I HAVE MOVED

After a lot of thought and consideration -- I have decided to retire One Foot in Reality and leave it as an Archive. I will still monitor it to keep the trolls at bay, but will not be posting here any longer.

If you are looking for my new posts, please go to www.haroldlshaw.com .

Thank you for all they years of following One Foot In Reality.

Harold

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Man in the Mirror

After a lot of thought I have decided to move some of best of my old posts from Aging Runnah and A Runnah’s Story blogs, primarily the old reviews, maybe a few of the better posts and race reports that I have written over the years. I have a feeling that at some point, my WordPress.com blogs are simply going to go away and I want to still be able to go back and read some of the stuff I wrote.

If you are reading this blog post, that is why it is has been re-posted here.

Originally posted on: February 18, 2013


Today I was given the opportunity to do something that I have only dreamed of! You know one of those - you just can't refuse it things.


I turned it down!

What in the world are you talking about Harold?

I can't get into the specifics, but I was given the opportunity to do something that I have wanted to do for a very long time and even though I was sorely tempted to take the offer, it only took about a minute to make my decision, to go in a different direction.

Why did I turn it down?

It was pretty simple, I wanted to do the right thing for the right reason. 

If you have read my blog for a while, you know that I believe that this saying is more than just empty words to me.

No it was nothing illegal, immoral or anything like that, it was and is something that I really, really, really want to do and will do. However a long time ago I had said that I would do this a certain way and if I had accepted this offer, it would have meant compromising myself and betraying the man in the mirror - which I am not going to do.

That guy in the mirror, the one person who knows the truth - the real truth about everything you do and don't do. Today I knew if I had accepted this opportunity, that it would have been a long time before I could really look him in the eye again.

The reality is that it was tempting and no one out there knows how much I wanted to go ahead and do it. Because to be honest I really don't know if I will get the chance to ever do it again. No I am not here writing about how great I am, because I made this choice, because I am not - I have made plenty of mistakes in my life and I just didn't want to add another one to the long list.

Others would or could have taken this opportunity and just gone with it, without a second thought and it would have been a great choice for them.

I just couldn't make that choice for me. While I am very comfortable with my decision, I still think what might have been.

Have you ever had a situation where you have had to turn down an opportunity to do something your really, really wanted to do, because it would not have been the right thing for you?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Altra Instinct 1.5 - 50 Mile Review


After a lot of thought I have decided to move some of best of my old posts from Aging Runnah and A Runnah’s Story blogs, primarily the old reviews, maybe a few of the better posts and race reports that I have written over the years. I have a feeling that at some point, my WordPress.com blogs are simply going to go away and I want to still be able to go back and read some of the stuff I wrote.

If you are reading this blog post, that is why it is has been re-posted here.

Originally posted on: February 14, 2013


Finally, I have 50 miles on my Altra Instinct 1.5's!

Wait a minute you got them back in October as a free media sample (disclosure) for being a blogger at the Runner's World Half Festival.

Why on earth did it take you so long to get 50 miles on a pair of running shoes?

It was a good problem - too many shoes to run in. I had 5 pair of shoes that I was running in regularly, in addition to my Altra's.

I was also suffering through hamstring issues and wanted to make sure that the Altra's were part of not part of the problem. They were not, because I continued to have issues with my hamstrings, even after I stopped running in my Altra's (one of those good news/bad news things).


When I started to run in my Altra Instinct 1.5's again a few weeks ago, they just felt right. It was like I immediately returned to running the way I had been last summer, when I was running my best.

I don't care what the "experts" might say, I don't have perfect running form and eventually revert to landing on my heels in more traditional 10MM or higher drop shoes - it is just how it works in my world. So I strongly believe that running shoes can be part of the solution for those of us, who want to move to a more mid/forefoot style of running, move away from landing on my heels and running like an inverted V.

Lets get to the Instinct 1.5 review

Construction/Design.

The Instinct 1.5's felt and look a little bigger than the original Instincts, but when I measured them, they were the same length, so it might be a bit of an optical illusion due to the change in the design of the uppers.

A couple of things that I noticed was that on the right foot, there was some extra material where the tongue was connected to the shoe, which somehow bunched up and took some skin off the top of my toes. This was easily taken care of with a pair of scissors and I have not had that issue since I performed minor surgery.

The other thing is that on the left foot there is a crease in the forefoot, which causes the tongue to slightly touch the top of my foot, when flexed when standing or walking, however, this crease has not bothered me when I am running.


Otherwise there were no issues with construction of the shoes and these were very minor things that were quickly corrected with a few snips or don't bother when I am running.

Design/Fit

The style changes from the 1.0 to the 1.5's were a big improvement in looks department. Many people talked about how ugly the original Instinct's looked - personally I liked them, they are distinctive.

The fit and feel of my 1.5's after a few snips with the scissors is typical of all Altra shoes with the wide toe box and narrower heel = comfortable for me.


I did change the laces to a Lock Laces shoestring system, which I love and this system allows the shoe to mold to my feet more comfortably, because of the stretch built into the laces, which the original laces do not have (like most running shoes). I will be using the Lock Laces' system on all of my running shoes in the future, that is how impressed I am with it.

Sole

It is the same sole that the original Instinct's have and are great on the dry roads, wet roads, dirt roads and non-technical trails. However, it doesn't have the grip that is needed on more technical trails, mud, snow or slush, while you can use them - you will slip and slide a little though.

As you can see there is very little wear on the soles after 60 plus miles of running and probably another 50-60 miles of walking.


Overall

I am loving running in the Instinct 1.5's so far. I have noticed I am running with a much more of a forefoot/midfoot running style again. In the Instinct 1.5's when my form begins to deteriorate and I begin landing on my heels, they have a distinct slapping of my forefoot, which reminds me that I need to get back up on my midfoot/forefoot.

Which is a good thing and how I want to run.


The Altra Instinct 1.5's are the primary running shoes in my two shoe rotation of Altra running shoes. I foresee me replacing them with either another pair of 1.5's or the next edition.

I also need a new pair of trail running shoes and because of my experience with the 1.5's I will be buying a pair of Altra trail running shoes fairly soon, to run trails and in the sloppy road conditions.

I can't say anything more than that about a pair of shoes - I want another pair.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Hypothermia - It is no Joke

After a lot of thought I have decided to move some of best of my old posts from Aging Runnah and A Runnah’s Story blogs, primarily the old reviews, maybe a few of the better posts and race reports that I have written over the years. I have a feeling that at some point, my WordPress.com blogs are simply going to go away and I want to still be able to go back and read some of the stuff I wrote.

If you are reading this blog post, that is why it is has been re-posted here.

Originally posted on: February 2, 2013

Wintery Scene

Some of you suggested that I do a post on the warning signs of hypothermia, after writing about my run yesterday.

Hmmm what happened?

Almost 4.0 miles into a planned 13.1 mile training run, I had a call of nature stop and exposed too much of my body, including my hands to temps in the very low 20's with a 5-10 mph headwind.

After that I just couldn't get my body warmed up and I had to cut the run short. Before I stopped I was scuffing my feet, stumbling on little things that normally don't bother me. After I stopped running, I had a difficult time using my hands (they were cold and numb), remembering my membership number, and shivering. When I looked in the mirror my face was extremely red, my lips blue tinged, and when I called my wife to come get me, she said I was slurring my words - which are all signs of Hypothermia. You can read the whole story here.

What is Hypothermia?

According to the site Wise Geek (which had the best real life definition of Hypothermia, after looking at the WebMd, Mayo Clinic, CDC and many others for a good definition)

Hypothermia is caused by a reduction in body temperature, usually through exposure to cold water or cold weather. It is defined in stages. Untreated hypothermia, especially in the later stages is extremely serious. It can result in organ death, heart arrhythmias, or extreme disorientation that results in remaining outdoors and shedding clothing because one doesn’t feel the cold. If the person is not found and quickly treated, death is likely.

So hypothermia is not something you can ignore or minimize, it can become a life-threatening thing.

Especially for some of us runners who are so motivated or feel that we have to complete our workouts "no matter what". Sometimes stuff happens and no matter how experienced, well-prepared or well-dressed we think that we are for the cold weather, we can run into trouble.

Signs of hypothermia are (from the CDC Website):
  • Shivering
  • Clumsiness or lack of coordination
  • Slurred speech or mumbling
  • Stumbling
  • Confusion or difficulty thinking
  • Poor decision making, such as trying to remove warm clothes
  • Drowsiness or very low energy
  • Apathy or lack of concern about one's condition
  • Progressive loss of consciousness
  • Weak pulse
  • Slow, shallow breathing

A person with hypothermia usually isn't aware of his or her condition, because the symptoms often begin gradually and because the confused thinking associated with hypothermia prevents self-awareness.

As you can see I had multiple signs of symptoms of hypothermia. Luckily I was still thinking clear enough to know that I was getting into trouble and to follow the plan TheWife and I had talked about before it became a real issue.

I have a feeling that I was in or close to - stage 2 hypothermia (where your body temp is below 95º degrees F) and if I had attempted to go for the remaining 5.0 miles (about 45:00 minutes), it could have been really bad and I probably would have ended up in the Emergency Room. Which is definitely not what I had planned for my end of run celebration yesterday.

I know that I kept shivering for almost 15 minutes after I got inside the gym and then I didn't feel warm again until after a hot shower and hot meal.

What to do for Hypothermia according to the CDC:
  • If medical care is not available, begin warming the person, as follows:
  • Get the victim into a warm room or shelter.
  • If the victim has on any wet clothing, remove it.
  • Warm the center of the body first—chest, neck, head, and groin—using an electric blanket, if available. Or use skin-to-skin contact under loose, dry layers of blankets, clothing, towels, or sheets.
  • Warm beverages can help increase the body temperature, but do not give alcoholic beverages. Do not try to give beverages to an unconscious person.
  • After body temperature has increased, keep the person dry and wrapped in a warm blanket, including the head and neck.

Disclaimer: If you are unsure of whether you or the person is or is not responding to the above suggestions - get medical attention as soon as possible.

The reality is that

Hypothermia is a big deal for runners and others who are outside when it is cold out!

Underestimating the effects of cold temps, winds and the effects of how long you are out there, all play important factors in keeping yourself safe.

The thermometer might say 20º or 30º degrees and you may have run successfully in a lot colder temperatures before. However, don't become overconfident or minimize how cold it is. Just because you've got a lot of experience in the cold weather, doesn't mean on that day you don't need to think about how the cold weather will affect you and plan ahead - just in case.

Thankfully, TheWife and I discussed beforehand alternative places for me to stop, in case I got too cold during the run, so I had a plan in place ahead of time. Which was a good thing, I didn't have to rely on fuzzy thinking, I just had to go with our plan, when I realized I was getting into trouble.

Just remember that this happened to me and I am a fairly experienced outdoorsy type guy. I have run in the winter time, hiked, hunted and lived in cold-weather states most of my life. So it can happen and not when you expect it.

If you are out in the cold weather, wear appropriate clothes, think about the temperature and wind chills, how long you plan to be outside, know the warning signs of hypothermia, plan ahead and most of all don't be a hero. If you need to stop or cut a run short to remain safe - DO SO!

That way you can look back and laugh about your experience and run again tomorrow. Which is more important than finishing up a run that could get you in a lot of trouble.