8bitrocket.com
17Dec/120

The Literal Run Cycle #1

Jeff Fulton (8bitjeff)

This is a blog that usually deals with game design / programming, retro-gaming and other nostalgia.   It is not a fitness blog by any means, but since running and overall fitness is a big part of what keeps me going on a daily basis, I wanted to start what I hope will be more of an inspirational look at what the life of an avid, but amateur 42 year old runner is like.  Right now, I am actually starting over.  Literally, starting from ground zero with my running.  I had foot surgery on October 4th, 2012 and did not run at all the month before the surgery. I have only started jogging again, doing 5 easy miles 1 or 2 times a week. By easy I mean EASY. I actually walk part of each mile and jog the rest and then repeat.  To keep my overall fitness up, I also workout most days of the week, but take at least one rest day to recover.  When I could not run, I would walk fast, do the spin bike or the elliptical, and take weight and circuit training classes or see a personal trainer.   Because of this, I have been able to ease myself back into jogging without too much difficultly. My heart rate is really good during the jogging portions and it drops dramatically during the walk intervals. I owe all of that to the trainers and equipment at the Beach Cities Health District Center for Health and Fitness as well as the well trained staff at the Beach Cities Orthopedics Physical Therapy (not related to one another).

So, as  I would like to figure out a way to relate this series of blog entries to  the rest of my life and work, I am calling it the "The Run Cycle".  Anyone who has had to do animation of any type knows what a walk or run cycle is. It is a series of drawn frames that when played in succession simulate to the eye a natural walk or run style movement for a character.   For a recent project I needed a place-holder for a "run cycle" before the animators created one, so I "borrowed" and cleaned up a set of images I found on the internet.  We would never use someone else's work for production, but while in development, I needed something to show the animators what I wanted to accomplish.  Here is the "run cycle" that I provided to them as a base.

Run Cycle

Run Cycle

I actually added the Saucony Kinvara 3's to each frame just for these frames just for this series of blog entries. Saucony is my favorite brand of running / racing shoe. I don't see that many people out there with them, so they are unique and always have the coolest designs. That's what's really important, right, that you look cool while injuring yourself running? Anyway, I chose the Kinvara 2 because it was light weight, but sturdy and flexible. I also combine my shoes with the thickest Road Runner Sports created custom insoles to ensure my feet are as protected as they can be. The new Kinvara's 3's feel like you are running on air and are so light that I hardly notice that they are even on. Enough ad-man slinging for them. They are not paying me for this, but I just wanted to make sure that the bases were covered.

Here is my current pair though, and nestled inside is that thick, comfy Road Runner custom insole:

Kinvara3

Kinvara3

The game should be in the iOS store some time soon, and obviously, the real one will not use this run cycle, but I like it enough to use it as the logo for this series of blog entries.

So, does the world really need another amateur running blog? No, not really. I am pretty sure there are far too many out there now, and obviously, most people want to read what the experts do, but who knows. Since I am starting at ground zero, maybe I can inspire someone else to get out there, especially someone (like me) who spends most of their time behind a desk all day long.

So, about my most recent run. Yesterday morning, I took off on a wood-chip trail run in Manhattan Beach, but needed to derail to the harder concrete strand when I hit a part of the trail that is being repaired. Here is a map and basic Garmin summary details from this moderate training session:

run-12-16-summary

run-12-16-summary

12-16-run Map

12-16-run Map

To compare this to my pre-surgery runs, on a "long run day", or even a moderate run day, my average mile pace would be around 8:00 - 9:00 minutes with some a little faster. Right now, with the walking and jogging, I am at about 12:28. I am not pushing it and really not too tired when I finish, so my fitness it still pretty good. Here is a picture of my current left foot. It has not completely healed, so I am being cautious with it.

Toe 12-16

Toe 12-16

My next run is this Wednesday on an all-weather track. I will be doing the same basic format: Walk the first 1/4 or every mile and then jog the next 3/4. Between then and now I have a personal training session that will help keep my body in good working order for when I hit the track.

We also have the launch of our new game into the Apple store, and I am trying to complete the final chapter of the second edition of a the HTML5 Canvas book I am working on with Steve (8bitsteve), my brother. Sometimes it is hard to fit it all in.

One last thing. Let's not forget the names of the 20 little ones and 6 care givers who bravely tried to keep them safe last Friday:
CHARLOTTE, DANIEL, RACHEL, OLIVIA, JOSEPHINE, ANA, DYLAN, DAWN, MADELEINE, CATHERINE, CHASE, JESSE, JAMES, GRACE, ANNE MARIE, EMILIE, JACK, NOAH, CAROLINE, JESSICA, AVIELLE, LAUREN, MARY, VICTORIA, BENJAMIN, ALLISON. May they rest in peace and their sacrifice help make some changes to the current state of affairs in the USA.

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