Blog

Battling ourselves

“Its like a self-defence mechanism that backfires and actually causes us harm.” 

Time to grab the chicken by the neck and move forward friend! Ok – mainly used that because I have a rubber chicken at the desk…and its good for a cover blog image—but shut up and keep reading.

Straight forward, brutally honest stuff from this runningdad today. Its a quick blog spewing about mental health, depression and anxiety. It comes from someone who has always found the mental aspect of running the hardest (made me stop or drop out of races) and from someone who went down to the very dark bottom of the barrel mentally after a divorce, the transition of becoming a dad and just a hard time in my life – I dealt with anxiety, stress, depression (maybe some male post-partum)(still researching) – and I nearly killed myself. So I have been there. So listen up.

I took on my mental health and negative outlook on myself and life and attacked it like a project, a battle – something I needed to win. I was tired of being tired, tired of feeling worthless, negative, pessimistic and without direction.

Take a moment form feeling sorry for yourself and keep reading – admit it, that is what anxiety and depression make us do.

You are battling you

Its like a self-defence mechanism that clicks on when we are stressed and overwhelmed. It is trying to protect us from potential harm, embarrassment, risk—perceived, not necessarily true. It is like our brain is trying to shelter us from the dangers our worry has created for us. Worry because anxiety and when we spiral into a pattern of negative thought that freezes us from action —stuff builds up. We then get more overwhelmed and burrow further into self-pity, inaction and negative thought. We also look for any small tidbit of proof that validates our position. Not moving feels easier and safer than the risk of doing something to crack the thin cage of fear that traps us.

  • We are our worst enemies
  • Low self-esteem
  • Low self-confidence
  • Fear of failure
  • Fear of not getting it right
  • Doubt
  • Stress

All these things can freeze us. Depression and anxiety stop us from moving. It is our brain overthinking, trying to protect us from failure and harm – that in the end causes more damage.

Battling back

One thing you have to realize that for change to happen, you need to change, You need to do something. One step at a time. Start by simply getting out of bed, or sending a message to a friend. Try going for a run to clear your head. DO, don’t think about things people have suggested will help. DO, don’t try. Battle back, You are worth it.

  • Realize what depression and anxiety is
  • Reach out and talk
  • Start a journal
  • Get counselling
  • Talk to a life coach
  • Practice positive thought (it takes practice)
  • Meditate
  • Exercise (it helps)

Remember also that when we think we are worthless, a disappointment to others – it is seldom true. We are the ones who are the hardest on ourselves. We see the weaknesses, the failures or failures to come. Question your perceptions. Has anyone actually said anything to you? Are you simply full of shit and reinforcing your depression’s alibi to keep you hostage?

I have been there friends. I still have low days – but I battle on, I run on and I share here.

Hugs from afar, keep lacing up and reach out anytime.

 

Noel

 

Advertisements

Greetings from Watopia

“Treadmill running can be  a mind-numbing boring training session – something to make it more interesting is welcome.” – Noel Paine

Guest blog review by Jeremy Whalen (On Instagram: sixrunfeast). Jeremy is an avid runner, home cook and sports fanatic. His new blog highlights a hungry runners life spent balancing kilometers and cravings.

Untitled

A ZWIFT?

Its called a Zwift Run Pod.

The Zwift website describes it as: “Are you ready to run? Just grab the Zwift RunPod and you’re halfway there. Our new RunPod connects to your device so you can train at home or on a gym treadmill. Experience running with a community and you’ll see treadmill workouts in a new way! And you’ll even get to experience new routes in worlds like New York that are for runners only.”

  • Easily pairs with Zwift via Bluetooth
  • Calibrates within Zwift and is always ready to go
  • Measures and broadcasts speed, cadence and distance
  • Includes a standard CR2032 battery that’s easy to replace
  • Product weight: 13g

IMG_6675-2

WHAT YOU NEED TO START ZWIFT RUNNING

  • A treadmill
    A footpod or connected shoe
    Note: The Zwift RunPod is one of the easiest ways to get up and running on Zwift.
  • A device to run Zwift

Zwift also has a Youtube video to help you get setup.

 

A ZWIFT REVIEW

I’d planned to run 30 minutes and give Zwift one last chance to shape my opinion. The time on the screen has just hit 44 minutes, the treadmill under my feet is finally crawling, my Twitter has stopped. Any doubt in my mind about the power of Zwift was gone.

Copy of IMG_0370

Just over a month ago when I picked up the Zwift pod from Noel, I was a bit taken aback. The orange box was surprisingly small, sleek and a bit underwhelming. I immediately wonder what was missing. Inside there was a battery, a Zwift RunPod and some setup instructions. I inserted the battery into the pod, ignored the instructions and went looking for a pair of shoes to jump on my treadmill.

ZWIFT RUNNING AND WATOPIA

After a quick account setup process, I was calibrating the pod and discovering Watopia, Zwift’s private island. As someone who grew up a gamer, the graphics are impressive. My runner is kitted up, and he stands by the road stretching while he waits for me to finish my prep. As I start the treadmill he starts walking, then trotting along with me as we take our first run. The first run is slow, as recommended, while I get used to the user experience and the incredible amount of data being displayed.

IMG_0381

As I’m running along, the app pings at me. I’m startled. I almost bite it. I grab the hand rails, gather myself and carry on. My Zwifter hasn’t missed a stride, he’s in mid-turn, another experience I’ll need to quickly adjust to. As we move into the next turn, I look away from the screen, so my brain doesn’t think I need to lean into it, we both carry on without falling.

IMG_0367 IMG_0366

Another chime from the system, I’ve gained points. This is exciting! Like so many hours spent in front of the TV in my youth, my Zwifter is levelling up. The only difference now is that I’ve earned it with some serious cardio.

A few runs into my Zwift experience I start to push the software doing workouts, joining in on group runs and trying using the built-in workouts to keep up with my training. Then frustration strikes. A couple runs in a row my runner simply stops. I’m running along at a healthy pace, but my screen reads 0.0mph. I’m ready to give up on Zwift.

I head upstairs frustrated and I’m quickly humbled. I still haven’t read the simple one page instructions and now, blaming Zwift for my problems, I learn that I never set up my pod properly. It’s been tied too low!

I vow to start always reading all the instructions. At least when it comes to new running gear!

After a month of testing Zwift through evening and weekend runs, challenging it on a long run here and a workout there, I can honestly say I’m thrilled. Whether you’re like me and already believe in the power of the treadmill or you need a serious boost to beat that basement run dread, the app really does offer something for everyone.

I love the fact that the points allow you to unlock more outfits, paths and content. Pushing you to reach the next level so you can match your runner to your own personal style or explore a new regions of Watopia. The pursuit of these points has even helped me extend my cooldowns an extra quarter or half kilometre a time or two, something I usually cheat on while running outdoors.

The experience is nice. The bigger the screen you use, the better. An iPad, MacBook or Apple TV are perfect, while the smaller screen of my iPhone had its limitations. Swiping away those mid-run Twitter notifications, setting down my phone a bit too hard and locking your screen and all together closing the app a mile in caused me some early frustrations.

Overall, as this Ontario winter looks like it might never end, running around a volcano in the sun is a great change of pace from Netflix and miles. The guest worlds like New York and London let your mind wander while putting dreams of future marathon pursuits in your head.

THE CONCLUSION

Maybe someday I’ll be able to escape these late March snowstorms to run my intervals along a beach or through these international cities. Until then, Zwift has won me over.

The Zwift Run pod retails for $29.99

Connect with Zwift!

Zwift website: https://zwift.com/en/run/

Instagram: GoZwift

Twitter: @GoZwift

Thanks to Jeremy for the amazing guest blog! Run on my running friends!

Being Brutally honest

“Like can be like any long trail run, there are usually ups and downs. That brutal climb usually is followed by a downhill, you may groan, stumble but you swear and carry on. Sometimes you question it all and almost stop.”

The day is dark – its mid-April and its snowing and freezing rain outside and my mood is grey too – seems a good day to reflect on another dark (much darker day).

A tale of my darkest days

“When you are in the darkest hole and the blackness closes in, when depression has its claws in you, you have one choice. To break the hold, to see the light, to clear your mind you have to make a move. You need to raise a foot to kick a hole in the darkness till it bleeds daylight.”

Its me. The Canadian runningdad. Runner, dad and Depression survivor and advocate for healthy, active living and for mental health. I have talked before about my journey in life as a dad and my tough time dealing with a period where I battled depression. I, however, was never brutally honest or detailed about my darkest days. I am not sure why it has taken me so long to share. I am fairly open about my story. It has been quite a while now and I feel so far away from that dark point in my life. Maybe by sharing more it will help others, perhaps by opening up more it may help me.

So here it is.

My marriage had broken up. I was having difficulty transitioning to being a dad (I learned later that maybe this could be called male post-partum depression – but not sure), was now dealing with living in an apartment alone, seeing my daughter every second weekend and working at a job that stressed me out and I had no interest in.

I was becoming more and more depressed. I went through the motions at work and home and tried to keep busy and positive. My joking around at work became more sarcastic and negative – even my running was providing me little joy.

At my apartment, I felt alone and isolated. I had no family nearby (or even in the province) and have no real close friends I live close to or did things with. I would get home from work and it would be quiet and lonely. I felt no sense of purpose or direction, no reason for going from one day to the next. Paying child support, having to move into an apartment and buy a car to pick up my daughter from daycare pushed me financially and stressed me out. Netflix stopped keeping me distracted and conversations on the phone were not enough. Food lost its appeal. Social media kept me connected with people but was not enough.

I knew things were going downhill but did not know what to grab on to, to stop the slide.

After our initial separation, my ex and I got along well enough to sit in a friendly manner and work out a divorce but that was still stressful, tiring and tough.

It just kept getting darker in my mind. I looked for reasons to get up. I took a few mental health days from work.

I loved my daughter but found being a dad hard, tiring and ate into what little time I had to relax/enjoy. Now when I had my daughter I had to do everything by myself, could not find a babysitter even to go to the store…it was tough. People have it tougher – I am simply telling you how I felt.

The darkest day

The memory is blurry – you would think it would be crystal clear as a pivotal point in my life but its not. It was a weekday – I can’t remember if I had taken some time off from work or if I had been in to work the day before. Getting up in the morning had become a battle. The distraction of work and routine no longer —distracted my mind enough.

I can’t remember if the really dark thoughts crept in during the night or early morning. I just know they did. Things went from feeling shitty about life to really questioning why I was around. My mind told me that the world and my daughter were better off without me – that I had no direction, purpose or anything to look forward to. All I could see was a lonely, monotonous, dreary existence where I constantly struggled and got nowhere – working at a job I cared little about and living somewhere I did not want to be – far from friends and family.

I reached a point. I went from thinking about how pointless things were to really thinking about how to end my suffering. I had friends and family but no one close. I rarely saw my parents (once a year if lucky) and most friends were at a distance and seldom met in person. I had made some poor choices, not been honest with myself and although generally tried to be a good person, had my faults, mistakes and regrets. I could see no reason for being around, living. I started thinking about how to end my life. Not just the topic, but how I was going to do it.

I was being a coward. I was running away from my life and problems. I know that and I knew that then – but I wanted out. I thought about all the ways, — sorry this gets dark– hanging myself, jumping off something, carbon monoxide etc. I did not just allow a quick thought to go by – I was really considering the options and weighing out what was possible and what I had the guts to do. I stayed in bed. I did not go to work. It was a very, dark horrible place of self-pity, thoughts of killing myself, despair, listlessness.

Because I am anal retentive and was still just unselfish enough to not want my manager to worry – I emailed and said I needed the day. I had moved. I was up. I was not safe but it had made me think. I did not have a history of mental illness, I did not have anxiety or deal with depression before this – but like in running, the mental aspect was always toughest for me.

I knew I needed help. Besides the likelihood of me being successful with a suicide attempt were slim – which as also depressing at the time. The only thing that saved me was reaching out. It was a simple action – but it was enough. The responses and tiny or big gestures from friends and family and from the social media community —-people will never know how much they did for me.

Reflection and Recovery

b4c5ff37-3e1b-4ebc-ba84-2ca476574107

You can read on my blog about how I recovered and used friends, family, counselling, meditation, a life coach and everything I could find to fight my way out of my dark place. I got out. I battled hard, really hard and spent time looking at why I had gotten there, who I was and wanted to be and the reality of my life.

Where I am now

I am in a much better place now and have tools to fight off any depression and am so much stronger. For me the dark grip of depression and a mental health battle was a short-lived one. It is not something I struggle with daily. I am lucky.

ce3621ea-417a-41bb-8947-73f2aedb1d2c

This blog is not one where I offer tips – check out some other very personal blogs from this skinny runningdad for tips and how I battled. This is simply more detail on a very dark day. Perhaps it will help others realize they are not alone, that talking and taking little steps away from the abyss is all they need to do to keep going.

Keep reaching out friends, defeating depression is about doing something, breaking free of its grasp, moving forward and finding a positive purpose in life. You are never alone.

Find the positive in yourself and life.

Live, love, laugh and carry on.

Run on friends!

The amazing Amazfit

“I love running and love when something simple on my wrist can add to the fun.” 

A Runningdad review of the Amazfit Stratos muli-sport GPS watch

It has been a while since I received this cool watch from Amazfit to test out. Well, I have worn it, have tested it out and now its time for its review. I had not heard of this brand until stumbling across them online and on social media. This is how the watch faired in runningdad testing.

20181108_170031_2_resized 20190315_131017_2_resized

Capture+_2019-03-26-13-43-06_resized

This was the first really new style of GPS watch I have worn. I had the first Garmin watches and then I have worn, owned and tested a number of Polar watches. All the watches have been decent and Polar is extremely reliable and I really like the VO2max test it uses on the M430. But the watches even though colourful had dull screens and fairly simple readouts. This is the first watch that is flashy, has all the tech and includes a wrist-read heart rate. I was excited to test out.

THE WATCH

The Amazfit Stratos watch is one cool looking piece of wrist-wear. It comes in a very nice, solid box and the watch feels just as sturdy. Its all black (solid strap) with large but not enormous watch face and watch case has carbon-fibre look. It has 3 buttons on the hand-facing side and a HR-sensor on the bottom (along with 3 charging anodes). The watch face changes as you have the choice of a number of pretty cool options.

amazfit_stratos_smartwatch_hero_v2

Cost: $229 US

SPECS AND GEEKY STUFF

  • Water resistance
  • Alarm
  • Notifications from your phone
  • Amazfit App for phone
  • Measures steps
  • Can play music from your watch to bluetooth earbuds
  • VO2max fitness level analysis
  • Heart rate sensor
  • Transflective always-on color touch display
  • Pretty cool graphs of activity, HR etc on watch and app
  • Scratch-resistant tempered glass
  • Durable silicone watch strap
  • GPS tracking for: running, walking, cycling, swimming, elliptical machine, mountaineering, trail running, triathlon, tennis, soccer and skiing.
  • Through a partnership with Firstbeat this watch also measures maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max), exercise load (TD) and recovery time. All data can be synced and made available in Strava.

20181030_214120_resized 20181030_214104_resized

Capture+_2019-03-26-13-43-28_resized Capture+_2019-03-26-13-42-52_resized

WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO WEAR AND USE

The watch is comfortable and strap sturdy and I had no issues with comfort. I wore for running, walking, snowshoeing, at the gym and for everyday life. I liked the sporty, yet classy look. The watch survived all my sweatiness, the cold up here in Canada (some -30 days) and the sticky fingers of my 3-year old. I liked the ability to change the watch face – you can also even upload your own image if you want!

WHAT I THOUGHT

The watch looks nice, is comfortable and like the wrist HR option. The watch has more colour and I like the readouts and info displays better than other watches I have had. Here are the pros and cons from my perspective:

PROS

  • Easy to use
  • Great info from your runs on watch and app
  • Love the ability to play music from watch
  • Super quick to get GPS signal
  • Accurate wrist heart rate
  • Fun with multiple watch faces
  • Uploads automatically to Strava
  • Can get texts, notifications etc from phone

CONS

  • Low battery life (with notifications)
  • Charger can be a bit difficult to set watch in

Honestly – had a lot of fun with my watch. For me this was like going from a Blackberry phone to m,y first Android – I did not realize what I was missing! Watch has a super competitive price for what it does, has LOTS of bells and whistles and love playing with. Only downside for me was how quickly all the whizgigs, updates etc. sucked the juice from the battery. You can turn off notifications but still be nice to have a battery where I could get updates and be able to go for really long runs or ultra runs and have battery last.

20190111_131650_resized

Great watch for runners, marathoners or fit folk but not for ultra runners and just be aware you will need to charge regularly if using all options and running with GPS every day.

*They also make simple watches and fitness trackers that are worth looking at.

Amazfit website: https://us.amazfit.com/

Social media:  Twitter @Amazfit FaceBook https://www.facebook.com/amazfit/

 

World Litter Run

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” –  Mahatma Gandhi

WHAT IS #WorldLitterRun?

Stop, drop, dunk and make a difference! Shout out about it after with #WorldLitterRun!

The world is filled with litter and there are more and more people roaming our planet with every second that goes by. One Canadian runner decided to make a change and is now spreading his message around the globe; about his World Litter Run.
Runners are often those who spend more time than others on the roads and sidewalks dodging and running through litter strewn by others. One Canadian runner decided to stop, bend down and make a difference while out on a run.

Luke
Luke MacDonald, a runner, dad and part owner of the running store, Aerobics First in Halifax, Nova Scotia had an idea. It was an idea that sprung from the panic and anxiety he felt one day after running by so much litter on his run, usually something he did for stress-relief. The idea was to pick up the garbage along your regular running route. The first run was on Luke’s birthday with friend and they collected 19 bags of garbage on a 5k run! Others found out, liked the idea and before long, a National Litter Run was organized. The idea caught fire and kept burning and spreading.

images download (1)

Luke is a runner, dad and part owner of the running store, Aerobics First in Halifax, Nova Scotia had an idea. It was an idea that sprung from the panic and anxiety he felt one day after running by so much litter on his run, usually something he did for stress-relief. The idea was to pick up the garbage along your regular running route. The first run was on Luke’s birthday with friend and they collected 19 bags of garbage on a 5k run! Others found out, liked the idea and before long, a National Litter Run was organized. The idea caught fire and kept burning and spreading.

Through word of mouth and social media, a Canadian Litter Run has spread and is now a #WorldLitterRun with people in many countries participating and make their streets and world a bit cleaner with every run. The little litter run in Halifax took on a more global vision.

download

In addition to World Litter  Run, Luke has been involved with or started other projects such as, Fit-It-Forward, raising money and finding businesses donate shoes for the homeless, Sparks Fly, raising money to place stationary bikes in classrooms to help kids get active and help them learn, helping the local Gambian Association raise money for schools and  community centres and has raised money and awareness about making water barrels that can be pushed available to countries where water is often carried in buckets on their heads.

DR6_maTWkAAEbZo

One small action can often create a chain-reaction. Luke is an example of this. While out running, stop to grab a piece of litter and realize you are helping create change.

WHEN IS IT?

#WorldLitterRun is April 30th this year (2019) – but Luke says every day is #WorldLitterRun and that it can be celebrated on every run.

In 2019 – why not help out with the Tim Horton’s sponsored Pitch in Week (April 22-29) where Canadians are encouraged to make a difference and make their world a little greener and cleaner.

WHAT DO I DO?

Run, pick up litter, take a picture of the difference you are making and use the hashtag #WorldLitterRun.

HOW DO I CONTACT LUKE?

Luke on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Lukeshoefitter

Luke on Twitter: @LukeShoeFitter

About World Litter Run: Here!

DqRLlXRVsAI3gxv

Listen to Luke on my runningdad podcast where we chatted about #WorldLitterRun!

*Luke is a very humble runner who at age 54 is chasing a 20-minute 5k time. He insisted I not mention he is a former 32-minute 10k runner, so I have not. He is an active member of the Nova Scotia running community and an inspiration to many in his community.

 

Sharing stories I have stumbled across

“Every runner has a story and a reason they reach down to tie up their running shoes.”

Over 200 pages of stories and profiles of runners from around the globe. That’s what my book is. Between the stories, there are thoughts and inspirational quotes. The stories are from well-known runners, Olympians, record holders but also just ordinary runners as well with reasons to run, a story to tell or something to share. I have interviewed them, asked them questions and learned more about them and myself with every word.

20190118_170826_2_resized

I have written for Canadian Running magazine, iRun magazine and also have this blog where I have profiled, chatted with and been honoured to share others stories of running. I decided it was time to compile and share with others. Some of the runners inside include my friend Melinda, Olympian Suzy Favor-Hamilton and the amazing Dean Karnazes…..to find out the others you will have to grab a copy!

Order the book on Amazon here! (or simply search for my name)

Writers never make money – my goal is to share this book and hope others enjoy. If you want to do a review, want to profile me or the book – get in touch!

Foreword

Written by Canadian runner, writer and broadcaster and founder of iRun magazine, Mark Sutcliffe. Mark and I share some common passions and he knows how talking running is often just an excuse to hear someone’s real story.

Back cover recommendation

Kind words on the back of my book from Kenyan elite and writer Justin Lagat. Justin has published as few of his own books and consider him my Kenyan brother.

mtz8voyy download

Connect with me

dv9d8u1v4aauysy
My first book

I also have another book that is published on Amazon that is a short collection of my thoughts, poems and musings on life, being a runningdad and running – if you are interested here is the link!

There is another book project on the way – I am always looking for runners to connect with, people who are interested in the book!

Order the book on Amazon here! (or simply search for my name)

Depression is not always forever

“Everyone is different and the path back to mental health is a different journey for everyone.” – Noel Paine

Have I had a history of mental health issues or illness? No. Did I suffer a period of depression at a low point in my life and consider calling it quits. Yep. My story, like every piece of sand on the beach and every person in the world, is different.

I am back to my active, happy self now and still meditate, run and occasionally talk to my therapist but for maintenance – not because the dark dog of depression is nipping at my heels.

Here is a bit more of my story – someone questioning my depression and my story – made me want to share.

My story

I struggled after the birth of my daughter with the new dad life combined with stress and unhappiness at work. Overload which led to the breakdown of my marriage. I got to a point where I was going to call it quits – but I pulled back and reached out. I took that one step and realized I needed time off work to work on myself. I have always been a happy, active person and I wanted that person back. I also had the added pressure that I needed to be there for my daughter.

My wife at the time was always supportive and although there were some arguments it was a pretty mild breakup from what I have seen. We now work together with the goal of co-parenting our daughter. I even spend time at my ex’s place to make supper and put my daughter to bed – all so my daughter has one stable home and she visits Poppa ever second weekend. It’s not perfect – but you make it work. I have always paid child support and we work together, we may never be friends, but we are not adversaries. We sat down together and worked out our divorce without issue or argument and I will still shovel the driveway or help move something if I am there – why wouldn’t someone?

I have moved on and the problems and focus on the positive and still continue to reflect and learn about myself.

Life is about living and you choose how you live it.

How I made it back

  • Doing something
  • Talking to friends, family and a therapist
  • Writing a journal
  • Taking time to meditate and continue to run
  • Focusing on the positive
  • Hard work and self-reflection

I was never officially diagnosed with depression but took some time off work to get to a more positive place and focus on myself and so that I could also be a focused dad.

My advice

  • Realize you have a mental health issue to tackle – small or big
  • Make any move to get out of bed or get moving
  • Talk to someone – share
  • Find a counselor or therapist – it can’t hurt
  • Focus on the positive in your life
  • Surround yourself with positive people
  • Do more than read about things to do – do them
  • Think about the past, focus on the now and move towards the future
  • Learn from mistakes and look at your strengths
  • Take medication if you need it (I did not)

Why I share

I share my story here and on social media so others know it is okay to talk about any kind of mental illness or mental health issues and to get help. Whether an isolated incident or a long-term battle, it is important to know you are not alone.

Know you are never alone and that you need to reach out for help. You need to take one step at a time, be honest with yourself, self-reflect and not only read about ways to get better or to improve your mental health – but do them.

Oh – and keep running friends!

 

Making a sporty running frame your everyday set of glasses

“Your glasses often define your look and how you are perceived. If you are a runner why not have glasses that reflect that – and can be used for work and play!”

I am a runner, a dad and a communications professional. I am also someone who often hates changing glasses for sunglasses and needs to see (with prescription lenses) when I am trail running. I have funky Rudy Project Zyon frames which I briefly talked about in an earlier blog here. I sometimes wear sunglasses without prescription on really bright days or when I am not concerned about roots and rocks on a trail run – but having my trusty Rudy Project glasses on my face 90% of the time has been an amazing experience. Love them!

DrM9ryAX0AEkh6o

What I like

  • They look cool and suites my sport personality
  • They stay on my face when running (grippy adjustable arms and nosepiece)
  • Durable and no paint to chip
  • Better coverage than most glasses
  • Transition lenses make easy to wear as glasses on sunny days

Zyon_MatteBlack-ImpactX2_44429e99-91bf-426c-bfeb-e2e1387d4534_1050x1050

*The Zyon (above) has little wings on the arms that can add extra coverage from wind etc or be taken off. I removed mine and normally wear without.

Why go Rx sunglasses frame

Rudy Project has a number of prescription (Rx) options but I did not want flip ups or clip ins – I wanted something that was just like normal glasses but was funky, sporty, functional and could be used at the office and for running.

Rudy Project RX options.

options

How to make it happen

  1. Frame: Find a frame on the Rudy website that you like and has the possibility of Rx lenses (not all models). Contact Rudy about any other frames not obviously listed as available for Rx.
  2. Prescription: Get your Rx updated at your optometrist.
  3. PD: Get your Pupil Distance (PD) from your optometrist. It is the distance between the centre of each pupil of your eyes. This can often be difficult to get from an eye exam – at least in Ontario (Canada) – the PD is not a necessary part of your Rx and is usually measured by someone in the dispensary (who sells glasses) (Many optometrists are co-located with eyeglasses stores). Be nice and they may give you – or perhaps go to an optometrist who is not co-located with a store (they want you to use your PD to buy glasses there).
  4. Online: Submit all your information online and pay and wait! In Canada Rudy seems to come via Purolator and if they cannot deliver to a mailbox they will hold or can send to a nearby pick-up location.
  5.  Insurance: Most health insurance plans will cover the cost of the eye exam and then you will have to check whether they will cover cost of frames and lenses. Most plans cover cost of frames bought from an optometry clinic but may not from online – you will need to check this out.

If you need help locating a Rudy dealer, they have a locator to guide patients/athletes to professionals for their RX work. Only Optical Locations can assist patients with multi-focal or Progressive lenses. Optical locations can honor Insurance plans, if necessary
Rudy Project honors a $50 rebate when an RX job is done through an authorized dealer through Rudy Project.

The optical jobs take, on average, 7-10 business days for completion (Canada: Please include additional shipping time, depending on your proximity to Southern California)
We use the lab, ICOAT, based in Santa Fe Springs, to digitally surface our RX lenses.

Untitled

I love my Zyon frames but have decided to try out another frame – it has been a couple years and have chosen to go even funkier and going with the AirGrip frame in blue! Life is short – why be dull!

Dqxik2xWoAMAAsx

A runningdad review of the AirGrip is coming!

Life and running can be unpredictable my friends – grab life, shake it for all its worth and squeeze all the fun out of it that you can. Live, laugh, love and smile out there!

The fastest shoes in the World

“Running is a simple sport and the only real essential gear for most of us are shoes.”

Okay so to make them the fastest shoes in the world someone needs to run a world record in them or some such thing – but they are the lightest.

Get this, the shoe weighs 3.52oz!!!! (To give perspective that about the weight of 3.5 envelopes!)

Let me introduce you to the Reebok Floatride Run Fast Pro!

So I heard about this insanely light shoe from Reebok and had to find out more. I inquired and soon enough a box arrived from the friendly folks at Reebok. Little did they know that they would have to wait a few months for this busy runningdad to get the blog review done!

20180721_165749.jpg

WHAT YOU GET

Here are the details of what makes up the shoe and what Reebok recommends you use it for:

  • Materials: Engineered mesh to offer support and breathable flexibility
  • Best for: Racing, intervals, tempo workouts, neutral foot strike
  • Floatride foam sockliner for lightweight comfort
  • EVA sockliner for lightweight comfort
  • Ultra thin high traction outsole for optimal grip
  • Floatride Foam is significantly lighter than traditional EVA foam, for soft, lightweight cushioning
  • Bootie construction for a comfortable sock-like fit
  • 3.52oz. 6mm Drop
  • Best for: racing, intervals, tempo workouts, neutral foot strike
  • Materials: single layer engineered mesh upper and Floatride Foam technology for superior cushioning
  • Product code: CN7006
  • Product colour: White / Solar Yellow / Black

Untitled

THE EXPERIENCE

I liked this racing flat. The fit was comfortable and despite being insanely light and with minimal midsole and upper material it felt like a solid shoe and cushioned my foot well.

  • Silly, silly light – like you are not wearing anything
  • Comfortable fit for my feet
  • Decent width at forefoot (I have average foot width)
  • Snug heel but thin heelcup
  • Outsole has just enough material and lugs for road racing or track

Running on it felt better than some other lightweight racing flat I have worn and did not feel like I was standing on the road with nothing underneath and di not feel like I had no cushioning underneath. I was instantly impressed.

I went for a few quick runs and it felt as close to barefoot running but with some cushioning underneath as I have ever felt. I pushed off hard, slowed to 10k pace and still felt good. Impressed.

WHAT MAKES THEM LIGHT

Its the Floatride foam used in the midsole that really is the thing to focus on here. The foam was actually used by Reebok to design lightweight, cushioned shoes for NASA astronauts (article). Impressive. When the upper is just enough material to provide a little support and be comfortable and then the outsole is just enough material (little bits)—it makes for a ridiculously light shoe —did I mention its light?!

LIGHTNESS COMPARISON

The Floatride racing flat weight 3.52oz…lets compare that to few other racing/light shoes you may know.

  • New Balance 1400                  7.90oz
  • Mizuno Wave Ekidan 11       5.2oz
  • Brooks Hyperion                    6.6oz
  • Brooks Wire 4 Track Spike   3.9oz

CONCLUSION

Love the fit and comfort and cushioning. I love the lightness and feel on the run (for someone who is lean and relatively light on my feet). Its basically a running/racing shoe that weighs a little less than a light track spike that you can run on the roads with.

I would recommend this shoe for efficient, quicker runners who are looking for an amazingly light racer shoe to squeeze seconds from their times. For $300, its not cheap but definitely worth it. You will see me with this shoe on for some races, workouts and maybe time trials!

 

Reebok Floatride Run Fast Pro

Reebok on Twitter: @ReebokCanada

Grabbing life by the balls

“There are things you need to do to be responsible.”

Its the Canadain runningdad here with a short piece on something that I bet a lot of men do not talk about. Yep vasectomies. So why is a runner and writer…guy who often chats about being a dad and mental health opening up about this? Well, its related to being a dad and it certainly stopped me from running for a week and a bit and its related to my mental health. So worth writing about. What is a vasectomy?

Deciding

Pretty simple. I am 43 and do not want to have any more children and wanted to make sure of it. I have eased into being a dad and love my daughter but do not want to be the old dad or have a surprise with my girlfriend. Protection is always a good idea but this just takes the worry out of things. That’s it. I thought about and decided it was the responsible thing. It made sense for me.

It did mean I would probably have to take at least a week off running though – grrrrr. I bit the bullet. The mental health part is –I hate needles or procedures. I had to psych myself up, prepare and deep breathe through the procedure, no pain, no discomfort–I simply felt slight pressure and knew what was going on. I decided on a no needle no scalpel vasectomy.

How to prepare for vasectomy?

The meat of it

  • No asprin week before
  • Shave scrotum couple days before appointment
  • $250 that Quebec Health Insurance covers about $180 of
  • 15 minutes
  • My pants down in front of a doctor
  • No needle, local freezing
  • Jockstrap to wear for a week
  • Wait 10-minutes and go home (have someone drive you if possible)
  • Cost and coverage

The sausage factory (the experience)

I was nervous. Went up, registered, paid and got a little bag with instructions, a sample bottle and a sucker (yep candy lol). I waited and then was called into a room. I was instructed to put a jock strap over my underwear and wait to see the doctor.

The doctor arrived, we chatted and he asked about the situation and confirmed details and asked my girlfriend and I about the decision.

999999-5013317968678

More waiting and then walked to another small room with a dentist-like chair that was laid back all the way and low on the floor and a bright surgical overhead light. A chair for someone else to sit in the room…and that was about it. Simple. I was told to drop pants and everything else to ankles and then lay back. (Girlfriend watched the entire procedure).

A small surgical cloth with an opening for the boys was placed on me and then the doctor explained what was going to happen. He then told me he was going to freeze with what looked like an over-sized metal pen. Four shots of air that would feel like an elastic snapping, less and less so with after each one. Was ok.

Scrotum-pic-1-256x300 images

fig4 fig27

I was tense but all I felt was pressure. I smelled burning hair as things were cauterized but nothing else. The done, gauze and was asked to sit up slowly. Then everything pulled up and it was over.

Untitled

Where the snip happened

You may not be from Canada or even Ottawa but here is where I had my vasectomy done. They were friendly, professional and I was out pretty quickly. If you want the details  – it was:

OVIC – Ottawa Vasectomy and Infant Circumcision
South Ottawa Medical Centre
1650 Queensdale Avenue, Unit 2, Ottawa, ON, K1T 1N8

My doctor was Dr. Marc Brulotte, nice, young and very friendly.

After it all happened

I was quite cautious and got a drive back after the minor surgery but had no pain, swelling or discomfort. I rested and did little but did walk around. I had no pain, took nothing and had no bleeding (tiny spot on gauze I removed after first evening)

  • Rest and little activity 2 days after
  • No activity for a week (sports/exercise)
  • Minimal lifting
  • Use jockstrap for extra support

I have not run in a week and a day and everything now feels normal and feel ok easing back into activity and longer and longer runs. It was a good decision for me, a chance to overcome some anxiety and was a forced rest from running.

Now back to the roads!