Thursday, July 22, 2010

Life lessons

For anyone looking for a good summer read (or really any time of year!) I highly recommend "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein. This book has officially topped my list of favorites! The book tells the story of a dog named Enzo, as he sees life through his eyes. His owner, Denny, is a race car driver and the bond these two share is simply amazing. I think the reason I enjoyed this so much was that I identified with it so well. Okay, this may sound a little weird, but I've always felt that dogs really understand us... on a much deeper level than we can imagine. I feel that there's so much we can learn from our dogs. Think about it... I don't think I've ever seen Charley upset that I'm walking in the door, or that he has to eat essentially the same thing every day, or that he has to live in our apartment with no yard of his own (...even though there's plenty of grass and parks in our neighborhood, they aren't just "his"). Simplicity. He's so happy with so little. The true riches of life (family, friends, love), he has more of than he could ever ask for. And he knows it. Gratuity. If I could be half as grateful for the unnecessary fluff that I don't need as he is for a simple ear scratch or tennis ball, my days would be much more fulfilling. In fact, I'll even branch out and say that if we all let ourselves learn a thing or two from our dogs, the world would be a much happier, healthier, safer place. Just something to think about...

On a different note... as happy as I am to get back into running, apparently my shins have disagreed. Scratch that. My shins have decided to rage against the rest of my body in shear pain and utter misery. It's bad. That being said, I've always maintained a minimalist perspective when it comes to hitting the road. I'm not one to carry a water bottle, 3 packets of gel, my phone, towel, etc. 95% of the time it's myself, my shoes, watch, and maybe half a packet of energy beans (or something of the sort) if it's a long run. With that in mind, I was not keen on the idea of using/wearing anything serving to remedy my new found shin splints. However it seems to have gotten to "that point." Yesterday I went to my local running shop and bought a pair of Zensah compression leg sleeves for $40. I know this is probably all in my head, but I've just always felt like if I were to wear something like this it would just come across as if I was trying to say "Yeah... I'm so fast I need these 'cool' leg things to make me even better." I don't know. I just don't like the idea of being "that runner." I have to say though, at this point I'm moving very close to the "I don't care, it hurts that bad" train of thought. I bought them on a Wednesday with the idea that I'd get in at least one shorter run on Thursday before using them on a long Saturday run (even though this Saturday is only 3 miles... which was the same mileage as today. But oh well). I had heard miraculous things about Zensah's and was anxious to see how they'd work for me. I don't know if I had the wrong size or just wasn't used to them, but absolutely nothing changed... In fact, I think the pain was a little worse. Although the fact that I only rested a day in between probably didn't help, I figured there would be at least some improvement. Not so much. So, I'll give them one or two more shots then I'm moving on... I've been reading a lot about kinesiology tape and how so many people have fallen in love with it. Apparently it really became "big" during the 2008 women's volleyball olympics, when some of the women used it on their shoulders. If any of you have ever used this, or know anyone that has, I'd love to hear your feedback... good or bad. Although it's only $15-$20 a roll, I'm more concerned with finding something that works right now. Any input would be greatly appreciated!

Whew! I don't even realize how much I ramble here... I'll get better, promise! ;) Thanks for reading, I really do appreciate it!

Tomorrow we head up to Jacksonville for Charley's orthopedic appointment. I'll update as soon as I find something out. Wish us luck! Goodnight ya'll!


Danielle said...

I'll have to read that one!

Just found your cute blog! I am your newest follower. Stop by mine sometime :)

Life, Love, and Labs said...

Thanks Danielle! I'll be sure to check it out! :)

Sarah said...

Cute blog, can't wait to read more! : )

I'm so not a runner but hubby and I just bought a treadmill so I think I'm going to give it a try!

Amber said...

I'm getting back into running as well and experiencing the pains. I haven't ever thought of trying either of the products you suggested - but if you do try something and it works, let me know. I know what you mean about being "that" runner - but sometime you gotta do what you can to make it to the finish line! :)

Life, Love, and Labs said...

Sarah- Thanks for the compliment! :) The main thing I've found when just starting to run is to start out sloooow. I think that's part the reason I'm having these issues. Check out the Galloway method-- it's a run/walk method that makes it totally do-able! Definitely worth checking out!

Amber- I'll be sure to let you know!! As of right now the Zensah's haven't really worked out for me, but other people SWEAR by them. They might be something you'd want to check out! By the way, being "that runner" wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. :) Thank goodness!