Some days hurt, some days you float. This was a nice six miles around the Trexlertown Nature Preserve, on a new route I’ve never done before. Started off chilly and breezy, and saw a woman modeling with antlers in the woods, so all in all a great run.
The thing about trail running is it’s time in the woods, which I cherish. Lately I’ve been taking it slow and easy, which just means more time in the woods, so it’s a win win all around. I keep reminding myself that I’m not racing, I’m just out in nature. So when it hurts, slow down. Walk. Take a photo (or two).
Some days I just don’t feel like a hard run. I don’t feel tough, or strong. I just want to be… soft.
I want to stop and take photos. I want to kick up pine needles so I can breathe in that wonderful smell. I want to just, stop, and appreciate the clouds and the sky.
A lot of times I just want to be in nature, but a little faster than walking. A shuffle, a jog, and that’s okay. Every run is not a race, and every run doesn’t have to be training. A run, like a walk, can be just because.
I have a race this weekend. A for-real race, with other people. A field of about 70 people, starting in waves according to age or elite status. This week I’m taking it easy, as I’ve been pushing the miles the last few months, and now I’m letting the muscles and bones heal up nice and good. I want to be “undercooked” as my coach once told me. Better to be over-rested than burnt out before a race.
Been thinking a lot about habits, goals, energy, side-projects. I’ve sort of been bummed that I haven’t done a creative side thing in awhile, like music or art. But I’ve absolutely been pulled to running.
It keeps me outside. It breaks up the days. I can experience a cold morning, or get out on a busy trail in the evening and see a bunch of dogs. I can run when it’s hot out, or when it’s raining. I can run in new places, new towns, new trails, with new people.
Like, right now making music isn’t going to do that for me. I still love music, and listening, and discovering music, hell, I WORK IN MUSIC.
But right now, as a hobby, or a way to unwind? It’s just not there for me… right now.
God, that’s so much with all of this.
I don’t feel like making music.. right now. I don’t feel like making videos… right now.
Maybe someday I will. For right now, I need to do some stretching.
A month ago I hit 100 miles in one week, between running and biking. That took a tenacity, a mental drive to get out every day because I was running for a cause (we all gotta run for Tommy Rivers Puzey). Finding the drive internally is a challenge, but I’m working on it. Got in a few 30 mile weeks on my feet, and feeling good. Slowing down, focusing on recovery, instead of trying to get faster on every freaking run.
Tonight was the first night after a ride where it wasn’t dreadfully hot. There was no sweat dripping into my eye balls, no feeling like I just got caught in a rainstorm. Instead it felt like a hoodie would have been nice for my back porch dinner.
Intentionally not posting any “before / after” photos, but I’m sorta stoked on how far I’ve come since I started running in 2016.
Back up. Before my first office job, in 1998, I was pretty trim. I worked at grocery stores in the 90s, and when I wasn’t working I was riding BMX or mountain bikes, or playing basketball, or street hockey.
Then, well… let’s just say that at one point my lunch order was three chalupas from Taco Bell (that’s over 1000 calories). Moved to NYC in 2004 and dropped some weight because I was at least walking around more, running to catch the train, or running between building on campus (I was an A/V tech). Heck, even after leaving NYC on my bike and doing “The Bike Nerd” thing, from about 2010-2012 I was in okay shape, but I still ate like shit.
And you can’t outrun a bad diet.
Then from like 2013-2016 I was just a slug. Lots of processed food, not a lot of activity, and broke as fuck from not being able to find work. I was in a miserable place.
But I started running in 2016, and knocked off about 25lbs in a year or so.
Then did “No Junk June” in 2019 with my roomie, and worked with a nutrionest (Grayson Murphy), and lost another solid 15-20 lbs.
Now, in 2020, I’m about 20 lbs away from my pre-first office job weight.
Most important is I’m eating a lot better. Running and all that is one thing, but to finally be working with a consistent plant-based diet, and still snacking on here and there, that’s the biggest thing. Changing the mindset of food. And straight up not buying cookies at the grocery store because I’ll eat the whole damn box in two days.
So much of this is just showing up every day. I run not because it’s “how I’m going to lose weight,” but because it’s something I can control. It gets me away from the computer, into nature, breaking a sweat. I think whatever you can do, to keep things fun, will probably work for you, too. Long hikes, basketball, dancing, roller skating, whatever… you just have to make sure you’re having fun.
Years ago I was super active on Flickr, and I forgot that I started this Bicycle Commuter group back in 2005 – freaking 15 years ago.
I was living in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn at that time, riding down Putnam Ave then North to the Williamsburg, Bridge. God damn, I miss those ride. I miss the city riding, the flow of those streets, the bike lanes, and those bridges.
Morning rides over those bridges. Evening rides. Rainy rides. Night rights. Biking in the city, any city, is fucking magic.
One of the remarkable things about scrolling through these photos on Flickr is the web-first experience. Things on the web seem just slower paced, as opposed to the social network feel on mobile which is focused on speed.
Lately the mobile experience just feels like go, go, go. This is partly because of my day job, and what I do for a living, but I’ve really enjoyed putting the phone down, closing my email, and getting back to checking a few websites that aren’t Google News, or ESPN.
Been telling my pal to document more of her journey, and never really taking my own advice. This is from today’s 10 mile journey on the D&L Trail near Palmerton, PA. Sort of uneventful, it’s rails-to-trails after all, but it was a joyous run. Running next to the big hills and the river make running a bit easier.
Meant for this to be an eight mile run, four out, four back, but I looked at my watch and it said 4.25, so I figured what the hell? Let’s go for five out, five back.
I think what made this easier was fueling the night before with three tacos – eggs, fake meat, beans, cheese, lettuce, salsa, corn tortillas. Maybe a few Doritos, too, for good measure. Then a full English-muffin to get the guts rolling in the early morning.
Also about 40 minutes into the run I started eating a KOFFEE – Energy Gel with Coffee Kick from Spring Energy. It’s 210 calories, and COFFEE, so not only does it provide the kick of calories and caffeine, but it tastes so fucking good, which is important in the middle of a longer run.
I’ve been doing eight mile runs lately, as my long runs, and this is the first ten I’ve done in a while. The combination of those tacos, the cooler weather and shade, and these energy gels really worked in my favor.
Video-wise, yeah, need some more b-roll footage. There were some little water falls on the side of the trail that I could have captured, and maybe I could have captured some shots of me running (I guess), but this was still fun to make.
P.S. Thanks Dino for the awesome Nike Trail Running top!