lifehack

Life Hack: Run. Better.

So, I’ve joined a moderately an exorbitantly expensive gym (Equinox) and have been taking their Precision Running classes.  Before this, I was an ok runner.  I’ve run a half marathon with pretty little training, keeping about a 10 minute mile pace.  That I finished was more lazy strategy than anything–I ran the majority at a pretty slow pace, but killed it for the last several miles.

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Starting from head-to-toe, here are some basic pointers I’ve picked up from these PR classes and figured I would share. Also, I want to get back into writing and apparently it has been two years since my last post. #ytho

  1. Fool yourself into keeping cool.  Okay, so it’s not really a running thing, but I hate being hot, and I get so hot when I run.  Yes, hydrate, but to feel cooler (cerebral ninja skill), take a cold wet towel and sling it around the base of your neck where the brain stem is.
  2. Be a mouth breather, but only on the way out.  In through the nose, out through the mouth.  With intention, blow it out like no one is watching.  Don’t be shy.  Exhaling CO2 slows the lactic acid buildup/burning sensation (I’ve given in to the inevitability of it all, and allegedly it’s not all bad).  The breathe in will generally take care of itself (body be like need air, suck in oxygen).
  3. Relax body parts you don’t need to run, like your jaw, shoulder and wrists which enjoy reflexively tightening up.  I want all my energy going to the places I actually need.
  4. Keep your eyes looking up above the horizon to keep your chest lifted which opens up your lungs.
  5. Pump those arms.  But don’t flail.  Keep elbows close to body, bent at about a 90 degree angle, and swing in a back and forth motion parallel to your body.  Apparently each arm swing helps the opposite leg kick up.  I like to pretend like the bottoms of my elbows have weights on them.  This also helps to keep my shoulders relaxed and down.
  6. Let physics guide you.  Elongate that spine and lean forward to fall into the next step.  If you have to run, let physics help you out.
  7. Running faster is a mix of lengthening stride and increasing cadence (foot strikes per unit time).  Since I’m happy with my cadence, I focus on lengthening my stride.  Lengthen that stride by working on extending the foot back (the legs reflexively shoot forward to catch your next step) instead extending out on your step forward.  This works well in concert with leaning your body forward to fall into the next step.  As to cadence, treat your feet like butterfly wings (or does that analogy only work for boxing, IDK).  The less time your foot spends on the ground, the more time you are probably spending moving forward.

That’s all the writing I have in me for now.  Wish me luck.

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Life Hack Food: How to Eat Oysters

It took Richard Gere less than 30 seconds to teach Julia Roberts how to properly use silverware in Pretty Woman (work your way in).  But that lesson lasts us a lifetime, doesn’t it?  Please allow me to be your Richard Gere….when it comes to oysters.

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How to eat an oyster:

There is no right way to eat an oyster.  Says who?  Vanity Fair, that’s who.  Although this was back in 2009, to suddenly come up with an oyster eating protocol would totally be against the spirit of old money and tradition associated with these delicious aphrodisiacs, wouldn’t it?  Trick question.  As with many nouveau “delicacies” i.e. Chirashi (sashimi pieces over vinegar rice), oysters were inexpensive and eaten mainly by the working class.

My how-to suggestion?  Like with the silverware, do what makes sense.

  1. Use the little fork to make sure the oyster is detached from the shell.
  2. Use a condiment if you like i.e. lemon, cocktail sauce, or mignonette.  I like it tart so I always use mignonette (clear, vinegar based).  Pronounced minion-ette.  Click here to hear how Webster’s Dictionary says it.Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 11.39.31 PM
  3. I tilt the shell like I’m going to drink from it, and use the little fork to push the oyster into my mouth.  People slurp it.  But Vanity Fair says I can do whatever the hell I want.
  4. Chew and swallow it.  Are there really people who are just swallowing it?  Yeah, don’t do that.

What oyster to choose:

If you’ve never had oysters, they are all probably going to taste like the sea.  But, it is an acquired taste that is SO worth it.  Oysters are usually named after places, because how they taste depends on geography–i.e. how salty the water is, and what types of minerals are in the area.

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When Restauranteur and James Beard nominated Chef, Jeremy Sewall (Island Creek and Row 34 of Boston, MA), isn’t familiar with an oyster, here’s what is in his head (aka interviewed by the Wall Street Journal):

By Coast (very generally):

  • East Coast: brinier (essentially saltier)
  • West Coast: sweeter

Think of it like you would the people who live there.  Just kidding.

By size, he favors:

  • Smaller–tend to be slightly metallic
    • Olympias (about the size of a quarter)
    • West Coast Kumamoto (brinier)
  • Slightly larger–all below are “really briny”
    • Massachusetts Pemaquids
    • Massachusetts Sunken Meadows
    • Rhode Island East Beach Blondes
  • Meatier oysters–“newer” named ones
    • Shigoku, like the Kumamoto, deep, meaty, round, briny, sweet
    • Massachusetts Moon Shoal, briny
    • Massachusetts Rocky Nook, sweet, mineral

Oysters larger than 4.5″-5″, according to Sewall, are too big.  HOWEVER, please DO NOT try to impress your date by asking if the oysters are under 4.5″-5″ because that is how you like them.  It doesn’t show how much you know, just what a douche you are.

Are oysters aphrodisiacs?

I don’t know of any oyster/oyster product to win a nobel prize.  Do you?  But, I’ll still share with you what’s up at the rumor mill:

  1. They may contain some rare amino acids that trigger increased sex hormone levels.
  2. The texture resembles our lady parts.
  3. I’m guessing gold diggers everywhere associate them with $$$$.

Order online and shuck at home:

Vanity Fair suggests Fresh Direct for Bluepoint oysters/other varieties delivered to your door ($12 for a dozen).  You can learn how to shuck these little suckers from Sewall’s WSJ interview (or a little something called the internet).

Eat it like you mean it,

BTB