Friday, November 12, 2010

Flashback Friday: Old Plank Road

What is it that motivates us to run? Some people want to improve their heart, others their weight. Some of us just want to get fast. After a long layoff, like I had last month, a spark got me back to running.

First was a sense of "ooh, new toy!" when I bought the Vibrams. But that is a fleeting motivator as I continue to rack up the miles on the new footwear. The biggest motivator has been the jiggly sensation I've gained since the marathon.

Fall marathons are great except for one thing: When you're done and recovering, suddenly it's the holiday season and you start eating like an elephant. You get all that candy for Halloween, then comes Thanksgiving and its smorgasbord of yum, and finally Christmastime brings oodles of cookies. You pack it in and pack it on.

Inevitably, weight will accrue after running a marathon. It seems 10 pounds jumped on me in a day. As I slacked on the running, the tone I'd gained in my legs and core region softened as well.

Poof! Sixteen weeks of hard training were gone.

The Vibrams got me excited to get back to running, but the desire to shed the jigglies has kept me going. The weight doesn't bother me that much, but I was highly annoyed that my badass calf muscles deserted my legs. I mean, if anything, runners should have nice legs, right?

And then there was the matter concerning my love handles. As a beer drinker, I know I'll never fully shed that cushy layer, but I want to keep it in check. So in addition, I've combined a core workout regimen with my meager mileage. Push-ups, bicycle kicks and crunches after each run and sometimes just to start off the morning have started to rein in the jigglemonster.

But another workout has invaded my new routine. I've never been much of a plank guy, but suddenly I find myself enjoying the sensation of making myself rigid as a board as my abdomen feels like hellfire. Side plank, reverse plank, plank plank -- I do them all. Let's head on down that old plank road.

Won't get drunk chunk no more
Won't get drunk chunk no more
Won't get drunk chunk no more
Way down the Old Plank Road

Back Talk
Wherein socks get way too much attention

SunRunner criticized my ingenious sock modification for running in Vibrams: "Don't socks with no fabric over the toes sort of defeat the purpose of keeping your feet insulated?"

Answer: I see your confusion. My toes haven't been getting cold in the Vibrams because, I'm guessing, they're snug in the toe sockets of rubber and a tighter woven fabric (neoprene?). The tops of my feet, however, are covered by thin mesh, hence my socks. And $12 for one pair of socks? Um, no.

Kevin at Ironman By Thirty wants to know my motivation behind the DIY socks: "Are you saving all your money for the big wedding? Or are you just a cheapskate?"

Answer: Perhaps Nitmos is more qualified to answer.

Matty B wants me to shed some daylight on barefoot running: "I've played-around running barefoot (similar to your Vibrams) and have noticed the same thing that my legs are really slow to recover afterwards. I'm assuming that your legs get used to it over time, I guess I just need to be more regular at it."

Answer: Your legs will get used to it, which is to say, get stronger. I tried to run barefoot once a week while it was warm enough. I'm using the Vibrams to keep up my form as near as I can during the winter.

Happy Hour is nearly upon us, teammates. Have a finely brewed weekend. Run well and drink well. Cheers!


Anonymous said...

"I tried to run barefoot once a week while it was warm enough."

Now that you mention in it, I DID go out for a short barefoot run this week. Why waste those 70's temperatures in November...hate me if you must.

Sun Runner said...

And $12 for one pair of socks? Um, no.

Need I remind you that you paid $12.99 for one four-pack of Thirsty Dog Cerberus. is more worthy of your lucre than socks to keep your feet warm? It's less painful to hurt your liver with alcohol than your toes with frostbite, I guess. You might not be able to run but you can still drink beer!

A change in plans now has me coming to C-Land next week, so the Towpath 20-miler has been pushed back. I will be hitting the Ft. Wayne area instead, which will include a long run on the Rivergreenway and a visit to the Trion Tavern where 12 brand-new taps are being unveiled, and all 12 will be pouring forth delicious brews from Three Floyds Brewing. I can't wait!

Nitmos said...

Yes, I CAN answer that question. The answer, of course, is "cheap skate" (but I think we know who the wedding reception one-man band is, amirite?)

Anonymous said...

The pants size is a powerful god indeed. Hey, I was just looking at these weird things call stirrup socks on eBay today. Just a few bucks a pair. You might want to give 'em a try. I think they're all ladies' socks, but who's gonna know?

Ironman By Thirty said...

Going with the old "Takes one to know one" excuse. I approve.

Running Through Phoenix said...

Dang it Viper, now I have to seriously consider core work. Probably have to do some by New Year. Ciao!