitness options I chose, see what others are doing, and even type in some thoughts about the process. And its online. Typing is so much easier for me, and i dont have to kep track of an extra notebook. The electronic nature of the program makes it so much more convenient, easy, and doesnt have me wasting extra cash on notebooks or physical book style fitness logs. Also instead of being a giant chore, doing it electronically has become fun to me. Its one of the first things I do every morning at work, and it gives me that feeling of accomplishment  to do so.

I made several ill-fated attempts to complete exercise logs using notebooks like this before dailymile

2) Social Aspects- I am a product of my generation and I enjoy a fair amount of social networking. I love that Dailymile has designed a site that incorporates the elements of  something like facebook with elements of exercise tracking. They have found the right combination too.I dont have very many friends on there but I have 1 in particular that I enjoy going back and forth over workouts and runs. Besides, its fun just to click around and see what people are doing and get ideas for future workouts from people you may never meet.

3) Racing- This one is related to the social piece of above. I like the feature on this site whereby you can indicate that you are participating in an event and then see others who are participating in the same event. You can then view what others are doing to prep for the same race. It is kind of like having a virtual training group, which for someone who mostly trains alone can be really helpful. Afterwards you can also leave your review of the race as well, making it a superb research tool for the future.

I couldnt find anyone else running this marathon in Gainesville, until I checked on Dailymile. It was particularly useful to read about people's experiences with the difficult conditions/course afterward

4) FREE- This should be #1. I would pay 10$ a month for this service and I have almost no money to spare right now. Thats how much I value it. Track my progress? Geta feel of accomplishment? Look at my running buddies’ workouts? Get new training ideas?  etc? etc? And for free? Just outstanding.

My favorite aspect of this tremendous site

5) Reflective- May have discussed this somewhat already but it needs to be restated and repeated redundnantly. This site is important because of its reflective nature. I love to think about my workouts and how they went after they are done. Particularly my runs, I love to analyze and break them down mile by mile. I hate when I kill a  run and I cant get my thoughts about it clear and down. Dailymile has allowed me to be reflective, it has given me that forum to put my words about my running down so they dont weigh on me. Even if nobody reads them, it is meaningful to me that they get out there.

So all that considered, once again, for helping me improve my running AT ZERO COST  through logging, tracking, social networking, and personal reflection- Again- A wuge weekend Runcheap thank you To Dailymile.

Enjoy your run. Enjoy your day :0

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