Friday, April 22, 2011

Athelstone 10km

Distance 14.5km [total: minimalist 136.5km: Barefoot 1304km] Week 16

Tuesday, 19-Apr. 4.5km
A short run at the beach, only 4.5km. The tide was high and there was no firm sand to run on and in places the tide was right up to the sea wall. Perseverance under these conditions is not worth it so I came up onto the road to run on the pavement. I spotted another barefoot runner on the pavement further up, maybe there are a few around, now that I have been a regular fixture running up and down the road for over a year now.
I really got some good speed up in the last kilometre and felt like I was flying along. It really feels good to be moving at speed.
The Good Friday race is close now. It looks like it will be the coolest of the days over Easter at only 19C, may even rain. I am still keen to give it a try.

Friday, 22-Apr. 10km
While most people are having a lie in on a day off I was up early preparing for a 10km race over the other side of the city.
This was a free casual run and I said to myself if I woke up today to the sound of lashing rain I would give it a miss and just stay in bed myself.
At 6am I looked outside and it was dry so I had some breakfast and threw some things together and set off at 7am.
The roads were pretty empty at that time of the morning which made the travelling quick and easy.

Athelstone is in the Adelaide foothills and as I approached I could see the low cloud over the hills.
The roads were wet from earlier rain and as I got closer to the start point fine drizzle coated my windscreen.
I got there with 30 minutes to kill so had a wander around as all the runners were looking very professional and limbering up.
It's all looking very technical there days, gel packs, belts with drink bottles on, wet weather gear and there's me shorts and a t-shirt and that's it.
There were 2 courses to chose from, the River Flats course or the more challenging hilly route. Stick to the River run as the hill run would be gravel, wet gravel at that.
10 minutes before setting off it was raining steadily. Lets see if I am any better at running in the wet these days.
The course went along some small back streets before following the linear park along the River Torrens in a westerly direction.
One thing I learned was to avoid running on the white line markings in the middle of the path, they were as slippery as a banana peel when wet.
The course was far from flat, it was more undulating, lots of ups and downs. The rain held off for the first half of the run but poured down over the second 5km, I was soaked.
I had been aiming to see if I could run the course in under 1 hour and by the time I got back to the start point and stopped my watch I recorded a time of 51m 17.9s wow that was great, very pleased with that. If it had been dry I think I could have managed under 50 minutes.
I'll mark this down as another race I'll have to do next year.

Saturday, 23-Apr. 0km
I noticed that the day after my 10km run that I had a bit of soreness on the pad of the right foot. I gave it a thorough clean to look for possible puncture points where some irritant may have entered.
There was a bit of wear and tear on the forefoot, probably needed a few days to rebuild after a race, but didn't see anything that indicated I'd stood on a sharp object.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Longest run in 20+ years

Distance 49km [total: minimalist 136.5km: Barefoot 1289.5km] Week 15

Monday, 11-Apr. 7km
A day off work today so a bit more freedom in what time I head out for my run. I did a road and beach run today covering about 7km at low tide. The hamstrings have recovered but I felt my running was a bit uneven, tightness or placing more emphasis on my right leg.

Tuesday, 12-Apr. 0km
I spent the today with a sore left Achilles and was aware that I was not walking evenly, it is always worse when I'm wearing shoes at work, barefoot is much better.

Wednesday, 13-Apr. 9km
I was still good to run tonight but stuck to the beach, which, for once, presented me with a nice flat surface and a low tide.
I ran 9km but still felt a little unbalanced but no problems at the end.

Still deciding if I should run in the 10km race on Good Friday. As it is a free one there is no financial pressure on to run it. I'll let the weather make the decision. If is wet then I'll have a lie in if not I'll get up and drive across the city and have a go.

Friday, 15-Apr. 8km
I had a choice tonight, go to the pub and have some farewell drinks with the ex CEO of the company I work for or go out for a run on what will be fewer and fewer nice warm evenings before winter arrives.
Earlier in the day it was the pub for a beer, as the day passed and I'd been sitting on my backside all day at the computer I decided the healthy choice was needed so I bypassed the drinks and went to the beach.
I ran 8km in my usual loop of Grange-Henley-River on the road then back on the beach. The sun was just on the horizon, about to sink into the sea as I got back to my car.

Saturday, 16-Apr. 18.5km
A beautiful morning, sun shining, about 17C outside. I hit the beach at around 8.30am and saw a vast expanse of nice flat sand to run on, perfect.
Today I started off by running south to Henley then back to Grange before then running to Semaphore, this added 4km onto my usual 14.5km run.
It was hard from a psychological point of view to run one way then go past your start point again before heading off.
I was trailing another barefoot runner Peter I believe he introduced himself as.
He first passed me as I stopped at Grange jetty for a few seconds. I thought I would easily outpace him given enough distance but he was pretty good. He stayed in front for the next 5km before eventually turning to run back the other way.
I had a quick chat with him and mentioned that it was IBRD on the 1st of May and if he was interested I'd be there at 9.45am at the cafe at Grange.
This seems to be my only way of recruiting seeing as I am being politely ignored by the SA Road Runners Club.

I passed another limping runner another 500m after leaving Peter, had a quick chat and looks like he'd pulled a calf muscle. I told him he better not try running on it as it would be as sore as hell once it cooled down. Off with those injurious shoes I told him!!!!

I carried on running and got to the jetty at Semaphore then walked along the jetty and onto the walkway that runs alongside the beach reserve. It's nice to have a change in surface, this is bitumen and concrete, your feet automatically register that there is less give and so you bend the knees more. After filling up on water from a tap near the entrance back to the beach I set off on the home run.
I was running into the cool southerly wind now, in the next few months this will be stronger and colder, time to get the leggings on.
I was starting to tire by about 15km but kept on going and then perked up a bit in the last kilometre. It did feel good to stop.
I had a well deserved paddle in the shallow pools trapped by the sandbank. Not a bad effort 18.5km, recorded time of 1:54:27.
When I ran the 16km Brighton to Hallet Cove that took me around 2h but was steep and stony, will I improve on that time next year?

3 Heel Strikers in a Row (East Cheshire Half Marathon May 1986)

I have my new Blendtec blender arrive this week so I can now start to get more green leafy vegetables into my diet via green smoothies. I did a simple spinach and peach drink and was very impressed with the blender. There is no comparison with the one it replaced. It was a real struggle with that one and the blend was not very smooth. This one does the job properly.

Sunday, 17-Apr. 6.5km
After my long Saturday run I took it a bit easier on Sunday and just did a 6.5km run around West Lakes.
A nice sunny morning but it took me ages getting warmed up and into a good rhythm.
I'd covered around 2.5km before I felt like I was in my comfortable pace. During that warming up distance I was passed by a runner sporting all the triathlon regalia, he turned off as we approached the rowing club. I carried on running over the island towards West Lakes when he passed me again, we exchanged pleasantries and he said I must have feet like steel. Isn't it funny how people misunderstand what running is about, they assume you need feet of steel if you are bashing them into the ground, if you don't then you can just have regular feet, ok maybe a bit tougher.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Deadlift Run killer

 Distance 33km [total: minimalist 136.5km: Barefoot 1240.5km] Week 14

Monday, 4-Apr. 4.5km
A short beach run at high tide. Hard to get any speed up as I had to run in the water for most of the way. The sand was either soft and dry or wet and squelchy. I got up some better speed on the way back and felt quite fast, I managed a time of about 10:40m on the way back.
Now we are back on standard time darkness arrives at 6.30pm. The sun was still up during the run but began to sink below the horizon at just after 6pm.

Wednesday, 6-Apr. 0km
A gym workout today that, as I was to find out later, would leave my legs sore for the next 3 days.
It was all caused by some hamstring deadlifts. It is not as if they were even heavy, I only lifted 25kg and did 3 sets of 10. That is just lifting the weight off the floor, keeping the legs slightly bent, straighten up, then replace the weight back to its original position.

Thursday, 7-Apr. 10.5km
A nice warm evening, not many of these left before we head into winter. I decided to run around the lake at West Lakes, then depending on how I felt I would extend the run by running around the island.
My hamstrings were starting to stiffen due to the weights yesterday but it was still manageable to run. I hoped the running would ease the stiffness.... it didn't.
I did notice my form deteriorating because I wasn't pulling the foot from the ground with the right timing. I still managed to run 10.5km.

Friday, 8-Apr. 6km
My Achilles tendons were a bit stiff today, another consequence of the run yesterday and the sore, half working hamstrings. There would be no running home from work tonight.
I went on a shorter 6km run. The beach was impossible, the soft sand was too hard with stiff tendons so I ran along the road in both directions. The stiffness is still hanging around, unbelievable!

Saturday, 9-Apr. 12km
A change in the weather. From yesterdays sunny hot 30C a weather front has moved in. I decided to get out before the bulk of the rain arrived.
Tendons and hamstrings still sore with the bonus of a mosquito biting me on the Achilles that has left a big itching spot.
I shortened my run today to just 12km as the rain was close by and it would be hard to gauge how wet I would get. It started on the return leg but it wasn't that heavy.
I gave the lower legs a soak in the water after the run.
I am hoping that this is going to be the last day of hamstring soreness and I can get back to good running form. I'll be a bit more careful next time.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Active day

Distance 40.8km [total: minimalist 136.5km: Barefoot 1207.5km] Week 13

A good week of running, no aches or pains these days, in fact I don't need to even chill out in the water to keep my tendons from aching in the morning, that stopped around 6 months ago.
It means either one of two things, either my running form is correct now and I don't put any strain on my tendons or else they have strengthened sufficiently to take the strain.
Tuesday, 29-Mar. 6km
I put in a short 6km run along the beach, a nice warm autumn evening, probably one of the last of the season as from next week we come of daylight saving and gain an hour and so it gets darker in the evening and lighter in the morning. 

Thursday, 31-Mar. 13.3km

I had a 4km run with a friend along beach then a second run after around the lake, a total concrete surface run, I put in another 9.3km, it was starting to get dark by the time I finished.
Isn't it amazing that you can run around a course totally unscathed then the one moment you haven't got your eyes on the path in front of you there is something there ready to give you a jolt. I was about 1km from the car running along a concrete path by the road, up ahead a bush is blocking the path, as I push past it I sink my heel onto a sharp stone oooouch. Can't let the people driving along the road see any indication of pain so carry on regardless.
It was nothing serious, by the time I got to my car the pain had faded off.

Saturday, 2-Apr. 15km
I was a bit late out on the beach today due to an urgently needed haircut.
Hey it worked, I became more aerodynamic and recorded a better time. I put in about 15km today. There was a bit of a chilly wind on the way back, I shortened my stride and picked up my cadence and motored along.
On the outbound I recorded 48:40m for 7.5km but that included a 5 minute chat with a woman barefoot runner who was going at quite an impressive speed. I mentioned she should look up BRS on the net and about IBRD on 1st May.
On the way back I recorded 47:21m with my shorter stride and slightly higher cadence.

Sunday, 3-Apr. 6.5km

With an extra hour up my sleeve from the return to standard day time I went for a morning run around West Lakes at 8am (9am old time).
It felt better to have the sun up for an extra hour to warm up the concrete I will admit, but the evening will close in fast now, 6.30pm and it will be getting dark.
It took me a while to get going this morning, at least a couple of kilometres before I lost the sensitivity in my soles.
It doesn't bother me too much as I know at some point on the run I will get the right feeling, so as always the best way to start off is slow and short steps.
By the end of the run I was almost on a full sprint and full of beans again. I only did a short 6.5km and was finished by 8.40am.

I still had some energy left so got the bike out and cycled to the gym and did a workout for 80 minutes and cycled back again.

I'm making an effort to get through a couple of books a friend has lent to me to do with nutrition and sport. I've almost competed one and was probably a little harsh on it Stu Mittleman's Slow Burn, how to turn you body into a fat burner rather than sugar burner.
There is an amount of writing about Muscle Testing which sounds like pseudo science and the information on running technique is quite wrong. I am amazed he was an ultra distance runner and not had knee problems if he ran in the style he advocated.
The other book is Green for Life, I have only just started this one so cannot form any conclusions yet.