Thoughts on fitness, health, good nutrition ... and running.

Welcome to Bald Man Running, a blog launched by Frank Murphy on January 1, 2015.

In March, 2013 I was selected as a contestant for the sixth season of Fort Wayne's Smallest Winner. Through this amazing program, I learned about good nutrition, sound exercise and accountability. By October, I would lose over 88 pounds (almost 37% of my original weight)! One of the many things I acquired through FWSW was a love for running. You can retrace my weight loss journey and discover how I became a runner by reading those entries labeled "fwsw" ...

Note: Many of the blog entries on this website predate 1/1/2015. Prior to launching BMR, I had written articles for various projects, and I have imported many of them into this blog (labeled "retro").

Friday, June 21, 2013

The right gear

About four years ago, I tried to get into shape on my own. No real plan or even solid idea of what I should do. I decided to start running (because it seemed easy), and after that first two mile "run" (the run turned into a jog after 30 seconds and a walk another 30 seconds later), I thought it would be a piece of cake. I was still sore several days later. I had shin splints really bad. My calves, quads and hammies felt like they had been the guests of honor at a Tonya Harding convention (you young ones will have to google her to get that reference). I knew I was in over my head, so I asked my dad to help me out. That's a story for another day's blog. While my dad is totally awesome and did a great job getting my started, once I was back on my own, I lapsed badly and started gaining weight again.

That experience with running had me real nervous about FWSW. In orientation, they told us there was a lot of running and I thought "oh crap. I don't want another Harding incident." Fortunately, I got some good running shoes and that has virtually eliminated the shin splits. That really hasn't been a problem all season long (thank you, Three River Running Company). I'm starting to enjoy the running a lot more now that I'm properly equipped.

As a geek, I'm a total gadget guy and that has impacted my running. Now when I run, I try to wear certain clothing: compression shorts (for their anti-jouncing and anti-chaffing abilities), running socks (to prevent blisters), dri-weave shirt (to wick the sweat away), a light-weight hat (to keep my bald head from getting sunburned), a headband (my trademark), and nipple band-aids (to avoid the "looks like a used pencil eraser" syndrome). I also wear a smartphone to track my time/distance/route (thank you, runtastic app), and my heart rate monitor (which has both a watch and a chest strap). My wife just got me a camel-pack, which is a big water bottle that you wear like a backpack. It's very cool. It now takes me as long to get ready to run as it does it run my first mile! I wish I had the setup Tony Stark uses to change into Iron Man ... I could just walk down a little path and a robot would dress me. How cool would that be?

How much of the extra stuff is necessary? I would have to say the shoes are essential as they can help you avoid injury, but everything else is bonus. I enjoy those things, but I could still run without them. Even with a discount, good shoes aren't cheap, but it's the single best investment I've ever made in my fitness ... which is a little odd, because as much as I love those shoes, I can't wait to replace them. I'm well on my way to totally wearing these shoes out by running and running and running and running and ...

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