Sunday, November 28, 2010

River run

Distance 8km [total: minimalist 132km: Barefoot 683km]

Sunday is here and it is still blowing outside so a run along the beach would be a battle with the wind in one direction and swept along going back.

For a change I decided to put a bit of variety in my routes and so drove a short distance to the river, about 4km from where it empties into the sea.
I parked the car at about 8am then set off. It took a while for my feet to wake up and to find the correct amount of pressure to land on the path with.

There were some nice smooth patches of bitumen along the river path then that would change to older rough surface that would was a bit more painful on the feet. I completed the 8km round trip in just over 50 minutes, not all that fast but my first priority was preserving the feet not speed.
I think I got a few curious looks along the way but no comments. I wore my compression gear as it was a bit chilly out when I started and I figured that it would also help the muscles if they got fatigued.
It would be good to get that 8km time down to 40 minutes and I think if I can get my feet more conditioned I can do it.
Only around 3 weeks now before the Christmas day race.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Interesting week

Distance 28km [total: minimalist 132km: Barefoot 675km]

After a bit of a break from the blog but not the running I better do an update to cover the last couple of weeks.
Last Saturday (20th) I put in a 12km beach run on a perfect morning, a little dull and cool when I set off but by the time I started on the return leg the sun had begun to warm the sand.
It was a slow start as I think my body needs a bit of time to wake up when I throw it into an early morning run. I had set off at about 7.45am.
Today was a rush day as after I finished the run I was due to get my haircut to my summer length. Then following that I headed to the gym and did an hours strength training. By midday I was due at a family barbecue, at least there I had a chance to relax.
Monday was a warm day of 33C, so a shorter beach run day was the exercise for the day. The sand was a little soft and there were plenty of obstacles in the form of beach goers. I felt a bit lacking in energy also probably due to the heat. There was a light breeze when running south along the beach, this became none existent on the return leg as I was running in the same direction as the breeze, now it felt hot.
I quit the run before the end covering around 4km.

Wednesday: I wake up at 5.40am after a warm night when the temperature stayed above 24C. I get out of bed and find pain coming from my left knee, not under the knee but more to the outer side. It was fine last night, what can happen overnight to cause this. I thought maybe I had been sleeping in a strange position and irritated a tendon.
I could hardly bend the knee, walking was very painful. I managed to make it into work. I also didn't feel 100%, my felt sort of queasy, it was hard to put my finger on, maybe I was coming down with a cold.

Thursday, the knee pain has mysteriously disappeared, only slightly discomfort remains, walking around is fine but there is a bit of burning feeling around the area. Still feeling a bit queasy though.
I went for a run along the beach, much cooler today at only around 23C, the leg was fine, no knee problems. I covered a distance of around 5km, not at my usual pace, I took it nice and easy.
When driving back from the beach I noticed a red blotchy patch in the area when I had my knee pain. On examination when I got back the area was covered in red spots.

After doing some research I believe I know what was happening.
I believe It was a viral infection of some kind, about a week previous I noticed I'd scraped my calf on something, I don't remember doing it which was odd, this must have been the entry method of the virus.
It must have lodged itself around the tendons in the knee, causing the pain. The body began to fight back and managed to eliminate the virus pushing it out through the skin near the knee.
On Friday I decided if the condition worsened that I would see the doctor on the Saturday.
Saturday is here and it is feeling better, the queasiness has also disappeared so no doctor for now.

The morning began with heavy rain, it began to ease off by 9am so I headed out to the beach to get some more barefoot miles in.
As usual when there is a change in the weather, the wind is blowing from the south. I started off slow and unenthusiastic, concentrating more on my form, speed was not on the cards due to the wind.

The thing I love about running is that no matter how rotten you feel when you start off, by the end, you are transformed, such was today.
I go to the river estuary then decided to do the return journey on the pavement. I was a bit cautious as it is at times when my feet are wet and softer that I rub up blisters.
I kept my steps short, light and as quick as I could and had no problems in the return 3.5km. The ankles and tendons felt good and by the time I got to my car I felt I could run the distance again.
Running can be compared to golf in so many ways, just when you think you have it all worked out, you make a subtle change and it all goes out of the window and you have to sit back and reassess.
I believe that sometimes I get tendon soreness when I push too hard, I try to race (or show off) and take larger steps, but still with knees bent and relaxed. This extra pressure is enough to cause strain in the tendons, it will fade off after a couple of days but it is a sign.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Around the lake

Distance 14.5km [total: minimalist 132km: Barefoot 647km]

Saturday morning saw me have my first run around the artificial salt water lake at West Lakes.
It was an overcast day with some light spots of rain falling when I got to the lake at 8.15am.
I estimated the distance at around 5.7km (Measured on Google Earth). This is shorter than the 8km race at Christmas so I assume it must be following the pavement along the road rather than the path around the front of the lake. I shall check to see if that adds an extra couple of kilometres to the distance.

I started to develop a bit of soreness in the left ankle in the last couple of km, maybe I was pushing it a bit too much for a first go.
My feet were also getting a bit tender. They still need more distance on hard surfaces to toughen them up, I put most of my distance in on the sandy beaches
It took me around 35 minutes to do the loop.

After the loop of the lake, I still had a some energy left so I drove to the beach and ran a further 5km. I was going to try a faster run but took it easier so I didn't put any extra stress on my left ankle.

Monday found me at the beach again, not the best of runs this evening. Strong southerly winds blasted up the beach. The ankles and tendons still felt a bit achy so I kept a restrained pace.
I don't like these windy days as it is hard to get a steady rhythm because you are pushing into the wind on the way out and it is pushing you too fast on the way back.
The weather pattern should move over by the end of the week.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Consistency Back!

Distance 24km [total: minimalist 132km: Barefoot 632.5km]

After the longer Saturday run I did some drills on the Sunday, sticking to the basics of Change of Support, Pony, toe taps, Hops with a short run in between each drill.
It does pay to continue on with the drills even if you think your running form is good as it stops any bad habits creeping back, especially on the longer runs when you get tired.
After the drills I did a short 4km run, jetty to jetty and back. I need to get a bit more speed training under my sleeve so this was my first attempt.
I covered the 2km distance in 10 minutes and nearly exactly the same time the other way, now that is pretty consistent.
During the week I ran 8km on Monday, a good run but I felt pretty tired at the end, probably due to my early mornings and early lunch.
One thing is for sure insomnia is not a problem when you run in the evenings.

Wednesday: Put in another 8km along the beach. I'm making the best of the firm sand and low tide. I always like to finish off the run by a kilometre on the concrete to get my legs to adapt to the different surfaces automatically.

I am getting to feel much more relaxed in my running style now, I feel that I'm getting a natural leaning stance and only concentrating on pulling the feet from the ground. It feels good when you get into the correct stance, just falling forward without any pushing effort.
All I have to do now is learn how to stay relaxed when I get into the small unofficial little races that occur between runners when they are out on the beach training.


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Great saturday run

Distance 12km [total: minimalist 132km: Barefoot 608.5km]

Ah, springtime, so much better than the winter. The ground isn't icy cold and foot numbing now, in fact soon I will have to start the running earlier in the morning to keep out of the strong sun and heat.
Today was a good day of running, I ran 12km, Grange to Semaphore, getting to the beach at 8am, still feeling a little sleepy when I set off.
The tide was on its way out which was good, the sand was a bit spongy in places but otherwise firm.
They had been training the horses earlier in the day so the beach had plenty of hoof prints all over it. Just had to make sure I didn't trip up by putting my foot into one as they make quite deep impressions.
Legs and feet felt good, just a little tender on the feet from the road running earlier in the week.
I need to do an early morning run around the lake at West Lakes as a preparation for the Christmas day run. The distance is about 8km but I want my feet to be fully recovered before I head out just to see what I can expect from the course.
My time for the 12km distance was an unspectacular 70 minutes but that was because I was running up and down the beach as well along. I could probably do it in and hour.

Each barefoot km I get under my belt is one where I get better. It is still only a relatively short time since my transition and I am looking forward to seeing what I am doing a year from now.