Sunday, April 28, 2013

Creeping the distance up again

Distance 30xkm [total: minimalist 285.6km: Barefoot 4492.3km] Week 17

Thursday, 25-Apr. 15km

Anzac Day holiday today, a lot of people get up early for the ceremonies held around the country, as I am up early most days I had a lie in. It was a bit cloudy outside so I couldn't see the sun streaking in as it would during the summer so I don't feel as inclined to get up early.
I did use the day off to go for a run though, I got to the beach at 9.45am. There was a north west breeze, it was a warm wind that blew dark rain bearing clouds across the sky. I felt like getting the distance up a bit more today so I started with a slow pace, keeping the heart rate in check. It did start to rise into the high 130's as I pushed against the breeze. I added the extra distance to Semaphore jetty the walked to the bitumen path that runs alongside the beach. As I came off the beach I spotted a couple running that I had seen the previous week and tried to catch but failed. They were in front of me by about 50m so I gave chase. They stopped for a rest after a kilometre and I passed them but I expected them to take off and chase me down so I increased my pace so that my heart rate went up to 151. When I looked around there was nobody just over my shoulder, all the sound of footsteps I thought I heard were nothing. I slowed up my pace when I hit the grass behind the houses that run along the beach. I couldn't seem to get my heart rate back to the 130's it stayed stubbornly higher even when I went back onto the beach. I think the faster 3km at 150 rate kept it elevated for the rest of the run. Maybe I was still running faster than when I started but couldn't tell after the chase.

Saturday, 27-Apr. 15km

As I had run to Semaphore on Thursday I decided rather than repeat that run I should go the other way, to Glenelg today. I got to the beach at around 9am, it was a warm start to the day nearly 20C but it was also breezy. The usual rule employed is run into the wind on the way out and have it behind you when you on the return and feeling tired, unfortunately I did it in reverse today. I ran along the road, my feet felt a bit sensitive by the time I reached Glenelg. I turned around and now had the wind blowing towards me and it had also strengthened from 32km/hr to over 50km/hr by the time I got to West beach. My feet were feeling quite tender by then so I headed for the beach. Wow the wind was so strong, I found it hard running into it and after a while had to give up through exhaustion. I walked back from the Torrens River outlet to the car, it was almost as fast as running but less exhausting. I had to keep my head averted as the sand was whipping up and lashing my legs and face. A tough day for a run.

Sunday, 28-Apr.

No run today as I was busy trying to buy a new car. The weather today was far more amenable, no wind and warm sunshine, so much for the forecast of rain.

Monday, April 22, 2013

First taste of Winter

Distance 35km [total: minimalist 285.6km: Barefoot 4462.3km] Week 16

Monday, 15-Apr. 11km

I lost my race against the sun today, I got out slightly later and that made a difference, the sun went down as I was on my way back through Henley Beach and dusk started to creep in along with the chilly wind. It was a breezy run with a strong south westerly holding me back on the way out but aiding me on the way home. Had to give the one fingered salute to a hoon in a car commenting about my lack of shoes, the old saying 'empty vessels make the most sound' is an apt description for these brainless morons.
On the way back I tagged on behind another runner from the river car park up to Henley Square where he stopped. He was going at a good pace and I had to push my heart rate up to keep up. I put in a good burst of speed in the last 500m flying past a few small groups of runners.

Friday, 19-Apr. 11km

It was a chilly start to the day, the first time my hands felt really cold since the end of summer. I'd driven into work and parked my car around 1km away. I had a long sleeved top on but felt a cold wind cut through it when I got out of the car. I put on a zip up sweat shirt, this warmed me up. The cold wind stopped by midday and was replaced by a sunny autumn day. I got out for my run at around 5pm, a hazy sun was still in the sky, there was still some warmth in the pavement but by the time I was on the return leg the warmth had gone. It took me around 1 hour for the run. The light had faded by the time I reached the car, I didn't hang around as it was too cold now. I also need to get the heater fan in my car fixed, it has stopped working so that means a cold car on my drive to work if I don't get it fixed.

Saturday, 20-Apr. 13km

The run up the beach to Semaphore was a bit tiring as I was running in soft sand for most of the way and into a north-east wind, it will be better on the way back!
The sand run  had taken much of my spring away by the time I hit the bitumen. I saw some runners up ahead and tried to chase them down but I struggled and they got away. I ran back along the grassy route behind the houses that face the beach. I wanted to avoid the sand on the return journey so looked to get back onto the road. I had to run a small section of trail through the dunes, I walked it as it was stony and there were lots of small spiky seed casings that stuck to the underside of my feet, more irritating than painful. I ran back along Military Road, the pavement wasn't very well maintained at the Grange end, the rich homeowners that have added huge extensions to their already obese houses have wreaked the pavement with the construction equipment. I spend a lot of time dodging around the broken paving and stones.
It was a joy to get back on the smooth concrete by the beach.

No running on Sunday as the weather was appauling, high winds and rain. It felt far better to stay in bed and listen to the wind howling outside

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Hill Climbing needs Strong Calves

Distance 44.2km [total: minimalist 285.6km: Barefoot 4427.3km] Week 15

Monday, 8th-April. 7km

With the reversion back to standard time the sun is now setting around 6pm so there is not much time to hang around after my run to relax and watch the other runners on their evening runs. I would guess that quite a few will be hanging their running shoes up for the season and retreating indoors, there are never as many people out once the early evenings come about.
It was a bit of run for me this evening as I had to do some shopping first before heading out. I started my run along the beach at near high tide in the wet sand. It started out feeling like hard work, the sand sucked my feet down and the wind was blowing towards me, this all sapped my energy. I was glad to leave the beach near the river and get back to the firmness of the pavement. I could now pick up my pace as I had a good firm surface and the wind at my back. I felt light on my feet now as I raced along the concrete pavement. A good run tonight.

Thursday, 11-April. 11km

The good weather keeps rolling on. What a fantastic late afternoon as I begin my run. The sun is lower in the sky now but still plenty of warmth. The ground is still warm to run on as they day had got up to 29C today. The main difference is that it is only at that high point for a short space of time. This is the sweet spot time of year to be running. I did an 11km out an back along the pavement, I started early at before 5pm so beat most of the other after work runners that come out at around 5.30pm. I got back just as the sun was sinking into the western horizon. I could feel the drop in temperature during the run, it was much cooler on the way back. I'm making the most of this autumn weather before we head into the cool wetter months.

Friday, 12-April. 5km

I had a holiday from work today, the forecast was for a 31C day today before it starts to cool next week. Today wasn't run, it was a short barefoot hike through Morialta Conservation park just east of the city. These days it takes much longer to drive across the city as the traffic has increased over the 20 years. It took around 45 minutes to get from west to east. It was tranquil and relaxing once I left that main roads and got inside the park, being a weekday the car park had very few cars there. I walked up the steep lookout trail, that climbs 115m in the first 700m. I was sweating by the time I got to the top. You get a view of the city through the valley while up the other way the gorge winds its way through the hills. It's not an easy barefoot walk, the path is gravel and uneven rocks. There are small stretches of sandy trail when you can relax and take your eyes off the ground in front of you but they don't last long. As the time crept past midday and the trail started to loop back, the path was in full sun and was starting to get hot under foot. Luckily I only had a kilometre to walk as it would have got hotter as the afternoon wore on. The descents are always harder than the ascents as you have to control your landing and be careful not to hit that pointy stone. It was a good walk. See if I have any side effects tomorrow.

Saturday, 13-April. 13km

Side effects indeed. Ouch, my poor calves, they feel like they have been beaten up, too much living the life of a flat lander, one small hill and they give up. I had a slow run today as my calves didn't really want to be there, they screamed in protest. I also had to contest with a strong northerly wind blowing towards me. I felt like a bit of a plodder today as I made may way up the beach. Would this get the stiffness out, probably not. I was worried I might get a cramp attack. It was a relief to be on my way back and have the wind behind me. I gave my calves a soaking in the cold seawater for 10 minutes to see if that would flush the stiffness out of them.

Sunday, 14-April. 8.2km

Another beautiful Sunday morning, not too warm and not too cold, around 20C with enough cloud cover to not require covering my face in sunscreen. My calves felt like they were on a hair trigger today. I ran as gently as I could so not to cause the soleus to cramp up. I would feel it most if I stopped running then started up again. It seems that barefoot running stresses the soleus far much more then the gastrocnemius which must be due to the angle at which the foot makes contact with the ground. It was a good run and I feel like I have good form when I relax and feel that springy bend in the knees. In the old days my knee would be straight and rigid and I would always have sore knees. Thankfully I don't think I have damaged my knees from the many years of bad running in shoes.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

End of SA Summer Time

Distance 40.5km [total: minimalist 285.6km: Barefoot 4383.1km] Week 14

Monday, 1st-Apr. 10km

The last week of light evenings, from next week I will be racing against the sunset as we gently slide into winter. For now though we have some great weather for the rest of the week, all the temperatures are in the mid to high 20's. Today it was a bit breezy. I ran into the south-westerly wind then had it push me back. I kept to the road the entire way around. When I got back to the car I relaxed by lying back on the bonnet and closing my eyes. I could still feel the warmth from the engine while I could hear the thump thump thump of runner going past on the pavement nearby.

Thursday 4th-Apr. 10.5km

Good run this afternoon although I did feel a tight muscle on my outer calf, this is a leftover from the lunges I did at the gym yesterday. I did around 120 walking lunges with 18kg of weights in my hands, my legs were stiffening from this morning and I could feel I was not as smooth as usual in my run. I'd also done some calf work which also didn't help. The run was good but I kept the pace down so as not to overstress the leg muscles. 

Saturday, 6-Apr. 13km

Slept in late today, after an early breakfast it was back to sleep for a couple of hours, by the time I got out for my morning run it was 10.20am. The sun was high in the sky and it was going to be a warm day of 29C. I did the Semaphore beach run today. Earlier in the week I has a flu shot to ward off the winter virus and I felt a bit sniffly today and that I was sweating a bit more than usual, I'm not sure if it was my imagination or not. I found another runner to chase down on the way up to Semaphore and I did the same on the way back, giving him a start of around 200m. It was a little tougher on the way back as he was determined not to give up his lead and it took me about 2km to break him as he increased his pace

Sunday, 7th Apr. 6km

After an extra hour or rest due to the South Australia moving from Summer Time it was a glorious day outside. I'd arranged to meet the small group of barefoot runners by the jetty at Henley for an easy 6km run. I didn't anticipate the amount of people that would decent upon Henley square this morning, finding a park spot was quite a challenge. I got to the jetty by 10am, the others hadn't arrived yet. John was the first to arrive after a long break from barefoot running due to an injury sustained while cleaning the shed, good to see he has got back on board. David turned up about 5 minutes later, all having the same parking problem. We waited until around 10.20am but there was no sign of Jenny so we set off. The run was a cut down version of my evening run, about 4km less. It is always hard to find a speed that encompasses all of the people in a group, John would like to go faster but I was worried David may not keep up. We kept up a good pace and stayed together. We ran along the Esplanade path then onto the beach when we reached the caravan park which was the half way point. The tide was at it's low point so we came back along the beach, crossing the river then back to the jetty. I had a race in the last km with John but he beat me. I need to work on my speed to put him back in his place ;-)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Into Autumn

Distance 74.2km [total: minimalist 285.6km: Barefoot 4343.6km] Week 12

Wednesday, 20-Mar. 10km

This will be one of the last of the warmer days before we slide into winter, it reached 32C today but strangely it didn't feel that warm. I was even able to run barefoot along the pavements without problem, maybe due to the sun being lower in the sky and not having the same punch as in January.
An enjoyable run, no aches or pains to report, I think they are now behind me. I'm quite happy running 10km's at the moment without thinking about stretching the runs out to 20km +. Should I do the Good Friday run, still not decided yet.

Saturday, 23-Mar. 11km

 A road run on a pleasant morning. The heart rate is still a bit high but that is probably due to the warm day. I did hear off a fellow runner that as a rule of thumb for every 1C rise in temperature above 20C you have to add 1bpm to your heart rate for your average. So if I at a normal pace my heart rate would be 135bpm at 20C then at 30C I would expect to see my heart rate up at 145bpm. I shall have to do some research to find out if that is in fact true.

Monday, 25-Mar. 11km

A road run on the beach path through Henley and down to West Beach, a nice warm late afternoon

Wednesday, 27-Mar. 11km

Our warm weather ended this morning, in fact it was warmer overnight than it was during the day. The temperature fell through the day and the winds picked up as the weather system moved across the state. I think this will be our last taste of 30C+ for this season. For my evening run I parked by the Grange Hotel then ran towards West Beach, into the the strong South West wind. There were some big waves being whipped up by the winds and I stopped for a while at West Beach to watch the waves breaking on the rocks and spraying water up onto the pathway. The thing I like about barefoot running is feeling all these elements underfootnot just as some abstract idea of what it might feel like. The wind pushed me back on the return leg. After getting back I had a walk along the jetty to watch the waves breaking against the timbers and feeling the spray over the decking. The strong wind evaporated the sweat on my T-shirt and cooled me off so I didn't hang around too long.

Friday, 29-Mar. 13km

Well, it has been a while since I have run the length of the beach to Semaphore, the last time would have been before Christmas when I was still having calf problems so that is over 3 months ago. As always when you go back to a familiar run that you have not done for a while it seemed soooo long. I had some good sand to run on and I kept it nice and relaxed so I could look around. I ran into the breeze on the way north then had it as a tailwind on the way back. It took around 37min each way, a bit slow but I had plenty of seaweed to contend with that had been pushed onto the beach by the stormy weather on Wednesday. As you may gather I didn't run in the Good Friday Easter Bun run at Athelstone, I knew I wouldn't or else I would have woken up in plenty of time. I actually woke up at around the time the race would be setting off. I just didn't feel inspired this year with my state of readiness and also the weather wasn't very inspirational, grey and cool.

Saturday, 30-Mar. 10km

So good to feel the legs and feet are working well again and carrying me smoothly on my run. It was an overcast day which was threatening rain, a temperature of 19C which was perfect for running. I parked on the seafront at the end of Grange road. It was a later start this morning as I had a good sleep last night, not waking until around 8.30am. By the time breakfast was out of the way it was after 9am so I had to wait another 1.5 hours before heading out for my run. I felt good and relaxed trying to keep the heart rate to around 137, it mostly worked. I had a 2 minute rest at West Beach then ran back covering the distance in around 55min.

Sunday, 31-Mar. 8.2km

Last day of the month and it started off looking gloomy and it did indeed rain shortly after I finished my run today but it held off during the course of my run. A great run today, felt good and some of the speed is coming back but I'm not going to live by the stopwatch.
As I was crossing the the West lakes lake, along the boulevard I run along the kerb as it is smoother than the bitumen on the bridge. As I was doing this a young hoon with his girlfriend on the back of his motor bike swerved towards me to scare me, what a fail on his part as I gave his a resounding "fuck off" directly into his face, causing him to swerve. Would have been good to see him take a fall but, no, he didn't.  Maybe I need to carry a club to deal with dickheads when I run, a good crack across the head to sort them out. The rain began shortly after I arrived back at the car park, it was refreshing to stand in the rain to cool off.