I'm terrible at updating this blog. Every time I say that I'll "elaborate" or "fill in the blanks" on something, it takes me ages to get to it. Even with the best intentions, I usually fall short simply because there are other things going on. I guess it's a symptom of society and the never ending attitude of instant gratification. In the past couple years I feel that my attention span has just gone to a fraction of what it used to be. I find it hard to actually read anything that's more than 140 characters (thanks Twitter!). We're just so into speed and efficiency as a society it's crazy. I'll have to force myself to actually sit down and breathe every once in a while. Maybe reading a book or two might help!
Anyway, I dropped a bombshell (actually 3) in my last, "mini" post the other day. Of course, I'm more than just a little bit excited about being engaged. I feel like the luckiest man in the world to have found someone that I not only love with all my heart, but that makes me a better person every minute that I'm with her. She's the most beautiful person, inside and out, that I've ever met, and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with her. I could go on and on with the cheese, but I'll spare anyone reading from all my mushiness. Bottom line is I couldn't be happier. Period. :)
As for the running, I've again found a pair of trainers and the road. I had been wanting to get back into the swing with it, but, because I'm a paranoid type, I laid off until the beginning of October. Back in April, I tore the skin apart between my toes on my right foot. I was mountain biking and hit a downed tree trunk with my foot. The sharp edge of the trunk tore through my shoe, splitting my toes apart and causing the injury. It wasn't a puncture, but rather a result of the toes just being spread so far apart so quickly. I didn't realize how bad it was at the time, thought at worst that I'd just broken my toes and rode on. It wound up taking months to heal and I was off the bike for a while. Not fun, but I didn't want to re-injure it. So, because of the obvious nature of running, I wanted to give it a bit of extra time to really heal. Soft tissue is a bitch to heal, and the last thing I wanted to do was start running too soon, mess it up, and spend more time off my bike. If you have to choose between breaking a bone and tearing some skin/ligaments/tendons, I'd advise you to break the bone. If it's clean and "run of the mill" it'll heal faster.
Well, I got back into running on Monday and it was fantastic. The only drawback to having not run in nearly 1 and a half years was that even though my heart and lungs were still well conditioned from all my riding, my legs are not nearly what they were. I made it about 5 k before I started to get soreness. Still, not bad considering the length of my layoff, and I wound up being able to run again the following day.
I think the reason for my layoff was nothing more than just simply burning myself out to the point where I didn't even want to see a pair of running shoes. All of the technical aspects and "training" I was doing really took the fun out of it. For now, I'm happy to run for as long as I want when I want. In no way to I want to start to train for any races or to run for any other reason than it just makes me happy. I don't care about pace, I don't care about time, and I don't care about distance. I just care about being out there, moving my feet, and enjoying being outside and not tied to anything other than my feet hitting the ground. While I love my bikes and nothing makes me smile (except my fiancé of course!) more than shredding single track, the simplicity of running makes me calm and settled unlike anything else. There's no equipment to worry about, no terrain to travel to, and nothing besides the clothes on my back and the shoes on my feet needed to get fulfillment. Very cool and I'm glad to be back into it.
So finally, for the vegan thing...
Simply put, my diet has been shit. I blame this mainly on triathlon (because I blame triathlon for everything!). Really though, it's more a function of being young and being able to get away with it. Before I got into racing tris, I was into MMA fighting and bodybuilding. Both of which require you to eat cleanly and target your training around being a specific weight (MMA more so, but there is a similarity). So, because of that, I paid a lot of attention to my diet and ate rather cleanly for a guy in his early and mid twenties. When I found triathlon, I got into the habit, like most I suppose, of eating anything and everything around. Yeah, some may not do this, but when training for long distance tri, it's pretty hard not to. I have a lot of respect for those people (my fiancé included) that can remain disciplined enough to eat healthy AND race long. To me, it was hard enough to get in the calories with junk food, much less pounds and pounds of fruit and veg.
Fast forward to the present and you have a nearly 32 year old, ex-triathlete-mountain bike rider-kettle bell swinger-runner-personal trainer. For the moment, I'm very concerned with setting up things for my future wife and I, getting work straight, and taking care of the "life" things that I was able to put on the back burner for so long when I was pursuing my racing goals. Sure, I could still race and get all these life things together, but I'm the type that becomes so obsessed with competition that I could never be productive in both. I'm happy being in a supportive role now for Anne, and that's where I'll stay until things get a bit more settled.
So, the vegan thing. It's really more to do with being healthy than anything else. I don't think that I would ever become a strict non-meat eater, but I do think it's a great way for me to get the jumpstart I need. By focusing on a plant based diet for at least a little while, I think I can start to get in the habit of making better choices and change my attitude toward those healthier options that I've neglected for quite a while. Along with this, I like what I've read in researching it along the lines of heart disease and cancer incidence, both of which run in my family. This is becoming more and more important to me as I see my father deal with his cancer. It's a real "C. U. Next Tuesday" of a disease, and I'd like to never have to deal with it again.
And that's all folks! I promise to get more pictures up on this thing sometime soon, as well as TRY to document my experiences with the vegan experiment. I plan on easing into it gradually over the next week or so. This should make things a little easier when giving up all the good tasting crap I've been eating!