Sunday, November 27, 2011


Distance 17.5km [total: minimalist 256.3km: Barefoot 1935.2km] Week 48

Wednesday, 23-Nov. 7.5km
A very windy Wednesday, especially at the beach where the wind blowing up from the south was around 35kph.
The beach has some good crust sand and also wet sand, there was quite an incline on the wet sand though and that seems to irritate my ankle.
It was tough work running into the wind but with the barefoot style it is much easier than how I used to run back in the days of shoes. Running into the wind back then would have seen me stop numerous times to rest, now, with gravity on my side, its a breeze so to speak.
I still have not shaken the ankle pain off, it is persistently hanging on. My portable ultrasound unit arrived at the beginning of the week and I have commenced treatment, starting on a medium setting for 10 minutes twice a day. I just move the head of the unit in a circular motion around the area where the pain is coming from. This is meant to break up any build up of scar tissue, the tissue is the bodies response to the injury, it encases the joint in strong fibrous support material so stop excess movement while the tendon heals. The only problem is that it is not removed after it has healed and you are left with a stiff joint.
It is making a difference, the ankle feels less painful after and has more flexibility.
I am hoping that in a couple of weeks I will be back to full fitness and back to running on the roads again.

Saturday, 26-Nov. 8km
I got my short summer haircut today in preparation for the warmth of the summer months. Although I was getting to like the longer hair. The day was blustery with black clouds all around threatening rain, the wind was still blowing as it has been for most of the week. There was plenty of firm sand to run on today which makes for faster running. I kept the stride short and cadence up at 180. The ankle still niggled but not in the way it has done a week ago.
I was satisfied with the run and extended it out a little to 8km. I finished up just in time to avoid the downpour that followed.
I have been treating the injury site with the ultrasound, a 10 minute session in the morning and another in the evening. It is making a difference even though you don't feel anything as you are massaging the area with the ultrasound unit.
I also got to try out my new Thera Roll which arrived yesterday. It takes a bit of getting used to and when you do roll it over a tight area it really digs in, it is very hard to relax and let the muscle release. Some areas are just too painful, the ITB down the upper sides of the legs, they probably need a lot of attention.

Sunday, 27-Nov. 2km
Drills, back to the Pose drills. I had intended to go for a run today as the weather was perfect but once again the ankle was playing up, a cramping spasm made it sore. As an alternative I decided to go across to the nearby field and get some long overdue drills to sharpen up my form. It has been so long since I last did some I couldn't remember which drills I used to do. Interestingly my ankle felt better doing the faster sprints that it does on the longer runs. I also found some advice on the net that I will follow to see if it makes an improvement. Where as I have been doing eccentric calf drops that strengthens the calf the advice was to do 4 x 1 minute up on my toes, this must be done 4 times a day. I will try this for 1 week to see if I find noticeable difference.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Slow start

Distance 23km [total: minimalist 256.3km: Barefoot 1917.7km] Week 47

Monday, 14-Nov. 4km
Just a short run along the beach. I have a tight left calf since I ran on Saturday. I'm am not going to stretch as it might cause more damage. Its not too bad to run on but makes itself more noticeable as soon as I stop.

Wednesday, 16-Nov. 6km
The calf soreness is still with me and I actually cut the run short this evening as it was irritating me too much. After getting back I tried some trigger point therapy by rolling my calf along a rolling pin, wow that was painful, I must have lots of knots in there. Each time I rolled it onto a painful spot I held the position and tried to relax, relaxing at first makes the pain stronger before it starts to subside.

Friday, 18-Nov. 7km
Well the rolling pin trigger point therapy seems to be working. I have worked most of the stiffness out of my calves. It was a hot day today, getting up to 37C, it would have been a few degrees cooler at the beach maybe around 32C when I went for my run. I had some decent sand to run on, not too soft. The calf felt a lot better but I still have niggling ankle pain. It is not the end of the week and still no sign of my portable ultrasound unit. I shall send an email to the company in the USA to see if they can help me track it down. It would be helpful to know if it was sent by air or by sea, if it is by sea then a month for deliver is common. If it went by air then in must be held up somewhere. If I can find out which city it went to then I may be able to contact the postal service to find out where it is.
I have also purchased a Thera Roll. This is the the thing tat will replace my rolling pin as a treatment aid to get the muscles into shape and iron out the tensions. They are a bit pricey but I hoping it will be money well spent, after all a massage costs around $60 per hour.

Thera Roll - Firm version (purple)

Sunday, 20-Nov. 6km (walk)
A bit of early morning rain woke me up at around 7am, I checked outside, it looked like the rain would be around for a while, but while eating my breakfast, it blew away and was replaced by blue sky and sunshine.
I resisted the temptation to run and instead had a good barefoot walk for an hour, covering around 6km. The ankle felt good but each time I tried a light run on the pavement I could feel some pain return. I really enjoy feeling the surfaces I'm walking on, from smooth to rough, cold to warm and yet all around me people have runners strapped to their feet that are making their feet hot and sweaty and depriving them of any sensation. I just wonder how much landfill has been used in the disposal of all the millions of worn out running shoes, what a waste of resources.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Getting better

Distance 7km [total: minimalist 256.3km: Barefoot 1894.7km] Week 46

Saturday, 12-Nov. 7km.
After a week of restraining myself from any running I went out today to see how my ankle would respond. I had plenty of sand to run on as we were at low tide.
The weather was clear and warm, I set off at a nice pace but soon found my heart rate monitor telling me I was at the high end of my training zone, I slowed down but still found it beeping at me. It seems my aerobic fitness has dropped in the few weeks of no running, normally my heart rate would be much slower at this pace.
I ran the full 7km without any increase in ankle pain, the inflammation has reduced but not gone completely.
I had hoped my ultrasound unit would have arrived this week but I believe it is probably languishing in the Australian customs. It moved swiftly from the States to Australia then ground to a halt. Hopefully next week I shall see it.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Barefoot Walking

Distance 15km [total: minimalist 256.3km: Barefoot 1887.7km] Week 45
Saturday, 5-Nov. 7km Walk
Another week of warm spring weather goes past and it another day I spend on the sidelines. I drove to the beach early as it was going to be a hot day.
The sand was soft and dry. I tried running but the pain returned around the ankle, frustratedly I walked off the beach. I wasn't going to drive home again without doing some exercise so I walked along the foreshore path doing a 7km out and back. It would get my feet back into shape if nothing else.
At first I could feel my frustration as runners would whiz past me as I walked, I so much wanted to be running but I was locked into a quick walking pace. I get no pain while walking only when there is the added forces associated with running. As the walk progressed my mood lifted and I even ran about 300m on the soft sand on the way back. The injury is healing but it is a slow progress. I am expecting delivery of a small ultrasound unit next week so I should be able to treat the area and see if I can get some strength and flexibility back.

Sunday, 6-Nov. 8km Walk
In contrast to yesterday the weather has cooled off. Good walking weather. This time I drove the short distance to the river around 4km from where it enters the sea. This was another barefoot walk and once again the feet were great on what was quite rough bitumen. I had been prepared to cut the walk short if I found my feet getting too sensitive after yesterdays walk but I didn't have to. It began to drizzle as I approached the beach, it didn't turn to full on rain which was good as I would have not been able to make a quick retreat.
I don't get any ankle pain from walking, it seems to come just when I run, when the ankle is at a different angle and loaded. It still looks swollen compared with the none injured ankle.