Deeper Calling

Ryan | Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011 4 Comments

Tonight I progressed towards a promise I made at the beginning of the year that I would volunteer more often.  It took discipline to break away from the office around 5 to do it, but I’m really glad I did.  The shelter was busier than the last time Steph and I served meals, which was in December.  I must have personally served at least 500 meals in about two hours.

Think about that for a second.

That’s 500 people who were lucky enough to get a hot meal from the Union Rescue Mission (ham, corn, salad, potatoes, bread, pie) and presumably a cot to sleep in.  Men, women, children.  What about the rest of LA’s homeless?  Where are they tonight?  While we’re home, while I’m typing this very blog, where are they?  How are they keeping dry?  Warm?  Safe?

I wish there was a way I could make my training pay off for the homeless somehow.  I wish I could raise a couple bucks for every hour I put in the pool, on the bike or the trails.  Tie dollar amounts to what I’m doing for fun, and help put more food on people’s plates, or more clothes on their back.

I’m going to think about this more in the coming days and see what I come up with for next year. My good buddy Rusty is doing some special work through Season 1 Racing now.  Maybe I’m next.  Perhaps a deeper calling to all this training is exactly what I need to stay motivated.


My new-and-improved running technique — focusing on higher cadence and more elbow torque — seems to be paying off.  I ran for 5.25 miles this morning (in my Newtons, no less!) as part of my brick workout in just over 40 minutes.  As you might recall, I was running 4.5 miles in 45 minutes not too long ago.  The best part of today’s chilly jaunt: My heart-rate was consistently in the low 150s and my pace was a consistent 8:15-8:20. This is especially uplifting given the Cheseboro Half Marathon this Saturday.  A week ago I thought the sky was falling and I lacked motivation to train at all.  This caused Coach Gerardo to mention I was a little behind overall in my Wildflower Long Course training.  But now I feel re-energized.  And eager for competition.  My goal is to break two hours since I’ve never run a trail race before.  But the way I’m running since Sunday causes me to wonder if I can do even better.  Cheseboro is supposed to be a training run, but I know myself — and you probably know me by now too.

1:50 or bust!

OK, that’s all the energy I’ve got tonight.  Steph is watching Glee in the other room.  I can feel the gravitational pull through the wall.  Help me.  Please.

90 days and counting.

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  1. Sean says:

    How do you like those Newtons that you mention? I’ve been trying to shift my running style from heel strike to forefoot and I notice a marked decrease in knee and hip stiffness when I forefoot strike. However, you can’t fore/midfoot strike in regular trainers due to the high heels, so I’ve been using Vibrams and racing flats to run in. The problem is that I have very high arched feet and the lack of arch support in those shoes causes me arch pain and plantar. I’ve heard good things about Newtons–basically that they’re a traditional running shoe with lots of support, but designed for fore/midfoot strikes–but that $180 price tag has made me a bit leery. That’s a lot to just “try” something.

  2. Ryan says:

    I’m still “trying” out the Newtons and I’ve had them for more than a month now. Jury is still out if they will become my trainer of choice. It’s been an interesting experience. Don’t want to say too much right now since I’m planning to write about this for Lava. But I will say if you go this route, start slow and go slowly for as long as you feel is necessary. And when you feel tinges of pain, stop. Walk it out. See if it persists, and if it does, don’t use them. They’re probably not right for everyone, as is the case with many shoes — especially shoes of this type. Newton Running has a newsletter that I’d sign up for to get their tips on how best to break in the shoes. Hope this helps a bit. Also, if you have a coach/trainer, ask them if they recommend Newtons for you based on your structure and running style.

  3. TrevorD says:

    @Ryan, looking forward to your upcoming Newton review. Thanks for the Season 1 link – I’ve been looking for an organization like this.

    @Sean – as Ryan knows, I swear by my Newtons and have been using them for 2+ years now. I have recommended to several buddies who have purchased, used and are now injury-free. Try finding them at a race expo where you will get a sizable discount.

    There has been a recent surge in low-profile shoes that mimic the ‘feel’ of Vibrams but provide a more shoe-like experience. These are a reasonable choice as well. Merrell makes several (trail focused). Nike, Adidas and many others are making ‘minimalist’ versions to keep with with the Vibram craze.

    Which ever way you go, best of luck to you.

  4. Brennan says:

    Sean, try the Sir Isaacs. They are on Newton’s least expensive shoe, $139 and are a GREAT transition shoe into them. I completely agree with Trevor, I swear by Newton’s. Try them at an Expo. They have a list on their website…

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