miscellaneous

everything else

Coming Up

I’m not posting much to the blog these days. That’s because our house is being renovated. We’ve moved out temporarily, and the dogs and cats have been boarded. The project is supposed to take three months to complete. And that’s not all – we’ll be travelling for a couple of weeks early in the new year as well.

For a while, I’ll rely on my tablet, rather than my desktop computer, to access the Net. All well and good for Twitter, Feedly, etc., but a bit of a chore when it comes to writing lengthy blog posts. So, for now, I’ll just bring you up to date on some of the things I’ll post when I next get close to a computer.

First, a post about homoeopathy. I’ve been following a homoeopathic regime for a little over a year now, and it’s brought about some significant improvements to my health. I know that homoeopathy doesn’t sit comfortably with a lot of people, so I’ll give serious thought to what I’ll say about it. I don’t want to start any wars on the subject, but I do want to share my experiences.

Same with topic number two, which is earthing. It’s another controversial subject. Besides, I’m fairly new to it. So I’ll let some time go by before putting my thoughts in a post. Again, though, this is about health improvement and enhancement, and I want to share what I’ve learned.

Lastly, I’m running the Run4RKids 8 Hour Ultra on January 3, so you can expect to see a full race report soon afterwards. Because both homoeopathy and earthing are playing roles in my training for this event, you can also expect to read something about them in the report.

Stay tuned!

Skateboard

FootBoard

I recently bought my first skateboard. I’ve always wanted one, but always found excuses for not getting one, as in “I won’t be able to do it,” “I don’t have the time to do it,” and “I’m too old for that sort of thing.”

Excuses don’t cut it anymore. In the end, I figured it was time to learn some new skills, so I took the plunge.

I’d really wanted a longboard, as I think they’re the most beautiful type of skateboard. But I was convinced by two of the staff at Zumiez, a local board shop, that a shorter, lighter, and wider board would be better. So I ended up with a Z Flex Street Rocket.

Street Rocket

The Street Rocket is described on the manufacturer’s site as “Low to the ground and built for speed, the Street Rocket has been the go to board from the ages… Quality, speed, and durability will take you back to the beginning where originality was everything.” (I love the way skateboarders talk.) I also bought a helmet and some cheap Converse sneaker knockoffs to go with the board.

So far, I’ve only had a couple of sessions on the board, on my driveway and on the street beyond it. It’s a scary experience – like slathering your feet with vaseline and stepping onto a sheet of ice. But it’ll come, I’m sure. Next step is to head over to the local schoolyard, where there’s more flat asphalt and no traffic. Eventually, I hope to try out the city’s skateboard park, which is highly-rated among local skateboarders.

As it turns out, my fondness for concrete and my new interest in photography has played out nicely in getting a bunch of images from the local city skatepark.

Skateboard bowl

By the way, the image at the top of the post is a hope for the future. To date, I’ve only seen one person riding barefoot on a skateboard – a tall, young guy on a longboard moving effortlessly along a neighbourhood street. Don’t know if I’ll ever get there – but I’m certainly going to try!

Birthday!

1948 Limited Edition

Today’s my birthday. I’m now 66 years old.

Funnily enough, that doesn’t seem old. I’m aware of having lived for a (relatively) long time, but that’s not the same as feeling old. I’ve been through adventures and misadventures, good and bad health, smart moves and some very dumb ones, and I’ve got the scars (physical and psychological) to show for the journey. For all the ups and downs, though, I’ve ended up in a good space. I’m a happy man.

All in all, it seems to me that 66 is a nice number. What surprises me is how much I’m looking forward to 70. :-)

Hipaversary

X-ray, left hip

Nine years ago today, I was run over by a truck while cycling. Somebody called an ambulance, and I was taken away for emergency surgery. The result was that I had some stainless steel grafted into my femur. (Click on the above image to see it in all its detailed glory.) I think of it as my “hardware upgrade.”

The follow-up to the surgery was 14 months of intensive physiotherapy. That brought me to what my physiotherapist called “functional” movement. Getting to “dynamic” movement took a good while longer. But it was the beginning of my return – after an absence of thirty years – to running. So, in the end, it’s a happy story, because it’s brought me to where I am today.

Six days from today, I’m going to run a 50K trail race. Life is good.

Barefoot Running UK

Barefoot Running UK April 2014

The latest issue of Barefoot Running UK is available online here.

I can’t recommend this publication highly enough. If you’re at all interested in barefoot and/or minimalist running, movement and sports therapy, product reviews, this is a must read. If you’re still struggling along in foot coffins, well, this just might be the nudge you need.

Changes

What a difference a few years – and a lot of running – can make.

Niagara 50K 2009

Run4RKids 6 Hour 2014

The photo on the left was taken at the start of the Niagara 50K Ultra in June 2009. I’d come back to running in late 2008. Ran a half marathon in February 2009, DNFed in my first “return to glory” marathon in May 2009, and then decided I’d give the ultra a try. The photo on the right was taken about four hours into my first 6 hour ultra, in early January 2014. I’m 30 lbs. lighter than I was in 2009, a much better runner, and a much happier, healthier guy.

I love changes!

SportTracks Ambassador!

SportTracks logo I’m pleased to announce that I’m now a SportTracks Ambassador. I started using SportTracks about six months ago, and immediately found it to be a valuable tool for tracking and analyzing my running data. I’m now in a position to represent SportTracks to my local running community, and to encourage others runners to use it.

What is SportTracks?

SportTracks recognizes that, while athletes are recording more data than ever, this rapid accumulation of data can be overwhelming. SportTracks offers a good way to use the data to reflect and plan. It allows users to log workouts and provides detailed analytics.

The flagship of the SportTracks platform is SportTracks 3, a Windows application that’s been in development since 2006. ST3 has been translated into 22 languages, enjoys strong international (multi-language) support, and offers an impressive library of plugins.

SportTracks.mobi is the newest product on offer. It’s a mobile-friendly website with greater social interaction and an updated design. Users can easily share workouts with their friends, while still enjoying the “bells and whistles” aspects of SportTracks technical analysis.

SportTracks 3 and SportTracks.mobi are designed to work together through CloudSync. This service ensures that users can enjoy both the heavier analysis of ST3 and the convenience of accessing their data on their cloud-connected devices. (I use the SportTracks.mobi app on my Samsnug Galaxy tablet.)

As an ambassador, I’ll be a community liaison for SportTracks and will assist in local promotional events. I’ll also have some annual SportTracks.mobi subscriptions (each valued at US$35) to give away. Stay tuned for more news about that!