Sunday, March 25, 2012

Slack week

Distance 39km [total: minimalist 269.6km: Barefoot 2425.5km] Week 12

Monday, 19-Mar. 6km

A warm day of 31C and it's a run around with the lake with a friend of mine except that I'm late out of work, held up in a meeting and by the time I get there they have already set off. In a way that is better in that I can run at a faster pace to see if I can catch up rather than run at a more sedate pace. Running along the western edge of the lake the wind has picked up and is hot as it blows towards me. I was feeling quite dry by the time I got to the turn point that takes me across Delfin Island. I was halfway around and no sign of my running partner yet, they had set off 15 minutes before me. Back onto the eastern side of the lake and I'm running on darker bricks and they have been baking in the sun all afternoon and they are quite warm, well, very warm. I had to increase my cadence to keep my feet in the air for as long as possible to let them cool off. Eventually 3/4 of the way around I spied my training partner up ahead, suffering in the heat. I caught up and relaxed and jogged the remaining distance. This was an un-timed run, just a bit of a fun.

Saturday, 24-Mar. 18.5km

Quite a bit of a running gap during the week due to commitments in the evenings. A overnight change in the weather on Tuesday brought the temperature down from 33C back to 20C. All this up and down of temperatures has left me with a head cold, stuffed up nose. The weather was pretty miserable for the rest of the week, cool and wet. I drove into work on Friday as it was raining hard during the morning and I would have got wet walking to the bus and then to work. So, my next run was today. After getting an early morning haircut while the rain was coming down outside I headed to the beach. The sky was filled with black rain clouds and it looked almost guaranteed that I would get wet, but, no, I escaped. It rained ahead of me and behind me but where I was running it stayed dry. I set up a good pace, helped by a tailwind. The beach was relatively quiet, a few dog people around but not the usual numbers, I only had one dog chase incident. My feet were a little numb as the beach was cold, a taste of the winter to come. On the return run the sun was out and this warmed the sand and felt good underfoot. I'm not feeling as tired over the 18.5km, only the last km am I wishing it was over. I'll have to see if I can boost the distance to 21km in the next month, the magic 1/2 marathon distance, I've not run that distance for well over 20 years.

Sunday, 25-Mar. 7.5km + 7km

I did my 2 runs in a day, one morning and one in the late afternoon. The morning run was around the lake where I got caught up in a triathlon part way around. That was good as it gave me a boost in speed around the last quarter of the lake as I ran with the participants in the run leg of the event. I ran the course in around 42 minutes which was pretty good. The feet were a bit sore after though. At around 5pm I drove to the beach to see if I could get a fast run in but unfortunately the tide was high with very soft sand. Not ideal conditions to run fast under. I did an average pace run, tried to make it more fun by running in and out of the waves. The time was unimportant. I need to see if I can squeeze in as many kilometres as I can next week in a buildup to the 10km run on Easter Friday.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Thunder and Lightning

Distance 49km [total: minimalist 269.6km: Barefoot 2386.5km] Week 11

Wednesday, 14-Mar, 4.2km

So, why the reason for such a short run, well, it was getting a little scary out there weather wise.
The day had started off hot and humid with the temp getting up to 34C then a storm started brewing out to the west and it came across the city during the afternoon, plenty of heavy rain.
By the time it came to go home the rain had stopped, it was still warm and there were dark clouds out to the west. I do like running in the rain when it is hot so I got home, changed into my running gear and headed to the coast. The wind had picked up by the time I parked the car and large splodges of rain were coming down. I still figured I could run a 10km before the bulk of the rain hit.
Out to see there were numerous lightning strikes hitting the water but I couldn't hear the thunder so thought it must be quite a few km away. At 1km away the dark clouds were getting closer as was the lightning. I got to just over 2km and the rain arrived and I could hear the thunder now, it was less than a km off the shore and I didn't want to be caught running barefoot in the rain with lightning strikes all around. Just because they are so unpredictable you can't think you are safe because the strikes are a distance away. I kept looking back over my shoulder as most of the strikes were behind me. As I neared my car there were flashes in front of me as well. Bizarrely there were people out swimming in the rough water, that must have been more dangerous than running as they would have been the highest point should some giant spark decide to seek the shortest path to earth.

Thursday, 15-Mar. 9.8km

The storm of yesterday has passed by the time I'm parking in the same spot as yesterday. My run is slightly shorter than the usual 10km as the council has decided for some bizarre reason to rip up the perfectly good paving along the road where I normally park and replace it with.... more of the same. It must be a new way the have of either wasting money or keeping people employed. Ok ok there is a slight difference, the pavement is wider my about 50cm. I could think of around 20 roads that could do with resurfacing before replacing a pavement would become a priority.
I ran from the sailing club at Grange to the Holiday park at West Beach then back. the feet felt fine until around 8km, as usual, then they start to complain and feel tender, will I ever have feet that can run a marathon without shoes? The form was good up until that same time when my feet get sensitive then I can feel the form slip as well.

Friday, 16-Mar. 12.5km

A good running day for my run home from work, 21C and sunny. My feet were over sensitive again especially on the rougher surfaces once I took the VFF's off after running through the city. I had to negotiate all the seed cases dropped by the trees which can get tiresome. The callus on my right toe is sensitive to any small thing I stand on and seems to hurt like crazy for ages. I need to get filing it away again. It all stems from my ankle injury back in September when I couldn't land properly or lift the big toe, I must have been landing too heavily on it and causes the callus to form.

Saturday, 17-Mar. 15.5km

A bit of a slow start today, I didn't feel brimming with enthusiasm when I started off and so took it nice and easy, my feet were still a bit sore from my runs in the week. The were ok on the sand but I felt them more on the rough road surface just before I get onto the grass behind the houses along the coast. I didn't do the longer 18.5km today but strangely enough I felt far better today than I did last week at the same point so maybe the mileage in my legs is starting to pay off. The next race on the calender is the Easter Bun Fun Ru.

Sunday, 18-Mar. 7km

I felt like I'm coming down with a bit of a cold last night, I was a bit clogged up. Earlier in the week I woke on a couple of mornings with a sore throat but they soon cleared up. I'm hoping it is only a mild cold. I didn't go for my usual early morning run but went around midday and did a couple of fast 2km jetty to jetty runs and some more relaxed running to the river. I was quite pleased with my fast paced runs where I recorded times of 9m 50s for one leg and 9m 57s coming back. I could have jumped a few places up if I could have maintained that speed during the race a couple of weeks ago. Weather was great for running 15C, light breeze and sunny. Plenty of people out at the beach but it's getting a bit chilly to go in the water to swim.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Back to running home

Distance 50.7km [total: minimalist 269.6km: Barefoot 2388.2km] Week 10
Monday, 5-Mar. 6km
A nice easy run around the lake at West Lakes, more sheltered that the beach which was pretty breezy this afternoon. What wind there was started as a tailwind then became a headwind as I swung around and ran into it.

Friday, 9-Mar. 12.5km
The Adelaide Fringe Festival is on at the moment so a few of my running days have been put off as I went to see some shows and absorb some of the culture. It's a great time of year, there is so much happening it is hard to keep up with it all. The Fringe is on for around 3 weeks at the same time there is the 3 days of Womadelaide, the Clipsal 500 car race and coming up The Adelaide Cup horse race. Go go go!
For the first time in an age I caught the bus into work and ran home along the river, this was, at one time, a weekly run but I have got out of the habit. As we are now in Autumn and the temperatures are not hitting the extremes it is a viable alternative to driving in then driving to the beach for a run when I get home. As before I run the first 5km in my Vibrams to get through the city and away from the places that have more glass. The run went quite well but it is harder as I have a backpack on weighing around 5kg which seems to stop my light springy running. It takes a while after I've removed the Vibrams to get the bare feet on the rough path to feel comfortable. My feet were unscathed by the time I got back, just a little tired

Saturday, 10-Mar. 18.5km
Obviously not that tired that I can't run another 18.5km the next day. I ran a good time on the outbound leg recording a time of around 41 minute but fatigue began to kick in again in the last 4km. I decided not to rest when I got to the 15km point of Grange jetty but to carry on, I knew as soon as I stopped it would be hard to get the legs moving again. I felt slow, now whether than was more in my mind I don't know but the next jetty seemed to take ages to reach. I had a rest there then had just 1.5km to get back to my start point. My legs and feet didn't want to run much more but I managed to coax a bit of a trot out of them. I was pretty thirsty by now as well having not had a drink for over 10km on a warm day.

Sunday, 11-Mar. 13.7km
I did 2 runs today. One at just before 9am around my lake course and later at midday a 6km run along the beach with a friend of mine at a more leisurely pace. The morning run was good but my feet were a bit tired after the long runs over the past few days so there was no record breaking pace. I was happy just to run around in 45 minutes for the 7.7km distance. The beach run was around 6km, the tide was out but it was warm as it was now midday. There were a lot of broken shells and small stones on the beach, washed up in the larger tides during full moon. My feet started to feel each sharp piece of shell and stone if I stepped on them.
I found my results for the Beach Bash: I came 27th out of 199 with a time of 20m 16s, I've trimmed around 20s off my time last year ;-)


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Beach Bash 2012

Distance 55.2km [total: minimalist 264.6km: Barefoot 2342.5km] Week 9

Monday, 27-Feb. 7km.
An easy run along the windy beach. The strange thing is I find it harder running at a slower pace than I do running faster. I could feel a pain in my ankle running slow but it disappeared if I ran faster. I've entered the Beach Bash that is scheduled for the Friday but I have done no speed work so I think I'll be way down the list of finishers this year. I was in two minds on whether I should skip it or enter this year. It's only $10 so it's not an expensive run.

Tuesday, 28-Feb. 5km.
Well, here is my attempt at a faster run to get my heart rate up to the higher 140's to see what I can cover the jetty to jetty distance in. It turned out to be around 10m 15s which is around 30s slower than my best time. I did have a tail wind helping me as well. The race organisers mentioned that the race would be run at high tide but that is not actually correct, the high tide is at 9.30pm, 3 hours after the start of the race so there should be some flat sand to run on. The weather will be cool so that will mean a south wind on the way back. I'll be happy to stay in the top 30 on Friday and I just hope there are not too many people like the guy who passed me while I was training today, he left me in the dust, had a very large stride and easy looking pace but was impossible to catch. By the time I had got to the jetty, he had passed me with around 1km to go, he was another 400m in front of me. I felt slow.

Thursday, 1-Mar. 13km
Umm, not the best of runs today, I had to contend with a strong wind blowing up the beach and inclines all along the beach so it felt like my ankles were tipping. I seemed to lack bounce today, just couldn't get the right feel, it was probably due to the strong south wind disrupting my landing. I couldn't seem to get my heart rate past 130 on the way up then on the way back I had to slow it down as I ran into the wind. Part of the run back was sheltered as I was off the beach and running along the road and grass, that lasted a distance of around 4km before I went back onto the beach. It was just a case then of keeping my head down and putting one foot in front of the other as the sand was blowing all around me. Not many people on the beach this evening and why would you in these conditions. Only the Surf Life Saving club was out there training.

Friday, 2-Mar. 4km
The day of the beach Bash run. I tried to stay as relaxed as possible leading up to the run as adrenaline is not good for my running. I saw a few people with bare feet, after all it was a beach run. The threatened high tide did not eventuate and there was plenty of firm sand to run on, dry but firm. The temperature was great, around 25C and the wind of yesterday stopped, just a slight breeze perfect for running. I always set out in the middle of the pack then pick people off one by one if I can until they thin out and it becomes difficult to catch people. Starting off fast means you feel the pain as your lungs gasp for air, it wasn't long before my watch was beeping, telling me my heart rate was over 147, it was in the 150 area, but then again... it is a race! The fast runners were on their way back when I was around 200m from the turnaround point. I didn't stop for a drink just kept on going, can't waste precious seconds drinking, my throat was dry though. I only managed to overtake 2 people on the way back and I think 1 person overtook me. An older guy who beat me last year by a good margin was in my sights but he pulled away in the last 500m. My unofficial time of 20m 26s on my watch was better than last year which surprised me as I'd not done any speed work and I was returning from the tendon injury. I'll have to see how it compares with the official time. What a relief to finish, I felt like I couldn't keep it up much longer and there was always that little voice in my head telling me to stop and walk for a while.
Beach Bash 2012 - End in Sight

Saturday, 3-Mar. 18.5km
I must have got some positive momentum going with yesterdays run, as this run was great. Ideal conditions again, a 20C morning, tide out and no wind, the sea was like glass, no sound of waves at all.
I put in a good northbound run, keeping my heart rate at around 135 I felt fast and smooth. My watch confirmed it was a good run with times of
  • Outbound  7.5km time 42m 33s  ie 5m 40s/km
  • Return       11km  time 1h 8m 17s.  or 6m 12s/km
I still can't imagine having to run that twice and more to get a full marathon in, but obviously it can be done as millions of people show each year. A handful of them barefoot too.

Sunday, 4-Mar. 7.7km
I had a bit of a later start today, it's good to have a lie in every now and again. I did a lake loop today. Some positive momentum must have built up after the Beach Bash as I felt like I was flying around the lake this morning and my sports watch confirmed that by showing I'd knocked off 3m 15s from this run. I didn't have any foot tenderness either today. The temperature was perfect and there was a breeze from the south, this would have been strong if I'd have been by the beach but the lake is sheltered by the sand dunes and so is less breezy.
I purchased some toe separators called Correct Toes a few weeks ago, they arrived this week so I have been trying them out. My smallest toes are not straight, they are rotated 45 degrees and pushed up against the next toe. This is from years of wearing incorrectly designed shoes which predominate in western society. It's not hard to design shoes correctly, but fashion dictates that shoes will be narrow at the end which means toes will be squeezed out of their normal position. I shall wear them over the next few months to see if I get any change in the position of my small toes.

Small Toe angled inwards due to shoes

With the Correct Toes fitted
I guess that it will be like the equivalent of braces for the toes so I won't expect results overnight but after a few months there should be some change.