Sunday, July 29, 2012

No virus slows me down

Distance 53.7km [total: minimalist 285.6km: Barefoot 3282.6km] Week30

Monday, 23-July. 13.5km

A day off work due to my head cold. I was coughing and sneezing for a large part of the day so spent the afternoon in bed asleep. During the morning, as the weather was so nice I went out for a beach run, the virus was not affecting my lungs so I could still run and it also put a stop to the coughing and sneezing for a while.
The tide was at the low point and the beach was nice and flat, not too many broken shells to hinder my running. I ran from Grange to Semaphore and back, similar to my Saturday run but shorter. I ran back on the road grass and beach. Funny thing is that I felt smooth and easy on the out bound part of the run but on the way back I seemed to have lost that smoothness. I felt heavy and clumsy on my landing. It could have been due to the cold.

Thursday, 26-July. 10km

The return of the wet weather. I managed to squeeze a quick 10km in after work and before the bulk of the rain began to fall which happened shortly after I got back home. As I ran south I could see the black clouds and a semicircular rainbow arc indicating it was raining further on. I told myself that I would turn back if it looked like the rain was going to come down heavily. As it turned out a few spots fell as I got to my turnaround point and this continued until I outran it. The ground was warm under foot, well not warm exactly but not cold, I had plenty of feedback from the feet. I ran the last 2km along the beach and recorded a time of 9:54m for the 2km. It is slightly lighter in the evening now, sunset at 5.30pm and fully dark about 30 minutes later.

Saturday, 28-July. 22km

What a nice morning, I was expecting a cold windy day with rain and got a sunny day with a light breeze and no rain (that came in during the afternoon). The tide was just on its way out but there was plenty of firm sand to run on. The running felt great all the way, even at the end I was just tired without feeling exhausted.
On the way back I ran with another runner and had a good chat about how good it was to have such wonderful places to run. The kilometres zoom by much faster when you are chatting away. It slowed me down a little and even though I picked up my speed in the last 5km it wasn't enough to make up the time I'd lost from running at a more relaxed pace earlier.

Sunday, 29-July. 8.2km

A calm Sunday morning by the lake, the sun is out and I can feel a bit of warmth on the grass, the concrete is much cooler. The rowers are out on the lake with their coaches shouting orders from the path around the edge of the lake. I've pretty much shaken off the cold I had last week, I'm hoping that is the last of my winter illnesses. It is usually in springtime that the danger lurks, that's when the viruses seem to peak. A good run with a little competition along the way. My fast stretch was a bit slower at 6:02m, I wasn't getting good feedback from the cold concrete. Next week into August and a group barefoot run around the lake next week with the others, that will make a nice change.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

First Cough of Winter

Distance 52.2km [total: minimalist 285.6km: Barefoot 3228.9km] Week 29

Tuesday, 17-July. 11km. 

I didn't run on Monday due to residual soreness in the glutes from a gym workout on Sunday, in other words a sore ass. That, along with a feeling that I was coming down with a cold and the weather was uninspiring. Today though the sky was blue and it felt a little warmer, the cold didn't develop, its just a throaty irritation. I had to hurry tonight as Tuesday is our cinema night, the film was on slightly later at 7.10pm so that gave me a window of opportunity to get out. It was a good run, the soreness had faded and I had some strength in the legs. It was an out and back run on the road with the last 2km on the beach. It got cold as soon as the sun disappeared and I felt frozen running along the beach. I wasn't dressed for the conditions, just a t-shirt and shorts in 10C.

Thursday, 19-July. 11km

Each morning I wake up I my throat feels claggy as if the cold is just waiting to pounce on me and then by mid morning its gone but my voice is a bit gravelly. A damp start to the morning, by afternoon a bit of warmer sun evaporates the water on the roads and paths and I get a good run in. Once again I go from Grange to West Beach and back. The tide was high so no running along the beach. My feet must have acclimatised to the cold now as I don't mind it as much as I did the first year of barefoot running. A few runners say 'Hi" as I see them on my daily run. In the early days I felt really self conscious but now that I have developed the confidence of good running form it doesn't bother me. I took it easy tonight as I felt a bit tired from a Wednesday gym session where I did some hip exercises, I think this had a subtle effect on my running tonight.

Saturday, 21-July. 22km

I collected the morning paper at 7am and noticed it had been a warm night (well, not down to 5C). I wanted to get a long run in today, I missed out last week do to the cold windy weather.
Today when I got to the beach there was no wind, the sea was calm and the tide was out. My feet stayed warm for the entire run. There was low cloud or sea mist drifting in but I had the feeling the sun would burn it off and a bright sunny day would emerge later on. Running up the beach towards Semaphore I could see around 1km before the view disappeared into the mist. On the way back it became thicker and at one point there was a fantastic scene. I was running along almost perfectly flat sand, there were no people around, the mist was quite thick, I could see around 100m in front. The sand just disappeared into the mist, then with the sun shining from behind me it made an illuminated arc in the mist. It was like I was running into an arch of light, it was magical. The mist damped nearly all the sound, I could just hear my breathing and a slight sound of the water. I got back to the Grange jetty, only seeing it when I was 100m away. Once under it and on my way to Henley the mist just lifted and it was a clear sunny day, I looked behind and there it was still, a bank of mysterious mist. I had to push myself for the last few kilometres, the beach was very stony and weedy and when your tired it is hard to negotiate your way around the shells and stones. I did a time of 2h 4m 29s was faster than I ran it last time. I'll be under 2 hours in a month.

Sunday, 22-July. 8.2km

 My head is clogged up today with a cold virus. It's not on my chest so I can go out for a run. It's a beautiful sunny day after a cold night, at 6.30am it was 4.5C pretty chilly, once the sun came up the temperature climbed and by 10am when I was ready to start my run it was 12.7C. Calm conditions made for a nice easy run. My fast stretch was completed in 6:01m over 10s slower than my best. I did a gym session after the run, concentrating on chest and back.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Cold week

Distance 47.2km [total: minimalist 285.6km: Barefoot 3176.7km] Week 28

Monday, 9-Jul. 7km

A cloudy but mild day made it pleasant underfoot, no numbness. I took it nice and easy tonight covering a short 7km from the jetty at Grange to the River Torrens and back. The gloomy weather brought the darkness on quickly. The temperature started to drop once the light faded from the sky.

Wednesday, 11-Jul. 11km

Once again rushing out of work to get to the beach before the darkness returns. I have about 30 minutes before sunset but once more it has been a grey day and its quite dark even when only half way around. I run the last 2.5km along the beach in near darkness. I was hoping to do a fast sprint along the sand but the lack of visibility and the uneven stony beach made that impossible so I just took it easy. On the return journey just as I was approaching the river outlet a girl was running in the opposite direction and surprise surprise she was barefoot. I don't think she was just running from the beach as she was dressed in running gear but it looked like she was giving it a go, well done! I think the wave is picking up height.

Thursday, 12-Jul. 10km

What a surprise, the forecast was for showers and cold weather but instead it was the best day of the week so far. The temperature even rose to past 18C in the afternoon. I had intended to go to the gym this evening but you have to grab these opportunities when they are presented. This time when I parked up on the Esplanade there was sunshine and an almost spring like warmth in the air. I ran at an aerobic pace of 132bpm, slowing down each time my heart rate went above 134. I still sweat like crazy, even in these cool winter conditions. What will it be like when we get back to the mid 30C's again. Almost a year ago I was getting ready to head over to the UK for a 'summer' holiday. The reality turned out to be that the weather was better in Australia than in England. I had to wear my Vibrams as the roads and paths were so yucky and I picked up an injury.

Saturday, 14-Jul. 11km

A cold windy day with black clouds racing across the sky dropping rain over different areas of the city. By the beach it was dry though. The temperature was just over 11C and the wind blowing at 32km/h. The tide was high when I got to the beach so I decided that I was not going to struggle along 22km of soft sand and blowing wind, there would be better days. I ran on my usual evening course along the path by the beach. The bricks were cold underfoot and the concrete felt colder again. Only another 6 weeks and we are into September, the start of Spring. I did notice the first of the small winter flowers on the grassy areas, the little yellow buttercup type flower. The daisies will be out next in a few weeks, these are the signs I keep watch for to let me know when the warmer weather will arrive.

Sunday, 15-Jul. 8.2km

A cool morning with strong northerly wind. The run around the lake offered a bit of shelter from the cold wind. The normally placid lake was whipped up with high enough waves to keep most of the boaties of the water today. My feet felt a bit sore yesterday after the run on the cold concrete, the 2km at the end where I ran in the waves made them feel a lot better. I did my faster effort along Sportsmans Drive but didn't push for maximum effort, I wanted more concentration on form. I still felt very fluid and easy and still recorded under 6 minutes. I can really stretch out and still land on the front of my foot. Despite what I've heard that you can't alter your foot landing patterns I know that is rubbish, I've proved it, changed from an awful heel striker to a fast forefoot lander. I would like to spread the message further, each time I see some runner with some horrendous running style. I passed one on Saturday, it looked like some hybrid of speed walking and running. He was heel striking and then pushing over his straight leg to the next landing, his face was contorted in what looked like pain rather than enjoyment, how sad.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Speeding up

Distance 50.5km [total: minimalist 285.6km: Barefoot 3129.5km] Week 27

Monday, 2-Jul. 9km

A mostly uninspiring grey day outside and a dysfunctional air conditioner at work making the place chilly didn't make me feel much like going out for a run later on. Only the late afternoon sun that came out for the last hour boosted my spirits and got me out onto the beach path. A good run, felt strong and springy on the outbound run then took it at a slower pace on the way back.

Thursday, 5-Jul. 11km

Another great run, like most of them are these days. Gee, I remember the days when I would run with the big heavy shoes and orthotics and how exhausted I would feel when I got back along with all the aches and pains along the way. Now, in comparison it just feels like I'm floating over the ground, the kilometres speed by. This was mainly a road run with the last 2 km run along the beach high tide line. Even in near dark and in soggy sand with lots of stones and crushed up shells I can run 10m for the 2km jetty to jetty. I'm looking forward to a few of the free races later in the year. I'll step up to the 13km run in the Christmas day run to see what time I can do.
One little psychological thing I'm practicing is the following, each time I come to a small hill that I'm running up I should be happy and joyful to have the opportunity to challenge the hill rather than slog up it. There are not many hills out to the west of the city so when I come across any I should be thankful.

Saturday, 7-Jul. 22km

A cold sunny winters day, it got down to 3C overnight, one reason why I start my runs later in the morning during this time of year. During summer I'll set off for my runs at 8am but in the winter 10am is the time I prefer. It raises the temperature by a couple of degrees. It was 12C when I set off. I kept my heart rate in the aerobic zone all the way, reigning it in if it went up to 136 and bringing it back to around 132. I did contemplate adding a few more kilometres to the run but I was getting tired by 19km so just ran the last 3km back up the beach. I'm sure by spring time I can get up to 25-30km. Feet were fine after the run, I should pamper them a bit more seeing as they do so much work.

Sunday, 8-Jul. 8.2km

The lake loop was a good short run after the long run yesterday. Weather was dry but a more cloudy than yesterday, still enough sun to warm up the darker surfaces. The concrete was pretty cold today and it took around 3km for my feet to start to warm up. I did my fast section up the concrete and was amazed that I managed to knock more time off the distance, beating last weeks time. For the 1.28km I recorded a time of 5:47.5m, a 10s improvement over last weeks time. That is 7:17m for the mile (4:31m/km) in bare feet, not to bad seeing as I'm twice the age I was when I could run it in under 6m.


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Long run getting easier

Distance 43km [total: minimalist 285.6km: Barefoot 3079.3km] Week 26

Monday, 25-Jun. 6km

A nice relaxed short run tonight, no pressure. A bit warmer than the chilly weekend, maybe the overnight rain and cloud stopped the temperature from dropping too low.

Wednesday, 27-Jun. 11km

Last day of the good weather before the return of the rain that will be with us until the end of the week. We have 3 minutes of extra daylight since the shortest day, that means that I wont have to rush as much when I escape from my day at work. I have been getting more into the habit of leaving at 4pm rather than 4.30pm, after all why should I put in any extra time when I get zero appreciation for it. Tonight I parked at the Grange hotel as there are roadworks on Grange road and the traffic slows to a crawl. It adds an extra 1km onto my run. I ran the last 2km on the beach to time myself, it was cold and dark but I still managed a respectable 10 minutes on the unpredictable surface. The sand felt very cold underfoot  and I was glad to get off the beach and wash the sand off under the tap by the jetty.

Saturday, 30-Jun. 22km

We had quite a bit of rain on the Friday so I was quite happy to have a rest day. It was a cold start to Saturday morning with some early morning rain. I got out for my run at 10am. My feet felt good this morning, didn't have any numbness from the cold sand, the only time they felt cold was when I ran along the footpath which was wet. On the return journey I was running into a south westerly wind and it was quite chilling. I did my best time on this length of run mainly because I didn't suffer from the fatigue at the end. Maybe my running has become more efficient. My time for the run was 2:03:41.
Tomorrow is a relaxed run with the small group of barefoot runners on our what I am hoping will become a regular first Sunday in the month get together.

Sunday, 1-Jul. 4km

A rainy day, I was woken by the sound of rain at 7am and hoped it would all be out of the way by 9am but it stayed showery for most of the day. The monthly meeting of the barefoot group was in the riverside suburb of College Park. I was first to arrive, it rained as I was driving over but stopped as I waited for the others to arrive. I wondered at first whether they might have abandoned the idea but no, David and Jenny turned up 5 minutes before the appointed start time. We set off along the river pathways that wove along the winding river, quite undulating. It was a relaxed easy pace so I could concentrate on perfect foot placement. The ground was cold but not excessively. It was a tranquil place with birds in the trees and the sounds of animals in the nearby zoo, there were a few other runners that had a double take as we ran silently past. The sun shone for the duration of the run then, when we finished and retired to the cafe for a coffee the rain returned. The next meeting will be on the first Sunday in August and will be a lap of the lake at West Lakes. It makes it interesting to run in different areas.