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Shoe review:  Itasca (manufacturer) Fairview (model) $25 (sale price) / $45 (current price)
I haven’t done a shoe review in quite a while.  Mostly because I haven’t been jogging much the last couple of years.  The spirit has been willing, but the heart (and various other parts) have not been entirely cooperative.  Be that as it may, this is my review of the “Itasca Fairview” hiking / walking shoe.  It can be used as a “heavy” / off-road jogging shoe if you don’t mind a stiff and knobby soled shoe.  I don’t.  I purchased this because I prefer a hard wearing inexpensive shoe.
First, the price was very good.  It was on sale at my local Big5 Sporting Goods store.  I was able to find my size (14) and it was wide enough for my “dogs”.  I have “paddles” for feet (much wider toe than heel area), so normal running shoes, which tend to the narrow fit, don’t really accommodate my feet.  As I began jogging a few years back with a mid-sole strike, my arches changed and I became no longer able to wear many of my older shoes.  My left foot (arch) in particular bars me from wearing size 13 shoes and most size 14 slip-ons.
I found these shoes very comfortable for my slow and steady jogging style.  I started off with a 1 mile jog and by the end of about 6 weeks I was consistently jogging about 4 miles a day.  Enough to get my 10K steps goal on my Fitbit.  All in all, I would estimate I jogged fewer than 100 miles during the pairs use and, if you add in another 50 (generous) miles for cool-down walks, I’d say the shoes were blown out by 135 to 150 miles of use.  By way of comparison, a good running shoe will probably cost you about $80-$120, and it is recommended you replace them every 400 miles or whenever they feel like they’ve lost their sponge under your forefoot.  So, the price I paid was about 1/3rd of a running shoe and the use was about 1/3rd.  I guess that’s considered equal value for relative cost.
Another significant factor on the shoes use is that I am extremely heavy (350+lbs) and therefore very hard on soles.  That is part of why I look for stiffer shoes with heavier tread – they tend to take a beating better than normal running shoe models.  Of course, the trade-off is you have to jog less upfront when the shoes are newer so you can break them in without giving yourself horrendous blisters.

Fresh from the box

Fresh from the box

View of new soles

View of new soles

Soles After 150 miles

Soles after 150 miles

Tops after use

Tops after use

After use:  You can’t really tell from the image, but center forefoot is completely worn through to the sponge padding under the forefoot.  The tops, on the other hand, were practically without blemish.  From the start, the shoe felt like I was jogging with a pair of wooden slats under my feet.  Again, on the other hand, the tops were very comfortable (once broken in), even when tied tightly.  Had the soles lasted another month, I would say the shoes were a very good value.  As it is, the best I could say was these would be good value (at sale price) if you were either normal weight or were only going to use them for actual hiking / path walking on the odd weekend out and about.
If you look at the “Soles after” image, you’ll probably notice a lot of outer heel wear and some “tippy-toe” wear.  The heel wear is from the daily walking where I do a lot of heel striking.  The toe wear is because I seem to push-off a lot when I do my jogging.  I should clarify.  I don’t “really” jog.  I would describe it as slogging (“slow jogging”) – basically, a little faster than walking with a jogging / shuffle motion.  In general, my heels wear out on my walking shoes, my forefoot wears out on my jogging shoes, and the top wears out if I try to get the comfortable light-weight mesh uppers common to many true jogging / running shoes.
Final recommendation: reasonable value for the price (I paid).  I went back to Big5 to get another pair.  Like most “sale” items at this type of discount store, “my” store no longer carries this model.  I also looked on-line and Itasca no longer manufactures this model.  It turns out other Big5 stores in my area do carry this model, but the current price is almost double what I paid on sale.  At that price, I leave them on the shelf…  I can find “real” running shoes for that price.
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On This Day In:
2017 Unseen Here, Too
2016 Criticized Anyway
2015 Sometimes The Truth Hurts
2014 All Agreed, Say “Aye”
2013 Two Books, Two Movies
Just Because
2012 God’s Requirements
2011 Greater Purity
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What you learn is often determined by what you need to know.  If you think you’re weak, you will learn that you are strong.  If you think you are indestructible, you will learn that you are fragile. In the end though, you will learn that you are human.  You are no more and no less than all those who are learning their lessons as you learn yours.
   ―  John Bingham
[What running / jogging / walking  – a commitment to exercise – can teach you.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2017 Laugh Or Shake Your Head
2016 The Expected Cure
2015 Of Two Minds
2014 Pride And Remembrance
2013 Repeating Bad Memories
2012 No Sooner
2011 Just Cheesy!
Are You Illin’?

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Well, at long last I got back on the pavement!!  This morning, I forced myself out of my nice warm bed, strapped on my Keds and went out to pound some pavement.
The sun was just up.  The sky was cloudless and clear blue.  The frost was everywhere…  Despite my doubts and the persistent questions (“Why do you keep doing this to yourself?“), I managed to slow jog around the block three times (1.2 miles total according to Google maps).  This was my first time out doing anything other than walking my dog since mid-November when I had my electrical cardioversion.  I felt terrific, like I could go forever…  But tomorrow is another day.  I finished with a cool-down walk of my dog – for another mile.  All told, about 45 minutes and 2.2 miles.  And so it begins again (I hope).
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On This Day In:
2016 The Best Of Circumstances
2015 Reverberating Silence
2014 Wrong Again?
2013 Improper Faith
2012 One More Rung
2011 Sunday Morning Earlies (Hugging trees and smiling…)
Hurry
Updates On Life
2010 It’s Gettin’ Deep In Here

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The best remedy for a short temper is a long walk.
    —  Joseph Joubert
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On This Day In:
2015 Steps
2014 To Be Greatly Good
2013 Limited Capacity
2012 Two Ear Ticklers
Justification
2011 To Avail The Nation

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Today I completed day 21 of my “mostly” blending fast.  This week was tough and I “cheated” the last few days – 5 tsp of chicken curry salad on Wednesday; 1 tlbsp of  coleslaw on Thursday; and then about 1/2 cup of coleslaw on Friday; 4 wedges of garlic bread yesterday and then about 2 cups of rice with spaghetti sauce today.  So, starting tomorrow it’s back to trying harder…
I started this on 3 Jan, with snug fitting 50w pants.  They are now quite loose and my belt has dropped three notches comfortable and 1 more a bit too uncomfortable to wear all day.  This is as measured at my natural belt waist.  About two inches above that at the “love handles” level, the three notches are still comfortable, but the 4th is not comfortable.  Any way, an inch a week is not too shabby.
Because I’ve been “blending” and not juicing, my stomach has taken well to eating solid food (so far anyway).  I guess I’ll find out more tomorrow…
So, what have I learned?  Well, back in July, when I started this “commitment” to loosing weight, I lost 35lbs over 21 days.  This time, (again due to faulty scales) my best estimate is that I’ve “only” lost 20lbs in 21 days.  This means I need to learn patience and to not beat myself up as I gain a few pounds back.  I have to remember what Timothy Ferriss said in “The 4-Hour Body“, take small breaks and plan them into your diet so you’re not “failing”, it’s just part of the process.
The second thing I’ve learned is I have to stay away from TV in general and sports broadcasts in particular.  Even when I’m not hungry, being constantly bombarded by food and eating commercials is psychologically tiring.  It makes me want to eat even when I’m not hungry.  Even sitting and constantly sipping on my blend doesn’t make the cravings go away.  So, I’m going to have to minimize “commercial” TV for awhile – at least until I get somewhere closer to my goals.   Good thing there won’t be anything too interesting after the Super Bowl until March Madness.  That gives me a full month and more.
I’m feeling much better and my next step is to begin exercising as part of the process.  At the moment, the “only” exercise I’ve been getting is walking my dog for about 40-45 minutes each day.  The next step will be some light weights and some easy aerobics.  Building a bit of muscle and stamina will help me mentally and that will (hopefully) help me stay motivated.
Well, that’s my story – and I’m sticking to it…
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On This Day In:
2015 I Am Shocked, Sir, Shocked…
Lucy & FSND-2
2014 Less Difficult
2013 The Spirit Of Liberty
2012 The Essential Freedom Of Aloneness
2011 A Problem Of Scale
Fred Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
2010 Another Book, Another Jog…

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Yesterday, I started jogging again.  Today was day two.  As of yesterday, I am a “runner” again…  Like most things / types of activity, you can only “be” it if you “do” it.  In this case, in my case, running – or more precisely very slow jogging – which I call “slogging”.  (Not very original, I know.)  I am not timing myself yet.  I am counting the laps (around the schoolyard across the street from where I live) with my little “clicker” and my “Fitbit” says it’s about 5 miles.  I reckon it’s closer to 3 miles, but whatever, I’m back in my shoes and beatin’ feet!
I started one of my hundreds of diets back in July and lost 35 pounds by the end of August.  As of today, I am still down 20 of those.   And so the beat goes on…  I joined the “YMCA” back in September, but injured my left knee pretending to play basketball.  And by “pretend”, I mean literally pretending: I was playing by myself, missed a shot and was challenging for a rebound under the basket.  When I landed, my knee gave out (quite painfully) and I had to limp to the locker room to get my stuff and go home.  My knee cap swoll-up the size of a grapefruit and I couldn’t extend my leg straight for about a week.  The pain has mostly (now) gone but I’m still not able to push off of that leg the way I used to.  But I have been walking 40 to 60 minutes each day and I’ve now been able to begin jogging – slow but steady.
So, I am a runner again.  One day at a time.  One step at a time.  And today is day two.
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On This Day In:
2014 Changing Frequently
2013 Trifles
2012 Simple, Ordinary And Wonderous
2011 Humane Writers

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So, this last July 6th, I began my latest attempt to reduce weight.  My starting weight was 363 lbs.  As of yesterday, August 6th, I weighed in at 335 lbs.  So, I have lost my initial goal of 28 lbs (two stones).  Now, because of the way “juicing” works as a form of dieting, I have to lose another 8 to 12 lbs to legitimately say I’ve lost a full 28 lbs.  This is because the body normally holds about 5 to 7 lbs of food matter in the stomach when there is food available (when you’re not juice fasting) and (from experience) I’ve found normal eating generally adds about another 1/2 gallon of water to your weight due to the addition of salts and sugars back into your diet.  That’s another 3 to 4 lbs.  The bottom line is I need to drop another 12 lbs by Hil’s birthday (the end of October), before I can legitimately says I’ve lost the weight I promised to lose by her birthday.
General Observations:
I feel terrific.  I don’t have a tremendous amount of endurance energy, but I feel capable of most routine activity.  My “fast / diet” consisted of 1 to 2 days of “pure” juice, and then 1 to 2 days of “smoothie” juice.  My smoothies consisting of the left-over fiber from the vegetable roughage mixed with “no-added sugar, no-added fructose” fruit juices and water.  The intent was to prevent the stoppage which normally occurs if you aren’t passing fiber for an extended period of time.  I dislike enemas and this works for me.  Another benefit of this is “smoothie in, smoothie out” – my hemorrhoids are a lot better and the is no straining to pass.
Interestingly, I’m not experiencing any passage of grains of sand (tiny kidney stones) which I have a habit of passing every few weeks.  Of course, four weeks is a small sample size, but it “feels” like good news.  I also have almost no bloating in my hands or ankles.
Practically speaking, 28 lbs translates into four notches on my belt (at the waist), so all of my clothes fit much more comfortably.  Strangely, the weight loss is not at all evenly distributed.  The loss of four inches on my waist doesn’t mean I can wear smaller pants, only that my current pants are more comfortable.  That is, I can wear “normal” fit as opposed to only “relaxed” fit pants of the same size, but again, the waist size hasn’t decreased.  My best estimate is that I’ll need to lose another 15 to 20 lbs before I can switch to smaller pants.  That’s definitely not encouraging, but it is what it is…
Physically – I’m still walking for 35 to 45 minutes almost every day.  I walk my dog in the evening, before getting ready for bed.  Also, last Friday (7/31) I joined my local YMCA.  I reckon I’ve given my body enough of a break adjusting to just the juicing, so now I can add in a bit more exercise.  At the moment, I’m starting off with 30 min slow jog (or elliptical), 30 min of rowing on a machine, and then a final 30 to 45 min of weights and stretching.  I originally started off with 30 min of shooting around on the basketball court, but I sprained my left knee on the second day, so I’ve given that up indefinitely.
The bad news is that yesterday (8/6/15), I had another “bad” day with my AFib and had to spend the afternoon in the ER.  I reverted to normal rhythm on my own, but it remains a cautionary event to prompt me to lose weight and get into better shape.  So, onwards and downwards…!!  (Keep me in your prayers!)  🙂
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On This Day In:
2014 Tough Journalism
2013 Things I’ve Learned
2012 Abstainer, n.
2011 Rain, Rain, Rain
Test Your Strength
2009 End the mistakes…

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