What I Look For in a Running Shoe

Running shoes are an investment. Usually, they’re pretty pricey anyway and they have the ability to make or break you. When I wear my running shoes, I can tell when they’re starting to be worn out just by the pain I start to get. There’s no telling what kind of pain other people might go through just by buying poorly made or a bad fit.

My only real experience with running shoes is just that I’ve been constantly running since freshman year of high school on the track and cross country team. I’m still running as a hobby and in the Army. I haven’t done any races in awhile though and would like to start back up.

One thing that’s important when picking a running shoe is evaluating the shape of your foot.

I was super attracted to the Nike Frees at first but when I tried them on, I knew immediately they weren’t for me. There was too much room for my foot. Nike Frees seemed to be for wider feet. I knew shoe brands like New Balance tend to be more narrow around the foot but spacious at the toes.

You also have to know if you pronate or supinate. You can tell by looking at the bottom of old shoes and seeing where the bottoms have worn away. If you’re neutral, the bottoms should have an even wear. I supinate (underpronate) so the outsides of my shoes wear away more than the inward parts meaning my gait isn’t balanced. For me, lightweight shoes are the best but those who overpronate should be wearing stability shoes.

You can read more about it here.

Then of course, what reasons your running is also important. Are you going for distance or sprinting? Distance you’ll want more padding while sprinting you’ll want less.

Most importantly, change out your shoes after 600 – 800 miles! I see far too many people not doing this. If you do two miles a day that’s already 40 miles a month. Shoes should probably only last you a year even though to a lot of new runners that’s weird to think. People who don’t change out their shoes are ones who tend to get shin splints.

Don’t be that guy.

 

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The Fight Against Fast Food

I went to college at Fordham University in the Bronx. To people who don’t know much about New York, the first thing that happens when I mention this fact is that they say I must be tough since I’m from the BX.

Unbeknownst to them though, Fordham is one of the most preppiest and upper middle class schools in America and even though it’s situated in the Bronx, there’s a fence that keeps anyone out who doesn’t have an ID.

Fordham kids might be tough in their own way but most of us are also very privileged.

It would be unfair to say we didn’t care about issues affecting the Bronx. Over half of my classes and activities centered on volunteering and ending suffering. I never could say I understood the suffering though no matter how hard I tried to.

One such issue that I thought about a lot was the concept of ‘the food desert’. This meant that the accessibility to people in the Bronx to fresh produce and healthy foods were slim to none. It was a concept I could vaguely wrap my head around. Outside of Arthur Ave and Little Italy, it was easy to see that the only options were bodegas unless you wanted to ride the subway system for over 30 mins. That’s not that big of a deal in the car but being someone who enjoyed trekking all the way to Manhattan (an hour subway commute one way) I understood why toting bags back and forth wasn’t ideal.

Especially after working.

It’s funny because I know I’m still very privileged if not more so. I’m living on an officer salary without any dependents and I have little debt (thanks to the Army).

Yet, I eat fast food about four times a week and while I don’t know if I’m officially living in a ‘food desert’ I’m starting to understand how working and giving limited options can affect a person.

If I don’t shop on the weekends, I won’t be shopping that week. I get out of work and the grocery stores are closed. I could go to Walmart but at 7PM after working all day and really hungry, that drive into town isn’t ideal.

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On my way home I pass a McDonald’s, Hardee’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, and something called Diego’s Burrito Bar.

I only live eight minutes away from work.

It’s crazy too because I was showing habits of lazily just buying food instead of preparing it in college but underneath my dorm was a restaurant called Cosi which sold things like tomato mozzarella and basil sandwiches and since it was in my dorm, only college students ate there. It was my go to.

Now that my go to is Taco Bell, I’m starting to get really nervous about my eating habits not because of weight gain or anything like that, but just performing physically and staying healthy.

Health Journey : The Beginning

I think part of what makes getting healthy so difficult after living in an unhealthy manner for a while, is that as an adult, you are the person who can make you change your ways. You might have other reasons to be healthy, such as kids, family, people who need you, or things like your job or dreams require you to be healthy, but you are the only person who can force yourself to become the healthier version of yourself. No one will do that for you.

But something I have begun to learn is that having an accountability partner definitely helps with this.

I signed up for the Color Vibe run with a few of my friends, and one of the friends who agreed to do it asked me if I wanted to train with her since we’re both at a beginning level in a sense. I agreed, and it’s become less of just training together and more of planning out getting healthy together.

Though it’s still 100% on me to get my meals prepped, to eat right, to go and exercise, etc., it does make it easier to do so knowing that someone else is counting on me to go through the journey with her.

I’m obviously still having problems with a few things. Quitting soda and coffee has always seemed impossible to me, and having a really rough semester doesn’t help my attempt to quit. I’m also finding myself eating more cheese than I should and suffering the consequences of that. Exercise is something I tend to get into in phases, sometimes I’m really into it, but most of the time, I just want to sleep.

I’m also not sure how I want to measure my goals for getting healthy, which is so important for any journey. Without measurable goals, it can be so easy to be discouraged, and I want to avoid that if possible. Any suggestions?

Until I can figure that out, I guess my ultimate goal is just to feel great about my body. Lately I’ve been in a bit of a rut when looking to love my body, I’m not happy with what I see in the mirror and I’m definitely not happy with the way my body feels. Hopefully this journey will help me to connect better with my body and to appreciate it for what it can do.

Yoga for Lent

Going to a Catholic college, it was made clear when it was Lent. When I relied on the food services, huge signs were posted on the every surface of the cafeteria reminding me it was Lent and do not eat this and that and if you must eat on Friday…here’s some salad.

It was nice though because it gave me time to prepare what I wanted to do for Lent and it was also part of normal conversation throughout the day so you could hear what other people were going to be giving up.

One of my friends gave up French fries.

What a hero.

Another went to church everyday.

I’ve had various stints with Lent whether it was to eat healthier or to be more outgoing. Once, during a time when I wasn’t going out much, I even made it a point to drink more because I kept turning down night time hangout sessions with friends.

This year, I think I need something more stress relieving.

Since I’m new in town and not many females to hang out with and work causing stress, I’ve been getting a lot of restless sleep and just being tired a lot of the time.

A lot of signs point to me being stressed.

For Lent, I think yoga will help me while also making it a point to reflect on some scripture while doing it. I realize I lack space and moments to really sit down and say, what I’m doing in my life is okay and it’s okay to make mistakes.

Even if I can’t get over the mistakes I made throughout the day, having a chance to calm down after might still be enough to put my mind at ease so I can at least sleep a little bit.

To motivate me I want to post photos of Instagram of me doing fun poses like a lot of my stylish friends do. Hey, everyone’s got their thing!

This will be good for me… during the day I also get so tensed up that at night my back and shoulders hurt.

Good news is this must be some sort of workout and my back muscles must be super nice and defined?

Everyday Better: Fitness

Other posts on this matter: Everyday Better and Everyday Better: Blogging

I would like to say I’m pretty in shape. When it comes to the Army, that’s part of my job. We get evaluated on our fitness through a simple test of push-ups in two minutes, sit-ups in two minutes, and then a two mile run. The amount of push-ups and sit-ups and the time you have to run your two mile in is based on your age and gender.

You can see what you would score here.

On the female scale for my age, I often ‘max it’ meaning I get the most points possible in each category giving me a 300. But, with changes in the Army with more opportunities for females and my job being combat arms, I expect this ‘female scale’ to go away. I have to score around a 340 on the female scale to come close to a 270 on the male scale. Whether that’s fair or not is a different debate, but it does show a different level of ‘combat readiness’.

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My soldiers holding up a tire for a timed competition.

For example, in artillery we have different types of ammo based on what effect you want. If you want a big bang, there’s a type for that, if you want light in the night, we also have one for that. These different rounds have different weights and some weigh more than 110 pounds.

My body weighs 120.

Needless to say, I need someone to help me lift those rounds. There are a lot of people, male or female, that can lift those rounds alone yet have a lower fitness score than me.

I’m not saying that the only reason to get in shape is for my job but I’m also not saying I’m a slacker. I recognize where I want to be fitness wise while acknowledging that I do have a decent amount of accomplishments too.

So, by the end of February I do want to start lifting weights because right now all I do it push-ups or variations of them. I also want to look in the mirror and see muscles on my back and arms and even my abs.

Summer is soon!

Again, with my schedule it is hard to figure out how to do this but I think if I do my mandatory physical fitness Monday – Friday with the Army, which is mostly just running, but also dedicate Monday morning to an hour run then Saturday and Sunday I can do weight training.

I’ve also always wondered about getting a personnel trainer so I might save and do that just because I don’t know how to do free weights while feeling safe at the same time. Plus, it’ll give me motivation to show up because I paid for the service!

Also, no more fast food! Okay, that’s not fair to me I can’t go cold turkey…. only once a week in February and none by March. This means I need to figure out meal prep a lot better. I did it recently for a week and by Wednesday I thought the food was bland and it was unappealing to me. I cooked chicken and pasta dishes and gave myself a salad to go with it.

Ugh.