Showing posts with label #BestSongiHeardToday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #BestSongiHeardToday. Show all posts

Monday, May 03, 2021

#BestSongIHeardToday • Volume IV

 Volume I • Volume II • Volume III Volume IV  •  Team Tortoise Blogs

A beach walk with good friends Ron & Paul
last week on the California Central Coast.
In this and future rounds
of #BestSongIHeardToday, I've dropped the Running on the Trial part. I'm now taking songs from wherever I hear that gem song for the day to add to the current volume. I also see so many great live tracks on YouTube that you'll be seeing more performance videos in this series of playlists from now on. 

With that said, I still get most of my songs for this segment while running and hope you'll still stomach my slogger (slow jogger) advise here. 

In my last installment (Volume III), I talked about slowing my pace down even further to prevent injury and boy that sure seems to be the ticket for me. I'm not so tired after a run and have been even running a couple of days in a row now in the past several weeks. 

My running app has also taken notice, as Siri has said to me several times, "Runner Paused" when I walk to cross a rocky part on the trail. Geez Siri, "I'm not dead yet, I'm still moving." I can see her saying to me at some point, "Runner are you still there? Runner, should I send out a search party?"

For all of you walkers out there, I've found a great pair of Altra shoes that I highly recommend for walking, or for road running. These shoes have soooo much cushion like a HOKA shoe, but I especially love the Altra toe box that has the same toe box shape as Birkenstocks. I have a wide foot, which for me is usually 10EEEE. Altra does not have width sizing, so I just go up a 1/2 size and get a 10 1/2 and they fit great! Altra also has a great return policy and if you're buying directly online, they send you the free shipping return label in the box if they don't fit to your liking. Here's the Altra website links for their Paradigm 5.

Enjoy the Playlist this week on your phone while out doing that walk or run!

Monday, March 22, 2021

#BestSongIHeardToday • Volume III

Man's Got To Know His Limitations. –Dirty Harry

2nd Edition @ Amazon Books
Pain is a signal that something is wrong. If it is mild and disappears quickly it's probably nothing to worry about. However, if the pain is severe, or persists for over a week, your body is trying to tell you something. Take it seriously! Catching an injury early always makes it easier to take care of. There are many people who fail to listen to their body's early warning signals, and as a result they have compounded their injuries, crippling themselves with unnecessary pain for months and even years. –Dr. Ben E. Benjamin, Ph.D 

My good friend Mark Hunter turned me on to the book, Listen to Your Pain many years ago during its first edition back in the 80's. It's a great reference book for every household. 

Mark has in fact given me two life-long mantra's to work with. First, as roommates in college with his enduring, "Health is a lifestyle." Living with Mark in the mid-1970's, I felt that I had earned a minor in Health Science in our countless conversations in the dorm and then living together in a couple of different apartments. The second, is right here in the book title and is my runner's manta, "Listen to Your Pain." Now I haven't always been a good listener, but I think I'm finally getting this running thing down since I started a 'running the streets' PE class in what used to be called, "Junior College" back in the fall of 1973 (with friend Paul Hobbs).

That PE class in fact provided a blueprint for maintaining a healthy life-long habit as Paul and I have both been consistently running now for 48 years. We've both had our share of injuries over the years, but nothing to stop us permanently, yet. 

Now for me, I've always set some personal goal in relation to distance and speed, that upon recent reflection, has me uttering Dirty Harry's line. You see, the mortal process of degeneration has taken me from a runner to now a slogger (slow jogger)

So many parts, so much gravity. Source - Web MD

My goal for the past three years or so, was to run 5 miles and average 5.0 miles per hour for one hour (a 12 minute mile). Starting last year, this goal has in fact resulted in typically a calf or knee injury for me every three to four months. Man's got to know...

Recently, I felt a slight pain in my right knee, that wasn't going away. I listened to my body, stopped running and only walked. It took FIVE weeks for the total discomfort to go away. After the first three weeks, I finally woke up to my slow brain saying, "Why aren't you icing your knee dumb ass!" So, I began icing twice a day, and like Trump off Twitter, that nagging pain simply disappeared after a couple of weeks. 

I then started slogging again, but this time at 4.0 mph for 4 miles. This past couple of weeks I'm averaging between 4.2 - 4.5 mph for 5 miles. I've found that my sixty-five year old body is now humming at a natural rhythm at 4.33 mph and I'm feeling great with no mental stress to push my body beyond the reach of my reality. In fact my new goal is NOT to run faster than 4.5 mph for 5 miles. The hare is dead, long live Team Tortoise!

A lot of people don't understand why runners run. I don't have a pat answer. For me, I do some of my best thinking while running alone on the trail. I hear terrific new and old songs. It helps me battle the weekly fight against weight gain since my late 30's. Probably the best answer is Mark in my head, "Health is a lifestyle, dumb ass!"

Here's several suggestions for walking or running with your life's pair of wheels.

Cloth Ice Pack Wrap with Velcro Strap

I ice my knees at least once a day for a half hour in my recliner.
There is no silver bullet, but there is ice.
Meanwhile, enjoying the Bob Dylan doc, No Direction Home

Glucosamine Chondroitin Msm + Hyaluronic Acid

This is the kitchen sink of the four main joint support supplements on the market, all in one capsule. I take two of these twice a day with a meal, everyday. It takes about two-three weeks to start working in you system and quietly works in the background. If I stop taking my joint support supplement for a week or two, my knees mysteriously start to bark at me!

Enjoy my friends, stay well,
ice if you need to, and mask-up out there!

Oh and speaking of masks, if you wear glasses of any kind, I have ditched the anti-fog spray as my daughter Shawna has turned me on to reusable dry anti-fog cloth. Here is my current suggestion.

Now on to the music
Here's a selection of 25 #BestSongsiHeardToday that took longer to assemble this go around, but now I'm back bouncing to these beats and have started a Volume IV.

Monday, January 04, 2021

#BestSongIHeardToday • Volume II

(Original Photo Source:

First thing, let the tide of your mind just wash 2020 out to sea. 

This being my first post of 2021, I thought I'd tap into a common but often broken New Year's Resolution- 

To walk or run MORE during the year.

Here's some tips and tricks I have learned through my personal experience for getting out there and moving the ol' body forward.

Walk Everyday for Exercise
There is no fountain of youth, but there is walking. A Walk is one of the essential keys to a life worth living if you are still breathing in your 80's and beyond. No matter your age, don't wait another day to keep your brain and body working together as a team. I mean it, if you're not walking for exercise everyday, you've got to seriously change your behavior now. If you are a busy person with a full-time job and family, 'schedule' a daily walk into your daily planner. 

Walk Outdoors
This pandemic has a host of downsides involved with spending too many hours of the day inside. I know it's easy for me to say this from San Diego, but try to get outside where you can go for a walk at least once a day. Walking outdoors is the best anti-depressant.

Listen to Music While Walking or Running Solo
Music can get in the way when walking or running with someone, let the gift of conversation be the catalyst to put a spring in your step. But, if you are walking or running solo, music can be extremely motivating and calming at the same time to take you faster and farther. Your Smartphone is you #1 mobile music listening device, not to mention it is always there in an emergency. 

If you're new to the blog, I create a new playlist for every post. You may have the two or three minutes it takes to read my typical post, but may not have the time to listen to all the songs in my playlist (for example, this weeks playlist has 25 songs). Several friends of the blog have shared with me that they listen to my Monday playlist when they go out on their walks or runs during the week. I of course think that's a great idea and would suggest you simply bookmark the link here in your phone web browser to- 
Doug Mcintosh's YouTube Playlists

Use a Smartphone Armband
Now especially for running, I would suggest an armband holder for having quick access to your phone. I've been through several armbands before I found the Bone Run Tie Running Armband (pictured to the right). It comes in black or white and simply is attached to the armband by four very stretchable and sturdy rubber bands that securely hold the four corners of the phone. Here it is on Amazon for $24.95. The advantages are: You can directly touch the screen (e.g skipping a song) rather than using the plastic sleeve type armbands where you have to touch the screen through thick and often foggy plastic; or you can quickly take off your phone to use in an emergency, or just stopping to smell and photograph the roses. 

A smartphone GPS Running App is great for tracking your walking or running progress. I have also been through a couple of free GPS apps and found Runkeeper to have a great interface with easy to use features, plus its very consistent with its GPS tracking system. One more tip, turn off your phone, and then turn it back on before you leave the house for your walk or run. The GPS seems to like a fresh start and I found it to be more consistent when I do this as there is nothing more frustrating on a known distance run when your GPS is off like an 1/4 of a mile.
Here is the download for iPhone
Here is the download for Android Phones

Walking Shoes
Walking and running are two different colors in relation to contact with the ground. It is much easier for the average person to naturally walk striking the ground at the mid-sole where one's whole foot absorbs contact with the ground at typical walking speeds of three miles (or less) per hour.

If you often experience 'common' sore feet or foot pain on walks, I would suggest the HOKA brand, known for their thick cushion soles. These shoes feel like you're walking on air, and are great to get you doing longer walks or hikes. 

Note- From personal experience, I would not recommend HOKA shoes for running because they are designed like most current high tech running shoes that cause your heel to strike the ground first and all that wonderful cushion goes out the window when your heel absorbs all the force of hitting the ground at 4+ miles per hour.

Running Shoes
For running shoes and just stated above, I would suggest a shoe that does not force a blunt heel strike with the ground. I have a long history of running injuries that I won't get into here, but since I switched to the Altra brand of running shoes my injury rate during the last two years has been eliminated by 95%. Altra shoes are designed for the foot to strike the ground at the mid-sole like when you walk barefoot. These shoes reminded me of running shoes I had in the 70's when I started running at eighteen. 

Face Masks
People ask me how do you run with a face mask during the pandemic? My answer is simple, it beats the alternative of getting COVID! I run on the streets where I encounter people walking, running or biking as well as run on a narrow trail where I closely pass people. I started with a tube-gaiter mask and that kept slipping, plus I found out most gaiters offer only one layer of protection. I then switched to cloth masks, then to paper masks and just couldn't find a brand that was both breathable and wouldn't fall down. Then I found the ICU - Basic Single Use Face Mask with 3 Layer Construction (50 pieces/box) at Target in a 10 pack, and then at Amazon for $12.99 for a 50 pack. This brand is a little wider than most paper masks designed for adults and is my current favorite.

Anti-Fog Spray for Glasses
If you're walking or running with a mask on and are wearing either eyeglasses or sunglasses, you've probably experienced glass fog. After trying one brand that I wasn't happy with, my daughter Shawna turned me on to the Zeiss Anti-Fog Defender System. The best price I found was at WalMart for $6.98 and $9.99 at Amazon. You just need to spray your glasses and wipe with the provided cloth each time before you go out with your mask on. I don't think there is a perfect product to completely wipe out foggy glasses on a high humidity day, but the Zeiss brand works well for me.

Note - I'm not getting paid for endorsing any of the above products, although that sounds like a good idea. Maybe this is my audition blog post to become a social media influencer for boomers?

Back to Music 
My playlist this week is the second in a series I started last year and plan to continue this year. It's called #BestSongiHeardToday where I collect 25 songs into a playlist from the best song I heard while out on a solo run. I like it because it turns out to be such a random list of songs, mostly 'deep cuts' from albums from my Amazon Music in 'song shuffle mode' that is now up to 29,776 songs. 

Now the first two songs in the playlist have a little special meaning. Both came on during Joe Biden's victory in November. Both gave me a big smile on the trail, and sometimes a smile is all it takes to make the #BestSongiHeardToday.

Stay well and mask-up my friends.
Happy New Year 
and can't wait until the celebration on January 20th!!!

Monday, November 23, 2020

#BestSongIHeardToday • Volume I

"No regrets, coyote"
On my weekly trail run, I always listen to my Amazon 'My Music' on shuffle with the sound on speaker mode on my armband. Originally, I did this to alert the coyotes that I'm on the trail and maybe they should just move into the brush. I also now do this to alert walkers or joggers to mask up as I can tell they usually hear me coming before seeing me. Unfortunately, as now is often the case, they have NO mask to mask-up.

In the photo on the left, I've seen this juvenile coyote before usually on this stretch of the trail. The coyote is all ears as it hears my music (a Poco song I believe) and has quickly spun around and we are having a little staring contest while I snap this shot. I actually enjoy running into this ol' soul whereas the humans, not so much these days. My once good old Transcendental "Good Morning,"  greeting has been displaced 'in the time of coronavirus' with me now muttering inside my brain, "Mask-up motherf......"

But then, it's back to the wonderful canyon rustic trail cutting through my suburb, my rhythmic pace and often the surprise of the next song. On my typical hour run, I hear about 14 - 18 songs and play a game as I say to myself, "Oh this one is the best so far." Then usually several songs later, another song has knocked that one off the mantle of what potentially could be, the #BestSongiHeardToday running on this trail. 

My plan is to collect twenty-five songs as a stand-alone playlist. Here's Volume I of my random best while on the run. 

Note- This week I introduce my 'new and improved' blog look that I hope you will enjoy. I think it's easier to navigate to all my blog posts and works well with smartphones. 

I have also reintroduced the 'Comments' section below. Feel free to leave a comment, but please DO NOT piggyback a free advertisement with a LINK to a business site. Thank you.

Have a great Thanksgiving week, be safe and mask-up my friend!