I decided to work on Easthampton as my next City Strides project. I forgot to check where I started – about 2%? – but after one long run I’m at 5.78%, 22nd place (and that’s having lost at least 5 streets I’ll have to redo because Runkeeper crashed and I didn’t catch it right away). I’ll get up as early as I can on Sundays, ride Valley Bike over, and pick up bagels from Tandem on the way home! The electric bike will keep my legs fresher, I hope, and Sunday bagels are an Elwitt family tradition that it’s fun to pick up again. Tandem opens at 7am so at least for the first few months I hope to be done with my run by then and have lots of day left. Riding to Easthampton adds almost an hour to the whole expedition, but the motivation of exploring new streets is worth it. I considered tackling Hatfield next, because it has fewer streets, I’m already at 15%, and the leader is only at 74%, but it’s uphill to the nearest access point and I’d have to ride my regular bike. The Easthampton exploration is off to a great start – I enjoyed parts of the Williston Northampton campus, spotted Bigfoot, and got some great views of Mount Tom.
A copy of Jeff Galloway’s Marathon! jumped out at me from a giveaway box and I’m making my way through it. I love his focus on enjoyment and his recommendations for runners as they age, so I’m trying out his “walk for a minute periodically” technique on long runs – experimenting with a walk break every half mile, which is about every 6 or 7 minutes.
My six-month labs are in. It was such a busy week that I forgot to hydrate more carefully before the tests, which I meant to do, so perhaps the numbers would have been even better – but they’re fine and stable!
Protein, urine (mg/dl)
I tried to do another timed mile. This go-round I remembered to use the Fitbit running activity instead of the stopwatch, so I have the exact numbers, but what I am now very uncertain about is the actual distance. I knew I had to adjust somewhat for running in lane 8 but figured I was close enough and it wouldn’t make a big difference. So wrong! Track markings are way more complicated than I realized. It reminds me of when, as a beginner, I was asked by another kayaker “Are you using that rock?” I understood each word but couldn’t parse the sentence (he meant, “Are you resting from paddling by taking advantage of the weaker flow of shallow water over that rock?”) I thought I knew how to use a track! Since I’ve learned to distrust any race distances that aren’t USATF-certified, it makes any attempt to benchmark or compare like-to-like somewhat futile…
?59 F/58% ?
It took ages until KDA swag was available again, and then more ages for the shirt to actually get printed and arrive, but I finally can represent Kidney Donor Athletes! It’s a really nice shirt – incredibly light and ventilated – so I’ll want to save it for races and not get it all rubbed up with frequent use.
And I got a pair of new shoes. After giving up on FiveFingers because of the difficulty of getting the right fit, I’ve cycled through a bunch of minimal shoes with a more traditional shape. I got a pair of Xero Prios three or four years ago and loved them – the sole lasted as promised (they’re guaranteed for 5000 miles) but the uppers fell apart eventually. I hiked in them a lot so they got hard wear (including lots of mud). Then I tried a no-name cheapo shoe that was comfortable and nice, but the soles wore through very quickly. So I’m back to Xero, this time the pricier but even-better-for-running HFS. I absolutely love the way these look and they are light as a feather. The wide toe box is super-comfortable. I’m going to try not to get them muddy…
Xero keeps emailing me and asking me to promote their shoes, but their vibe is a little over-enthusiastically salesy – for a while I couldn’t get away from their Youtube commercials and got heartily sick of them. So points off for the marketing, but the product is great.
Best of all: kidney reunion!
Yes, I finally met Chris in person, right after the 6-month mark of our donation, and it was absolutely wonderful! She’s an amazing person and I am so fortunate to get to know her – I would have been delighted about the experience anyway, but this is the icing on the cake.