ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Weston Ochse is a former intelligence officer and special operations soldier who has engaged enemy combatants, terrorists, narco smugglers, and human traffickers. His personal war stories include performing humanitarian operations over Bangladesh, being deployed to Afghanistan, and a near miss being cannibalized in Papua New Guinea. His fiction and non-fiction has been praised by USA Today, The Atlantic, The New York Post, The Financial Times of London, and Publishers Weekly. The American Library Association labeled him one of the Major Horror Authors of the 21st Century. His work has also won the Bram Stoker Award, been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and won multiple New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. A writer of more than 26 books in multiple genres, his military supernatural series SEAL Team 666 has been optioned to be a movie starring Dwayne Johnson. His military sci fi series, which starts with Grunt Life, has been praised for its PTSD-positive depiction of soldiers at peace and at war. Weston likes to be called a chaotic good paladin and challenges anyone to disagree. After all, no one can really stand a goody two-shoes lawful good character. They can be so annoying. It's so much more fun to be chaotic, even when you're striving to save the world. You can argue with him about this and other things online at Living Dangerously or on Facebook at Badasswriter. All content of this blog is copywrited by Weston Ochse.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Altra Running in 2015 - From Scotland to Mexico

Who am I? I'm a 50 year old disabled combat veteran of the United States Army who was so broken, I couldn't run from 2000 to 2013. Even before that my running was sporadic. Shin spints, stress fractures, plantar faciatus, all conspired to keep me limping through the 90s. No sooner would I get better, then I'd do a 26 mile ruck march and a battalion run, and it would start all over agian.

But now I'm running again thanks to my Altra shoes.

Although I ran less in 2015 than 2014, it was still a terrific year of Altra running. Part of my slow start had to do with tearing my calf November 2014 thanks to a little dehydration and no stretching. I had to take baby steps, which meant I really didn't fully recover until May 2015. Then in October, I ran the Bisbee 1000 which is an 8 KM race with a thousand concrete stairs. Those stairs didn't seem like much on the day of the race, but two days later it was sort of hard to walk. That slowed me down for November and the first part of December. Still, despite running only 756 KM in 2015, I increased my speed. I went from a 15 minute mile to a 12 minute mile. BTW, if you think that 15 minute mile was slow, realize that before 2013 my speed for the mile was ZERO. I didn't run. I couldn't run. That is until I bought a pair of Altra's while I was stationed in Afghanistan. I went from running 50 feet in July of 2013 to running my first 5K in September 2013. And Oh yeah, I also lost 60 pounds.

Highlights of my running year:

Running along the Patomac.

Running the Bisbee 1000 and conquering the course. Check out my Altras!

Running along the Patomac in Alexandria. Although they're tough on my legs, I love running the cobblestones.

Running in Scotland down to the North Atlantic, along the coast, where Vikings landed and Celts fought for surival.
More Scotland. That's Hen Rock. Dramatic.

Running Joe's Pass Trail to Montezuma Point right on the Mexican Border and being eye level with vultures.

Now that I'm hale and healthy, I want to double my running in 2016. I also want to up my speed to 9 minute miles. What's really helped me recently is interval training via the Daily Burn. I used to suck at squats, giving the backs of my thighs no end of post workout or delayed onset pain. But they've gotten better this year. I can do squats without debilitating effects. I'm going to keep working on them until there's no pain at all.

Oh, and what makes Altra's so special to me? That's easy. They have a wide toe bed, almost like a Birkenstock, so my toes aren't pinched and can find their own space. They are also Zero Drop, meaning the toe and heel are the same distance from the ground, unlike other modern running shoes which put so much padding in the heel, it's like running on high heels. I take the inserts out of mine as well, so it's natural running for me. Truly, the brothers who invented Altra had runners like me in mind.  Thanks Guys.

Check out Altra and watch their videos here.

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