RUN, HOUSTON

Fred Faour: You are never too old or too out of shape to take up running as a hobby

Start running and you might see views like this one of AT&T Park in San Francisco. Fred Faour/SportsMap

So yes, technically I am on vacation, celebrating my wife's birthday with a trip to San Francisco. And it is a pretty slow time in Houston sports, so I could easily pass on writing my Monday column and no one would fault me.

Alas, I had some time after recovering from a nice run and thought today's missive would take a different direction.

For the past several years, we have been running (well, in my case jogging or staggering) through 10ks as a way to at least pretend to stay in shape. One of our favorites has been the Run Houston Race series, which features five different runs at five different locations around Houston. It is a cool way to keep your running goals, see some different places in the city and get in a nice run (they do 5ks as well). Two years ago, we did them all. Last year, due to travel conflicts, we missed most of them. This year, we vowed to do them all again.

Then this trip came up and conflicted with Sunday's race at UH-Clear Lake, the third in the series. Of the five, it is probably my second favorite (behind the UH run), in part because I spent a lot of my college life (and all my post-graduate work) at the school, and always had a fondness for the area.

Fortunately, the series now offers a "Virtual Race" option for just such conflicts. In essence, you have to run your sign-up distance three days before or after the actual race day to get credit for running. No offense to Clear Lake, but getting to run along the bay in San Francisco was a bit of an upgrade.

 

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The Bay Bridge. Photo by me.

My path took me from downtown San Francisco to The Embarcadero trail. It was along the water the entire way, and allowed me to get sensational views of the Bay Bridge and perhaps the most unique baseball stadium in the country, AT&T Park. My time was almost record slow, but it was hard to not stop and snap pictures quite often, and my always dodgy knee decided to buckle about 7k in. But I finished it, got credit for the third of the Run Houston races and also managed to take in some amazing scenery. (And pretty sure it was about 20 degrees cooler than it was in Clear Lake today).

I don’t run in these things to try to post fast times (not happening) and I don’t care if I finish last. I do them to have a reason to stay in shape, have some fun and push my aging body. As we get older, some of the things we used to do just aren’t practical (basketball, for instance. I am one snapped knee from six months of rehab, and who has time for that?). I was never much of a runner -- I always needed baskets or goal posts to shoot for -- but I enjoy it now nonetheless.

So if you are thinking of getting started, there are a lot of ways to get going. I started with the C2-5k app, which got me off the couch and started a program of running and walking to build up enough stamina to run a 5k. After about a year of 5ks, we stretched out to 10ks, and have been doing them ever since. At one point I actually ran a half marathon, and eventually would not mind trying another, but I am a long way from that at the moment. Regardless, the point is anyone can get out and run, and you are never too old or out of shape. (It's not like I am in perfect shape). Run Houston has two races left in the fall, (UH and Constellation Field in Sugar Land) and you have plenty time to get up to 5k speed.

Plus, there is no shortage of races for different causes every weekend in Houston. I tend to back off most of the summer races because the heat and humidity is so oppressive, but every now and then one crops up and I try it. (And vow to never again run in August, then sign up for another race two weeks later).

So if you have been looking  to get off the couch, and want to try something that can be fun, has a nice social aspect to it and can help you get in better shape, download the app and get started. You might find you enjoy it.

And before you say there is no way you could do it...I am an old, slightly overweight man with bad knees and health issues. If I can do it, what should stop you from getting started?

Then you can feel better about yourself when you blast past me on a run. 

 

Pixabay.com

Jovan Abernathy is an international marathoner and owner of Houston Tourism Gym. To claim your free tour, contact her at info@tourismgymhtx.com. Follow her on Twitter @jovanabernathy. Instagram @TourismGymHtx. Facebook @TourismGymHtx

We live some really busy lives. I know that my run tourists are some "smarts," but we run out of time. I know we mean to read 20 books a year, but sometimes it does not happen. Podcasts have been my remedy to this problem. Whenever, I'm on a walk or driving, I listen to a podcast. Of course, 3 hours are already blocked off for The Blitz, but I have other podcasts that I enjoy that I think you will enjoy too. Here are my top 5 podcast on health, fitness, and mindfulness.

Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit

Drew Manning hosts this podcast that is based on the TV reality show Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit. Here is some back story. Drew Manning is a personal trainer who has always been athletic. He wanted to empathize with his clients, so he gained 75 lbs in 6 months and then lost it in 6 months. It became a reality show and a podcast. Drew interviews fitness personalities and doctors. He is a strong advocate of Keto living. He is all jock with a heart of gold. You will love his transparency. This podcast speaks to me. As a run coach whose health took a back seat for Houston Tourism Gym, you can always get your fitness back and continue to be a coach.

Strength Running Podcast

Jason Fitzgerald hosts this podcast about running and strength training. He is an elite marathoner and run coach. He does solo shows that are strictly instructional or question and answer shows. He interviews amazing athletes like Meb Keflezighi. He also does coaching calls as well. You can learn a lot from this guy. His podcast and website has been featured on Runner's World, Fitness, and Lifehacker. I love his practical philosophy on running. He makes it easy to understand. I appreciate this simple language because it not only helps me to understand, but helps me to teach it to someone else.

Trained

This podcast is hosted by Ryan Flaherty, Nike elite athlete trainer whose clients include Russell Wilson and Saquon Barkley. He begins each episode with the intro that "Greatness isn't born. It's trained." Trained features in depth interviews with greats ranging from actors to thought leaders to athletes. The discussions cover the 5 facets of fitness: movement, recovery, nutrition, mindset, and sleep. I eagerly await each new episode.

The Model Health Show

This podcast is hosted by health and sleep expert, Shawn Stevenson. I came across this podcast from Lewis Howes podcast called "The School of Greatness." He was interviewing Shawn about sleep and I was fascinated. When I found Shawn's podcast, I did not hesitate to download it and I listen to it everyday. He has a smooth. hip hoppy way to explain all facets of health. He interviews some great people with amazing insights. I'm going to get inappropriate for a sec. He has got this deep, sexy voice that not only makes you want to hang on every word, but you want to suck on his upper lip. Ladies, download today.

On Purpose

We have all seen Jay Shetty on Facebook or Instagram. If you were like me, you really didn't know who he was. Jay Shetty exploded on the internet as a vlogger who also worked for the Huffington Post. He preaches the ways of a monk where he recommends delayed gratification and gratitude every step of the way. He teaches how to live intentionally or "On Purpose" like his podcast suggests. He interviews compelling guests or flies solo. His words definitely penetrate your soul while still being fun and whimsical.

Kwik Brain

Jim Kwik hosts this podcast about how to hack your Superbrain. He teaches how to improve your memory. concentration, and how to be more intentional. When he was 5, he suffered a brain injury that gave him a "broken brain." He made it his life's mission to improve his brain function and teach it to others. He has taught courses for Nike and Harvard University.

This is official my list of go to podcast. Please download these as fast as possible. Listen to them during your commute and you will be all the wiser. You can be the smart among your friends. I hope you enjoy then as much as I do.

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