Sunday, June 24, 2012

Shortest day gone!

Distance 40.2km [total: minimalist 285.6km: Barefoot 3036.3km] Week 25

Monday, 18-Jun. 10km

A cool wet day at the start that cleared to sunny by the end. Despite the rain the temperature was a bit above average and the bit of sun at the end made it better. The sun wasn't enough to dry the ground and as I ran along the path following the beach I had some good fun splashing through the puddles. The sun started to set as I hit the half way point and after another few kilometres darkness began to creep up on me. I decided to take to the beach for the last 2km for a bit of speed that I can't get on the footpath in the dark. There was a runner in front of me who was running with his dog, I couldn't catch him though, even going at a faster pace. The challenge is good though. More wet weather is on the way by Wednesday.

Saturday, 23-Jun. 22km

A very chilly start, just 8C when I got to the beach today. A slate grey sky with rain threatening and a cold headwind to contend with. I brought my Vibram Sprints with me today as I was a little tired of freezing feet. The overnight temperature had got down to 5C and the sand wouldn't have been much warmer now. As I ran north the wind picked up from 15km/h to 25km/hr and it cut right through me. It took me around 7km to warm up. I must admit, I'm not keen running in the Vibrams, I could feel a bit of ankle soreness, they must alter the way I land. At around the 10km mark I took them off and carried them for the rest of the run. Within a few kilometres the ankle soreness stopped, umm. Running now with a tailwind was better but the cold had started to get to me and I had to run the last 3km back into a headwind. I was so glad to climb into the shelter of my car in the end, I just sat there for 10 minutes feeling a bit of warmth from the pale sun shining through the windscreen.
It has certainly been a wet week, showers and heavy rain for 3 days. One positive is that the evenings will now slowly get lighter, the shortest day passed on the 21st, now minute by minute the longer and hopefully warmer days will return. I don't like winter, I like heat.

Sunday, 24-Jun. 8.2km

A much milder night and some sunshine in the morning made today far more tolerable for a run. Your spirits are lifted seeing the sun and feeling a little warmth on the bottom of my feet. The concrete was still fairly cold but running along the lake I was sheltered from the winds that would be blowing along the beach. Even in this cool weather I still sweat like crazy by the halfway point, how much more can I sweat when the hot weather returns. I didn't see many runners on my lap around the lake this time. Even the model boat enthusiasts were absent, the water must have been too choppy. I did my 1.28km sprint and amazed myself at knocking about 8s of my time, it took me 5:58.5m or 4:46.8m/km. After the run I headed down to the gym and did a light workout, just arms, one back exercise and plenty of stretching.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

3000 Barefoot Kilometres

Distance 53.5km [total: minimalist 275.6km: Barefoot 3006.1km] Week 24

Monday, 11-Jun. 12.3km 

A day off work today, the public holiday for the Queens birthday, not the official day of her birth which I think is earlier in the year. It was moved to June as there were quite a few public holidays grouped around April time. A long run would be good today so I set off from Grange to Glenelg, a distance of around 15.5km. I was trying to keep a relaxed pace but maybe in hindsight I should have gone faster as on the way back I ran out of energy. I just got back to the river crossing point and then I just felt flat, the will power gave out and I couldn't get the motor started again. I ended up walking the last 3.5km back along the beach. I think I may have worn myself out with the weekend running and gym session where I did some leg extensions.

Wednesday, 13-Jun. 11km

A nice warm day, at least it was forecast to be warmer than the rest of the days this week so, just in case the rain does come in tomorrow I can have a rest for a few days. I parked at Grange car park tonight and ran my usual run to the Caravan park at West Beach. The sun had set by the time I got there and darkness would be here in about 20 minutes. I ran back and detoured onto the beach just before Henley jetty to see if I could run a good time between jetties. My time was not that good, mainly because I was running in the dark and couldn't see the ground all that well. I ran it in 10:20. It felt fast but that is a trick of the darkness.

Saturday, 16-Jun. 22km

We got some early morning sun that I was hoping would make the ground a bit warmer after a cold night. It was around 10C by the time I got to the beach. The sand hadn't warmed up much and felt much colder and soon my feet were numb. It too around 5km before I started to get a bit of feeling in the bottom of my feet. How sweet the spring time will be when I feel warm sand under foot once again. A slowish time to reach Semaphore, a better time on the way back once my feet had some sensory feedback to give. I chased down a few runners on the way back to add some interest. I creep up on them in stealth mode, I think they get a bit demoralised when they see a guy passing them, and he has no shoes. Still felt a bit tired on the last few kilometres. These are the kilometres that I'm hoping will improve my form, when fatigued the body makes the running stride better and more efficient.

Sunday, 17-Jun. 8.2km

With today's run I have reached the milestone of 3000 kilometres of barefoot running. I would have never thought just over 2.5 years ago I would have managed that, after years of injuries running in shoes I am now injury free and enjoying running more than I have in years.
Today I did my lake loop. Some early morning sunshine brought the runners out along the lake path. I tagged along with another runner while I was warming up but left him behind after a kilometre. I'll give him his due he managed to keep up so that by the time I reached West Lakes Boulevard he was about 30m behind, after that he disappeared off in some other direction. The sunny weather was beginning to be replaced by rain bearing clouds. I did a sprint along Sportsmans Drive recording 6:09 for the 1.28km. After my cool down I headed off to the gym for a short weight session. I did some chest, situps and weighted lunges. By the time I got out the rain had started, it stayed damp for the rest of the day.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Some good distances

Distance 56km [total: minimalist 275.6km: Barefoot 2952.6km] Week 23

Tuesday, 5-Jun. 10km

It's getting chilly now. Less than 3 weeks before we hit the shortest day and my spirits will lift as I know that it won't get any dark any earlier. At the moment it is around 5:10pm for sunset. When I used to live in England it would be getting dark an hour earlier than that. I doubt I would have been running barefoot in the winter there, even if it was as mild as here.
I did a high heart rate run, keeping it up in the high 130's to low 140's. The run was mostly on the road except for the last 1.5km where I switched to the beach so I could run fast. It was near dark but just enough light to see the stones on the beach whereas on the path I would have to run slower due to visibility.

Wednesday, 6-Jun. 8km

A shorter easier run today. I tried to keep at a more steady speed tonight. I'm still finding the pavement temperature fine to run on, I still have feeling on contact, it is not cold enough to numb the senses.
I've almost finished reading Matt Fitzgerald's book Run which I'm finding much more readable now. I went through a period when I was making very slow progress with it but my interest has picked up when he describes how to improve your running grace. Basically you have to run further, faster and lighter. It sounds like stating the obvious but the more you run the better your running becomes. I may have also got an answer to how I got injured last year, he mentions it is usually a change in the type of training, something different from the usual repartition. As the injury developed just after I came back from running in the UK I had been doing much more hill running, that was the trigger, then stretching the injured area at the gym then caused it to worsen until breakdown occurred.

Thursday, 7-Jun. 7.8km 

A run around the lake tonight before sunset. While concrete is nice to run on in the summer because it is cool, in the winter it doesn't absorb much heat from the sun and so it quite cold underfoot. It is always nice to find small stretches of darker coloured surface and feel the slight warmth get soaked up by my feet. I only had a T-shirt on tonight and it was pretty chilly by the time I got back. I ran with a fellow runner tonight but didn't manage to catch up once I took a 1.5km detour.

Saturday, 9-Jun. 22km

Once more I managed to do a half marathon distance and I knocked a minute off my time from last week. It is always a little hard to compare just by time alone as I take quite a few detours while running along the beach. The detours are around large patches of weed washed ashore at high tides, there are also trapped water pools draining out into the sea which I skirt around and also areas of soft sand near the river outlet. It was quite cold overnight, getting down to 3C, I waited until 10am before setting out on my run, I did consider the Vibrams but when I got to the beach I found the temperature quite tolerable. This time I didn't have to do any extra running after a night out at the pub.

Sunday, 10-Jun. 8.2km

To finish the week off, another trip around the lake running on the cold concrete, colder than on Thursday as the sun had only been on it for a few hours. I must be a regular sight running around the lake now, I see plenty of regulars on their morning walks around the lake. I always make an effort to say good morning and smile rather than grimace, like the average runner carries on their face. No wonder people thing that running is a torturous activity, it's not sold very well.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

First 22km run in 25 years

Distance 49.8km [total: minimalist 275.6km: Barefoot 2896.6km] Week 22

Wednesday, 30-May. 10km

A busy week kept me away from the until I managed to squeeze a run in this evening. Leaving work at 4pm and getting plenty of green lights on the way home meant I got to the beach at around 4.40pm, just over 30 minutes before sunset. It had been a warm late autumn day, 19C, they sky was clear and sunny always an inspiration to get out for a run. I ran along the road for most of the run and ran the last 3km along the beach where I did some interval sessions. I did 2 minutes slow and 2 minutes fast and managed to push my heart rate up to 150BPM. The sand was a little soft and well trodden to get any real speed up so I concentrated on leg speed. I need to do more of these type of workout to get my base speed up. I had a bit of a race with a runner on the outbound leg, he beat me but didn't gain much ground once he overtook, I think I would have wore him down over a longer distance.

Thursday, 31-May. 7km

A bit of shortened run as I was a bit later getting out today and so ran out of daylight. I still worked hard over the distance and was soaked in sweat by the time I got back to the car. My feet must be much tougher than they were a year ago as I don't seem to get any marks on them at all from running on the roads. I could feel a slight stiffness from the speed training yesterday but hardly noticeable. We have rain forecast from tomorrow through the weekend.

Saturday, 2nd-Jun. 22km + 6km

Well, I did it! for the first time in well over 20 years I ran over a half marathon distance and despite feeling a little tired after I was fine by the afternoon. The time was nothing spectacular at 2:07 but that included climbing over banks of sea weed and dodging around obstacles on the beach. I started to feel the chill breeze that picked up on the way back and was glad to get into the warmth of the car.
Later that day I had arranged to go and have some drinks with some ex work colleagues. I made it clear that I would be getting an early bus back and I wanted to be home before 10pm, but, as usual that never happened. After visiting 4 pubs and drinking 5-6 pints of beer I find that the time is 11.30pm, I've missed the last buses. I caught a taxi part way home, getting out where my friends got out. I don't think I had enough money for the full journey so I was going to have to run. I had 6km to get home, a heavy coat, jeans and feeling a bit the worst for wear due to the beer. But my feet didn't let me down and my barefoot style helped. I had my thin Vivo Barefoot shoes on and even though I couldn't stretch out due to wearing jeans I still managed a fast leg turnover. I'm not sure how long it took me to get home, it must have been over 30 minutes. My T-shirt was soaked in sweat when I got back, I had a quick shower then fell into bed.

Sunday, 3-Jun. 4.8km

The second meeting of the small barefoot running group, David and Jenny turned up at the meeting place at Semaphore. We ran a small part of my Saturday route which had a combination of surfaces such as bitumen, concrete, grass and sand. It was nice to take it easy and chat. I'd managed to shake off my tight head from too much alcohol the night before and reconnecting with the ground seemed to recharge me. I'll leave it up to David to pick the next running route for the first Sunday in July.