use the right gait out of the gate!

after thinking about that title, i just realized that (other than the awesome wordplay) people aren’t held back by gates and that prior to learning about people having gaits, the only time i’ve ever heard that word was from horse movies or when the kentucky derby is on tv. in high school i remember coaches telling us we had to run with a good start off the blocks but as you can see, “good start off the blocks” just doesn’t have the same great wordplay, so… welcome to today’s blog “use the right gait out of the gate!”

when you go out for a run, how you run and the aches and pains you feel can be caused by your footwear. if you are a barefoot enthusiast, you may think running shoes are evil, and heck you may be right but until i do some extensive running in barefoot running shoes, today the focus will be on running shoes which don’t allow you to feel every pebble you step on.

first things first, do you have an arch? the easiest way to to find it of you have no arch(flat feet), regular/medium arch or a super/high arch is to picture what your wet footprint looks like when you come out of a pool(see the picture below).

my foot resembles the picture on the far left making me an over-pronator who needs to wear motion control shoes. if you are not sure what you are, there are a few stores in san francisco that can help you determine which is the right shoe for you free of charge and i know of one clinic that isn’t free of charge.

my first pair of real running shoes, and by “real” i mean shoes that actually took into account the fact that i have some of the flattest feet around, i bought at on the run on the corner of 9th and irving. they will have you take your shoes off and walk on a cool electrical pad (that i promise won’t electrocute you) that shows how your foot actually impacts the earth. now that i think about it, it is a fancy way of showing you your wet foot print. after doing that, they will measure your foot with a brannock device. what is a brannock device you say? see picture below. yup, its just that aluminum shoe-sizer you’ve seen since you were a kid. they were really great and helped me with my first real pair of shoes.
if on the run isn’t your cup of tea, there is also sports basement. their staff in the shoe department will have you take a walk or jog as they observe your gait to determine which is the right shoe for you. also, they have a great selection of shoes and if you are lucky, you may be able find last year’s model of a great shoe for 50-60% off (i just got myself a pair of mizuno’s that were once $95 for $54!!). check out link from their website for some information on determine for yourself what shoe you need.

also, if you do the saturday makeup class at crissy field, you can just jog on over to the sports basement right there. hopefully since you’ll be a bit tired, when they ask you to run around, you won’t unconsciously change your stride because you are being observed.

one other store that i haven’t actually been to is fleet feet. if you go there, they estimate that they will spend 20-30 mins evaluating your gait so they can get you into the right pair of shoes. if anyone has gone, let the bootcampsf community know about your experience by posting on the Facebook page!

if you are looking for a more professional analysis, check out the UCSF RunSafe Clinic.
they were at the recent NightLife at the california academy of sciences. they have you run on a treadmill as they videotape your backside and then when you finish, you both take a look at your backside to analyze what went right and what went wrong. okay that sounded dirtier than it should have since it wasn’t supposed to sound dirty at all. just take a look at the pictures below to get a better idea and you can decide if it’s worth $200. dang, that sounded dirty too didn’t it?

with that i will sign off and wish you a good workout! have a good workout!

workout shirts should be like good vodka…

two weeks down and four more to go!! woohooo! so what do i have in store for you today? t-shirts! i’ll try not to make this post too long since you are probably reading this at work, but hopefully the pictures of my workout clothing below will make up for it(if i had read that out loud i would have included a wink as i said that).

anyways, why talk about t-shirts? the answer is because during a workout, they are the piece of clothing that gets the most drenched with sweat. you go for a run.. drip. .you do a pushup..drip.. you jump rope..drip drip drip drip!!! while you sweat you feel good, feel like you are accomplishing something but when you finish (or at least when i finish) you have a t-shirt (or long sleeve shirt because they get sweaty too) that you can barely pull it off over your head. and after that you may accidentally put it right in your hamper. in case you are wondering what an extremely damp shirt does once it gets in your hamper and gets buried under other clothes, i do NOT recommend you experiment. instead, put your tshirt (and your unmentionables as well) and put them on a hanger and hang it on a door frame or in your bathroom as seen below.
if your tshirt is just a regular 100% cotton tshirt then even if you hang it, it may take days to dry depending how warm your bathroom is. even then it probably will be stinky(hopefully it’s not just my shirts). so what’s the solution?? why a fancy tshirt of course!

i used to think that those fancy tshirts that feel kind of silky smooth were just for professional athletes and for people known as a word that rhymes with oosh-bags. but now? now i swear by them and wear them every time i work out.

you can get a fancy sweat wicking tshirt from pretty much anywhere nowadays. no longer are you restricted to buying $20-$30 dollar MSRP nike drift or adidas climacool shirts, you can now get them from old navy and target (the source of those brightly hanging colored thirst by champion hanging below). from what the tags say, they all seem to offer the same moisture wicking ability and some sort of UV protection (for what reason i fail to understand. doesn’t every tshirt have UV protection just by being a SHIRT that is between the SUN and YOU???) and last but not least some antimicrobial properties(i.e. it keeps the stink off).

also, the fancy tshirts dry before i get home from work and are ready for another workout while a regular tshirt is a one and done affair. yes, i wear my shirts at least twice before they hit the laundry!!

oh wait, i was almost done and i have yet to tell you why workout shirts should be like good vodka. from my experience, when you use good vodka or bad vodka to make drinks, they usually don’t taste much different. regardless of the price, a vodka tonic is a vodka tonic. the only difference is that after a night of ten vodka tonics, the bad vodka gives you a tremendous hangover while the good vodka will leave you finding yourself a little dehydrated. the regular cotton shirt is the tremendous hangover and the the slight dehydration is the fancy wicking tshirt. ta-da!

and that’s it for this edition of the bcsf blog. have a good one!

(one last note, if you don’t want to spend a fortune on shirts, just hit up the target clearance racks. i got all my shirts for $7.50. and the bright colors don’t bother me since i only wear them for working out, and if someone did look at me weird, i’d only see that look for 2 seconds since i would be running right past them. SHAZAM! now that’s it for real. have a good one!)

Why did you start/continue with BootcampSF this session??

Welcome to BootcampSF! So what led to your decision to join BootcampSF? Did you sign up because you have some dress or slacks you want to fit into? Raising my right hand super high on that one(for slacks…. yeah, definitely slacks). Have you passed some milestone age and realized your metabolism is not allowing you to eat a bucket of fried chicken without gaining some weight? Raising both hands on that one! My milestone age was 27 and 6 years later I’m quite sure my metabolism is no where near where it was when I was in high school where after school I could eat a double quarter pound with cheese, six mcnuggets, supersized fries, a large coke and then still have a full couple of plates of rice and some sort of meat slathered upon it and still not gain any weight!! (okay, i know that was a long sentence with no pauses, so please feel free to catch a mental breath as i’m doing after typing it)

Whatever your reason for joining BootcampSF, welcome! But just a quick warning… Bootcamp is addictive! I just finished my second session and I am ready for my third. You are going to get faster and stronger and just feel generally feel better. When you miss a day, you will feel guilty, a honestly just a little out of whack. Also, if you are like me, you’ll feel super self-conscious about every random snack you eat through the day because you haven’t felt you earned the whip cream you put on your hot chocolate (okay i admit it, I am speaking from experience). Lucky for you, and for me, there is a makeup class every Saturday at Crissy Field which is pretty killer so that you can have extra whip cream on your next hot chocolate.

On another note, I’m not going to lie to you and say that after six weeks you will be running 4 minute miles and drop a magical 15 pounds. It’s going to take a lot of hard work and discipline if you want to reach all your goals. Initially I wanted to lose a pound a week and a few inches off my waistline. Unfortunately, it turns out exercise isn’t enough. Yes I am stronger, faster and can run much further and much longer than ever before in my life, but i haven’t seen the gains (perhaps more appropriately, the losses) I’ve been looking to get from the scale.

But don’t let the number on the scale rule your life, what really matters is how you feel. The main thing i felt after my first two sessions of BootcampSF is that feeling of my jeans being less tight in the thigh region and let me tell you, that feeling is SUPERAWESOMEGREAT! I still step on the scale and see a number I don’t like (currently at about 189lbs… did i mention that i’m 5foot 4inches tall? 5foot 5inches on a warm day and i’m in running shoes) If I really wanted to lose weight I would eat in moderation the bad stuff and eat in exaggeration the healthy stuff.

All that being said, as I enter this third session of BootcampSF I am going to attempt eating better. No more accidental one pound fried chicken binges, no more of those multi-serving meals of spam fried rice, no more daily sugar bomb infused pearl milk teas as snacks, and no more “might as well buy two large pizzas since we got a coupon” since i know two large pizzas last just as long as one large pizza once it is in my apartment. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not crazy and I wont get rid of the things I love completely. A slice here and a fried chicken wing there won’t kill me, just gotta stick with them in moderation.

Every week I’m going to take a look at those health tips in the BootcampSF manual, and this time I am actually going to use a tip a week! This week I’m going to follow the tip about getting hydrated! (click here for blog about the minimum amount of water you should consume. i think i will shoot for the 43 shot glasses!).

Okay, I’ve rambled on long enough, so good luck, have fun and see you outside!

Please visit and comment early and often!

**posted by foxbehungry**

8th rule of bootcampsf is “if it’s your first session of bootcamp sf, then you have to fight!”

is here and if this is your first session of bootcampsf then you have to fight! okay, so not necessarily fight but it’s test day to see how far you’ve come. time for a quick mile and a half, crunches bootcampsf style and chin-groundhitting pushups till you drop. also for those of you wondering what the other seven rules are, stay tuned and they will be unveiled over time(i.e. i haven’t made them up yet).

i know that some of you may be nervous to see your results, but as long as you’ve been coming to class consistently then i’m betting you’ve improved upon your first day stats.

*****beginning of tangent*****
as for myself, i’ve now been through 12 weeks (2 sessions) of bootcamp and i know i’ve gotten healthier just by how i feel. i’m still not particularly fast, but on my off day workouts i can now go for a one hour jog and still go for another hour. granted, the first time i ran for over an hour i totally overestimated my speed and at the one hour mark i was still on the other side of the park! so there you go, next time you go for a run 45mins to an hour away from home (and don’t bring your clipper card!) before you turnaround. even if you end up having to walk or jog really slowly, i bet you’ll find it totally doable. sometimes you get your best workouts by accident!
*****end of tangent*****

okay, before i take off on another tangent, here are a few tips for your test day:

1.5 mile run/6 lap test at Kezar: find someone to pace yourself with. preferably someone who was faster than you that first day. if you are that faster person, wear a watch and pick a pace that is faster than the time you ran the first day. for example if you ran your 1.5 miles in 18 mins, that comes out to 3mins per lap. shoot for 2mins 45seconds or 2 mins 30 seconds per lap. (please check with your instructor if that is advisable!)

crunches: DON’T WASTE ANY!! every time you finger tips miss your spotters hands, you get nothing. don’t waste!!! another thing i remember doing is doing mine in spurts. do 5, take a couple of breaths. or do 10 and take a couple of breaths. whatever number works for you.

pushups: just like crunches… DON’T WASTE ANY! make sure your chin touches the ground. it’s your sixth week of bootcamp and it’s no time to be afraid of the ground and getting dirty. in fact, if it’s test day, then you will be using a mat which is probably cleaner than the ground(i make no guarantees on that!).

hopefully some of you get to read this before your test!! good luck and see you during no excuses week!


Painted Stairs at 16th Avenue and Moraga..163 to be exact!

looking for some stairs to run when you don’t have class? check out these stairs at the intersection of 16th ave and moraga. i bet there is a story behind the stairs and the mosaic, but first let me give you the important information. there are 163 stairs and 12 landings(including the top) for you to do different exercises. i could be wrong on that stair and landing count so if you do check the stairs out, let me know if i was right (or wrong)!
(the whole shebang of stairs!)

for more information behind the tiles and mosaic, check out

do you have any stairs you recommend checking out? if so, let us know and send us a picture and location so we can share with everybody!

below are pictures of each individual flight. for some reason i can’t put them in the correct order, so just treat it as a puzzel using the whole shebang as your template(dang that is a weak template… go to the website instead). also, i am not a professional hence i didn’t notice that my shadow was in most of the pictures. enjoy!

somewhere between forrest gump and forrest chump

running, jogging, walking… whatever speed you are moving it is just one foot in front of the other. some of us love it and can go on for miles without a care in the world. i was not one of those people.

just six months ago (january 2011) i went for a jog to kezar stadium from my apartment. a whopping 3 mile round trip. the next day i had shin splints and didn’t run for another month. but now that has all changed. i’ve done everything i can so that running is not the bane of my existence.

i’m not going to sit here and tell you that i can just run out the door for two hours and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature as i breeze through golden gate park and along the great highway becoming one with nature. every run i start begins with me thinking “why am i doing this? why am i so slow? isn’t there some fried chicken in the fridge?”

thankfully those questions didn’t linger too long. my ever faithful companion on my runs is my ipod. some people prefer music, maybe something upbeat to help get them into a rhythm. i prefer to listen to what my girlfriend calls “talking,” i.e. podcasts and audiobooks. podcasts and audiobooks help me pass the time so i don’t keep asking myself questions as i run. (currently i’m switching between Bossypants by tina fey and American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by kai bird and martin j. sherwin)

with the help of my friends tina fey and oppie (that’s the name that one of the father’s of the atomic bomb went by with close friends), i stepped out of my apartment door and started jogging through the park. before i knew it i had criss-crossed my way through the park, to the cliff house and back to 19th avenue and saw that i had run 7.7 miles!! (i knew this because i was using the runkeeper app on my droid. click here to see if compatible with your phone)

i had never run more than 8.5 miles at a time before and here i was at 7.7 and i still had some gas. more importantly, i was really into my audiobook that i still wanted to listen to so i said to myself “what the heck, why not go for TEN!” so back into the park i ventured. i ran past the tea garden, by the de young museum and california academy of sciences, while every once in a while i would check to see how close i was to ten. soon enough i was there! i had just run TEN miles! i couldn’t believe it. so what did i think next? i thought “who knows if i’ll ever run this far again. might as well go all out and get me a half marathon!”

3.1 miles. that’s all i had left to get to a distance i never even contemplated running. i had no desire to from a start to finish line with everyone watching, but here i was, so close. no an achievement i was doing for anybody but myself. i ran those last 3.1 miles with only the light from street lamps illuminating the road ahead of me. and there i was. a half-marathoner! yeah, i make it sound all dramatic, but as i said, just six months ago i could barely jog 3.1 miles, let alone 3.1 PLUS TEN!

so now that i’ve run a half marathon will i try to go for a full marathon? i guess that all depends if using an ipod counts as a performance enhancer! if it is, then i’ll just have to run an unofficial all my lonesome! (maybe tina and oppie will join me for an encore)

helpful links (let me know if these don’t work for you)

free trial membership to with TWO free audiobooks

descriptions of Bossypants and American Prometheus on

link to runkeeper website so you can see if your phone is compatible (cheaper than buying a gps watch, which admittedly would be pretty cool if it wasn’t for the fact that my cell phone has gps which i carry in something akin to a fanny pack but which i will not call a fanny pack)

Delinquent with your food log? Try the Eat and Tweet!

congrats, you are two weeks into bootcamp and if you are reading this blog, chances are you still coming to class everyday(or close to it)!

now that two weeks are done, i’ve got a question for you… how’s that food log going? if you are like me, you are facing a few problems. one, you can’t find your food log. two, you can’t remember what you ate through the day. three, that food log we get on the first day is spaced so tinily that it only fits breakfast. four, when you do remember you are slightly ashamed at what you ate for the day (hello accidental 3 pieces of fried chicken for breakfast).

whatever your reasons are, sometimes it’s tough to keep an accurate log. i have two options for you: facebook and twitter.

facebook is generally public and all your friends can see what you eat as you post it. the only problem is whether or not knowing people will see your log will keep you from reporting your food accurately. positing on facebook could be a positive if it helps you not eat that extra cookie(or five), for example “that chicken fried steak looks like it would be yummy as a dessert after dinner… but darnit, i’ll have to post it on facebook. guess i’ll stick with an apple.”

for those of you are that are shy like me, i find twitter is the best bet. unless you have people following you (that is up to you), twitter can be your own private food log. if you feel like sharing with me or directly with bootcamp, feel free to add us(@foxbehungry and @bootcampsf). i personally love seeing what other people are eating and also as a bonus, if you see what i’m eating you will probably think “at least i’m eating better than that guy!”

below is an example of what my food tweets look like. i’m a big fan of waiting till the end of the day to post what i eat, but if you have time, after every meal is good too as you can keep a log of when you eat along with what you eat.

and if you have a droid or iphone, you can download a twitter or facebook app so that you can never use the excuse of not having your paper food log on you!

hope you get a chance to try the “Eat and Tweet.”

have a good one and “see you outside!”

p.s. i’m not sure if it’s taro or tarot. and cib = carnation instant breakfast. twitter teaches you to abbreviate as much as possible when you try to cram a days’ worth of eating in one post.