Footnotes – A Book Review

Well, well. What to say about this book…. I don’t even know where to begin.

I guess I’ll first just copy and paste the synopsis:

Footnotes – How Running Makes Us Human by Vybarr Cregan-Reid

Running is not just a sport. It reconnects us to our bodies and the places in which we live, breaking down our increasingly structured and demanding lives. It allows us to feel the world beneath our feet, lifts the spirit, lets our minds out to play, and helps us to slip away from the demands of the modern world.

When Vybarr Cregan-Reid set out to discover why running means so much to so many, he began a journey which would take him out to tread London’s cobbled streets, the boulevards of Paris, and down the crumbling alleyways of Ruskin’s Venice. Footnotes transports you to the deserted shorelines of Seattle, the giant redwood forests of California, and to the world’s most advanced running laboratories and research centers. Using debates in literature, philosophy, neuroscience, and biology, this book explores that simple human desire to run.

Liberating and inspiring, Footnotes reminds us why feeling the earth beneath our feet is a necessary and healing part of our lives.

Sounds interesting, huh? I think it was. I did read it. All of it. But I barely can recall what I read.

Okay, okay. It’s not a horrible book. There’s some good pieces in there….if you can find them or haven’t skimmed right over them. The description makes the book sound like a personal journey through running. I think that’s in there… somewhere.

On first impression, this book is dense. The chapters, and paragraphs within them, are long and overwhelming and upon opening it, I didn’t want to begin reading. Then, you start… There’s a TON of info in this book. I mean A LOT… studies, personal opinions, references to fictional literary works, and more.

I started off strong, trying to absorb all the info, but it was tiresome. The long bulky paragraphs feel like a textbook and the topics switch too quickly for me to follow. One minute we’re in the author’s personal story and then next we’re following the research of some scientist or a fictional character from a book the author studied.

Maybe the concept of the book was lost on me but I find that hard to believe because I’m a very science minded individual. Topics range from biomechanics, senses, mindset, to the treadmill and how to (literally) run wild and trespass to find a route.

My favorite chapter was the last one (and not just because it was almost over). It was about running and the creativity and freedom it can bring to one’s life. The author tells the story about their first marathon and how he accidentally finished it and about running through different countries and the social barriers to doing so.

Overall, I give the book a 2 out of 5. In my opinion, it seems to me like the author didn’t really know what they wanted to write about and just threw EVERYTHING they knew about running in to this book. The topics jump fast and I got lost. There’s just too much info to sift through. I found myself skimming a lot to find the personal stories rather than reading through the references.

A couple of quotes I did like:

“My running has become something much deeper than a habit or an exercise routine. Now it is part of who I am. It is a part of my personality. I am unsure which came first, or what came from what: am I more self-reliant because of my running, or am I running because I am more self-reliant? The same goes for resilience: I feel like it has taught me how to be in my own company, and continues in helping me to maintain perspective.”

“Running doesn’t have to exercise. it doesn’t have to done to make you ‘strong’ or ‘fit’. It doesn’t even need to be done as a sport – it can be done entirely for its own sake”

-Vybarr Cregan-Reid


Don’t believe me and the synopsis still interested you? Add it to your Goodreads list or buy it on Amazon:

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#60HikesDenverChallenge – Bear Creek Park

(For 2017, I have a goal of getting through all 60 trails in the book “60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Denver”  You’ll see these posts all year-long. You can find a lot of info on each of the trails in the book, but I’ll highlight some things each time in addition to including my experience and opinion on the trail. The number below is associated with how they are labeled in the book if you have it.)

Trail #16 – Bear Creek Lake Park: Bear Creek Trail
Completed: 5/2/17 | Number Completed: 13/60
Mode: Running
Location: Morrison/Lakewood, CO – C-470 & Morrison Exit (CO – 8)
Distance: 4.42 miles
Difficulty: easy
Type of trail: Hard packed dirt, balloon configuration
Exposure: half of the trail is in the shade
Facilities: Pit toilet restrooms along the park (none at the trailhead)

 

My Experience:
There’s really not much to say. I wanted to get a run in after track practice and drove a few miles to Bear Creek Lake Park, parked in the free lot, and ran the trail from the book.

This trail isn’t all that special. Submersed in the middle of the city, it’s a nice escape from the hustle and bustle without a far trek. The trail system can get a little confusing, but, there only so many miles, that if you did get off track, you’d just loop right back to the main park. There are also lot of trail races here and I’ve done a 10k around the lake.

To follow the trail from the book, park in the free lot just north-west of the C-470 and CO-8 (Morrison Rd) intersection. Carefully cross the street, and hang a left on the biking trail. This takes you under the highway and is the walk-in access to the park. Follow the sidewalk until the bridge, crossing over the river and make a quick left on the trail. This leads you through a parking lot (a paid access lot), across the street and you’ll enter the Owl Trail on the other side. Parallel the river until the Fitness Loop Trail (a looped trail that used to have exercise equipment). This is will loop around, giving you views of the lake, Mt Carbon and the area camping. It will reconnect to the Owl Trail and you’ll retrace your steps back to your car.

Pros:
-Close to town
-Easy miles (unless you add in Mt. Carbon)
-Lots of other things to do
-Dirt trails making it a nice soft surface

Cons:
-Crowded
-Not that scenic
-Can still hear the noise from the roads

Tips:
-Tip avoid crossing the major street from your car, you can drive into the park, and pay a few bucks to get in. State parks passes don’t work here.
-There’s a lot of stuff to do in the park: camping, horse back riding, water sports
-If you’re a runner, check your local racing calendar for races inside the park. A great one is the Bear Chase Series.
-To actually get a HIKE in, add Mt. Carbon into your journey.

Overall:
A lot of tourists flock here for some reason, same with locals. No offense to them, but there’s much better, scenic, more relaxing places to camp and visit not far away. For people coming from out of state, you’ve already come this far, just drive a bit longer and go into the mountains! If you’re a local, yes, run here, play here, etc. It’s a great, close by area to squeeze in some activity to a busy life. But if you have more time, just add a bit more to your travel time for a much better place to play. As for being in the 60 Hikes Within 60 miles of Denver book…. It’s not much of a “hike.”

Bear Creek Lake, Mt Carbon


Gear Reviews: LEGEND Compression Wear Recovery Socks

Some of you might know, I am a Legend Compression Wear Ambassador. I was contacted last year by one of their team members after they saw my blog. Super flattered, of course I accepted it! Back in June, I was the first Legend Compression Ambassador of the month! Woot!

While compression socks are not a new thing, LEGEND is focusing on the right way to compress. Their hashtag, #rightnottight hones in on their graduated compression technology (instead of just being a super tight sock). They want all athletes, from the elite to the casual jogger, to perform at their best and extend the life of their legs and live their own Legendary life. #BeALegend

The recovery socks are 20-30 mg of compression and meant for post-exercise and travel. Key features:

Why I love the Recovery Socks:
1. They are super comfy!
After a race, I’ll a throw on my recovery socks, memory foam sandals and be good to go for walking around the expo, heading back home in the car, or sitting on a plane.

2. They are the perfect amount of compression.
They are not too-tight and I can wear them to bed, something I can’t do with regular compression socks.

3. They are not just tight on the calves but on my feet as well.
I’ll wear them even just after a long day of standing. I also get plantar fasciitis regularly and these socks are tight around the feet to help relieve some of those symptoms.

4. They really do work! 
I bring these socks whenever I am doing a relay race, traveling, or when I know I have a bunch of days of hard running in a row, like a Cross Country Camp. I’ll wear these after each run or while sleeping and I really feel like my legs are a lot less sore. Without them, I would never be able to complete some of the hard running events I do.

Tips:
1. Think outside the box. These socks aren’t just for after a race,  you can wear them to keep your legs fresh while traveling, after working on your feet all day, or sitting at the desk.

2. Buy a pair of strap sandals. Or anything that you can put your whole foot in (i.e. not thong-flip flops). That way you can still wear the socks and not have to put on stuffy closed-toed shoes.


You can find the LEGEND Compression Wear Recovery Socks HERE.
Only $42.50, they are a worth it!

Click HERE to get $15 off your first LEGEND Compression Wear Order!

Don’t forget: #BeLegendary


Your turn: Do you have a favorite compression gear brand? Would you try LEGEND?

Five Reasons I love the Redemption Capri (gear review!)

If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know that I am a Skirt Sports Ambassador. I wrote about it a while back and still love being a part of the movement. In addition to the message it sends women (#RealWomenMove) about getting out there and accomplishing dreams and goals, the products themselves are very well made and fit all body types – and that is pretty awesome! They are made for women, designed by women and the company is great about taking feedback into consideration (they even have a “sewing room” where you can submit ideas and if others like it, you’ll see it made!).

One of my favorite products is actually not even a skirt, it’s the Redemption Capri! Here’s 5 Reasons Why:

1. They are very adaptable – and work for multiple types of sports!
I love supporting and showing off Skirt Sports when I’m outside, but one of the activities I enjoy the most is rock climbing. You can’t wear a skirt climbing, even if there are shorts underneath. Frankly, it’s not safe – the skirt can get caught in so many places – and it looks quite ridiculous when you’re belaying. I CAN wear the Redemption Capris on the rock wall! No risk of fabric getting caught in an ATC (belay device).

Running in them (and other activities) is perfect as well! I am always working and coaching in them.

2. They come in multiple fun patterns
I have the Tantrum and the Safari Print. It also comes in plain black, Frolic print, and Enchanted print. See Skirt Sports to see all their patterns.

3. They slightly compress
I LOVE this about these capris! They aren’t actual compression grade capris, and it could be that I bought too small of a size, but they feel slightly compression-like and  that is great for running!

4. Not too hot and not too cold
I wear these for running when it is between about 40 and 70 degrees. They keep you warm on those chilly runs when it’s not quite cold enough for pants. They are also  lightweight enough for the hotter days. Anything over 70, they are a little too thick to wear and I get overheated. Now, if you’re just wearing them out and about, they are just fine in hot weather. 😉

5. The back pocket comes in handy!
There is a small, zippered pocket in the back. It’s perfect for keys and a credit card/ID. They do have a new product out called the Pocketopia Capri that is almost the same as the Redemption but with MORE pockets. I find my Redemption Capri just fine, in terms of pockets. If I need extra storage, I have a handy-dandy run belt from SLS3.

If you want to check out the Redemption Capri, you can find them online HERE or stop by the store in Boulder, CO!