Run for Life book

Run for Life by Wallack

I’ve been reading this running book titled “Run for Life.” Their premise is if you do certain things in your running and cross train, you should be able to continue running up to the age of 100!  The secret?  Run soft and do strength training.

Well today I focused on one aspect of this–running soft–mostly focusing on my arm swing.

During my long run–just over 20 Km (12.8 miles to be exact)–I focused 100% of my effort to ensuring my arms were just over 90 degrees bent and were swinging on the vertical plane.  Occasionally I would make sure my knees and heels were going up.

The proper swinging of arms, according to the book, helps keep the running balanced.  If you swing your arms across your body, it causes lateral stress on various parts of your body, especially the hips, knees, and ankles.  This unbalanced running is what causes the injuries.  So if you swing your arms in the vertical plane (basically forward and back), you reduce or eliminate the extra stress.

Here’s how I felt after the long run:

  • Left calf sore — I think this was sore because I was partially correcting my form by trying to bring my knees and heels up during the run; normally my left foot drags, which causes the uneven wear on my left shoe compared to the right.
  • No knee pain on either leg — Last year or the year before I felt serious pain on the right knee; later after the right knee recovered, I felt pain or soreness on the left.
  • No hip pain — I normally feel pain on the right hip.  This time around I felt none.  That is a good thing.
  • Hamstrings sore — My heels don’t go up enough, which means that my legs, on the turn over, would be limited in speed; since I did better heel kicks, it would only make sense that my hamstring are sore since the hamstrings are doing extra work.  Note that by bringing the heel up, the leg is shorter on the turn over, allowing the leg (as a unit) to move faster from the back to the front.  This is just plain physics.

Run for Life is probably the most comprehensive book on running I’ve ever read.  The information in it are very relevant for all ages, especially for those over 40 years of age just trying to stay fit.

I will share more useful information over time; for now think about arm swings as part of the overall process to run soft.

The title of this posting–“Respect Your Parents and Elders”–is the second commandment of the 10 commandments of Taekwondo.  The incident you are about to read will show why this commandment is very important for kids to learn today.

By now most of you may have already heard of the news about Karen Klein–a 68-year old bus monitor from New York–who was bullied by 7th graders while on her bus monitoring duty.  The video (shown below) has gone viral, and has been viewed over 3 million times by people all over the world.

WARNING, the language used by the kids in the video are pretty graphic.  If you have a head set,  use it so your young ones don’t hear and emulate such vulgar language.

For whatever reason, the kids in this video thought that harassing and bullying Karen Klein was fun.  Fortunately, the rest of the world didn’t see it that way.  An outpouring of support both morally and monetarily came in from various places through her facebook page as well as a fundraising site, which by now shows that her supporters have raised over $630,000 to send Mrs. Klein on vacation.  Note that the original goal was $5,000.

The disrespectful kids, along with their parents, have since apologized to Mrs. Klein.  I’m not sure how sincere those apologies are; regardless, these kids will be permanently marked as bullies because this video will forever exist on the Internet, serving as a reminder of the pains they’ve caused a fellow human being.

Bullying another person isn’t nice.  It goes against the tenet of courtesy–the first tenet of the 6 tenets of Taekwondo.  When you have “courtesy”, you treat people with respect, regardless of age or gender.

I hope the kids in the above video have learned their lesson, and parents who see this video remind their kids about respect, and how disrespecting others can negatively impact them and others around them.

Kids, please respect your parents and elders!  You will be better for it.

Cloud Storage (photo credit: Forlanda)

I’ve meant to write about this for some time.  Now is as good a time ever, especially with the recent release of Google Drive.

As of this writing, you can get several Gigabytes of cloud storage for free.  Yes “FREE”.  Everyone likes free, and this article will list several places where you can get anywhere from 2GB to 7GB of free space.

These sites offer free storage in the “cloud”:

There is another cloud storage solution called the Adrive  which provides 50GB free.  This is not a typo, it is 50GB of free storage, web interface only though with ads.  There is an app for it on Android OS, but it’s not free.

Each solution below supports the following platforms:
  • Dropbox:  Microsoft Windows, Windows Phone, Apple iOS (e.g. iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch), Apple Mac, Android OS
  • Skydrive:  Microsoft Windows, Windows Phone, Apple iOS (e.g. iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch), Apple Mac
  • Google drive:    Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac, Android OS
  • Amazon cloud drive:  Microsoft Windows, Apple iOS (e.g. iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch), Apple Mac, Android OS
  • Apple’s iCloud:  Microsoft Windows, Apple iOS (e.g. iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch), Apple Mac
 Sign up for cloud storage now if you don’t have one.

Word of advice…only put files there that aren’t confidential in nature, or information you cannot afford to lose.  Also backup your cloud files to a separate external USB drive.  It will help ensure you aren’t caught unprepared if your cloud storage provider all of a sudden dissolves.

Are you using other cloud storage solution?  If so, please share.

Run Races to Stay Motivated

Run Races to Stay Motivated

Running is probably the cheapest way to work out without excessive side costs.  It is also one of the best ways to stay fit.  But sometimes, just running on a regular basis isn’t enough to stay motivated.  You need that something extra to help pull you along and keep you excited; otherwise, you’ll simply feel bored and worn out, and eventually just stop running altogether.  So how does one stay motivated?

Some people stay motivated because they have running groups or running buddies who can help them stay motivated and who can help the run more bearable, especially those long runs.  But what if you don’t have any running groups or running buddies?  How can you stay motivated?

The best way I’ve personally done it is by signing up for races throughout the year.

Here in the Central Valley, I didn’t realize how many local races there are until I signed up for one of the local small town events–the Micke Grove Zoo Zoom 5K.  There are practically several events almost every month as shown here at the On Your Mark Events schedule!

Signing up for running races is great for motivation for the following reasons:

  •  It establishes milestones over time on which you know you’ll have to run.
  • Nothing is better at motivating you to go faster than to try to beat your last race time.
  • Running with a group helps you run faster than normal; the race excitement can actually shave off minutes from your normal time!
  • After a race you want to know when the next one is so you can do it again.

If you are running to stay fit and can’t find a way to stay motivated, why not sign up for a race today?  It may just work for you.  After all running is something almost anyone can do.