Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Fanatics Christmas Run 2013

Distance 65.2km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 5632.5km] Week00  year total 1548.6km

Monday, 23-Dec. 11km

Holiday at last! I still got up early as I wanted to get the shopping out of the way before the crowds built up to the levels that make you want to scream. I set of to the shops at 8am and there were quite a few there but nothing like what would be there in a few hours time.
After the shopping expedition was complete, I called around to an old neighbour who was having some shoulder problems, I had some books that would be able to help him fix the problem if he followed the instructions in them.
It was after that I headed out for a mid morning run. I'd not run earlier as the tide was in and I had the intention to run north to Semaphore but when I got to the beach and felt the wind I decided that running south would be the better option. The run went well, no aches or pains to report. I did a beach stretch to mix it up at the end. I still haven't done any speed work so far so still feel slow.

Wednesday, 25-Dec. 13.5km

It was early to bed for me on Christmas Eve, 9pm but, unfortuantely with it still being a bit light outside, warm and people moving around, sleep took a while to overtake me.
I had my alarm set to wake me at 5.15am and that seemed to go off shortly after I fell asleep. I stumbled around in the dark and grabbed my gear, shorts, t-shirt and heart rate monitor then out of the door, no breakfast as there wasn't enough time.
I drove the 5km to the shopping centre at West Lakes along dark empty roads, wondering if maybe I had the time wrong, was it 7am and not 6am.
I saw more headlights as I got closer to the shopping centre so I was ok. I parked the car and wandered down to the gathering crowd of Christmas Fanatics to look for familiar faces.
I saw David and Cathy who run with me on our monthly barefoot runs, I saw another friend Ian who had just returned from the west after one of the big Ironman contests in Bussleton.
As 6am came we all gathered to sing a Christmas carol which it was agreed was the most harmonious in quite a few years and then it was time to run. Of the 3 distances 8.5km, 13.5km and 21.1km, I decided that I would do the 13.5km this morning.
I started slowly, running along Brebner Drive with Ian chatting and catching up on news. Doing this stops me setting off too fast and lets my body get up to running pace in a controlled maner.
I did notice, before the race started that there were around 6 people wearing VFF's in the run this year, I did have a brief chat to them, non were ready to shed the shoes completely. I wonder what time they finished in.
From Brebner drive the route takes a right turn for 1km along Frederick Road, we mainly run along the concrete footpath, as this is a unofficial run there is no traffic control or distance markers.
We take another right turn at Trimmer Parade which takes us to the south end of the lake before taking another right turn into Military Road that runs along the west side of the lake.
The sun was now up above the hills and the temperature rising from its early 15C up to 22C, the air was perfectly still and the lake like a sheet of glass. The magpies were singing away in the trees with their distinctive warble and only the occasional car broke the natural sounds.
After 2km along Military Road another right turn into West Lakes Boulevard and the split point between the 8.5km and the longer runs.
The 13.5km now turns left along Bartley Terrace for a 2km distance then back along the same route.
Only at one point did I hit a patch of the very rough bitumen where I had to run in the gutter which had a steep camber, a small road bridge where the footpath disappeared.
Ian did a good job as a pacer as we started on ourt way back, he split off at the 12km point to run the 21.1km where I ran left along the Boulevard and back to the shopping centre finish. I had a bit of a race against a lady for the last kilometre and we took the same time at the finish with a time of 1:10:54 for the distance.
It would have been nice to do 5 minute kilometres but I was just outside that. It was a very enjoyable run anyway, a great way to start Christmas Day.
There were plenty of cakes and fruit at the finish line, all baked by various runners.
I waited around to meet David and Cathy as they arrived back from their run then I headed off home..... to sleep.

Friday, 27-Dec. 16km

Dragged myself out of bed at 7.30am for a pre breakfast run. It was due to be over 30C today so getting a run in early when the day is fresh would be good. I was surprised how cold the sand was this morning as I ran down the beach towards Glenelg. I felt a bit creaky today, the calves are a bit stiff from the race on Christmas day so I'd lost a bit of bounce. I chugged away along the beach until I hit the breakwater at Glenelg. I was unsure if the tide was coming in or going out as I ran down, as I made the return journery I could see it was coming in as the areas that were clear were now submerged. There were areas where the beach was covered with lots of rocky obstacles which keeps the eye-foot co-ordination sharp. I did a bit of road running for a change of surface on the way back before finishing back on the beach getting back at around 9.15am, it was a leisurely pace after all.

Sunday, 29-Dec. 8.2km

Well, I must have had a rocket underneath me today as I zoomed around knocking a few minutes off my normal time around this route. Not the fastest ever by any means but much better than the last 12 months. The weather was perfect, still, sunny and 18C. I must have been insprired watching the Bay-Sheffield races yesterday at Glenelg. One of the winners in the over 35 category was 55 years old, there is hope for me yet.
The winds of yesterday had blown themselves out, they must have been a real challenge for the longer distance runners yesterday, no records set.
After the run I did a bit of a lacklustre gym session, not really very focused I will admit. The gym was quite full as well which surprised me, I thought very few would have been there due to the holidays.

Monday, 30-Dec. 10.5km

A pre-breakfast run, I debated whether I should have some oats and fruit for breakfast then run an hour or so later but that would have meant running at 9am. I wanted to get it over with before the sun got too strong. Luckily the temperature had dropped quite low last night and it was cold under foot where the concrete was still in the shade. There were plenty of runners out today, making the best of the cool conditions.
Running before breakfast is tough, my body feels asleep, it takes a few kilometres to wake it up, my feet felt a bit slappy on the ground, lack of control. It got better though. I was starting to feel tired from the lack of food by the end of the run.

Tuesday, 31-Dec. 6km

A warm day of 35C today so an early morning run was called for. Funny thing I have found is that it is harder for me to run during holidays than while at work. That is because the routine has been broken up, I am usually forced to run in the evenings after work but during the holiday when you can choose whatever time you like, the urgency drifts away.
I didn't feel up to putting a long run in today, in fact I had planned just to swim today but, as it was the last day of the year an easy slow run to wind down would be good. It actually didn't feel as good as I hoped though, the slow run made me feel tired, maybe a sprint would have been better. After the run I braved the sea, it felt cold but probably wasn't. I slowly acclimatised to the water temperature and had a swim around for a 30 minutes. I wouldn't stay out too long as the sun would be fierce after 10am and I had no sunblock to protect me. I headed home at 9.45am into the cool and dark waiting for the sun to set. That sounds like some kind of vampire.

Yearly Totals

Total kilometres run in 2013           1548.6km   (962 miles)


Monday, December 23, 2013

43C Now That Is Warm

Distance 28.2km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 5567.3km] Week52

Monday,  16-Dec. 11km

The heat is being turned on this week as we head into the high 30's later in the week. I ran a bit later once more but only had a light snack before. The sea breeze was blowing briskly from the south west which seems to be a regular pattern now. The run was good and I finished off with a 2km stretch along the sand. I still can't seem to get some good speed up. Maybe I should be practicing 500m sprints for a session or two. 

Thursday, 19-Dec. 9km

This was due to be one of the hottest days of the year at 43C, a real head boiling temperature. Running in the afternoon is out of the question so that is why I'm pulling my running shorts on at 5.30am and heading out to the beach. At the moment it is a pleasant 22C, the sun is still down but there is some light in the sky.
No breakfast before the run and my body still feels asleep, I will have to gradually wake it up.
I ran from Grange sailing club to West Beach and back. I wonder if people thought I was sleep running.
After a kilometre I started to wake up and the legs worked out how to run again. It was a fantastic run at that time of day. The air was still the sea was as smooth as glass. People were out walking, some swimming, some doing early morning assault courses on the beach. 

Sunday 22-Dec. 8.2km

Thankfully the weather cooled off on the Saturday. We had our break up from work on the Friday at a pub a little way down the road from the workplace and the air conditioner chose that day to break down. Maybe the heat of the day before caused it. It was an hot sweaty afternoon meal crammed into this pub with inside temperatures around 30C.
I didn't run on the Saturday as it was my recovery day from the breakup so I slept in a little late. We had rain today to freshen the place up after the heat. Sunday was a nice day to run. Cool but bright. I did my lap of the lake, felt a little depleated still. I don't think alcohol agrees with me these days. The time was respectable but still around 5 minutes shy of my best. One more run and then it is the Christmas Day run.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Almost Christmas

Distance 47.7km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 5539.1km] Week51

Monday, 9-Dec-13. 10.5km

Wow what a run today, the wind was the strongest I have run in for a while. I could see the trees and bushes swaying before I even got to the beach, that is always a sign that it will be far worse at the beach.
The wind wasn't a southerly but more a west wind so it was blowing on my right side on the outbound leg and on the other side coming home. The wind speed was measured at 46km/h.
Sand was being whipped up and stung my legs but was not much of a problem otherwise. As I approached West Beach surf club the path runs alongside some higher dunes, this is where it was interesting. From a distance it looked like mist but as I approached, sand filled the air. I squeezed my eyes behind my sunglasses to stop the sand getting in my eyes. That didn't stop it getting in my mouth, ears, hair. It stuck to the sweat on my forehead.
I reched the halfway point, turned around and had to run through it again.
It was great to have a shower later and was the sand from my hair, it took another few days to get it out of my ears.

Thursday, 12-Dec-13. 10.5km

I had a work related meeting after work, just a get together with a supplier for a few drinks and food. As I was in the car I didn't drink and I also hoped to go for a run later. I got home at around 6pm and felt pretty hungry so had a light dinner of scrambled eggs. I then found I was in the same situation as last week when I ate before the run, it sat in my stomach and made my running very uncomfortable. It got better by the end of the run but it was a bit late by then.

Saturday, 14-Dec-13. 18.5km

A rare day without a strong wind blowing so I managed to put in a few extra kilometres by running from Henley jetty to Semaphore jetty. It took me a while as I went at a relaxed pace. I did manage to get some chaffing on the legs which was an annoyance. I didn't feel tired or anything after the run and even managed to go to a birthday party and got back home at past midnight, how is that for stamina!

Sunday, 15-Dec-13. 8.2km

After my late night yesterday it was tough getting up to go for an early run, I eventually got to the lake at 9.30am and did my loop in near perfect conditions. The weather is gradually warming up and should hit highs later next week.
Only one week until the Christmas holiday kicks off and I can get some swimming in to diversify a bit of my physical exercise.


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Summer season

Distance 85.9km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 5491.4km] Week50

Monday, 25-Nov. 10.5km

A warm afternoon where we got up to 29C. Would it be too warm to run on the bitumen, proabably yes if I had to run on the blacktop over the entire course but I have plenty of choice.
The tide was out so I started my run along the shoreline. Quite a few people on the beach today. An afternoon sea breeze was blowing from the south so I would be ok running on the concrete and brick. I did 2km on the sand then came up onto the concrete which as cool. There is a length of 0.5km which is a light bitumen that feels warmer under foot then it is back to the cool concrete. The last 100m is black bitumen which is the hottest surface, luckily the wind had cooled it off.
On the way back I had the breeze behind me, gently pushing me forward. I went back onto the sand for the last 2km and passed a large crowd of young people doing a beach training run. I passed the lead runner, running towards me around 100m from Henley jetty. The race was on, would he beat me to Grange jetty. Well the answer is yes. He passed me around 250m from the jetty, I gave chase but he was wirey and had about 30 years of advantage. He did look over his shoulder a few time so at least he was nervous, that's a small amount of satisfaction I had.

Thursday, 28-Nov. 10.5km 

I had a bit of a stiff neck from a gym workout yesterday so decided to take the day off. Working at a computer all day would not be good for it whereas a run might loosen it up.
We had some warm weather earlier in the week, up to last night. They day temperature had got up to 38C, overnight a cool change came in. I went for a run at 9.30am, rain was forecast for later so I wanted to beat it.
There was a strong south-westerly wind that accompanied the cool change so I ran into it. It was a good running temperature of around 20C. Finally they have opened the upgraded pathway between Grange and Henley and I must admit it is a great improvement. Much wider so I don't have to dodge around people and more smooth concrete rather than the uneven brick that it replaced, a big thumbs up. After the run into the wind I had it pushing me homeward bound. I did the last 2km on the sand again to get my speed up. The rain started as I got to the end but it felt nice as it cooled me off.

Saturday, 30-Nov. 15km

Out for my run early today and with no breakfast to sustain me. It was going to be a warm day or 30C so you can imagine my surprise to find it quite chilly at 8am. It was sunny but the sand on the beach was cold and my feet soon went numb and there was a cool breeze blowing from the north. I started running gentlyto try to warm up but I don't think I did until I was on my way back. I could just start to feel some warmth as the sun had been shining on the sand.

Sunday, 1-Dec. 8.2km

 My usual sunday lake loop. A wind blowing from the north that I had to battle for a few kilometers before doing the gradual turn and having it behind me. The first day of Summer and not long now before Christmas holidays and my next run on Christmas day at 6am. I may run in the 13.5km run this year. I don't think I'm up for the 21km yet. I'll decide closer to the time.

Monday, 2-Dec. 10.5km

A hot one today so I tried switching my run to a later time. I had a dinner of pasta around 5pm with the idea if I run at 7.30pm it should be digested by them, well, not exactly. I think maybe because the metabolism slows down in th evening it was still sitting heavily in my stomach when i started out running along the new stretch of path along the foreshore. It was very uncomfortable and spoilt what would have been a nice run at that time of the evening. There were crowds of people out walking in the cooler evening air. I felt better on the way back. THe sun had set by the time I got back to the car. As I drove back home I came across several houses that were decorated to the extreme with Christmas lights, it was actually quite heartwarming.

Friday, 6-Dec. 10.5km

Even though it was a relatively cool day the ground was quite warm in places. The hot weather at the start of the week had broken by wednesday with rain and thunder. Quite a good run especially on the return, I put in a good effort. A bit of beach running for the last 2km, the sand was a bit soft to get up a decent speed.

Saturday, 7-Dec. 12.5km

That damn north easterly breeze, warm and draining as I got to the beach after a early morning haircut. It felt better to get rid of some hair now that the summer heat is here. I found the run quite draining today so I cut it a bit shorter, turning around at the start of the Esplanade rather than carrying on to the jetty. I had quite a few things I needed to do today as it was the first of my Christmas parties so I had to make up a dish to take along. Hopefully the run would inspire me.
I was glad to get to the halfway mark and have the breeze out of my face and on my back. The legs were a bit stiff from the gym session on the thursday, why do I keep doing heavy legs at the gym when all they do is stuff up my running? 

Sunday 8-Dec. 8.2km

It was still warm this morning, 26C at 8am when I got to the lake. I was a bit creaky to start off but gradually increased my speed as the distance increased. The warm breeze dried my mouth out as I ran. Luckily the sun was obscured by clouds so I didn't have to wear my sunglasses and have the sweat dripping off them and into my eyes. Not any spectacular time, I've not got past my best times of a year or so ago when I could manage around 42minutes for the course. 


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Stiff week

Distance 19.2km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 5405.5km] Week48

Thursday, 21-Nov. 11km

I must have run a bit harder than I thought in Sunday's race as my calves were stiff during the week. It was probably the second half of the race where I was reeling people in bit by bit. The first half was relatively relaxed as I warmed up.
So I rested for the earlier part of the week, no point going out there with fragile legs. WhenI get down to the beach on Thursday the familiar wind is blowing from the south. The temperatures are down at around 20C due to the southerly. The beach was maily empty except for the parasailors riding the waves with their wings pulling them high above the waves at times.
Felt a little tired today after being seated all day at work. I prefer calm windless days where I can regulate my running speed without having it push me back. Again I did the last 2km on the beach, running fast with the tailwind. I soaked my calves for a while under the jetty before the strong winds forced me off the beach. I almost got cramp in my calf or so it seemed after giving them a cooling dip, I managed to ward it off but it did feel a bit scary, like something was about to go "ping".

Sunday,  24-Nov. 8.2km

No running on Saurday as I went to the wedding of David and Cathy, two of the runners from the barefoot running group, and no, they didn't get married barefoot.
I had a couple of glasses of wine and it really knocks me out these days. I think maybe going alcohol free might be good after all.
My lake run was shared with the triathletes today. I parked my car well out of the way as there were lots of traffic restrictions around the place. I didn't time myself or keep a watch on the heart rate. The tendon on my right leg is still irritating me. I'm not sure what strategy to try and ease it off.
I must have run fairly hard as my T-shirt was soaked in sweat by the time I got around. I didn't manage to overtake any of the triathletes in our shourt coming together along the lakefront.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Henley Classic 10km

Distance 103.7km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 5386.3km] Week47

Monday, 28-Oct. 11km

Very windy today. Even when I looked out of the window while at work the trees could be seen thrashing around, by the beach the wind would be much stronger.
I got to the beach at around 5pm and the wind was gusting at 50km/h as I ran along the sand. There was no point racing so I just kept up a steady pace, head down to stop the sand blowing into my eyes. I came off the beach after 2km and ranalong the concrete path, I could get more traction that way. I don't find running against the wind as exhausting as when I wore shoes.
On the way back the wind pushed me forwards and I have to stop myself landing too hard and wearing my feet down. I diverted back to the beach for the last couple of km and was running at full wind assisted speed by the time I got to the jetty.

Thursday, 31-Oct. 10.5km

Although the wind was nowhere near as strong as Monday it was still blowing at 30km/h and I felt much more breathless today at the beginning, probably because I'd spent all day in fromt of a computer at work with a very low heart rateand hardly moving. When I suddenly start doing some physical exhertion the body doesn't want to cooperate. Evenutually I got back to normal, breathing more regular and heartrate at a steady 135. The run back was smooth and felt good.

Friday, 1-Nov. 10.5km 

End of the working week run always feels good as I'm free from being tied to the desk for 8 hours. A good run, nothing out of the ordinary to report.

Saturday, 2-Nov. 6km

Well, the barefoot runners meet today consisted of just David and myself, all the others have disappeared one by one. It seems that the patience required to learn a new skill is lacking in todays society. People are quite happy clomping around in their oversized running shoes and I don't think any amount of information that says some chronic running injuries can be explained by the bulky shoes will change peoples minds.

Monday, 4-Nov. 10.5km

This always feels like the longest day after the weekend. I'm up and getting ready for work at 5.30am so by the time I finish work and my run just over 12 hours later I usually feel tired and only stay up for another 3 hours.

Thursday, 7-Nov. 11km 

The feet were a bit sore at the end of the run today as I ran a bit harder than usual as the afternoon weather was back into the windy format again with a strong south blow that pushes me too fast on the way back.To save my feet I went down onto the beach for the last 2km. Even there the beach was covered in small shells washed up by the strong tides and now covered in a thin layer of sand blown by the wind. I had to keep a good watch to make sure I didn't land on a sharp shell edge.

Sunday, 10-Nov. 8.2km

My lake run came before the gym today. It's getting lighter in mornings and the warmer days are creeping up so I can now get a run around the lake done at 8am then head off to the gym at 9.00am. I got caught up in the local triathlon on my route, only for a small section on the east side. I break into their race and see if I can take on some of the tired participants who have already endured the swim and cycle leg

Monday 11-Nov. 11km

This turned out to be my only run during the week as I had a few after work things I had to sort out and I lost the enthusiasm once I did arrive home. Today was a good run. No pacers this time so I had to keep my own tempo up. I need to start getting some shorter, faster runs into the mix.

Saturday, 16-Nov. 15km

A nice flat wet sandy beach, perfect for a saturday run. I've not been on a longer distance for a while so today seemed perfect. I really should have conserved my energy for tomorrows race. My tendon in the right leg was a bit tender by the end, I think caused by some calf tightness and running on the sand. Even my feet felt a bit sensitive too. There was a light cool breeze blowing from the south, a little too cool to take my top off and grab a bit of sun. I really need to upgrade my running t-shirts as the ones I currently have are starting to look a bit raggedy. The t-shirt I had on today has a large hole just under the arm and the material is all hanging down. The neck is all stretched and wavy, it's about time it got turned into a duster. 

Sunday, 17-Nov. 10km

A perfect morning for a run, clear sunny sky and not a breeze. I had a few drinks last night and I could feel the tight feeling in my head. I skipped breakfast in favour of a carbo drink.
Today was the day of the Henley Classic 10km. I had no idea how many people would be running today so I set off early to get a decent car park spot. The race was due to kick off at 7.45am so I got there at around 7.10am. There were already quite a few people there and a good size queue to collect race numbers. As I got in line the queue expanded considerably to about 3 times what it was earlier.
It was interesting to do some people watching before the race to see the routines before the race. There was much stretching, lots of running up and down at fast paces, some strange marching movements. I chose just to stay calm and breath, no stretching or warm ups. I warm up by starting near the back then gradually moving through the groups of runners. I was a bit worried about a bit of tendon soreness but this wasn't an issue today.
The race started slightly late due to processing the people collecting numbers.
The numbers had a RF loop inside and your time triggers when you cross under the electric field. I started my stopwatch just before this point.
I knew the course well so knew all the spots that I had to take more care on. I felt light and bouncy as I started off and I gradually started to pick people off as I warmed up. The early part of the race is on smooth flat concrete then bitumen then the rough part which is weathered brick paving with lots of sharp projections.
The course was an out and back so I was interested to see where the front runners were going to meet me as they were on the return journey.
The front runner passed me just over 1km from the turnaround point meaning that they were at least 2km in front as I was at 4km.
I didn't stop for any drinks as it was cool enough not to need water and I didn't want to disrupt my rhythm. I wanted to try and run the last half faster than the first. I probabaly did this but I didn't hit the lap button on my watch. My heart rate was ticking along at 145bpm as opposed to around 135 bpm on the first half.
I didn't really push too hard in this run but my time was around 53m (unofficial). I'll post the results when they come through.
Each runner got a healthy gift bag at the end consisting of a banana, orange, breakfast drink, muesli bar. I really enjoyed the race and will look at doing it again next year.

Henley Square before the race

Crossing the finish line
 From the results I placed 282 out of 650 with a time of 52:40



Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Slack week

Distance 36.5km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 5282.6km] Week43

Monday, 21-Oct. 10.5km

A good fast run, felt good. Running into the wind in the southerly direction and had it behind me on the way back. The council workers still haven't finished the last bit of paving at Henley beach, it's like they completed 95% then just forgot. I have to keep dodging onto the road rather than run along the gravel on this short section. Hopefully it will be finished in the next few weeks.

Friday, 25-Oct. 11km

After my gym session yesterday and my sets of lunges my legs have residual stiffness and despite a good speed, I was a bit slower on the return section and the feet felt a bit sensitve on the brick pavement. No people to pace me on todays run and I think I may have struggled anyway. 

Saturday, 26-Oct. 15km

A perfect Saturday morning, blue sky and a very light breeze that was hardly noticeable. There were plenty of people out on the beach and lots of exciteable dogs looking for something to chase and I made a tempting target.
I ran mainly on the beach today with around 2.5km on the bitumen. I'm missing out on the grassy section now as it has dried out and is just a bed of spikey seeds that embed in my feet. They are more of an irritation than painful as they don't fall out when I lift my foot so eventually I get a buildup of the things and they make it hard to run. I ran back along the beach but felt a little tired towards the end. I enjoyed soaking the legs in the cool sea water after finishing.
I didn't run on sunday, a little internal voice told me to have a rest day. I have entered the Henley 10km run scheduled for November 17th 


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Summer weather kicking in

Distance 33.5km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 5246.1km] Week42

Monday, 14-Oct-13. 10.5km

Good run, feeling much easier now, I think the faster running is helping out now. 


Thursday, 17-Oct-13.  10.5km

A good quick run today, helped by the girl who acted as a bit of a pacer. This time I was the one behind and playing catch up and it was a tough effort. I first passed her when she was running the opposite way to me, I had just started my return run towards Grange and she was heading to West Beach. I can say where her turn around point was but it must have been close to where I turn around as she had overtaken me after less than a kilometre. I kept a fairly steady distance of around 20m and couldn't close the gap. At the point where the road leaves the beach where they are relaying the footpath, I ran along the road and she headed to the beach. I assumed I would never catch up now. But surprisingly when the road rejoined the beach I found she was only around 10m in front. I could then accelerate and catch up. We ran the last 100m pretty evenly. I had a brief chat at the end and thanked her for helping lift my pace.


Friday, 18-Oct-13. 12.5km

Ah, a day of holiday and the freedom to run when I would normally be working away and shortening my llife by sitting for long periods of time.
My legs or rather calves were stiff today after some of my faster runs during the week so it was going to be an easy run today. It was a sunny day with blue sky from end to end. I had an appointment later in the afternnon so I didn't want to run too far, and tire myself out. I ran towards Glenelg and made the decision to turn back when I got to the small boat launch breakwater. The was a good decision as the northerly wind really picked up and I was running into blowing sand. I just kept my head down and kept up a stedy pace. It eased off as I returned to my start point.
No weekend running as I had guests and decided I could afford to had a bit of an easy weekend.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

4 Seasons in one week

Distance 51.9km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 5212.6km] Week41

Monday, 7-Oct. 16.4km

Now this is more like it, the Labour Day holiday and the sun is out and throngs of people are walking along the beach and enjoying the mild spring day.
For a change, I ran to Glenelg today, a distance of 8.2km. The northerly breeze pushed me from behind as I sped along the beach. I had to exit the beach at one point as the tide was still lapping at the rocks despite the tide being low. There was quite a bit of erosion of the dunes close to the West Beach surf club, steep sand cliffs rose up from the flat beach. It wouldn't take much to undermine that stretch and see the path above collapse unless they take some action and add a rocky breakwater at the bottom. I got back onto the beach and ran the rest of the way to Glenelg. I ran part the way back along the road before finishing off the last 2km back on the beach to sooth my slightly sore feet.

Wednesday, 9-Oct. 4km

A short fast beach run to see what my time was like on the 2km stretch between the jetties. Not too bad considering the sand was soft and there were lots of broken shells in big patches along the run. I covered the distance in 9:40m.

Thursday, 10-Oct. 10.5km

I had a pacer tonight on my run. As I was just setting off ater having a 60s rest at the far end of my run I noticed a girl running around 30m behind in the same direction. It was only around another kilometer and she was a couple of metres behind and that was with me doing a faster than normal pace, my pulse was up at 143. The only times I causght a glimpse of my tail was if I was going around a sharp corner. She didn't have the power to overtake and leave me behind until she made her move as the path moved away from the beach. I was actually quite surprised as thought she was gone back the all of a sudden she appeared alongside then moved in front. I wasn't going to let her get away that easily so I started to tag along just a few metres behind. Finally when we got back to the concrete where I had my car parked I sped up and thanked her for pacing me and making me up the running effort. She said she was amazed how I could run that speed without shoes. That always makes me feel good.

Saturday, 12-Oct. 15km

The tide was just on it's way out from hit's high point for the day so the sand was very soft, well trodden and uneven and pretty hard work. I found a thin strip of wet sand to run along, this made it much easier. After around 4km I saw another runner up ahead and I wondered if I was catching up or not, after another km I was getting closer and by 6km I'd caught and passed him as I carried on to Semaphore jetty.
On the way back I met up with the same guy, he passed me initially as I was taking my t-shirt off for the run back on the beach. There was now much more flat wet sand to run on. I' thought I'd catch him easily and pass him fairly soon but he put up a very good fight and we ran neck and neck for the next 5km. My pulse was up near 150 so I was putting in a much higher than aerobic effort. As we neared Grange jetty I knew it was going to be case of who was going to make a break for it first and would they be able to keep the effort up. At around 150m I just put the effort in and pushed my heart rate up to 160. I was running at full out sprint, my lungs were bursting and I knwe I couldn't keep it up for long. I outran him at the end and when he arrived at the jetty I shook hands with him and thanked him for a great run. He had was I guessed to be a scandanavian accent, could have been German. We had a chat for a few minutes then headed off on our separate ways.

Sunday, 13-Oct. 6km

Met up with David and Cathy today for a barefoot run at a different venue, further up the River Torrens Linear Park. I was woken at 7am by the heavy rain outside. At one point I rand David with the thought of calling it off. I got Cathy's answering service so I decided I better go. The meet was over the other side of the city. It was only David and myself that went on the run, Michael called it off because of the rain. As it turned out the was a good run. The rain had stopped and some sun came out and warmed the ground, it was much warmer than running in rain during mid winter. The Torrens Park was a beautiful spot to run, it has been upgraded with lots of trees and a large lake area for water conservation. After the run we headed for a coffee at a cafe at the bottom of Gorge Road where we chatted for around an hour before heading off.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Light week

Distance 23.5km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 5160.7km] Week40

Thursday, 3-Oct 11km

Some pent up energy was released on todays run. The weather had been pretty awful during the week, Monday wasn't too bad, it was warm but the rain started in the late afternoon. It stayed wet and windy for the next few days.
I gave myself a rest to allow my feet to recover from running last week and I did feel better for it. I had also been a bit stressed today as I was thinking about spending a large sum of money to buy a small (everything is Australia is very expensive, land especially) block of land and that must have been releasing stress hormones into my system causing me to get a headache so by finishing time at work I felt awful. As soon as my feet touched the ground on the run, normality started to return and I felt calmer. I ran a good time of 61m for the distance which included a bit of a walk from the beach. I felt I was running strongly today. I still got passed by some young guy flying past. I didn't bother chasing down.

Saturday, 5-Oct 12.5km

As I set off towards the beach it looked like a perfect running day, cool with a light breeze but bright and sunny. When I parked up at the beach the wind was much stronger, blowing from the north. I set off and within one kilometre I was running into strong winds, 30km/h with gusting 48km/h along the beach. It sapped my energy and I decided I would cut the run short and not run to the next jetty at Semaphore but turn back when I hit the Esplanade at Semaphore. The wind strength started to ebb as I reached the half way point. I came off the beach and onto the bitumen/concrete path, following the miniature railway. It felt much better not having the wind blowing at me. I ran on the drying out grass behind the houses by the beach. They are losing their winter softness as they dry out, soon the hard seeds will be sticking in my feet again and I will have to abandon the route. Halfway back I move once more onto the beach and a beautiful expanse of flat wet sand. The wind has now moderated to a light breeze behind me as I flew along at a fast pace. The weather front that passed through has gone and left fantastic spring weather behind.
We move into Australian Summer time at midnight tonight, losing an hour in return for lighter evenings. It's like a mini jet lag. I abandoned my sunday run as I couldn't get out of bed.


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Getting warmer again

Distance 53.2km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 5137.2km] Week39

 23, 25, 27 Sep. 10km x 3

My working week had the 3 runs of 10km. Two of the outings were good with the middle one very average. I think spending 8 hours sitting at a computer during the day sometimes buggers up my running. I just couldn't get into gear, my lungs felt restricted but my heart rate was still on the low side at around 130, it felt like it should have been a lot more the way I was trying to get enough air.

Saturday, 28th Sep. 15km

A nice morning, bright but cool, good for a run. The tide was incoming as I ran up to Semaphore and I was running out of beach. I noticed the dunes near the Semaphore jetty have some fresh erosion, probably due to the high winds we had on Wednesday night. It won't be long before the sea breaks through the dunes and pushes water into the low lying area behind. Several of the paths that lead to the beach had drops of 1-2 metres when the sand has been washed away. I took a different route back, running along MIlitary Road then along the lake at West Lakes. My feet were feeling a bit sore from some of the rough roads by the end and I was feeling tired. I thought by now my feet could cope with running long distance on rough surfaces but I still have to take care.

Sunday, 29th Sep. 8.2km

Last run of the week and it was my lake loop. A warm northerly wind blew in my face on the way up and as I slowly angled away it dropped and ended up behind me. The feet were a bit sore today so I might give them a rest next week. I should run for enjoyment rather then just get the distance up for the week, that only leads to injuries.
The cool days seem fewer now, maybe one of two per week, soon, in mid summer these will be the days I will be wishing for to keep my feet off the baking ground.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

More Wet Weather

Distance 41.7km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 5084.0km] Week38


Monday 16-Sep.10km

Having to rewrite this entry a second time due to a blogger glitch wiping it out is very annoying but there's not much I can do.
Winter came back to visit for a day and as I headed to the beach there were threatening dark clouds being pushed towards the beach by the strong westerly wind. When I parked up at the beach and scanned up and down the beach I could see that it looked like I would be lucky if I got through the run without getting caught in the rain at some point. That point came around 2km after I set off, just south of Henley the wind picked up and the rain started. I seemed to be the only one out as I looked down the long concrete path by the beach. The rain was blowing horizontally and stinging my face and legs, strangely though my feet were warm as there must have been some residual warmth in the concrete and that was warming the pools of rainwater. The rain stopped by the halfway point and just left the wind blowing. The wind gradually dried me out as I ran back so that by the time I got back I was almost dry, may hair was a bit awry by that point though.

Friday, 20-Sep. 11km

After a week of cold rainy weather this appears to be the best day of the week, light wind and a clear sky. It would have been a great run except that I felt like I needed to go to the bathroom for most of the way around which made it a bit uncomfortable. It also got a bit chilly as the the sun edged towards the western horizon. I was running a bit late as I left work later and didn't set off until just after 5pm. Sunset is at around 6.12pm at the moment. I got a bit of a twinge in my right calf that I will keep an eye on.

Saturday, 21-Sep. 12.5km

This was supposed to be the start of the good weather, I checked the forecast on my phone and noticed that they had rain due at around 10.30am but a day of 24C, surely not. The sky looked blue as I emerged from the house but far out west was a line of black cloud.
I decided to run without having breakfast today as it would push me too late to get out. If I ran at a lower heatrate I should be ok, just burning fat rather than carbs.
It took me a while to get the engine revved up, the feet and ankles felt stiff so I just chugged along confident that I would start to feel better once I'd warmed up. It seemed to work. By the time I reached the breakwater at Semaphore I decided that I would turn back as I was feeling hungry and the black clouds had moved much closer and were only a couple of km away. I had the breeze behind me now which I was thankful for as the hunger was getting to me. About 1km from the end the the weather front hit, first with a strong wind then, just as I arrived back at my car the rain came down, superb timing. It rained for around half an hour then started to clear. Who knows, it may even get to the 24C forecast today.

Sunday, 22-Sep. 8.2km

Is this the start of spring? Perfect running day, sunny, not too hot, not too cold, light breeze, just right. After a 75 minute gym workout I got to the lake at 10.30am and did an un-monitored 8.2km around the lake. The legs started to feel a bit heavy on the last kilometre from the weighted lunges I'd done earlier. I still have not managed to get much speed training in. I used to be able to run the kilometre stretch towards the end in around 4 minutes but I have slowed right down and would be lucky to cover the distance in 5 minutes. Maybe I shouldn't worry, I guess at 50 I don't need to be racing people half my age.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

4 Years of Barefoot Running

Distance 44km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 5042.3km] Week37

Monday, 9-Sep. 10.5km

A breezy afternoon for my run. Behind me on the way out then directly in my face on the way back. I was out a bit later this afternoon and the sun had just set by the time I got back to my car. Run went well except for slight soreness around the ankle area which maybe is a symptom of increasing my distances ready for some races sin the Spring and Summer. It is now 4 years since I decided I needed to change the way I ran, to change from a heel striking landing to a neutral landing pattern. There is still much controversy on whether benefits outweigh the negatives. The shin soreness that dogged be for 25 years of running have now gone, that is a fact. The cause undoubtedly was the force applied to the Tibial bone when three times my body weight was being braked by my legs on each step. Whether it was the running shoes that caused the running style or just bad technique on my part it is hard to say. I would have to try to run in my new style in my old shoes to see if they force me back into the bad style or if my knowledge can stop it.

Wednesday, 11-Sep. 8km

For a bit of a change of scene this afternoon I went for a run along the river from Fulham Gardens to Henley. It's been a while since I have done this run. The only drawback is that at this time of year the sun is low in the sky and right in my eyes which means I can't see what is on the ground in front of me. I ran along the north bank of the river towards the sea, the path is rough in places but nothing I can't handle. The last road bridge where I can cross onto the other side is Seaview Road. Running back along the south bank was a different story, for some strange reason, the trees along this side had covered the path with hard seed cases. These were 5mm round seeds that were a nightmare to run on. Add to this swarms of gnats that ended up in my eyes (I hadn't worn my sunglasses) blinding me and causing me to step on more of those pesky seeds. In the end I decided to cross back onto the other side. Rather than run back the same way I took a diversion along some of the side streets and then lost my bearings as the sun was almost down and I couldn't back to the river as the roads lead me in other directions. There I was, running through an area of huge expensive houses, in bare feet and a ripped t-shirt, I'm surprised they didn't call the police to investigate. Maybe I'll stick to my beachside run again.

Friday, 13-Sep. 10.5km

Ah back to my familiar course. The tide was out so I ran the first third on the flat sand before coming back onto the cement path. I was passed by a runner a short time after getting back onto the path, the notion occurred to me that I should give chase but my legs were a bit stiff from the gym session on Thursday so I watched him gradually increase the distance in front of me. I tried some Fartlek (fast/slow) running to see if I could catch him in a fast burst then slow off as I neared. I put in several good bursts but I didn't do much to narrow the gap. I continued the fast slow pace changes on the way back until my legs got too achy. I did a timed distance along the beach from jetty to jetty to see how much I have slowed over the winter season. I recorded around 10:14 which is around 45 seconds down, not too bad seeing as I have done virtually no speed training in around a year.

Saturday, 14-Sep. 15km

A beautiful Saturday for a run. I put in another longer run at a steady pace. There was a northerly breeze that would be behind me on the return leg. I had given my ankles a soak in cold water yesterday and that had made a difference to the stiffness in my lower legs . I felt quite good all the way up to Semaphore jetty. I began to tire on the way back, a combination of the gym session on Thursday and the run yesterday began to take it's toll. I slowed down in the last few kilometres. I had a wade through the water for the last 500m to cool the muscles down.
The City Bay run is on tomorrow, 12km from Adelaide city centre to Glenelg on the seafront, the biggest run on the states calendar. I may go down and take some photos if I can get up in time.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Closing in on 5000km

Distance 44.2km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 4998.3km] Week36

Monday, 2-Sep.  10.5km

Spring has arrived with some warm weather and that has brought flocks of people to the beach. Where a few weeks earlier there were no cars parked along the front, today the cars were packed into nearly all available spaces. Runners too were plentiful now. I have to play dodge the pedestrian now as the slow moving types seem unresponsive when someone is running towards them. I guess running around obstacles is probably good for training all the smaller muscles in the feet and legs as you quickly change direction. A good run tonight. I should really find a new running course as I keep doing the same one over and over again.

Wednesday, 4-Sep. 10.5km

A day off work feels soo good, knowing that when I wake at 5.30am I don't have to leap out of bed, I can relax for another couple of hours.
A warm day was forecast before the cooler wetter weather heads in tomorrow so it was a good day to go for a run and just relax. I got out for my run at around 9.30am, I chose a road run as the tide was in and the sand was soft and had quite a gradient. There was a bit of a breeze from the north which I had to run into on the way back but it wasn't too strong. There was rain in the air as well. When I got back to the car and cooled off a brief shower started up. It didn't last though and I was able to spend the afternoon wandering along the river at a much more relaxed pace than I usually get to enjoy, taking photos and finding interesting things that I would normally miss like the small skink that came to check me out while I was sitting by the river.

Possibly a Southern Water Skink

Saturday, 7-Sep. 15km

A perfect running day hardly any wind and a temperature of around 18C. I had plenty of flat sand to run on once I got to the more sparsly populated areas of the beach. I could just relax and close my eyes for periods of time as I was running and just let my feet and legs 'feel' the way for me. I've not done many longer runs for a while due to the dark evenings but now I can start to do some longer distances again. I'll keep it at 15km for a while before adding in a few 18km runs. I might run in the Henley classic in November if it is not too expensive. It's a 10km run that follows the same course as I run from Henley to Glenelg so it is a familiar run to me.

Sunday, 8-Sep. 8.2km

Quite a breezy day today as I parked up at the lake after a 1.5 hour session at the gym. My legs felt a bit wobbly after doing weighted lunges and some leg extensions. I decided to leave the stopwatch/heart monitor in the car so I run feeling more relaxed. I started off slow to ease any stiffness from the legs then gradually increased the pace on the latter half of the course. I ran into the wind on the way out and had it behind me on the way back which is the ideal way to work it. I only have another 2km to run and I will have passed the 5000km mark for total miles run in bare feet. It is kind of hard to believe.
Last night I began watching Eddie Izzard's Run for Mandela in South Africa. Originally he intended to run it barefoot but he has now. probably wisely opted to run in some Neo's which I think Vivo Barefoot manufacture. They are very thin running shoes, only around 2mm thick. I'll be interested to see if they leave his feet in better shape than the big cushioned shoes he used to run around the UK a few years ago.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Into Sping

Distance 34.7km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 4954.1km] Week35

Tuesday, 27-Aug. 10.5km

Umm, they seem to be digging more an more of my running route up, all improvements for the future I suppose but short term inconvenience for me.
I ran along the beach for around 3km before climbing back onto the footpath.
A bit of competition as I made my way to the surf club at West Beach. I glanced over my shoulder and saw a runner about 50m behind me who looked like he wanted to make an example of me by racing past. I wasn't going to let this happen so slowly cranked up the pace. I could hear his footsteps behind me so I pushed the accelerator, he clung on so I went faster again until it was an all out sprint. He stopped the chase and ran across the road then down a side road. That adrenaline rush pushed my heart past 150bpm and my legs were a bit stiff after that effort. I took it a bit easier on the way back.

Friday, 30-Aug. 11km

A stressful day at work almost left me to drained to go for a run, I felt like just collapsing on the sofa and having a snooze, but, I persevered and got my gear on and ran and soon enough the reward came and if felt good to have the feeling on pavement under foot. I was a bit later out on my run and the sun had set by the time I got back to my car but what a spectacular sunset it was. There was some herringbone clouds on the horizon that got lit up into an orange glow, it was hypnotic just sitting and watching it slowly darken. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera on hand to capture the image.

Saturday, 31-Aug. 5km

I met up with David and Cathy for a short barefoot run from Semaphore following the foreshore path then onto the grassy trail behing the beach houses. This was the first really warm day of Spring although technically spring is tomorrow. The running group has shrunk with Jenny having some ankle problems and John bowing out and going back to shoes. Maybe the wave has passed and couldn't defeat the corporate shoe culture. Runners will continue to get injured and have shortened running careers due to wrongly designed shoes and misleading statements made by people with a vested interest in selling expensive corrective treatments.
After the short run we headed to The Mill for a coffee and a chat and agreed to meet up again In October.

Sunday, 1-Sep. 8.2km

After an early gym session I headed to the lake for my 8.2km loop. Another warm 25C day but quite breezy this time. I ran into the warm northerly wind which quickly dried my throat. It seems like the move from running on cold winter pavement to warm footpath has happened quite suddenly. I'm beginning to wonder about coping with the hot summer surfaces again. It seems like a year has zoomed by and I am now at my 4th year anniversary of taking up barefoot running.


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Wet wet wet week

Distance 31.7km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 4919.4km] Week34

Monday, 19-Aug. 10.5km

Wow the coldest run of the winter so far. I didn't run over the weekend due to the rain and wind so now I'm well rested and wanting to get out after sitting in fromt of a PC all day at work getting eyestrain. I got well wrapped up for my run, two t-shirts and a long sleeved top and my leggings. It was around 10C and windy when I got to the beach. Foam was being whipped up by the wind along the beach and blowing clumps over the cold sand. At one time I would have found it uncomfortably cold running in the cold water then onto the cold concrete but now it doesn't bother me that much. I did get a few unbelieving looks from people walking along the front who were wrapped in heavy clothes and coats. I ran into the wind on the way out and had it blowing on my left side on the way back, the wind gusts were up to 48km/h but mainly a steady 30km/h. Had I not worn the extra layers of clothing I would have got some wind chill and caused myself some problems. I ran the distance in around 58m.

Saturday, 24-Aug. 13km

After a friday night out on the town or rather in the pub, I was a bit slow to get going this morning. The weather didn't look that inspiring either, a misty dampness after all the rain of the week was still hanging around. I was hoping the sun would come out and burn it all off.
I got out for my run at 11am, the tide was far out and I had lots of flat sand to run on. The usual windy beach was calm so I was able to run at a good pace. Even the sand didn't seem that cold today and it was great to run on. I was in a bit of rush so initially had the plan to run for 35 minutes up then turn around and come back. By the 35min I ws only a couple of minutes off the end so I carried on and ran back along the foreshore. I ran harder today that I have been over the rest of the winter. I need to start getting some speed back into my legs.
The sun emerged on the homeward stretch and it was warm enough to take my t-shirt of, it felt good to feel the warmth of the sun on my back.

Sunday, 25-Aug. 8.2km

The hamstrings were a bit sore today after my run yesterday, I can tell I had a good run yesterday. So here I amrunning around the lake, I started as slow and relaxed as I could to ease the aching muscles back into life. I had done a gym session as well so took my time to loosen up. I dodged around a few patches of glass on the course, one reason to keep the eyes open. One piece would have been very problematic if I had stood on it. Even shoes would have had a bit of a problem.
Only one more week and I hit my 4 year barefoot anniversary and I will be close to the 5000km mark as well.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Quiet running week

Distance 21.5km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 4887.7km] Week33

Monday, 12-Aug. 11km

A chilly day with a strong breeze. I didn't feel much like going for a run after work tonight but thought if I just go out and run lightly then see how I feel after a couple of kilometres. As expected, once I got going I felt much better. Just concentrating on my breathing and the feel of my feet on the ground. The ground was warm despite the cold breeze. I must have set off slightly later today as it was quite dark when I got back to the car. I put in a bit of a burst of speed at the end to beat a yound lady who overtook me earlier, the competitive instinct is still there. The wet weather came in a couple of hours after I got back, lots of rain.

Thursday, 15-Aug. 10.5km

The only other run this week on one of the nicer days. There was some sunshine and a sunset as I made my back through Henley Beach. The run went well, smooth and relaxed. Not many people out this afternoon, only a couple of runners. I have noticed that I get a few more acknowledgments these days, maybe After all the years there is a bit of respect for my persistance. The rest of the week was cold wet and windy so I decided that I could relax for the rest of the week without a run rather than battle the driving rain and wind.
We are now halfway through the last month of winter. By September it should be much lighter in the evening and the days should be slightly warmer.


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Almost Spring

Distance 42.7km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 4866.2km] Week32

Monday, 5-Aug. 10.5km

A windy but warm evening for a run. I wore just shorts and t-shirt rather than my normal two t-shirts, long sleeved top, skins and shorts. The wind was blowing from the north so it was behind me on the way out and in my face on the way back. A change is on the way and we are back to cold wet weather tomorrow. There were plenty of rain clouds around during the run but I avoided the spots where the rain was coming down.
The feet kept nice and warm on the run as the sun had warmed the pavements up slightly during the day.

Thursday, 8-Aug. 11km

After a cold start the day turned out pleasant and warm and it was an ideal evening for a run after work. I even had to take my running top off and just run in a t-shirt as I was getting a bit warm. I got a bit of ankle cramp on the way back but ran it off and by the end it was fine. I practiced the nose breathing again but occasionaly I have to resort to taking in larger amounts of air through my mouth. I saw one of the first of the spring catepillars on the path the other day, a sign that Spring is not far away. The photo below is one I took after my run and is the Grange Hotel at dusk.

Grange Hotel, dusk, August 8th 2013

Saturday, 10-Aug. 13km

I was greeted with sunshine peeping under the blinds this morning indicating that it has the possiblity of being a nice morning outside. I was up and about a little late after having a night out hosted by the company I work for, to celebrate 15 years in the job. Wow has time flown by. I got to the beach just after 10am, the tide was at the low point so I had a large expanse of flat sand to run on. There was a bit of a breeze blowing from the north that felt a bit chilly but the sun offered some warmth when it came out from being some of the light clouds. On the way back I came off the beach and ran along the grass behind the houses, with the winter rain the grasses had started to grow and the spiky seeds that cover this area in late summer have now all germinated and are no longer a problem. On the way back I upped the pace as I had the breeze at my back and it just felt good to be running harder. I took my top off to cool down while running and had the experience of feeling small drops of rain that must have been blown from some real distance away as the slky above was blue and cloudless, the only cloud I could see was on my left. It just felt like thousands of small electric shocks. A very enjoyable run

Sunday, 11-Aug. 8.2km

After a gym session in the morning and a heavy upper leg workout I went to the lake to run it off. The legs felt a bit wobbly at first due to the leg extensions I had done earlier but they sorted themselves out by half way. I will probably be sore in a couple of days. The northerly breeze blew down the length of the lake today as I ran up the western edge then as I slowly moved around on the return half it just died down and I could feel the sun again. I ran untimed today but I felt like I was running  a bit fast without the restraining influence of my heart monitor. I can feel spring in the air.
In the evening I got to speak about barefoot running at a local community radio station and spent and hour answering questions from the presenters Julie and  Jackie.  A great first experience of talking on live radio. I have John Middleton to thank for arranging that so, thanks John!


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Last month of winter

Distance 73km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 4823.5km] Week31


Wednesday, 24-July. 10km

A good 10km run but my legs were a bit sore from the gym on Sunday. Overdoing the lunges and leg presses have left the legs a bit flat. The sun is going down while I'm half way back, in another few weeks I will be finishing with the sun still above the horizon.
The first run of the spring is just around the corner, the City to Bay run, the biggest run in the state with 10's of thousands running. I may go down and take some photos but I won't run, it is too expensive and too busy, I'll wait for the Christmas run and see if I can complete it this time.

Friday, 26-July.  10.5km

I need to pick up my speed a bit as I'm getting overtaken by a few of my shoe wearing brothers. I haven't done much speedwork for a year so I have not got that burst I need when I go into races. My calf had a bit of a knot that threatened to tighten towards the end of my run. I staved it off by relaxing my calves, it's good that I can feel it before it comes on and cramps.

Saturday, 27-July. 13km

My runs this year have been shorter than they were a year previous. At this time last year I was running 15km -20km. The disruption of the holiday midway during the year has reduced my distances, but, then again, its not a race to get the highest didtances over a week. When I get fixated on doing long distances I can miss small signals that indicate I might be on the way to an injury. Distance isn't everything and I think I'm getting too old to worry about trying to win a race unless it is in some veterans category.

Monday, 29-July. 10km

The days are getting slightly longer now so it is not totally dark when I finish my run. I have to divert from the beach path that I usually take as it is being revamped and as usual they seem to take forever. Lots of digging with heavy machinery, I assume they must be making a shared cycle/walkway which would be wider than the older path, hopefully it will be converted to a nice concrete pathway, a bit more barefoot friendly than the wonky brick path that I had to negotiate carefully in the dark. 

Thursday, 1-Aug. 10.5km

The warmest day of the week with the daytime temperature reaching a high of 19C, this made for some warmth in the ground that my feet could detect as I ran my out and back run to West Beach. I'd had a busy day at work and left the office with a headache and a longing to get out into the fresh air and get the body moving. The body did thank me for it and I had a great sleep that night. I did get a slight bruise on the underside of my foot when I landed on a stone due to a bit of carelessness on my part.

Saturday, 3-Aug. 13km

Quite a fight with the wind today as I ran up to Semaphore. The wind speed at the airport was 35km/h, on the beach it would have been over 40km/h. It slowed me down by around 10 minutes on the run north. The reward for all the hard effort was to have the wind behind me and run at a much faster speed on the way back. On the way back I came across a dead dolphin calf washed up on the incoming tide. It was around 1.5m long and had probably been dead for a day poor thing. I reported it to the animal marine rescue group so they could take it away for testing.

Sunday, 4-Aug. 6km

Well, here we are again the First Sunday of the Month barefoot run and we are assembled in the car park near the River Torrens close to the Adelaide zoo. In contrast to the weather that came in during the afternoon yesterday of thrashing rain, today was mild and sunny. The ground was still wet and there was plenty of debris knocked off the trees by the storm. There was 4 of us who went for a run today, Myself, David, Kathy and Michael. We ran a weaving loop around the river and sports fields on a variety of surfaces and quite a bit of mud. The good thing about being barefoot is not worrying about getting shoes wet and muddy, you clean your feet by running through puddles. After the run and reuniting with half of our party that got lost we headed to the local deli for a coffee. 

Michael, Kathy & David after our August run

Myself, Kathy & David after the run

Waiting for the post run coffee

The local deli

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Cold and rainy days

Distance 29.2km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 4750.5km] Week29

Wednesday, 17-July. 10.5km

I had some company on my run tonight in the form of Jeffery Tan and his daughte. They have been barefoot running for a while now but have not managed to make it to any of the group runs so I said I would go for a run at any time that was convenient.
We had a mild day today but this was going to change before weekend as a cold weather system moves across the state. I met Jeff at Henley beach and we ran towards West Beach then back up to Grange and back once more. It was starting to get quite cool in the last part of run as we made our way up and down the beach. It was good to have some company for once.
I was still a little stiff from the gym workout I had on Sunday where I did some leg exercises. I'm going to continue doing upper legs but leave the calves as they get enough of a workout from the running.

Saturday, 20-July. 10.5km

The cold winter weather certainly arrived yesterday and overnight. I was in two minds about whether to run of just stay in the comfort of indoors. The sun started to come out so that made up my mind, I could get a short run in. There was a strong cold wind blowing from the west south west direction and lots of dark clouds scurrying across the sky. I managed to run and avoid the rain but did come across spots where the rain had only just stopped. I wore extra warm clothing, two t-shirts and a long sleeved top along with compression leggings and short. My feet got a bit chilly but then started to feel warmer. It was a feeling like I used to get when I was young and threw snowballs during the winter, at first it was cold then the blood rushes to your hands (feet) to warm you up. I ran into the wind on the way out and had it almost behind me on the way back.

Sunday, 21-July. 8.2km

A cold night with plenty of rain showers. Thankfully it's a Sunday so I can say in the warmth for longer than on a weekday.
After a gym workout at 9.00am where I did quite a few leg exercises I made my way to the lake at 10:30am.
Jeff didn't turn up this time so I assume he didn't rread his email. I decided to try something he mentioned while running on Wednesday, nose breathing. Most of us, when we run get the oxygen into our lungs through our mouths but I have heard that you can regulate the aerobic pace you run at by breathing through your nose and keeping your mouth shut. I shall have to do more research into any benefits of this. I managed it all the way around on my run and did feel quite relaxed. It does feel a little strange in that you feel you should open your mouth like all the other runners you pass. While at the gym I was watching a girl on the treadmill running at a fast pace and she was only breathing through her nose and it made her running look effortless and easy. How I want my running to look in the end.
The wet pavements had dried out by the time I came to run around the lake. I must have acclimatised to the cold surfaces now as it doesn't seem to bother me any more. I ran untimed today.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Getting back to winter

Distance 57.7km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 4721.3km] Week28

Monday, 1-July. 6km

First run after getting back from the sunny northern hemisphere. I have a full on cold virus that I picked up while travelling back. I find the timing amazing. When I fly out to the UK I catch a virus and spend 6 days ill. I get rid of that and pick up another on the return journey. So, as I head out on this short run, my breathing is restricted by tight painful lungs. I know it is not recommended to do physical exercise when enduring a chest infection but I took it easy and hoped that it would free up the tightness and ease the wheezing.
I ran on the beach and road. My feet had to go from running on warm surfaces to chilly winter temperature. They felt numb and my legs were cold as I wore just shorts and T-shirt, forgetting how cold it got once the sun disappeared.

Wednesday, 3-July. 10km

They are still doing refurbishment work along the beach, it seems to be taking for ever. If this were in China it would have been completed in a couple of weeks, but here in Australia it takes around 6 months. I can see why we have a productivity problem. It should be good when it is finished but it just takes sooooo long. There will be a pavement on both sides of the road now, one side concrete, which will be good for running on. The other side hasn't been started yet so I have no idea how they are going to pave it, with concrete or more upmarket brick.
Once again I ran in shorts and T-shirt and it got chilly out after sunset. Next time I will dress warmer.

Friday, 5-July. 9km

The pathway that runs behind the houses at Henley has been closed off due to upgrading work so I have to run that section on the beach. There was some firm sand to run along but it was very cold on the feet. I got back off the beach at the earliest opportunity. I have started to wear my compression leggings again after getting a bit cold on my previous run. My feet were a bit numb tonight, the ground being around 10C. I was glad to get them warmed up in the shower after getting back.

Sunday, 7-July. 6km

The monthly get together for the barefoot runners group. David was away on holiday but a new recruit turned up, Michael. Jenny was there also but the English Michael was a no show, maybe his enthusiasm with barefoot running has waned. I got no reply to my email. He could be on holiday though.
I was woken in the morning to the sound of heavy rain and this didn't bode well for the run at 10.30am. It did ease off by 9.00am as I headed down to the gym for a quick workout before the run. This was my first gym session for around 6 weeks so I went back to beginners weights.
I got to our meeting point by 10.30am by which time the sun came out and there was plenty of blue sky around. The sun had given off enough energy to dry the pavement and even impart a bit of warmth into the concrete. We did the lake loop at a easy conversational pace then after headed to the Grange bakery cafe for a coffee. Next months run will be the last of the winter ones for this year and we will be back into spring.

Thursday, 11-July. 10.5km

After a cold night a beautiful clear winters day followed with warm temperature and still conditions. The forecast was for rain coming in tomorrow so this afternoon was the pick of the days for a run.
I headed to the beach and ran from Grange to West Beach, the first part along the sand which was hard work as it was soft and quite cold. The sun had disappeared from the sky before I reached the halfway point and the temperature started to drop. My feet stayed a bit warmer than last week, maybe I've acclimatised.
I still had to have a good cough to clear my lungs every now and again, I'm close to the end of this virus attack.

Saturday, 13-July. 8km

The weather was actually quite warm today a silver line in the wet weekend. I went for a later run today as I had an eye test booked during the morning. First eye test I have ever had. Not a lot worng with my eyes except the gradual loss off short distance vision that comes with age. I went out for my run at around midday and managed 8km. I could have gone a bit further but I was running out of time. I have a get together with friends in the afternoon over coffee so I didn't want to be too late. The soft sand sapped my energy at the end of the run and I was glad to get it over with.

Sunday, 14-July. 8.2km

My usual lake run today. I swapped my routine around today, rather than run then go to the gym I did the gym work then ran. I did quite a few upper leg exercises at the gym to build my legs up. Despite all the running they have lost a lot of the strength for lifting weights.
The run after was a better way to do it. I got chatting to a fellow runner who was interested in knowing a bit more about barefoot running so I told her to search for the Facebook site. I got caught in the rain on the second half of the run and got pretty well soaked.


Sunday, June 30, 2013

Holiday running

Distance 33.3km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 4663.6km] Week26

Tuesday, 18-Jun. 6.6km

My first barefoot run in Spain and I decided to explore the resort village of Cala En Blanes where we would be staying for the week. I set off at around 7.30am in the cool morning. I carried a map and an idea of where I would be running. The only people out at that time of the morning were the Spanish themselves, on their way to work or school, the other nationalities would most likely still be in bed recoving from late nights.

I ran into each area of the resort doing a loop if possibe. The pavements were tiled with a square cross patterned tile that was quite hard to run on after a while due to its deep groove that made up the square. It was easier to run on the road. Running around like this was a good way to get your bearings and to see areas that you would not see while out with a group.

This area is not big on beaches, all they have is small inlets with a tiny beach at the end, the Spanish word Cala means Creek which is what these inlets would be during the wetter weather.

The place was made up of mainly apartments and holiday villas along with the eating places and supermarkets that serve them, in other words, purpose built for the tourist.

My first barefoot run covered 6.6km

Thursday, 20-June. 7.6km

Now this was a far more pleasant run, it took me along the quiet road from Cala En Blanes to Ciutadella with some beautiful views of tiny inlets with houses dotted around the edge.

The road was a one way that allowed traffic out of Ciutadella, alongside was a two way cycle path which I used as my running lane as it was more uniform to run on rather than the patterned footpath. I passed early morning walkers and a couple of runners during the run, remembering to use Olah rather then hi as a greeting. I completed the run in around 40 minutes which I wasn't timing, just estimating.

Saturday, 22-June. 7.6km

A repeat run of thursday but this time with some company. A coincidence in that the family of an old friend of mine was staying in the same holiday town. I ran with one of his sisters sons who was around 19 and training to be a soccer player for on of the big English teams. He mentioned he was keen on running so I said I'd meet up and do the run into Ciutadella. Running with company and chatting makes the run zoom by. I guess also, having done the run once you know the route and all the landmarks. He was amazed how I could run without shoes at the same pace as him, not that we were racing as it was at a chatting pace.

Tuesday, 25-June. 11.5km

Back in England and on my last run of my trip. I ran with Graham and he let me take the lead and route to run on. I chose the river to run along then up along a neglected path into Woodley before climbing up into Greave.
I was running in the VFF's and now my barefoot running is so good I can switch into the shoes and not get a problem but I also have the stamina to keep on going. It was Graham that ended up asking if we were on our way back yet. I put in a good burst along the old railway track that has been turned into a walking track.


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Holiday time

Distance 33.5km [total: minimalist 317.6km: Barefoot 4641.8km] Week23

Wednesday, 29-May 13km

My last run on a sandy beach for a month as I prepare for a trip to visit family in England. A run north to Semaphore and back along the road and grassy lawns behind the homes fronting the coast. The spiky seed cases have now disappeared, probably sprouted new plants with the return of the wetter winter weather. I' safe to run here until the end of spring when the seed cases return.

Saturday, 1-June 6km

First run back on English soil for around 2 years. It was an inspiring sunny morning so got up for my first run before breakfast. I opened the door an realised the morning temperature in an English summer is similar to the daytime temperature in the Adelaide winter. It was chilly. I warmed up as I ran but my hands still felt cold. I chose a short run along the River Tame for my first outing. An easy 6km. There was not as much mud as I encountered the last time I ran over here but it was still around in patches.I monitored my pulse rate and kept it below 140bpm but it was harder than I thought. On the return journey on some of the uphill paths it shot above 150. The hills are quite a test to a flat land runner from Adelaide.

Monday, 3-June. 6km 

Another river run a bit later in the day, ah, warmer this time. The run was the same route as last time with a slight variation of some steep climbs at the end to push the pulse rate up. I've also caught a cold from my trip on the plane. Brilliant.

Wednesday, 5-June.10km

Old running mate Graham came around today to drag me out for a run. We used to go on regular runs back in the '80s. He knows far more of the off road trails than I do which made for a very interesting and picturesque run. Except from the times we emerged onto roads I was familiar with, I had no idea where I was. Most of these trails would be muddy during typical wet English weather but now the sun had been sining for around a week they were beginning to dry out. It is much more enjoyable running along trails that are not maintained by throwing gravel down.With bent springy knees you can flow along the trail with a light springiness that you associate with animals.The trails were around Werneth Low with only one spot where we walked due to the steepness of the road. Very enjoyable run.

Friday, 7-June. 10k

I am truly amazed that I have had nearly a week of sunny warm weather. Even the locals can't believe that summer has arrived. The run I completed today took me along the canal towpath to the long tunnel at Woodley. As with all these runs over here I'll be wearing my my VFF shoes, it is far too stony to run barefoot and I would feel very self conscious in this country, running without shoes.
From where I get off the canal the road begins to climb at a gentle gradient, maybe 10% along tree lined roads with large houses up to an area called Greave. From there I leave the main road and take the country lane that climbs to the top of Werneth Low, this is the steep part which is around a 20% gradient. I would like to say I ran the whole way but I stopped to pat a lonely pony standing in a field by the edge of the road. The cold I acquired on the flight over here is still wrapped around my chest making my breathing restricted so I'm running at a slower pace that I would normally. I am missing the true barefoot running, VFF's are no substitute.

Sunday, 9-June. 6km

Still the virus hangs on. I had a good bout of coughing last night to try to clear my lungs and woke today to find the heaviness back again. I did manage a few good coughs and cleared it in the morning then as the weather was still nice I headed out for a short run along the River Tame. The VFF's are a necessity as the road is very rough that leads to the river. Most of the paths are gravel as well so I wouldn't get very far barefoot. I ran along the river to Manchester road then crossed onto the other side and back through some farms then a trail that is quite overgrown from when I ran it when younger. My heart rate monitor seemed to be giving some high readings, at times it was up at 172, I'm pretty sure I was not labouring at that rate but I wanted to be cautious due to the virus, I have heard you can damage the heart by running with a virus in the chest area.
I emerged from the trail in Woodley and then made my way back to the canal for the run home.


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Week 21 2013

Distance 33.5km [total: minimalist 285.6km: Barefoot 4628.8km] Week21

Monday, 20-May. 10.5km

My usual weedkay run along the Esplanade. I shall be glad when they have finished the roadworks at West Beach, I'm tired of swapping from one side of the road to another. I think it will be good when it is finished as I'll have a long stretch of flat concrete to run along which should be cooler in the hotter summer months. At the moment it is littered in stones and bits of gravel so I have to keep alert and be relaxed and run softly. I ran the last stretch of 2km along the beach.

Thursday, 23-May. 10km

A sunny autumn day had left a bit of warmth in the ground that my feet were grateful for. This warmth dissipates quicky as the sun sets. The sun set this evening at the halfway part of my run and it was quite dark when I got back to the car at around 6pm. This was a all hard surface run. I have noticed a bit of stiffness in my left calf. I have given it a massage on the roller and will monitor it to see if it gets any worse.

Saturday, 25-May. 13km

Not the best of runs today, maybe it was the cold conditions or the wind blowing but the muscles felt a bit stiff today and I was aware of the left calf on a few occasions when I thought I might have got a strain or a knot. I would ease up on the pace and relax until it felt ok again. I felt quite tired when I got back. I had to have a shorter run than usual as I had to get out early for a football mach in the early afternoon.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Easy week

Distance 28.2km [total: minimalist 285.6km: Barefoot 4595.5km] Week20

Monday, 13-May. 10km

Our cool wintery change came in yesterday, plenty of dark clouds and rain heading in from the west. As everyone says though, I guess we need it.
This morning the rain beat down but then the sun would shine and some warmth came back for a short while.
Rather than take the easy option and relax I got my shorts and t-shirt on and headed out for my run. As I drove towards the bach I could see the bruised looking sky up ahead. I parked up near the sailing club and when I started running the pavement was dry but within a kilometres the rain was coming down and wind blowing. Now I was already soaked I may as well carry on. The feet don't seem to get that cold these days when I run, my main worry is the sometimes slippery surfaces when wet.The really smooth brick and concrete can be slippery when you get a film of water and your foot rides on the top.
I passed yet another barefoot runner, a young guy wearing footy gear, running just near the river outlet, he looked a bit knackered actually, probably wondering what he was doing in this awful weather with no shoes on. I put on a decent pace despite the conditions and did around 57 minutes for the 10km.

Thursday, 16-May. 10km

As the darkness is encroaching more on the late afternoon I only have around 30 minutes of sunlight before dusk arrives. I just about got halfway through my run when the sun set over the sea. There was a chilly south westerly wind blowing. It felt better to have it behind me on the way back. There is still work on the new pathway along the road going on and so lots of gravel and loose stones over the concrete which is hard to see in the dark. I have to just keep relaxed and light when I run over it. The dark afternoons have cut the number of runners down, any later finishers from work will find it less appealing to go running once darkness has arrived and it's cold.
Only a few weeks and I'll be running in the daylight again if not better weather.

Sunday, 19-May. 8.2km

Not many kilometres covered this week due to other commitments such as going out for drinks on Friday and going to the zoo on saturday. Today was supposed to be the warmest of the days of the week but so far it has not lived up to expectations. I did a loop of the lake which is my usual Sunday outing, all went well, a good pace but no sprints at the end, I'll leave that till spring. The activity that is usually present on and around the lake has tapered off for the winter, a few rowers out there but that was all. I remember back to when I first started running without shoes and how cold I felt during the winter months, I must have acclimatised now as my feet seem to be able to cope without problems. In a couple of weeks I should be enjoying my first run in England for a few years.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Indian Summer close to winter

Distance 47km [total: minimalist 285.6km: Barefoot 4567.3km] Week 19

Monday, 6-May. 11km

After some early morning rain the afternoon turned out quite nice. We always get to see some sun at sometime during the day in Australia where as in England I could spend weeks and not see the sun. Today on my run I passed a UBR and Unidentified Barefoot Runner, not on the beach but running on concrete, so, a genuine one. I was in the last 500m of my run, it was near dark and I was sprinting the last part when I spotted another runner coming in the opposite direction, it was only as he was about 5m away that I noticed he was running without shoes. I should try to recruit him into our running group for the regular monthly runs.

Wednesday, 8-May. 11km

The warmest May day we have had on record apparently as it hit 32C today, no wonder my throat felt dry as I was running today. It also elevated my heart rate past my target band for the session. There are some fantastic sunsets to see at this time of year with the sun setting shortly after I start back on the home leg of my run. I take more care as the light fades and I can't see the ground as well but I can still keep a good pace. I recorded around 63 minutes for this run.
During this run I spotted another barefoot runner, an older guy with a bushy white beard, moving at a slow pace in the opposite direction to myself. I thought I could get to the halfway point on my run and catch him on the way back but I didn't see him. I assume he must have turned off at some point.

Friday, 10-May. 10km

The end of a warm week where the temperatures have been hitting the high 20's, today was 29C at it's peak, at the time of my run probably around 25C. Legs a bit stiff today in the calves but still able to run at a good pace.  I wish they would hurry up with the road landscaping along the Esplanade south of Henley Beach, the road and pavement has been dug up for ages while they add a new footpath to the west side of the road. The have also dug up the other side where I ran along so I have to keep crossing the gravel road to run along the bits that are completed. There is lots of lose gravel all over the pavements so I have to pay attention to where I am running. Most of the time if I am relaxed enough, running on bits of stone is not a problem, it is only occasionally when I can't shake a piece off from under my foot that I have to stop and brush it off with my hand. I saw the same barefoot runner I saw on Monday evening as I sat on the beach wall after my run. He went past too quickly for me to grab his attention.

Saturday, 11-May. 15km

Here it is, the last of the good days before the rainy weather heads in. I did a beach run today from Grange to Semaphore jetty. When I started the wind was blowing from the north east, it began to switch around as I ran and by the time I got to the jetty it was blowing from the west, the start of the change. During the run I kept the heart rate down at 130bpm for the entire run and when I finished I didn't feel the least bit tired. So there is a correlation between the distance you can cover and the speed you can cover it at, if you want to go further you have to slow down. I'll have to start dressing warmer next week, get the legings back out from where they have been gathering dust since the spring.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

IBRD 2013

Distance 28km [total: minimalist 285.6km: Barefoot 4520.3km] Week 18

Monday, 29-Apr. 11km

I had to have a run this evening after spending some money on a new car, the tension of it hat to be disipated by a bit of physical activity.
I ran an 11km from Grange car park to West Beach. I started my run a little earlier as I'd skipped out of work an hour earlier than usual. It was a nice evening for a run, the sun was out giving a bit of warmth but the pavement was cool. The calves were a little tight today after the longer run to Glenelg over the weekend so I'll have to get the roller out on them after. I did a time of just over an hour not too bad.

Thursday, 2-May. 11km

I thought I better get my run in today as I may not have the time over the weekend, I have to spruce the car up for a possible sale. I have had my car for 16 years and have now finally upgraded to a 2010 model. So far I have only driven it on a test drive. I still have to pay all the bills that come with owning a new car. A nice evening, the sun would be disappearing at around 5.30pm so I had about 40 minutes before darkness would start to fall. A great run tonight, all the stiffness had gone from the legs just a good springy bounce. I am still finding it tough to slow down to keep the heart rate at 135BPM, I naturally feel like moving faster which has my rate at 139BPM. I have to keep easing off the gas when I feel too racey.
On the way back I had to show one of the shoe wearing types that I was not the pushover that he thought. I ran past a guy near the river and a few minutes later I heard the pounding footsteps behind me, I gently moved up the pace to see if I got a response, umm footsteps still there, move the pace up again. A few minutes later no footsteps, he'd given up. The barefoot runner put up more of a fight than he anticipated.

Sunday, 5-May. 6km

International Barefoot Running Day. Despite my efforts to get a bit of publicity by writing to the SARRC they chose to ignore me, maybe the shoe company sponsorships are more important. So the small band of regulars gathered at the foot of the lake for our 6km loop. The weather was kind, I had feared rain but instead we had some warm sun. We ran at an easy 7min/km pace (according to David's GPS watch) chatting along the way. I didn't have a stopwatch so didn't record any time today, it was more of a social outing. After the run we headed to the House Cafe Bakery for a coffee. John had a sick note for the day ;-)