Sunday, May 27, 2012

Rainy week

Distance 37.5km [total: minimalist 269.6km: Barefoot 2852.8km] Week 21

Monday, 21-May. 9.8km

A good run this evening. I got to my start point at 4.38pm and the sun was still up by the time I got to the turn around point of the local caravan park. The weather bureau had forecast cold and wet weather for the rest of the week, tonight would be the best of the days. Caught up with a friend running on the way back so took it a bit easier for the last few kilometres.

Saturday, 26-May. 19.5km

As predicted the weather was wet and cold this week. Yesterday the rain was thrashing down as I drove home, there was no way I would be running in that. On the Thursday it rained off and on through the day and I almost got changed into my running gear but decided against it at the last minute, luckily so as 30 minutes later the rain was hammering down again in the dark outside.
Today I broke a distance record for my barefoot running 19.5km. Ok it was mainly a beach run with a short section of road and grass but that is the longest distance I would have run in 25 years. I checked on the weather radar before I set off this morning and saw heavy rain approaching from the west. When I set off the sun was shining and it felt pleasantly warm and the running felt good. Out to the west I could see the approaching black clouds and rain across the sea. It was hard to work out how far away and how fast it was moving. As I approached the road at Semaphore the black cloud was almost upon me and it was raining lightly. I decided to cut the run short of the Jetty and add some extra distance on at the other end of my run if I didn't get a good soaking. I began back on the return journey and as I put more kilometres in I started to run past the black clouds that made land about 5km back from where I had come from. I even came back to running in the sun again. I ran to Henley jetty then carried on to the river outlet which normally makes up my 7km run. So today I did both my 7km run and my 12.5km run totalling 19.5km and now sitting here typing this I feel fine.
I downloaded an ebook called Running With The Kenyans a story from a sports magazine writer who went to live in Kenya for a year to see what he could learn about what makes the Kenyans such great runners.

Sunday, 27-May. 8.2km

Recovered pretty well from my long run yesterday ready for my easy run today. Quite a few rowers out on the lake as I made my way around along with one or two Dragon boats. That would be cold work in the middle of winter with the south wind whipping up the waves on the lake, I'll stick to the running. Only a few runners on the lake path today, it was quite chilly on the way back with a breeze from the south. I put in a good sprint at the end, about 19s slower than last week but I could have gone faster. After the run it was down to the gym for a session of chest and some leg extensions. I don't do much heavy lifting with the legs these days as it only slows me down with the running, I don't want to get bulky. Weight came in at around 70kg.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

3000km before mid year?

Distance 43.3km [total: minimalist 269.6km: Barefoot 2815.3km] Week 20

Monday, 14-May. 9.8km

I'm leaving work earlier to try and catch as much light for my run as I can. I have a kind of race against the sunset to see how much distance I can cover before the sun dips below the horizon. I can get to the beach at about 4.45pm and I have around 40 minutes before the sun has disappeared into the southern ocean. Very good run tonight, felt quick and pushed my hear rate up into the 140's. I had a bit of a race with a younger runner, I lost out as he was going pretty fast, I couldn't see what his form was like or whether he was heel striking but he ended his run at a car park, I ran on a further 200m. It was hard to say if he could have kept up the speed or if he was just doing a bit of speedwork at the end when he passed me. So far I am not finding the ground too cold but that may be because it was a sunny day and the ground had soaked up the suns energy.

Wednesday, 16-May. 9.8km

Here I am back on the exact same run as on Monday, again nice warm day with a spectacular sunset. The chill sets in pretty quickly once the sun disappears below the horizon. Again a nice quick run but a bit more restrained than the Monday. Rain is due in on Thursday night, Friday morning so I wanted to get my runs in before the end of the week. It was quite dark by the time I gt back to the car. I take it a bit easier once the sun goes down and it's harder to pick out the ground in front of me, no point being a hero and standing on some unseen stone or other object.

Saturday, 19-May. 15.5km

The rain that was supposed to arrived on Thursday and Friday waited until Saturday, it wasn't all that bad though. It rained while I was eating my breakfast but by the time I headed out to the beach there was some sun around and after 7km I could feel plenty of warm sun. The beach sand was cold but I could feel a bit of warm on the wet bitumen path on the foreshore. On the way back I bumped into one of the barefoot runners from IBRD, Jenny, she was going in the opposite direction, as the weather was starting to turn dark again she decided to run back with me. By the time we got to the jetty drizzle was falling and I could see more rain down the beach. I left her at Grange so I could continue on to Henley but I quit before getting there as the cold had started to set into me and the rain was more persistent. It felt good to have a nice warm shower after getting back.

Sunday, 20-May. 8.2km

A late start for me today, it looked chilly out and a bit cloudy but by 10am the cloud had burned off and the sky was blue and there was some warm sun. This made my run far more enjoyable. I padded along my usual loop, observing the morning walkers along the lake path. Past the model boat enthusiasts at the top end of the lake as the intently use their radio controls to maneuver their scaled down sail boats in the calm waters of the lake. I decided to use the lap timer on my watch to see what time I could run the wide concrete path along Sportsmans Drive. It took me 6:10m, then using Google Earth to measure the distance I got 1.28km. That gave me a pace of  4:48/km (7:43m/mile), not too bad for a barefoot runner of 2.8 years.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Keep up the winter distance

Distance 47.6km [total: minimalist 269.6km: Barefoot 2772km] Week 19

Monday, 7-May. 9.8km

A warm sunny day that faded into early evening cool as I put in a speedy run from the Grange sailing club to the caravan park. As usual at this time in the afternoon the tide is always high, I've not worked out why, I always thought the high tide moved forward by 25minutes each day, maybe it doesn't. As it was a full moon the waves were pounding the beaches, eating into more and more of the sand dunes. Some houses are only 20m from the sea now.
The feet seem to be toughening up more now that I am spending more time running on roads and pavements.

Thursday, 10-May. 11.5km

I'm having to deal with a bit of traffic chaos around the roads near me as there are major roadworks while they lay a new water pipe. I have to keep shifting my route to avoid the long traffic lines. The weather still has not broke yet and I'm happy about that. I parked further north tonight and added another 1.5km to my out an back run. The running is more and more enjoyable, I can get into the zone so easily now where as back in my shoe wearing days it was a run was becoming a chore I had to get out of the way. On the way back, as I'm running in close to dark I had an older gentleman on a bike asking me some questions regarding barefoot running, the conversation was a nice distraction near the end. He seemed to know quite a bit about the benefits but had not actually seen anybody out there practicing it. We had a good conversation before I came to my car and the end of my run.

Saturday, 12-May. 18.5km

The running engine was a bit slow to start today, lacking the inspiration of a bright sunny day, instead cool, breezy and rain showers. The way to overcome the body preferring to be somewhere warm you have to start off slow. The breakfast was also slowing me down in the early stages, I finished eating around an hour earlier. The sand was cold and it took my feet a good 7km to start to warm up. I started with a light jog, quick short steps and after a few kilometres began to stretch the stride a bit more. It took me around 47 minutes to run to the jetty at Semaphore, slow by my usual pace. The return journey was faster at 44 minutes. My longer distance is improving I noticed, where as I felt like collapsing at the 15km mark I now had plenty of fuel in the tank to run the last 3.5km, even going at sprint pace over the last kilomtere. An enjoyable run.

Sunday, 13-May. 7.8km

The Sunday lake loop. Again the weather was grey and cool with a strong breeze from the south. I need to start dressing for the cooler weather to keep the muscles warm so that I don't feel stiff from the cold. I was sheltered from the breeze on the west side of the lake but once I slowly made the turn I was running into the wind. The feet were a bit sensitive today, especially on the weathered concrete. I still managed a good sprint on the smooth footpath along the last kilometre. Just over another month and we hit the shortest day, I can then start counting the minutes as it gradually gets lighter again.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Return of the cold feet

Distance 49.5km [total: minimalist 269.6km: Barefoot 2724.4km] Week 18

Monday, 30-Apr. 7km

A nice evening, what little there is by the time I get out for my run. The sun is setting at around 5.30pm so I have around 50 minutes of light.

Thursday, 3-May. 10km

A cold windy day, not much of an inspiration to get out for a run, but as I have another 5 months of winter to come I better get used to it. Not that winter is much of an ordeal over here in Adelaide, we don't get deep snow or blizzards or many days where the temperature stays below 10C during the day, what am I complaining about. I ran mainly on the footpaths but did the last 600m on the beach where I really opened up and got some good speed in, or at least it felt that way, it feels like you are running faster when it is dark.

Friday, 4-May. 10km

Not the best of runs this evening, my tendons were a bit achy, maybe because of the sprinting yesterday, I'd describe the run as workman like rather than fun or inspirational. I thought I was going to get a soaking from the black rain clouds that loomed up in front of me. In my mind I said that I would run until I hit the rain then turn around, the wind would be behind me at that point and compensate for being wet. As it turned out the rain was further south than I thought, maybe another 2km from where I turned around. As I was approaching the halfway point the sun was setting in the west and the rays created a couple a beautiful rainbows in the direction I was running. On the way back I picked up the beach just after I crossed the river. As I wasn't feeling very springy this evening I opted for a softer surface, it was better but still the legs felt stiff. I was glad to get back in the car and turn on the heating to warm my feet up as I drove back home in the dark.

Saturday, 5-May. 18.5km

A bit more life in my legs today although the cool mornings make the muscles stiffer. It was about 12.5C when I hit the beach for my long run. I took it nice and easy and I don't think my heart rate went much over 130 for the entire run. I'm going to have to start dressing more for the winter conditions, get the leggings back on again to keep the wind from chilling me down. There was plenty of sun about and a low tide, if it was 10C warmer it would have been perfect. As it was it took me around 5km to get warm, my feet stayed cold as the sand is cold underfoot. It got gradually warmer as I got to the end of the run. I was feeling a bit tired in the last km and needed a drink and some food.

Sunday, 6-May. 4km

Chris, Jenny & David on IBRD 2012

Neil, Chris, Jenny & David on IBRD 2012
International Barefoot Running Day or IBRD for short. Would anyone turn up? At least the rain held off and it was a reasonable temperature. It seems like people are a little conservative here in S.A for barefoot running. The newsletter put out by SARRC that included a piece on IBRD didn't elicit one response. You would think that of 500+people who read the newsletter that there would have been a few inquiries. I got to the meeting point at 10am, there were plenty of people milling around, quite a few looking like they were about to go for a run, with no shoes. But when I approached they were all there for something else. The first to turn up was David, a runner who participated last year, next a new face with Jenny who had been running barefoot off and on for 18 months and finally a friend of mine Chris, that was it. We chatted for a while then when it was apparent that no more would be joining use the pioneering four set off and a nice easy talking pace. We all made it along the path to the next jetty, a 2km distance then we did a beach run back. We then retired to the beach cafe for a coffee and chat about running and tips that might help our progress.