Favorite shoes – Asics

I am a big fan of Asics running shoes. Having wide feet, and problematic arches, means that I need a wide shoe that has good support. Being a fat ass doesn’t help either, so that is a consideration.

When I first began running again seriously in 2005 or so (probably earlier) I started using New Balance shoes, mainly because they had a good selection in wide shoes, but alas, they really didn’t offer good support.

Then one day, I tried a pair of Asics and it was almost magical. Pain or discomfort was gone, I could run further, and more frequently without my feet being a limiting factor.

So, from that point on, I have been loyal, trying to shop sales, and closeouts, as they are not cheap shoes, occasionally trying something different with bad results, but I always return to the Asics line.

My main grief with them though is that they don’t last too well. I know that you are supposed to replace shoes frequently, and that it is suggested that between 300 and 500 miles of pounding pavement is the limit. Yet, it seems that before that mileage is reached, the soles are beginning to fall apart.

While I no longer can run (it really causes my plantar fasciitis to flare up), I do 6 – 7 mile walks 4-6 days a week, so the miles add up, and alas, the soles on my Asics I bought in January are about toast.

Sigh, time to go hunting for a new pair.

Back in the saddle – lunchtime exercise

Today was the first time in almost a month that I was able to escape the office at lunch and work out. Heck, for that matter, it is probably the first time in more than 3 weeks that I was able to bring in my lunch.

Launching a product, sales training, travel, and then having to run home at lunch to take care of the hounds, means that I have been severely curtailed in my lunchtime run/walk. Add to that brutally cold (for Phoenix) weekends, so I haven’t been able to cycle either.

Today I got out for 4 miles at lunch. Felt good, but I am definitely out of shape.

Next week we are shut down, so I will take that opportunity to get aggressive with both the exercise and diet.

Exercising in the heat

Living in Arizona, it can sure be tough to get out and pound the pavement when the temps climb into triple digits. Many people recede to the gym, and work out in air conditioned comfort, but I have always hated the gym (variety of reasons). So I lace up my shoes at lunch and go for a run, or I ride my bicycle in to the off (always good for a 106F+ ride home).

People in the office look at me like I am from Mars.

But it can be done safely. There are precautions that you take, and symptoms that you look for while on your outdoor fitness excursions:

  • Pre-load with fluids. If you are going to run at lunch, drink 2 – 3 12oz glasses of water in the hour before you head out. Your body will need it.
  • Bring fluids with you. I go through about 16 oz for each 3-4 miles I run. If you begin to cramp, drink.
  • Put some electrolyte supplements in your water. In the summer I use Accelerade, a protein/carb mix that really does help recovery.
  • Don’t “start” cold turkey. The key is to acclimatize yourself. Start in early spring, and keep at it as the temps rise. You will not “shock” your system, and it will become more enjoyable (plus exercising regularly is a great stress reliever)
  • If you cramp, become dizzy, disoriented or “dazed” STOP.  Call for help.  The difference between a comfortable albeit it hot run, and heat stroke can happen quickly.  Carry a phone.

It isn’t for everyone, but if you prepare, and ease yourself into it, you can keep your outdoor fitness going, even in the baking Arizona sun. Use common sense, and don’t push too hard.

Disgusting Things

I exercise by walking or running on public roads.  I do this everywhere I travel, and even at home.  In my “pounding the pavement” I have come across a lot of things, credit cards (returned), drivers licenses, cash (once I found a $50 bill.. It pays to watch the road…) and more than a few dead animals.

But the one thing that I come across most often is the “spit bottle”.  For those unaware, folks who chew tobacco (or “snuff”) while driving need someplace to “spit” the juices.  Mostly, they use an old Water bottle, or a Gatorade bottle.  Better than just spitting on the road.  

But, when it becomes full, do these people find a trashcan to deposit this brown ugly mess? No. They toss it out the window.  

Hence I come across them very often.  

Please, if you chew, and spit in a bottle, toss it in the trash.  It is unsightly, unsanitary, and doesn’t belong on the roadside.