Monday, January 9, 2012

New Year

Distance 24.8km [total: minimalist 256.3km: Barefoot 2056.5km] Week 1

Tuesday, 3-Jan. 8km
After a few days of 35C days the cooler relief was on it's way. I checked a tidal website to see when low tide would be at the local beach then timed my run to coincide, running on the pavement would be too hot today, blistered feet would be guaranteed. I got to the beach at 3.30pm, the tide was out as predicted so I had some flat sand to run on. It was still warm, 30C so decided to take it nice and easy. I played a little game of tortoise and the hare with a runner who tore past me as I made my way down the beach. I just kept a steady efficient pace, monitoring my form all the while. The hare ran out of puff and stopped, I was closing the distance. As I got around 5m from him he took off again, I knew he wouldn't last long, sure enough after 150m he stopped to walk again. I caught up and passed him, this spurred him on once more and he ran past me and again after 100m he stopped to walk, I passed again, I was wearing him out. He made one last attempt in our 2km run and was running level with me. I just concentrated on the pace and form and kept going, when I got a further 1.5km to have a rest there was no sign of him. I knew that a combination of a good efficient cadence and not having clunky running shoes on must pay off over the longer distance.
I bought an powdered electrolyte drink so I can replenish any lost salts and minerals in the hot weather, hopefully it will ward off any muscle cramps similar to the one I had a month ago that is only now starting to get back to full strength.

Wednesday, 4-Jan. 7.8km
This should be the coolest day of the week so it would be the day I tackle Mount Lofty, the high point in the Adelaide hills. The climb would be 432m over 3.5km. I arrived at Waterfall Gully, the start point of the trail at 10.30am, it was around 22C, perfect temperature. The run takes you to the top of the waterfall then into the forest for the steep climb with a few flat relief points. They have changed the surface from the last time I walked up here. On the steep sections that were formerly gravel they have changed it to a fixed surface, obviously made for people wearing boots, when barefoot it's whole different story. The surface is a series of concrete slabs embedded with prominent sharp stones to give grip to boots, my feet tackled it but only just, they were feeling a bit tender by the time I reached the top. There was no way they would be able to take the decent where it is harder to control your landing. I decided to take a less well used side trail that would add a bit of distance but hopefully would be easier on my feet. It was only marginally easier, this trail was spread with small sharp stones and was quite hot from baking in the full sun, I made very slow time and started to get thirsty as I brought no water with me. I was only around 2.5km from the trail end so I wasn't worried about that, more worrying was the surface temperature which had increased substantially since I started on my run. My feet felt like they were scorching underneath and I was so glad to get off the rough trail and onto some smooth stone at the end. This would be memorable for being one of the toughest barefoot runs I've done, next time it will be in Vibrams, no point being a hero. I shall now pamper my feet and let them relax tomorrow, maybe take them out on Saturday for a run. Another point of interest is my calf felt fine, could this be due to the extra potassium from the electrolyte drink?

Halfway up Waterfall Gully trail
Feet Make it to the top of Mount Lofty
Still in one piece, just

Lizard on a side trail
Saturday, 7-Jan. 9k
The weather forecast was for early rain so I stirred myself up early, had some breakfast and got ready for a longer beach run. I had planned a 12.5km run but I ran out of energy at 9k and walked the remaining distance back. The factors that sapped my energy was the warm start to the day, 28C and the blowing northerly wind that just sucked the moisture from my lungs and throat. In the end it didn't rain, except for 1 or 2 spots. On the way back I got to around 9km and just felt tired, I've not build the distance up in my legs yet and after the Wednesday climb and foot tenderness there was no point pushing it. I walked the remaining 3.5km back to the start.
I noticed that I had a lump of hard skin on my left foot near my small toe, it looks like a bunion but it can't be can it? I think it may have been caused either by the run on Wednesday or else my landing style due to my ankle problems over the past few months. I have probably been landing heavier on that foot and towards the edge of the foot rather than the ball of the foot.

Just about see the lump on outer edge of foot

You will have to excuse the dirty underside of the foot shot but that is what you get when you walk around barefoot most of the day.

More noticeable is the small toe pointing inwards

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