Saturday, January 21, 2017

Running Pain : Upper Body

Upper body pain on neck, shoulder and arms when running distance is common with some that just started running. Our way of sitting, standing and even carrying loads on our back contribute to the discomfort we may have when running. 
And when we headed out to run, we start to over correct our bad posture and conciously or subconsciously hold our shoulder close to our ears or pull the shoulder blades together to imitate a better posture. You then start to pull your arms closer to your body.
Or in some instances, you let your body slouch and that action collapse the shoulder while restricting your chest from expanding and your airway blocked - occasionally looking up only when there are photographers around ;). Some of us run looking down because it was how we been running. If you ever wondered how and why you had that "less than good" run, it is your posture.
To start with, you need to be loose. The more fluid you move, the less likely you will tense up. You can only be fluid if you learn to relax. And you can only relax if you don't try to squeeze out all the blood from your clenched fist or be so stiff your shoulder freezes over. By being more fluid, you will have less pain. The less pain you have, the longer you can run. Sound like a good deal?

Starting from your hand, imagine that you are holding an egg in your hand. By doing this, you will allow some slack and prevent any tension or stiffness running upwards to your neck and shoulder. Bend slightly at the elbow and keep the hand between the chest and waist. I personally reccomend nearer to waist. 

Next, allow your shoulder to move along with your arm swings. Think of it like you are doing a light jab forward and do not cross your arms as you swing it. Move your arm in-sync with your stride. Your arm swing helps to regulate your stride. 

Now that is the basic of getting the upper body fluid. Now, you go and try it and hopefully, you run better and with lesser pain.

Review : Wahl Hair Clipper

Going bald was a choice I consciously made and the reason for it were for easier maintenance due to my active lifestyle primarily. And of course the advantage it gives me when i am doing the sports as it would meant less time spend washing my hair after, and less time wasted trying to dry them. Also, I don't have to worry about having to comb anything, let alone worry if the gel, wax or cream I use would run out, or if I am past the "in-fashion" hairstyle. Heading to the barber can be an expensive affair as it will cost anything between RM10 to RM12 to get a cut. 

Wahl Super Taper - Professional Clipper
I got this from a hair care supply shop after buying cheaper version from shops selling China (cheap) product. Those RM20 clippers does their job, but there is always the risk that the clipper were not built sturdily and risking your scalp to be trimmed off due to sub-standard finishing. This Wahl Super Taper is 12 times more expensive than the cheaper clippers and it was an investment. Moreover, this is made in USA as printed and verified in the unit (free of Made In China sticker)
Spell Check - all good English, a first sign that this product had QA/QC
This clipper came with a 1-year warranty and at the time I wrote this, I have been using this for the past 3-years. You must be wondering why I review something I bought 3-years ago? Well, truth was, this post was meant to be posted 3-years ago, but due to work/career change and having other priorities in life, 26 others draft blogs/review/report has taken a back seat. 
Now, on retrospect, this unit, which was bought a good 3+ years (April 2013) ago has been used at least once a week - as I usually will shave twice a week (if i remember). If you go by that "Return of Investment" ROI, I already made back the initial RM240 investment I did after shaving/clipping for 24 times by year end 2013. So, yes, apart from electricity bills (minimal, say RM1 for a 5-mins buzz), I've been getting "free hair cut"done at home in the toilet/porch by myself.
How it was packed
Inside the box was the clipper itself, very well built and ergonomically designed that you can handle it with one hand. it comes with a small brush with screwdriver end so you can adjust the speed, so to say (by modulating the power). A good 2.5m cable, a nice come, 6-clipper attachment from No.1 to No.8 (3mm to 25mm cut). 

No 8
A small bottle of mineral oil is given if you need to lubricate the blades once in a while - I have only done that maybe three times and it was mainly out of guilt of not maintaining the unit. 
The manual comes with tips on cutting hair using the clipper - if you decide to make a second income as a barber.
If you brought your son to barber or if you been to barber, you may had heard terms like getting a "zero"cut, or "kasi nampak kulit" (can see skin) -it usually refers to just using the clipper san any attachment. That gives you a 2mm cut. short enough for you to take it and shave with a good shaver for the bald effect.
I considered the clipper's attachment as good to have/nice to have as I've not used it ever on myself. But if you are new to this, you may want to learn using it with attachment if you are fearful that the clips will cut you. if there is any comfort, I've not been injured using this. 

Fits nicely, about 600grams of solid vibrator clipper
I clip my hair myself and after doing it twice, I get the hang of it. Think of it as if you are holding a large vibrating comb and start coming it against the hair-growth direction. This meant the front part is from front to back motion; and the back is from the bottom to up motion. Sides a bit trickier, but do use the other free hand to press the top of your ear down as you shave upwards. 
The awkward selfie
The clip without any attachment is safe, it may looked dangerous but with time, you gain confidence to use it. As the hair grew a bit longer after a week, the No. 0 shaved off minute level of hair which you can see in the next photo. Now, if you are planning to do this, get yourself a shoe brush as it will be the best tool to brush off the hair from the clipper edge very effectively. 
Easy peasy - the brush been with me for more than 20 years - same brush I used back in RMC!
I even use this clipper to shave my facial hair. I realised I have sensitive zone around my lips and chin and shaving causes breakout with or without ingrown hair. So, the decision to grow some facial hair is not to offset the missing hair on the head, but was more of a strategic (just like going bald) decision.
Get it if you are looking for a clipper
So once I get to the shortest level this clipper can get (think GI Joe hair), I will then use a shaving foam and 5-blade shaver to give me a smooth finish on the head. By the time it's midweek, I will get a 5-oclock shadow on the head, which makes it easy for another blade-shave, or I have the choice to let it grow out before I shave again, and continue my ROI!