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Posts Tagged ‘The Penguin’

Of course, it’s much easier to get thin than to get fit.  Getting thinner is simply a matter of denying yourself nourishment for as long as you can.  If you reduce your caloric intake enough, your body will begin to devour itself, and in a few weeks or months, you’ll be thinner.  But you won’t be fit.  In fact, it’s likely that you’ll be in worse shape than before you lost weight.  Fitness requires perspiration.  There’s no shortcut around that fact.
   —  John “The Penguin” Bingham
from his book: “No Need For Speed
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Until I started running, I never understood that the shape, form, weight, strength, and fitness level of my body were the result of the perspiration, not the diet.
  —  John “The Penguin” Bingham
from his book: “No Need For Speed
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You can’t trade your body in for a new, improved model.  Accepting the natural strengths and weaknesses of the body you have is the key to becoming the best you can be.
 

—  John “The Penguin” Bingham
from his book: “No Need For Speed

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The more you run, the more you are a runner.  It sounds simple and it is.  There’s nothing more to becoming a runner than running.  It isn’t how fast or how far you run.  It isn’t even how long you’ve been running.   It’s only that you run that makes you a runner.
  —  John “The Penguin” Bingham
 from his book: “No Need For Speed
[Runners run, leaders lead, and programmers program…  —  KMAB]
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Today, 28 May 2010, I just finished another tremendous “running” book.  This one is titled: “No Need For Speed“, by John “The Penguin” Bingham (2002©).  He is a former columnist for Runner’s World Magazine.  The book has some very practical advice for the beginning runner, but really, it’s about the spirit and philosophy of becoming / being a lifetime runner.
The book is very reminiscent of the “Born To Run” book and juxtaposes against Sheehan’s “Running And Being“.  It’s about the joy of running, not the agony.  This is a book I’ll keep handy and browse thru every now and then for inspiration, more than for advice.  Well worth reading for a philosophy of living, not just running.
Some quotes:
“The moment of truth for many of us as adult-onset athletes is when we first realize that changing our lives is going to be much more difficult than we ever imagined.”
“The days when you have to drag yourself out the door are very often the days when you will learn the most about yourself, not necessarily as a runner, but as a person.”
“Try to keep your expectations reasonable.  You’re beginning the journey of a thousand miles with a single step.  Each step is important; every step counts.”
“Each of us can maintain an effort level of about half our maximum perceived effort almost indefinitely, regardless of what that perceived effort level is.  We may not be able to maintain it continuously, but with a few exceptions, most of us can move our bodies at about half of our perceived maximum for as long as we want.”
[I doubt this is actually true. I can go for a good distance (several miles) at 4mph.  I have done 9mph (very briefly), and feel I could do 10mph (very, very briefly).  I guess there needs to be a “fudge” factor for “extremely” slow runners like me.]
“Don’t do anything today that might keep you from running tomorrow.”
“Frustration is the first step toward improvement.  I have no incentive to improve if I’m content with what I can do and if I’m completely satisfied with my pace, distance and form as a runner.”
“For the dedicated runner, frustration is to be sought out and savored, not avoided.”
“I continue to run because I like running.  I like to run even though I’m not, by their standards, any good at it.  What matters to me is that I like to run, not what they think about my running.”
“Life can’t be taken so seriously that you live it without risk.  There are times in life, as in running and racing, when the only way to see tomorrow is to walk right up to the edge of today.”
“It isn’t the shoes, socks, clothes, or even the speed that makes me a runner.  It’s running.  I pay my membership dues every time I lace up my running shoes.  I realize that every time I challenge myself to do more, struggle to get a little faster, or face the limits of my abilities, I am a runner.”
“A real runner, not just someone who runs.”
[The contradiction between this and some of the earlier quotes is stark.  Does the author truly enjoy running, or is it all about some “other” psychological satisfaction – like testing one’s self.  This is a trap I fall into. Wanting to go faster and be “better”.  …And then I take a long, slow jog out in the fresh air, watch the clouds go by and the day change, and I realize I just run because I like running.]
Other Topics – first of many shoe reviews:
The plan is to use each test pair about 30 days and or 100-125 miles of jogging.
Model: Delta Water Shoe
Price: $40 but you can get a discount if you are a store member.
Ahnu Delta Water Shoe
Manufacturer: Ahnu
Web site: www.ahnu.com
Bought at: REI store in Concord, CA
Web site: www.rei.com
Initial impressions:
This is BY FAR the most expensive shoe of this type I’ve bought for my reviews.  More than twice the price of the next highest.
Not very easy to get on.  I tried to wear cotton socks with them.  I managed to get them on my feet, but they pulled the socks back into my toes so every step felt like I was kicking a wall.  I had to sit and remove the socks.  After that, they were extremely comfortable in a slimy, polyester kind of way.  Without socks, getting them on is a tug/slip/pull/straighten, but it’s not too bad.
The feel for the ground is excellent.  You can feel the smallest cracks in the pavement and the smallest stones, but there seems little danger of penetration by sharp objects.  I do my laps in a schoolyard and there is a fair amount of broken glass – and near the buildings – loose staples and paper clips.  (Who thought the world was so unsafe for feet!!)
So far I’ve done three runs on a treadmill and another four on the asphalt – about 25 – 30 miles and there is almost no sign of wear at all.
The good news is the slimy feeling goes away quickly because the shoes ventilation is great.  It remains to be seen how that translates into stink as they get a little more sweat in them.
I did a walk on the treadmill with maximum slope to see how the shoes felt.  I was surprised to find my foot consistently slid right off the back of the shoe.  If I were out in the boonies on a long jog, I would have had a problem with blisters under my heels in no time.  I was surprised because the shoe is relatively difficult to get on my feet and the lip feels snug enough to prevent stuff from getting in the shoe, so I imagined the sole would be more stable under the foot.
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