Saturday, June 25, 2011

First week of Winter

Distance 35.5km [total: minimalist 136.5km: Barefoot 1566.4km] Week 25

Tuesday, 21-Jun. 6km. 
I just had to squeeze a few kilometres in on the shortest day of the year. I couldn't go too far as I had to be out of the house early tonight to catch a movie so I was quite happy to turn around at the 3km point and head back.
I believe the winter solstice is supposed to be the official start of winter. I know I can cope with running long distance on cold surfaces now without any problem (when I say cold I mean around 10C which to a lot of the barefoot running community is actually reasonably warm). It had been raining earlier on but was reasonably dry by the beach, there was a good chill wind blowing up from the south.

Wednesday, 22-Jun.10km.
The full run this time. A clear sky and I managed to set off at around 4.40pm to make the most of the light before the sunset. The sun was just on the horizon as I made half way, another kilometre and it was gone. There was enough warmth in the brick and concrete on the outbound journey to make the run pleasant and easy. On the way back the temperature has dropped a couple of degrees and that that makes a difference, the numbness starts to get more of a grip so you have to rely on memory for correct form rather than feedback from the soles of the feet.

Saturday, 25-Jun. 14.5km.
I started late today as I wanted to get some shopping out of the way before the crowds built up. The weather was near perfect, clear blue sky, the breeze was a bit strong from the north, the one consolation being is that is would be behind me on the way back. Setting off at 11am meant the sand had warmed up as had the bitumen on the foreshore on the way back. I didn't have my timing watch on me but I think I set a good pace on the way out and on the way back until I hit the rough stony trail at the 3/4 point.
I find that when I hit that point, if I am too tired then my concentration is not good enough to run at a good pace without banging my heels on something. That was the case today, I was slightly out of sync with my feet so I took it nice and easy until I hit the beach again.
I did consider running an extra 4km towards the end but as the time was around 12.30pm, hunger was starting to build so I called it a day.
Since the shortest day we have gained 2 minutes extra day length yeehaw!

Sunday. 26-Jun. 5km
 I'd not done any shorter faster runs for a while so as I had done a gym workout in the morning and it was a nice sunny winter day it was time to hit the beach.
I forgot to take my sports watch so there would be no clock watching on this run. I jogged up to the jetty as a warm up then took off for the jetty 2km down the beach.
I felt like I was flying along and didn't feel like out of breath like I did a year or so ago, this is what running is all about. I'm sure I would have run under the 10 minutes for that. I was pretty breathless when I got to the other end.
I had a rest for a few minutes then set off back, easy at first but gradually winding it up until I was going at top pace by the half way mark. A great run. (Post Added)

I filled in another online survey during the week concerning barefoot running. It seems there must be quite a few studies going on at the moment to collect data on injury rates. Is it possible to change running form and reduce injuries: most definitely yes it is.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Almost winter solstice

Distance 28.5km [total: minimalist 136.5km: Barefoot 1530.9km] Week 24

I always feel a bit of relief when I get past June 21st as I know the evenings will be getting just that bit lighter day by day. That doesn't mean of course that it will be getting warmer, I expect the colder winter weather to be over this side of the solstice.

Tuesday, 14-Jun. 10km.
Usually my night of going to the cinema with friends but winter bugs are catching up with people so it was called off this week. It gave me a chance to get out for a run after work. I put in 10km on the road. It felt cold under foot especially on the wet concrete. In the summer the concrete is great as it cooler than most other surfaces but in winter it is colder than most of the other surfaces, but, as it is smooth, if you have good form, the numb feet should be little to worry about.
I was in the dark for the last kilometre, I need a small LED lamp so I can see the path in front. I made note of a broken bottle on the path on the way out and stayed over the other side on the way back.

Saturday, 18-Jun. 18.5km.
After starting my run and getting a few kilometres away, I was feeling kind of tired, lacking in energy, maybe no dinner last night was the reason. It also looked like I was going to get rained on, I kept going and bother my energy improved and the dark clouds moved on and the sun shone, wonderful.
My feet were numb when I got to Semaphore jetty and it felt good to walk along the wooden boards as they were slightly warmer. The home journey was on the foreshore walkways and then trails through the sand dunes. The distance goes by quicker with the narrower horizon.
In the last few kilometres I'm back on the beach and it feels nice and easy before I take to the road again and my feet are starting to feel a bit tender after 17km.
I shouldn't complain about the running barefoot in the cold as compared to the Barefoot Sisters Isis and Jackrabbit in their book Southbound this is nothing. They are in early winter now after hiking all through spring and summer from Maine on the A.T. to Georgia, they are walking barefoot through frost and ice. Their feet have toughened up an have an insulating layer to keep the cold out.
I prefer running in the warm but I can run in the cold and it is far easier now than it was for me this time last year. I think this year I will be strong enough to tackle some of the longer races up to half marathon, a distance I have not run in probably 25 years.
It seems the barefoot running snowball is starting to gather pace as it rolls down the hill, lots of new people on the forums asking about pains and injuries. All caused by impatience, similar to myself in the early days.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Incredible Shrinking man

Distance 22km [total: minimalist 136.5km: Barefoot 1502.4km] Week 23

Thursday, 9-Jun. 10km. 
Earlier in the week it was pretty cold, only around 13C for daytime maximum. I usually run on a Monday but it was raining so I gave it a miss.
Thursday the weather was not looking all that good, intermittent rain through the day and low grey clouds racing across the sky, not very inspirational weather.
I set off from work at 4pm and the windscreen wipers were going on the drive home, I was in two minds whether to abandon tonight's run and just take it easy in the indoor warmth.
It is always a little drier in the west as most of the rain falls on the Adelaide hills and I noticed the ground was dry when I got home. To the beach it was then!
I ran 10km on the road Grange to West Beach caravan park and back. I could see rain pouring from the clouds out to sea but made it around without any coming down on me. Once again, it was dark by the time I got back.

Saturday, 11-Jun. 12km. 
Up a bit later today, slept a bit longer than usual. No sun coming through the window to wake me, cloudy outside. I got out for my run at just after 10am, the temperature was around 11C. I ran an all road course again, just extending my Thursday run by another kilometre each way. I was going to run further, all the way to Glenelg but I hit a patch of brick pavement close to the beach that was all worn by the sea spray exposing a sandpaper like surface, tiny pieces of shiny crystal pieces sticking up. This was very hard to run on and in the end I called it a day at that point. Next time I will bypass that area. The feet were fine when I got back just a little tender from some of the rough surfaces, they will be fine in a few hours.

My neighbour commented on that I seem to be losing weight, a few people have said that now. I wonder if barefoot running burns up more calories as you are using more muscles. I have probably dropped about 8kg in weight from last year, I am now just under 70kg. I need to eat more. I think since banana prices went through the roof and I abandoned them and I have been drinking the green smoothies which probably don't have a lot of calories in the weight has been falling. I'm not lacking in energy or anything though which would be a sign of under nourishment. I may book in for a check up at the doctors just to see everything is ok.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Weekend running

Distance 43.5km [total: minimalist 136.5km: Barefoot 1480.4km] Week 22

The weather this week was calm, plenty of blue sky during the day but quite cold at night, getting down to 6C and below.
On my usual work day I only put my shoes on as I get out of the car at work. I walk around at home and to the car and drive barefoot. It doesn't take long for the numbness to take hold while walking around on 6C concrete. I could still cover a few kilometres but I wouldn't want to be running longer distances.

Monday, 30-May. 5km
A pleasant sunny day but as I am working I miss most of it, instead shut in an air conditioned office. I escaped from work just after 4pm and got to the beach by 4.45pm, the sun would be up for another 25 minutes, better than nothing.
I did a beach run on the outgoing tide then came up onto the pavement for the return run getting some good speed up during the last kilometre.

Thursday, 2-Jun. 10km.
The warmest of the days this week, up to 21C at its high point. It is going to cool off and be much wetter over the next few days. I ran from Grange to West beach in an out and back. Feet were perfect. The sun was with me until the turnaround point when it sunk into the sea in the west. Darkness comes quite quickly, cars all had their headlights on and the street lamps were turning on as I ran back.
In the last kilometre I'm running in near darkness, concentrating on the ground directly in front of me, looking for small stones. I have to slow down as it gets darker as it is harder to judge the surface with lower visibility. I still get curious looks from a few people. It must be getting to the point now where I am a familiar sight and I don't cause any reaction.
I covered the distance in 27:43m out and 29m back (total 56:43) a couple of minutes better than last time.

Saturday, 5-Jun. 18.5km.
Far from the cold wet weather forecast the sun is shining, the sky is mainly blue.
I'm on my usual run, jetty to jetty along the beach then onto the bitumen and trails for 60% of the return journey.
I seem to be coping better with the cooler conditions, the pads on my feet went a bit numb but not too bad. I enjoy running the grass section on the return journey as I don't feel the cold on the grass, maybe the contact is much less.
I'm getting a bit better at the rocky trail section but I did manage to come down a bit heavy on my heel at one point.
I decided to squeeze in an extra 4km when I got back to my start point by running to the next jetty and back. I was feeling pretty tired by then an my form was starting to deteriorate.

Sunday, 6-Jun. 10km.
This time the rain did come and I got caught in it. It was a sunny but blowy day, in the distance across the sea, black clouds were moving in. I thought I may make it around without getting wet but I could see the rain coming down and I ran into it at around 5km. There were plenty of breaks in the clouds and the rain eased as I got closer to the end. The rain did make certain patches slippery, some of the tiled pavement that was less porous was something to take care on.
I was thankful to get back to my car at the end and get the heater on to revive the feet.
I may have a rest now until later in the week, it is getting colder so it won't be much fun in the cold, wet and dark.
The kilometres are piling up much faster now that I am not being hampered by shin pains and the many other injuries I picked up running in shoes.