Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Run

Distance 28.2km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 6981.2km] Week51 (22nd Dec - 28th Dec)

 Well I managed to miss the Christmas Fanatics Run on Christmas morning due to oversleeping. I used the Android calendar to mark the date and send out an alert but the alert was an email rather than an alarm to wake me.
I should have used the clock function which I must have used on a previous occasion as I found an alarm set to wake me at 5:15am. As it turned out I only woke at 5:50am, 10 minutes was not enough time to get ready and down to the race so I went back to sleep for another couple of hours.
Guilt must have got to me so I went for a run at 8:00am, a bit more civilised. I ran from Grange to the Barcoo boat ramp. It was a cool morning and would have been much cooler at 6am so 8am was quite pleasant. There was a westerly wind blowing and I ran through a very brief shower on the way back. It lasted all of 2 minutes. I ran a distance of 12km.
On the Monday I ran 10km from Grange to West Beach. This was a wet run. It was lightly raining on the way down to west beach but increased on the way back. I made a point of keeping off the slippery surfaces but even the concrete was slippery when the rain increased.
I reached Grange and the rain was quite heavy but it wasn't cold so I took my t-shirt off and enjoyed the rain and walking barefoot through puddles while cooling down.

Boxing Day saw me rushed to the emergency department of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital with severe pains around the kidneys. The emergency was quiet so I was rushed in and onto a bed and given a intravenous opium dose which eased the pain in around 10minutes. I was discharged a few hours later. It was a suspected kidney stone but that would need confirmation.
It may have been because I was dehydrated due to running in the morning on Christmas Day then drinking alcohol later on, maybe that was too much for the kidneys to handle.

I decided to miss out on my usual Saturday run just in case I caused the pains to return. I ran a shorter 8.2km on Sunday before a gym session.
I have resurrected my back traction device to see if it can rid me of the sciatic problems I have been experiencing over the past few months.
I am hoping to cross the 7000km barrier before the end of the year.


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Hit and Miss Runs

Distance 59.2km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 6953.0km] Week50 (8th Dec - 21th Dec)

First run of the week was Wednesday, it was a cool, cloudy and wet afternoon and that was fantastic for running.
I had some back pain during the day caused by, and I'm convinced of this, my trousers. 
Ok I'll explain. It seems today that it is getting harder to find clothes that fit correctly mainly because the 'average' human is now a blimp with spindle like legs and bulbous body. This means someone like me with running legs and slim waist has to have the belt pulled tight to stop the pants falling down. The leg fit is ok but the waist is too wide. This tight belt makes my back ache.
I took one of my super pain killers, these are like nothing I have taken before, they are called Zaldiar and almost put you into a state of floating serenity with a little head spinning dizziness thrown in. I take them very sparingly.
So, I set off on my run at 5pm and I feel like I'm in the zone, I'm not sure if I was or just in a drug stupor. I ran 12km on wet roads that felt great underfoot. I know which surfaces to be careful on due to slipperiness. I ran from Grange to the boat ramp at Barcoo, I could have run further to Glenelg but I thought I better be sensible. I did the nose breathing all the way and felt very relaxed the entire run. If I can just fix up my back, get rid of the sciatic irritation I will be very happy.
I put in another 12km run on Saturday (13th) getting out for the run at 7.30am as it was going to be a warm 37C day. The run was a repeat of the Wednesday route but this time harder work because of the heat. The outbound part was good but I was starting to tire on the way back as the sun beat down on me. I would not be able to run on these paths in another hour without my feet overheating. It was good to finish the run at just after 9am.
To finish the week I ran the lake loop of 8.2km on a warm morning. I felt tired on this run, not much spring in the legs. I had gone to the gym on Thursday and the squats had left me with some residual soreness.

Tuesday (16th) Some precise timing required today as Tuesday is the day a small group of us got to see a movie during the evening. I had to calculate a time line to get me there by 7pm after leaving work at 4pm. It kind of went like this:
Leave Work 4:00pm
Reach home 4:30pm
Change & drive to beach 4:45pm
Run 10km 5:45pm
Home 6:00pm
Shower/dinner 6.25pm
Drive to cinema 7:00pm
It all worked out pretty well but a bit rushed at the end as I spent a bit of time warming down after my run. I did find it hard keeping my eyes open at the cafe after the movie.
Friday (19th) a 10km run along the foreshore, a slight south west sea breeze today. The run was ok, I'm still getting the burning sensation around the calf caused by the trapped nerve in my back.
Saturday I ran only a short 7km today along the beach which has nice and flat as the tide was at it's low point for the day. My legs felt heavy. It was not a good run and I ended up walking the last 2km back.


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Injured back

Distance 160km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 6893.8km] Week42-49 (13th Oct - 7th Dec)

Well after a long break from writing in my blog I'm back with an entry and a discovery.
My long running saga of tendon soreness around my right ankle has been found not to be an ankle tendon problem at all but actually a referred pain from the Sciatic Nerve.

I mix my running with weight training at the gym to balance the aerobic with the strength. My one weak spot is my low back which I initially injured at the gym 23 years ago. The injury was caused by squats with 70kg+ weight and no warm up, stupid I know but now irreversible. The outcome was squeezed discs at L4/L5, these pressed on the sciatic nerve and I couldn't walk for close to a year.
Eventually is did heal but not back to the state before the injury, it has been an Achilles heel so to speak over the last 23 years. 
Each time I do any heavy spine compressive exercise the sciatica will return. Over the years I gradually cut out various exercises after each one exacerbated the problem, Squats, Calf raises, Shoulder presses, and finally Seated rows.

The discovery that it was a sciatic nerve problem and not an ankle problem came when I began to use the 'Primal' workout idea of doing low reps but the heaviest weight I could lift. I started lifting almost the entire stack while doing seated rows, only 3 x 6 reps though. My workouts went quickly and it felt good until by back started aching. Then to compound the situation, rather than rest it, I decided more would be better, it would strengthen then back......
Well, no it didn't. The disc squeezed the nerve and I took a week off work to recover. The pain though was not in the upper part of the leg but in the back of the lower calf, a burning sensation and weakness in the muscles that control how the foot lands on the floor.

So, the silver lining in the cloud was that the massaging and ankle/calf strength training I was doing was unnecessary, there was nothing wrong with my ankle at all. 
I now knew what I had to work on, free up that sciatic nerve, core strength training and no heavy exercise that could squeeze the discs. 
Throughout the period I have still been running and averaging around 20km per week, sometimes more sometimes less. This last week I have run around 32km in total.

We are in full summer, the heat is here, the hot pavements have returned. I found that out around a week ago when I had a lazy sunday morning in then decided I should go for a run at around 11:30am. The sky was clear and sunny and it was around 28C. The ground temperatures ranged from tolerable on the concrete (40C) up to 50C+ on the blacktop (which I had to sprint over like walking on hot coals).

For my after work runs, when the weather is 25C+ (even at low air temp the ground temp can be hotter than anticipated due to the energy input from the sun) I will run later in the evening closer to sunset. On the weekends I will run in the mornings before 9am.

At the moment I still have the sciatic problem but I have stopped the weight training and am only doing tension exercises, chin ups, planks, crunches. No heavy lifting until it has cleared up. I am still getting the burning in the calf but now I know where the problem lies.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sporadic Running

Distance 56km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 6733.8km] Week38-41 (15th Sep - 12th Oct)

The running has been sporadic throughout the period as I continue with calf exercises to stabilize my ankle while running.
In week 40 I ran a total of 20km with 6km of that being with my fellow barefoot runners as our regular run on the first Sunday of each month.
The springtime weather has been pretty good and even a touch on the warm side. We have had a couple of days over 30C and that seems to be very early in the season for such warm weather..
The country fire services have moved the fire danger season so that it starts much earlier in the year now.

Week 41 I managed 28km, one run during the week of 7km, then on Saturday a 13km run to Glenelg and back and on the Sunday a run around the lake of 8km. 
On that last run I had a bit of knee pain but I think that was cause by the 3 sets of weighted lunges I did at the gym earlier.
On the Saturday run the ground was getting a bit hot for running on as I made my return journey. Even though there was a cool breeze and the temperature was 20C the intensity of the sun on the bitumen in the sheltered areas was getting up to 30C

In weeks 38 and 39 I only ran distances of 4km each week along the beach 
Sporting my Barepadz by the River
 My first attempt at wearing the Barepadz out for a walk I didn't pull them over the foot far enough. I didn't realise that the big toe had to go all the way through the hole at the top. It was a very tight fit. As a consequence they would keep working their way off my foot as I walked along the river.
I worked it out later how to put them on correctly by finding photos on the net, all I have to rty now is running in them.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Light running

Distance 13.2km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 6677.8km] Week37 (8th - 14th Sep)

Running days: Wednesday Sunday
Distances: 9km 2km

After more resting, no Monday run, I gave it a go on Wednesday and found it no better. I ran lightly along the beach road but after a few kilometres I could feel the tightness return. By the time I began my return journey it was a bit depressing that I had to run at a slow pace so not to aggravate the problem any more. I soaked the ankles and calves in the sea for 10 minutes after the run to see if the cold therapy would work.
I did a gym session from 8.30am until around 9.30am then decided to try some running on irregular surfaces of the sand dune trails at Tennyson. This was exhausting, I didn't feel that fit at all. Running in soft sand drains the energy out of the legs. I did around 3 circuits which consists of climbs on rocky paths, then onto soft sand then onto stony path, then beach, a great mix up run. I got pretty hot and sweaty after that. The ankles seemed ok as well.


Reduced distance

Distance 13.2km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 6666.8km] Week36 (1st - 7th Sep)

Running days: Saturday Sunday
Distances: 5km 8.2km

Nearly a week off running is hard, it makes me feel fat and unhealthy even though I probably no different at all. 
I did have a commitment this week and that was to meet David for a monthly barefoot runners meeting which basically just consisted of the two of us.
We ran the city centre River Torrens run and this was the first run where I could feel the warmth returning to the ground. The weather was beautiful, clear blue sky, no wind. I took it nice and easy on the run, just chatting along the way, the more serious running crowd passing us every now and again. After the run we called up to the local deli and had a coffee.
I decided to have a Sunday run as the ankle wasn't too bad on Saturday. I did an early gym session then went up to the lake to run my loop run. It was quite windy today, blowing from the north. The ankle played up a bit, I could run but not fast, it just feels tight. It seems to be different tendons that ache at different times, sometimes the outer ones sometimes the inner ones.
These small runs I am hoping will not hinder the healing process but just act as progress tests.


Saturday, August 30, 2014


Distance 6km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 6653.6km] Week35 (25th - 31th Aug)

Running days: Thursday
Distances: 6km

The spring weather is making it's presence felt. Most days this week were in the high teens and low 20's with plenty of sun. Unfortunately for me the running rewards that I should have built up through winter are not going to be here for me. This seems like a repeat of what I went through 2 years ago where I put in good distances through the winter then had to cease running through spring due to injury.
So, my barefoot running is not a cure for running injuries by far but the injuries I do get are not of the kind that damage the knees, it is all located around the ankles.
I ran a slow 6km on Thursday feeling slow and sluggish. Halfway around I stopped to chat with an acquaintance from the gym, no point running if it's not doing you any benefits

Aches and Pains

Distance 19km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 6619.6km] Week34 (18th - 24th Aug)

Running days: Monday Wednesday
Distances: 10km 9km 

Well, my running just stinks at the moment, I can't seem to shake off the stiffness in the tendons around the ankle. I am going onto a reduced running regime to see if it makes any difference.
I have tried strengthening the calves first using reverse calf raises, that only seems to give me sore calves with no other benefits.
I'll do a mixture of reverse raises plus standard raises and take a break from running for a while to see if I can calm the tendon problems down.
I think the problem was that I never rested it fully enough and rehabilitated enough from well over a year ago after the calf muscle pull. It has been a problem ever since.
I ran 10km on Monday, a nice sunny day and evening. I was aware of the tendon being tight but it didn't stop me putting in a decent run. Wednesdays run was not as good, I ended up walking back through the soft sand on the beach with a feeling of frustration at my decreasing ability to run.
I didn't run at all on the weekend. I did do some sprint drills and form training on the field near my home. I managed to give myself a headache doing that so I quit that after 35 minutes.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Low km Week

Distance 18.2km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 6647.6km] Week33 (11th -17th Aug)

Running days: Saturday Sunday
Distances: 10km 8.2km 

Not much running done this week. I was less than inspired by the weather, it was cold and blowy. The best day of the week was Friday but I had an appointment to go out for a couple of beers with work colleagues. I stuck to light beers so there was no chance of a hangover. Saturday was a cold day of around 12C as I went for my run. I headed into the chilly wind on the way out and had it behind me on the way back. I continue to be plagued by tendon soreness on my right leg. I have also noticed that when I finish the run and am getting in the car I have some soreness in my hip flexor and I think there is a connection.
I am going to work on strengthening the hip flexor to see if that will help shift the ankle problem.
On the Sunday I did a gym session focusing on some of the exercises mentioned in The Primal Blueprint book such as Chin ups, press ups, plank ect. After that I did a loop of the lake and put in some sprints on the way around. They are hard work and it takes me ages to get my breathing back to normal.




Ankle soreness

Distance 16km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 6628.6km] Week32 (4th -10th Aug)

Running days: Monday Wednesday, Saturday.
Distances: 10km 6km

Monday saw me doing my regular 10km run from Grange to West Beach. There was a bit of warmth in the ground from a sunny day. I got in a bit of a race towards the end of the run when a wiry triathlete guy passed me so I hooked up behind him to see if I had the energy to catch him. I almost did just short of my finish point, he kept on going and I was pretty shot by that time.

Saturday was a cold day so I didn't fancy running very far, I set off running south along the beach on the cold sand, by the time I covered 3km I was getting a pain in my left ankle on the inside. I didn't want to risk an injury so I used that as a sign I should turn back. I came off the beach and ran back along the pavement, taking care to keep my running light so not to aggravate the ankle. I have been frustrated recently my some soreness in my right tendon and ankle area and now I have something in the other ankle, I need to get to the bottom of this.
I skipped the Sunday run this week to give the legs a rest.


Monthly Barefoot run

Distance 28km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 6600.2km] Week31 (28th Jul -3rd Aug)

Running days: Wednesday, Saturday.
Distances: 10km 13km 5km

An earlier in the week cinema night on Monday meant I didn't run so Tuesday was on the cards except it poured with rain.
The best day of the week was Wednesday when the temperature hit a huge 16C. There was sunshine and a cloud free late afternoon that allowed the sun to bathe the coast in an orange glow. The sun disappeared below the horizon as I was on my way back and had just crossed the river. Another few weeks and I should be able to have the sun up for most of my run.

Saturday was a longer 13km run along the beach from Grange to Semaphore. The tide was out so I had some firm sand to run on. As it had been a while since I done this run I didn't extend it out to 15km as I thought it would be better to add any extra distance on to the end of the run rather than end up exhausted on the way back. It was a good idea as I ran out of enthusiasm as I reached the start point. I also managed to get some chafing which was a bit of surprise.

Sunday saw me meeting up with David for a run from Henley Beach to West Beach as part of our regular monthly barefoot run. Michael was missing as he is still recovering from a foot sprain.
After the run we headed to the cafe for a coffee and a catch up before I had to get off to meet up with friends a bit later.


Friday, August 1, 2014

Cold, Wet Week 2

Distance 25.2km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 6566.4km] Week30 (21st - 27th Jul)

Running days: Monday, Saturday, Sunday.
Distances: 10km 10km, 8.2km.

Another week of cold and rain that stopped me getting out. Moday was the only day I managed to run without rain.
The wet weather headed in on the Wednesday and lasted until the weekend when we got some cold bright days. 
So Monday was  my all road running day, Saturday was part way along the beach, I would have crossed the river but with the rain during the week it was too deep and the currents too strong.
The stormy winter weather is causing more erosion of the beaches to the point that even at low tide there is very little beach left in places.
The sand is colder on my feet than running on the footpath so I prefer to run on the concrete during the winter.
Sunday was quite windy, a cold wind blowing from the north that was in my face while running up the western edge of the lake. It was much better once I turned east and ran over Delfin island, the shelter provided by the houses made the warmth from the weak winter sun just enough to add a small amount of heat to the ground.
I didn't hang around when I finished my run as the wind was still blowing down the length of the lake and I would have soon been shivering by standing around. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Wet Week

Distance 11km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 6538.2km] Week39 (14th - 20th Jul)

Running days: Saturday, Sunday.
Distances: 7km, 4.5km.

A week of rainy cold winter weather saw me doing little running this week. On two occasions I had the intent to go for a run and just as I was on my way home the rain started. This happened on both Monday and Thursday. Most of the week was the kind of weather that makes you just want to curl up in bed and go to sleep.
I did eventually get out for a run on the Saturday, it wasn't raining but it was cold, around 9C as I hit the beach. The sand was cold and soon my feet were numb. I ran to the river outlet then came back along the Esplanade with the feet not feeling much warmer. I put a bit of a sprint in over a 200m stretch.
On the Sunday it was cold once again at about 9C again. I decided to try running in the Vibrams but I ended up getting so frustrated with not being able to get the toes into the pockets that I gave up on them. I decided to do a shorter run from jetty to jetty, a slow warm up on the way out then some faster stretches on the return journey on the concrete path.
It was an enjoyable run, good because I wasn't worried about distance. Even a short run can be satisfying when done right.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Slow Distance

Distance 24.7km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 6526.8km] Week28 (7th - 13th Jul)

Running days: Thursday, Saturday, Sunday.
Distances: 9.5km, 7km, 8.2km.

What a cold wet week, I wasn't very inspired at all to get out there on those cold wet roads. It is gradually getting lighter now so that is positive but the ground is getting colder.
I was late getting out for my run on Thursday as I had worked a bit later to keep one or my irritation colleagues happy.
By the time i got the feet on the ground for a run it was past 5pm and I had around 10 minutes before sunset. This meant that it was dark as I was making my way back. Running barefoot in the dark is harder as especially where there is no lighting as you have to run by feel which is hard when the feet are cold.
I did have some race competition that I couldn't catch in the last couple of km.
Saturday morning was cold and a chill wind blew from the south. I only did a short 7km as the cold didn't inspire me to run further.
Sunday was a nice day, cold start but sunny all day. I did a Fartlek session again, 5 sprint sections, it was hard work but rewarding to get to the end and sit on the grass by the lake.
I had to take a pain tablet when I got back as I may have jarred my back doing some light clean and jerk at the gym. I was hoping to get stronger at doing these but my back is definitely a limiting factor. I will always have to stay light as the discs don't like it when I push up.
Next week we have some cold nights but sunny days. If I can get out of work at a good time there might be enough warmth in the ground to stop my feet freezing.


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Week 27 - 35.2km

Distance 35.2km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 6502.1km] Week27 (30 Jun - 6 Jul)

Running days: Monday, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday.
Distances: 10km, 10km, 7km, 8.2km.

The weather was better this week, sunny days and cold clear nights. There was a forecast of rain for later in the week so I got my weekly runs in early before it headed in on the Friday.
The Monday and Wednesday run were the Grange to West Beach course along the Esplanade. The high tides and stormy weather of last week had washed grit and stones up onto the path at the West Beach end so I diverted along the top path as there seemed little point dodging and weaving on the lower path until they have cleaned it off again.
Rain came on Friday and Saturday morning was wet. It was a late run on Saturday as I did a detour to check out an organic market only to find it had moved location, I then headed to the beach and it began to pour with rain pushed along with a cold blowing wind. I headed back.
Then at 11.30am, I found the new location of the organic market and set out again, when I got there it was a bit of a forlorn affair, the weather must have reduced the stalls to just six, only one veggie stall with not the best looking selection.
I went back to car and decided to head to the beach again and run. I parked up in the same spot as before but was greeted with a few rays of warm sunshine. I did a short 7km as the next bout of rain was not far away. I ran along the beach then back along the road.

Sunday I met up with David and Cathy. David ran the 8.2km with me. I made it a bit more interesting by adding some sprint stretches along the way, around five spots where I said I wanted all out sprint effort. He did quite well, I was out of practice as well and felt like I was puffing away at the end of the sprint leg. It is really exhilarating to run fast in bare feet, you can feel the light springiness in the legs as you just touch the ground.

During the week I helped one of the Uni students who required some test subjects for a Phd thesis that was testing the effects of long term exercise on heart rhythms. I had to wear a cardio recorder for 24 hours to see if I have any irregular heartbeats. In another couple of weeks I have to get a scan of the heart to measure volume.


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Stormy Week

Distance 25.2km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 6466.9km] Week26 (23rd-29th Jun)

Running days: Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday.
Distances: 10km, 7km, 8.2km.

Weekly report.

A low kilometre week as the cold wet weather headed in from the south. Monday is a usual running day but it was raining heavily for most of the day so I abandoned any running attempts.
Wednesday was interesting, it was a blustery day with rain off and on. I was going to have another day off if the ground was wet but when I got out of work I found it dry in the west.
It also wasn't too cold so I opted for T-shirt and shorts. I could see dark clouds in the west over the ocean but nothing that looked like it was going to suddenly rain. I made it down to the half way point and began the journey back. I noticed how much closer the dark clouds had come and how the west wind was picking up. It was a race against the rain now, I was 4km from my car as I felt the first spots of rain. Within 500m it was a full on squall hitting me, 50kmh winds and heavy torrential rain. The rain smashed down on the concrete sprayed back up making a mist that I could only see around 20m ahead. The cars all had their headlights on an wipers moving rapidly clearing the windscreens. I must have had a runners high splashing around in bare feet, completely soaked, I was relaxed in this weather as I knew in 30 minutes I would be under a warm shower. The rain lasted no more than 15minutes and had cleared by the time I got to the cafe at Grange.
We had rain for most of the week, I ran a short distance on Saturday. It was very cold at 11C and very windy. I ran down the beach then back along the concrete footpath. It was cold underfoot and my feet started to lose sensation. It felt better running on the concrete than the brick due to the smoothness of the concrete. I got into a race with a woman in the last 400m, she didn't look like she was running that fast but she did my trick in speeding up to see if she could shake me off. I kept speeding up but couldn't catch up at the end.
Sunday run was good, the winds had eased and the rain stopped. I did some strength work at the gym first then my 8.2km lake run. The sun shone and I could feel a small amount of warmth in the ground. This was a great run, I felt energetic and bouncy along the way.


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Shortest Day

Distance 74.4km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 6441.7km] Week24

Monday, 9-Jun. 10km

Nice sunny days with cold nights. The warmth doesn't hang around long as I get out of work as early as I can to make the most of the available light.
My usual 10km out and back, Grange to West Beach. Not many people around now, most have hung up their runners for the season, waiting for the warmer weather.

Wednesday, 11-Jun. 10km

Another beautiful sunset to watch as I get to the halfway point and spend a minute to breath in and watch the sea crashing against the rocks. Not as many runners out at this time of year, mainly they will switch to the gym and the treadmill for the winter, not as many will stay out in the elements. Coming from England, the winter weather is mild in comparison but I still prefer running in the warm weather.
I'm quite confident running with bare feet in the dark, they feel their way now without me having to worry.

Saturday, 14-Jun. 6km 

Meeting of the small group of Adelaide barefoot runners for a run around the river in the centre of the city.
As we are in winter now we meet at 10.30am to give the ground a bit of time to warm up. It has been wet overnight and it was cool now but bright. The ground felt cold underfoot and the feet felt sensitive in the wet while running on the bitumen, it was much better running on the grass.
We did a loop around the soccer fields and the river paths going past the Botanic Gardens.
After the run we sat in the local deli enjoying a hot mug of coffee, chatting at catching up on news over the previous month.

Sunday. 15-Jun. 8.2km 

Another wet morning as I headed off to the gym for an early workout, the wipers were moving steadily to clear the windscreen.
When I finished the gym the rain had eased but began to drizzle as I began running around the lake. It stopped shortly after I began running. Another runner passed me but I resisted the temptation to chase as I was just warming up, I think I would have been outclassed anyway. The ground was wet most of the way around but it wasn't cold enough to make my feet numb. It was a good run.

Monday, 16-Jun. 10km

A wet day for my 10km today, surfaces were wet so care was taken on those non porous surfaces that become like ice underfoot. I was going to have a rest today but I got a burst of enthusiasm as I got home and went out anyway. A good run with a bit of a sprint at the end as I neared the cafe at the end of the run. I don't feel the cold on  my feet anymore, just like most animals can walk around without worrying about the cold.

Wednesday, 18-Jun. 10km

Much better weather today, a nice day during daylight hours but cooled down quickly in the late afternoon. I ran the last 2km back along the beach in close to darkness. I had to keep focused on the ground in front of me to see if I was going to step into a hole. One or two figures of the last people walking along the beach would appear as dark shadows in the distance. The sand wasn't cold so I had feeling in my feet. 

Saturday, 21-Jun. 12km 

The shortest day and the start of the winter proper. It took a lot to get me going today. It looked a bit grey outside. I struggled out of bed by 9.15am after a great nights sleep. I decided to run without breakfast as it would make me too late. 
It was a mild morning, the tide was on it's turn from the high point leaving a meter of wet sand to run on. There was a lot of sea grass washed up onto the beach and care had to be taken as the sand would give way beneath the feet where the sand had covered the sea grass. Not the most inspired run, I felt a bit weak, especially on the return leg when I felt almost like I was shuffling.

Sunday, 22-Jun. 8.2km

An early trip to the gym to do some weights before the noisy fitness classes start upstairs. I did some chest, calves, presses and arms followed by some cool down using the foam roller.
I had arranged to go on a run with Michael today at 10.30am. It was pretty chilly by the time I got to the lake, a cold northerly wind was blowing and the ground was cold. After a kilometre I warmed up and we chatted about a book called The Primal Blueprint which I'm reading at the moment. It was a good run that went by quickly due to some conversation.
I'll have to make it a regular run to show that there is more than one barefoot runner in the west.


Monday, June 9, 2014

First week of Winter

Distance 43.2km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 6367.3km] Week24

Monday, 2 Jun. 10km

My usual after work run in ever diminishing light. The sun is up for around 20 minutes before the evening chill creeps over the land. Only another 3 weeks before we pass the shortest day an then minute by minute we get later sunsets once more. I don't have the same fear of the cold pavements when I would lose the feeling in my soles. I know I'm running correctly and my feet are fine.

Wednesday, 4 Jun. 10km,
I took the day off work today in the idea that I was going to be meeting the council about my house plans that they wont pass. It was called off. So I went for a run to ease my frustrations at the stupidity of these people that can get into positions of power and act like petty dictators.
It is nice to run when when I would normally be sat behind a desk working all day. All the retired people and other non working types are out and about enjoying the sunny weather. I did some beach running then up onto the beach pathway when I reached the river outlet.
River Torrens Estuary at West Beach on my running route 

Saturday, 7 Jun. 15km

A pleasant warm sunny Saturday morning. I'm starting my runs a little later now that winter is here to give some time for the air to warm up and the night chill to dissipate. The sand was cool but not numbingly cold. The tide was heading in and it was too soft after about 3km of running, well trodden from the horses that train on the beach. I headed off beach and around my new route along the suburban streets and over the footbridge into the posh suburbs of Delfin Island where the well heeled give strange looks to the no heeled.
As I was passing under the West Lakes Boulevard, following the lake path I came across 2 young girls puffing away on cigarettes under the bridge. I went past then though I should make an effort to put them off so I went back and tried to give a talk that wasn't a lecture about my brother who I lost earlier this year. Maybe it might stick, even if it doesn't, trying is better than not.

Sunday, 8-June, 8.2km

First it was to the gym this morning after a late start due to a late night that saw me getting home at 1am this morning. A birthday get together on a chilly night around a brazier with a roaring fire within. It has been an age since I have spent time staring into the flames of a fire, it brings back memories of when I was younger and the fires we would sit around it the local woods. 
I got out for my run around the lake after a short gym session at around 11.30am. I managed to shake off a tight head left over from a couple of beers last night.  I started off slow then got faster as I got further around and ended with a good sprint effort over the last 500m


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Winter arrives

Distance 35.2km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 6324.1km] Week23

Monday, May. 10km

A wet run today. It had been raining off and on all day but had stopped in the afternoon. I make my mind up about a run at the last minute, if it starts to rain before I leave the house I'll have a day off. If I'm in my car driving to my running spot and it starts to rain I'll not turn back. This is what it did today, I had the wipers on as I was parking up. I started running in the light rain and as I ran it got heavier. It was still an enjoyable run, I know now to avoid any slippery surfaces to avoid the aqua-planing and landing on my backside and becoming a spectacle. It got dark quickly as the sun was obscured behind thick cloud so I ran back in the dark and wet. I cooled down by walking a half kilometre back to the car from the cafe, it felt great splooshing through the puddles on the way back. My feet were nice and clean when I got back.

Thursday, 29-May. 10km

In contrast to Monday, the weather today was warm, bright and sunny and halfway around my run I was treated to the view of the magnified sun sinking in the west. Funny how I always take care not to stand on the ants as I run as I don't want to squash them as they are going about their business. I notice much more what is happening on the ground in front of me, whether its a stone, glass, ant or beetle. I've also noticed that the birds don't fly off to the same extend they just move to one side as I pass, probably because I am quiet as I run.

Saturday, 31-May. 7km

I was greeted by a grey damp morning and as I drove to the beach it began to rain. Still I tried to be enthusiastic, the tide was out after all and there was a big beach to run on. 
As I ran the rain came down steadily so by 3km I was soaked. I decided that I'd had enough and I'd turn around as I came on the river. I ran back along the pavement in the rain. I managed to get into a bit of race with another runner that I caught and passed, it was a slap in the face to be passed by a guy with no shoes. I didn't look around but I was aware of footsteps behind as he tried to catch me, so I just had to keep piling on a bit more speed until I shook him off. By the time I hit the Grange cafe he was around 20m behind. It was good to have a bit of a chase.

Sunday, 1-May. 8.2km

Today I switched around my pattern of run then gym so that I can let the morning warm up a little before the run.
I did a gym session which included some light leg work and some chest exercises. I was in there for around 75 minutes. I drove to the lake and the sun was out and it was a nice still morning, a few dark clouds in the distance but no rain and the pavements were dry. I started off slow and easy and finished fast over the last kilometre. I felt strong all the way around, aware I was running a bit too fast for a easy session. They have a seated calf raise machine at the gym which is one I prefer using rather than the standing calf raise, it engages the different muscle in the lower leg.  


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Warm Week 2

Distance 35km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 6288.9km] Week22

Monday, 19-May. 10km
More sunny weather, a warm day with cool nights are ideal. Perfect running weather as the summer winds have all but stopped. It's so good to get the bare feet on the ground after my poor feet being stuffed into shoes all day as I sit behind a computer in the office. A great run today, I felt light and bouncy on my feet. I watched the sun sinking into the sea then turning into an orange glow as I ran back towards Henley Beach. The darkness seems to come soon after. As I do my walking cool down back to the car it is dark and the streetlamps are on.

Wednesday, 21-May. 10km
A warm day of 26C today, very unusual for this time of year. My body has been readying itself for winter and here I am having to cope with warm summer like temperatures. I am back to having only the first 30 minutes of my run in sunlight, then it sinks below the horizon and the dusk creeps in. I like to run this course at this time of year as I get the most sunlight, other runs would leave me in the shade much earlier. I struggled a little when a runner threw down the gauntlet by passing me, I gave chase but as I was at the end of my run I was a little tired. I think I could have caught him but he turned off, probably to get away and have a breather without me passing him. He gave me my speed session for the run, it's easy to run at a steady pace, a change to high tempo when chasing is a good test.

Saturday, 24-May. 15km

The weather has just been fantastic, unusually fantastic, much warmer than one would normally expect for this time of year. I got down to the beach at 8.20am and could feel the warmth from the sun as if it were a summers day.
I set of at a slow light pace. The beach wasn't the best running surface today, it was soft and lots of shells washed up by the tide, the tide was advancing so if I came back this way it would be pushing me up the beach camber.
I decided to turn off and run the course I did a few weeks ago that took me around the sports fields in Semaphore Park then over the footbridge onto Delfin Island, a loop of there then over the footbridge on the other side.
While running on the footpath near the golf course I was almost floored by a stray golf ball that came out of nowhere, bounced around 2m in front of me then was almost in my face but I moved to the side just in time.
That would have made an interesting news story headline.  

Unconscious Barefoot Runner Found in Street, only clue, a dent in the forehead with the words Dunlop in mirrored text.

The rest of the run was uneventful except for a bit of a race with another runner I passed on the lake path. I think he nearly had a heart attack trying to catch me at the end.
A great run.

Sunday, 25-May

No run today as I had my first go at MovNat. It is going to be a learning curve just as it was with barefoot running. I thought my balance would be good but without technique it was awful. Even the basics like crawling were very tricky when you have to get the breathing correct. I'll shall have to practice some of these things over the next few weeks.


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Warm week

Distance 43.2km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 6253.9km] Week21

Monday, 12-May. 10km

A bit of clock watching at work and as soon as it turned 4pm the computer was off and I was on my way to the car and home the out to see the sunset.
A perfect Autumn day 21C, calm and sunny and it looks like it is only going to get better as we move through the week.  

Wednesday, 14-May. 10km

After another sedentary day at work, glued to a chair, 4pm and I was free to fly like a bird out of a cage. The weather has been perfect, warm and sunny 24C, no breeze. When I think back over the summer there has been very few days like this, usually there is a strong sea breeze by the afternoon or else a northerly wind of change blowing. Now with the shorter days and cooler weather the breezes have eased. 
An excellent run today, everything felt good and in balance. I had a good fast pace, shaking off all the lethargy from a desk-bound day. I will sleep well tonight. 

Saturday, 17-May. 15.5km

The long beach run I didn't do last week went a bit better this time as I had plenty of flat sand to run on as the did was at it's low point. My calf was a bit achy this morning and I'm wondering if it is due to the ultrasound I have been using on it. It was hardly noticeable a few weeks ago then I started giving the tendon a few treatments and it seems to have caused it to be a bit sore, maybe the combination of running and the treatment is the problem. I'll stop using it and see how I feel.
When I got to the jetty at Semaphore there was a small protest on against BP drilling for oil off the coast, three mermaids in oil drums covered in oil to highlight the issue. I did get chatting to a bloke who had a model of a solar thermal power plant set up and we were asking the question, what is the problem with Australia, why are we going backwards when it comes to energy.
I then had to set off back to run the 7.5km back to Henley, I felt pretty tired by the time I got back, too much sun.

Sunday, 18-May. 8.2km

A nice sunny morning to head to the lake. Feeling a bit sleepy though and also still tired from yesterdays run. I felt a bit laboured today and stopped several times to have a bit of a catch my breath break. I didn't have the best of sleep last night, neighbourhood hoons revving engines in the early morning to keep me awake. The neighbour went out to threaten them with a bit of a thumping then they drove off, I was vaguely aware of this from a half asleep state. After the run I did some warm down moves on the grass, while doing this I got chatting to a fellow runner who said he had seen me on several occasions running without shoes and was interested. I gave him my history and it turned out that I ran with a group of runners back in the 1990's and he was part of that group but a bit later on. They are still running all these years later. I told him if he ever wanted to give barefoot running a try he should just contact me.


Monday, May 12, 2014

Darker evenings again

Distance 35.2km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 6210.7km] Week20

Monday, 5-May. 10km

The back problems are easing off now after giving me a warning to watch the exercises I do at the gym. So, along with no squatting with weight, no heavy shoulder presses I have to add no ab twists with weights. Soon I shall be at the point where there is no point visiting the gym at all.
The run was good, the pavement was quite cold, not much warmth captured today. I have to stick to the roads as the tide is high and sand too soft to run on without taking an age to get anywhere

Wednesday, 7-May. 10km

The early morning rain had eased by midday and the roads and paths dried out fairly quickly. I did my usual 10km with the last 2km being a faster beach run. It was quite dark by the time I got back and the chill has started to descend over the beach as I had a cool down walk back to the car. Soon it will be too dark to run around the streets and river and I;ll have to stick to the well lit pathways. The pavement was cool but not cold. It will get colder in the next few months.

Saturday, 10-May. 15.2km

Funny how sometimes when you start a run you feel ok then get a few kilometres in then feel like giving up because it is all too hard. It is then when you need to disrupt a routine pattern that is driving you into a rut. My rut this time was a run that I would do between jetties on Saturday of around 14km.
Today I was running into a breeze, the sand was soft and torn up by vehicles, horses and people so was very uneven and hard to run on. I ran around 4km then just stopped to catch my breath, it was then I thought this is not feeling as I would have hoped, maybe I should just quit and run back. Luckily I decided to divert and run a different route, I wasn't sure where Just get off the beach the voice told me. I ran along the backs of the houses by the beach then turned into some backstreets of Semaphore Park passing the very busy sports day meetings going on. I thought of a route that took me over a footbridge and onto Delfin Island which was calm and tranquil, no wind and sand to contend with. I did a loop of the island then back along the lake and covered a distance of over 15km and enjoyed it. More variety is needed.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

IBRD 2014

Distance 20km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 6175.2km] Week19

Monday, 28-Apr. 10km

An opportunity to get out on what I an certain will be the last of the warm days before the winter chill envelops Adelaide for the next few months. Today we got close to 30C for a short time. By the time I gout out of work and to the beach the temperature would have dropped to around 22C but it still felt good.
The warmth in the pavement feels pleasant under my feet as I do my out and back course from Grange to West Beach. My back has been sore for most of the day but the running seems to help it. I start slowly at first so not to have too much twisting motion in my low back but once I get the gently running rhythm going I can gradually increase my speed. Cold weather is heading in later in the week

Saturday, 3-May. 6km

What a contrast to earlier in the week. Since Monday the weather changed, the rain has come in and the cold wind from the south is blowing. Rain poured down on Wednesday and Friday and it eased off on the Saturday but the winds were blowing strongly from the south.
It was cold then it began to rain so I decided to cut the run a bit shorter and head back.
My back is feeling slightly better and I have not taken any pain tablets for 2 days.

Sunday, 4-May. 4km

The International Barefoot Running Day 2014 saw our small group gather at the Grange Jetty on the Sunday morning.
Earlier in the week I had the fears the run would be a washout similar to what we experienced around 4 years ago, May can be a fickle time of year when it comes to weather.
As it happened the run was sandwiched between two days of inclement weather. At the end of the week and up to Saturday it was cold, wet and windy. Sunday was calm and sunny then the rain returned for Monday, good fortune indeed.
Our small group of myself, Cathy, David and Michael was this year joined by Zac Cook who is a certified MovNat trainer.
Our run was a short 4km out along the pavement from Grange to Henley Beach then returning along the beach.
It felt good to be running in a small pack as we passed plenty of other runners coming the other way.
As we were all experienced at barefoot running there were no issues of correct technique as we silently padded along the path.
I am looking forward to taking part in Zac's MovNat training in the future as I believe it will be a good complement to barefoot running.

After the run it was time to head to the local cafe for some coffees and breakfast.
IBRD 2014 - Zac, Michael, David, Cathy

IBRD 2014 - Zac, Michael, David, Neil


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Back injury

Distance 19.2km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 6155.2km] Week18

21-Apr. 4km

Easter Monday and I'm still moving around like a person beyond his years. It seems worse after a nights sleep because the discs fill with fluid and apply more pressure to the nerve causing pain. Once I'm upright and moving around it is better. 
I managed to get out for a short run along the beach, staying on the soft surface so not to put any more pressure on it. I felt ok once I started running, I could have run further but I limited my run to the 4km just to see if my back sent me a message later on telling me I'm being stupid by exercising too soon after an injury.

25-Apr. 7km

I ran out of pain tablets early in the week so have been going without them. The back is still sore, always worse in the morning but improves through the day. Friday was ANZAC day, a public holiday. The weather is beautiful and so I had to head to the beach for a run and chance it. It takes a few minutes for me to get comfortable as I start to run, I start with small steps then as I begin to relax I can start to run at a more normal pace. I ran down the beach with the wind behind me then came up onto the concrete footpath to run back. There is no jarring with barefoot running, just soft gentle landing so there were no shock waves going up and down my spine. I felt quite good after the run. 

27-Apr. 8.2km

A cold morning, only around 10C early on, slightly warmer by the time I got to the lake for my circuit. A northerly wind was blowing but there was no warmth in it like there would be in Summer. The concrete was cold. I've been taking 2 pain tablets over a 24 hour period and they are doing a great job. I can bend down, lean over without pain. The run went well. Not much warmth on the ground to warm my feet.
Next Sunday it is International Barefoot Running Day.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Back to cool running

Distance 94.4km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 6136.0km] Week16

Monday, 31-Mar. 10km 

Usual out an back run this evening. Too long ago to remember any details

Wednesday, 2-Apr. 10km 

Usual out an back run this evening. Too long ago to remember any details

Saturday, 5-Apr. 6km

The barefoot runners get together, held on the Saturday this time rather than the Sunday to fit in with some of the others who have other appointments on the Sunday.
It had been a cool night but now the sun was shining and it was a beautiful morning for a run. Henley Beach was buzzing with runners, people having breakfasts and early morning coffees and walking along the jetty soaking up the sunshine.
I was chatting to an one of the trainers that used to work at the gym for a while then I spotted David and Cathy waiting by the jetty. I wandered over as we waited for Michael who appeared a few minutes later.
We set off at an easy pace along the Esplanade, weaving our way through the many walkers. It was a pace that allowed talking without being too laboured. The ground was cool but not cold. We ran 3km until we reached the Caravan Park at West Lakes the after a short stop, made our way onto the beach to run back. The tide was coming in so we ran through the breaking waves, didn't pass any shod runners along the way.
After the run it was time for coffee and breakfast at one of the many local cafes in the square. A very enjoyable run.

Sunday, 6-Apr. 8.2km

My pre-gym lake loop and another warm sunny morning. The lake activities are winding down now, the triathlons are over for the season as are the Dragon Boat races. There were plenty of rowers out practicing down near the club house. I didn't pass many other runners today. We went off daylight saving this morning which meant an extra hour of sleep and the run was an hour later than I would have run. My heart rate monitor is working again. I gave the belt a thorough wash and it seems ok again.

Monday, 7-Apr. 12.4km

A warm day of 26C which I couldn't miss the opportunity to get out and get the bare feet on the ground. Warm pavements are going to get rarer by the end of the month. I have to get off my backside and try to drum up some interest in the International Barefoot run which takes place on May 4th. I shall send a flyer off to one of the local radio stations to see if they will publicize it and also to the local road runners club.
As for tonight, as the weather was fantastic and there was a spectacular sunset brewing I ran a few extra kilometres past the my usual turn around spot at the caravan park and this time ran up to the boat ramp. The extra few kilometres tired me out a bit by the time I got to the end. It is quite a long day for me after getting up at 5.45am. The sun was just about setting as I finished my run, it was then I wished I had brought my camera.

Wednesday, 9-Apr. 10km

Rain is here for the rest of the week although today it was only light. It is meant to get heavier later in the week. That is why I ran today rather than tomorrow, I checked the forecast and saw that tomorrow the wind would be stronger and from the south which wouldn't be a good run. This run was a good steady run, keeping my heart rate around 136 bpm for most of the way then running a beach stretch at a rate of around 145bpm. The far horizon had some very black looking clouds, these must be the rain clouds that are going to bring the overnight rain. For now though it was calm and a good running day. 

Sunday, 13-Apr. 8.2km

Good relaxed run, a bit slower that usual as I stopped for a breather in a couple of spots. The weather was good, dry and sunny. The rowing club was the area of activity today on the lake, tents set up all along the side for the families of the participants. I had to dodge swinging oars and boats crossing my path before I got back to the quiet of the back roads. The model boat group were out as usual in the sheltered norther area of the lake as I padded past quietly. I must be a familiar sight now to the walkers around the lake who all say hello now, they know I am actually normal and not some baby eating weirdo. I did a gym session after the run, more deadlifts (35kg) only light for the hamstrings.
Monday, 14-Apr. 11km

Wednesday 16-Apr. 10km

A nice sunny day throughout but the temperature starts to drop by the time I get out for my run. I came out on the Wednesday as the forecast was for strong winds tomorrow so I would be better in the gym rather than out on the road. Today it was wonderfully calm. I stayed on the hard surfaces today as they tide was too high to run along the beach. There was a fantastic sunset as I completed my run. At least I won't have to negotiate the uneven brick path in the dark along the foreshore this winter now that they have opened the new wide cement path. It will be a breeze running along here in the dark.  

Friday, 18-Apr. 11km

Easter Bun Fun Run 2014
I had not run this race for a couple of years and I was unsure whether it was on this year as the details had not been posted and I wasn't going to drive 22km to the start and find I was on my own. 
As it happened, fellow BFR David sent me an email the night before which just by chance I read on my mobile before going to bed that night, it was on.My lower back has been a bit sensitive after a gym session, I think I have strained a muscle by doing weighted twists. Press on regardless.
I got up at 6.30am popped a pain killer and had some breakfast. I set off at 7.15am and it was a bit of a repeat of the first time I ran this race, I had only got 1km down the road before the rain started, by the time I was half way there the rain was coming down in buckets along with a blowing wind.
It did cross my mind to turn back but I pressed on.
It had eased off by the time I got to the school which was the start point of the run.
After parking the car and making my way into the hundreds of runners limbering up before the run, I felt distinctly under dressed with just a t-shirt and shorts. Others had equipped themselves with everything the running shops can sell. I met up with David and Cathy and we listened to the pre race information on where the run would take us.
It was a casual start, no starting pistols, just get on to the road and start to run.
I let David and Cathy run at their own pace and I got going, splashing down the wet streets until we make it to the river path. 

The course is very undulating despite being called the River Flats run and I was finding the uphills quite taxing. Too much time running on the flat. I took care not to run on the white path markings as I have found out from previous experience they are like banana skins when wet.
The run has several peel off points at 5km 7km and 8km. On the north side of the river the path is nice smooth concrete, when I crossed to the other side on the return leg it is rough bitumen with lots of seeds from the overhead trees. In the final kilometre they make you climb up from the river which is just enough to finish you off.
For most of the run I was on my own, once you have made it past the slower groups you hit that point where you are running at a similar pace to those in front so you can't catch them and the ones behind can't catch you. I did on 2 occasions get a fresh runner go past me at a pace I couldn't respond to.
The total distance is 11km as I remember and I did a time of 57m 13s.
The volunteers had toasted hot cross buns, fruit and drinks ready at the end, a big thank you to them for their hard work. I met up with David and Kathy again and we stayed until the raffle was over. A great start to the Easter weekend.

Sunday, 20-Apr. 8.2km

My back is still giving me twinges from a disc I believe, I must have irritated it while doing the ab twists in the gym. I have now run out of pain tablets too so I will let it tell me how bad it is. I am hoping it is minor. I still went out for a gentle run around the lake and it was ok. I'm sure if I still ran in shoes and in my heels striking fashion my back would not have taken too kindly to it. The gentle landing of barefoot running doesn't make it any worse, even on concrete.



Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Distance 35.2km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 6041.6km] Week13

Wednesday, 26-Mar. 12km

I ran the river beach loop for a change tonight mainly because I start and finish the run from home rather than drive anywhere in the car. I'm trying to save petrol as I missed the bottom of the discount cycle and the price shot up to it's high point when I didn't expect it. It will take another 2 weeks to cycle back down again.
The run takes me along the back streets before crossing the busy Grange Road the down side streets towards the linear park. I kept up a good pace on stiff calves, left over from the gym on Sunday. The river path is rough in places with cracked stony bitumen but I handled it without a problem and before I knew it I was by the beach and running up the smooth concrete.
Some black clouds were gathering in front of me but didn't offer up any rain. I did my last turn into Grange road again and headed for home. covering the distance in just over an hour.

Saturday, 29-Mar. 15km

Another slow start to the run that speeded up after a few kilometres. I feel like I have been running under a bit of a cloud since my brother passed away a few months ago. My spirits have been down and although the running lifts them by the time I have finished it is just hard starting out, I don't feel like I have a spring in my step like I had a year ago. The weather was fantastic, that calm sunny Autumnal time of year when the savage sun has been tamed by the earth tilting away as we swing into the cooler months.

Sunday, 30-Mar. 8.2km

Lots of activity around the lake today, triathlons, rowers runners. A warm 30C day today and tomorrow we are going into the 30's peaking at around 35C sometime in the week. Quite warm for April. The weather was calm today, no wind but that doesn't stop the older folks who have their model sailing boats set up ready to go out on the lake. The weather sock says that unless they have a motor they may become becalmed. I padded past silently before heading onto the triathlon course, not many runners were coming through so I looked to see if I could pick any off for the short distance that our routes converged. A good run today.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Passed the 6000km

Distance 46.5km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 6006.4km] Week12

Monday, 17-Mar. 10km

The day started off with heavy rain as I was driving to work and it rained off and on throughout the day. I would have to decide if I ran tonight based on the if it was raining by the time I got home. As it turned out, the rain stopped when I was at home but it began to rain again as I drove towards the beach. It did stop by the time I started running. I was left with quite a lot of surface water which made it very hazardous when the surface changed to smooth paving, several time I felt my feel slide from under me and I had to shorten my stride to stay upright, I was aqua planing. I wouldn't have wanted to have slipped backwards and bashed my head on the floor, that would be both painful and embarrassing. On the way back I diverted off the dangerous surfaces and ran on the road for some sections and onto the grass on others. Even the concrete could be slippery if there was enough water on the surface. It was a great run this evening and my t-shirt was was heavy with sweat by the time I got back.


Wednesday, 19-Mar. 13.3km

As we only have a few weeks before the end of Australian Summer Time and the sun will be setting an hour earlier I need to make the best of the good weather as it will soon be winter and I'll be running in the dark.
A perfect Autumn day, 25C and light winds but of course the sea breeze was a bit stronger when I got to the beach. I parked by the Grange Cafe and ran to the small boat launch ramp at the end of Barcoo Road, turned around and ran back with the wind behind me. I did 2km on the beach, the tide was high and running in the soft wet sand was a bit slow but not everything is a race.

Saturday, 22-Mar. 15km

The cool overnight temperatures meant the sand was cool but not cold enough to numb the underneath of my feet as I did the jetty to jetty run today. High tide was only a couple of hours ago and there wasn't much flat sand to run on and the remaining sand had been well trodden by the horses that are trained along the beach in the early morning. You have to be careful not to put your foot into the holes left by the horses hooves as it really gives the tendons in the ankle a bit of a jerk. I ran back along the road and grassy areas behind the houses, only managing to collect a few sharp seed cases in my soles this time. A good run.

Sunday, 23-Mar. 8.2km

A cool day with a breeze from the south which would be more apparent if I were running on the beach but the lake offers some shelter. The last of the activities were taking place this week, some more Dragon Boat racing and a triathlon. I missed most of the runners in the tri as I turned up later than usual and they must have finished the final run leg by then. A good run and I have also broke the 6000km barrier.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Easy week

Distance 17.5km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 5959.9km] Week11

Thursday, 13-Mar. 9km

The wind is back as I run down to West Beach, not too strong but blowy enough. The run was good on the way down but I must have pushed it a bit hard on the way down trying to keep up with a guy who passed me around halfway down, a fruitless effort on  my part and all I managed to do was make my ankle sore. It started to ache on the way back so I did a bit of a stint on the sand but that was very soft and the tide was high and it only made it worse so I resorted to walking the last 1.5km.

Sunday, 16-Mar. 5km + 3.5km

First taste of a bit of wintery weather overnight, rain and wind as I went off to sleep. In the morning it was cool and breezy as I drove across the city to meet up with David and Cathy for a run along the river course. It began raining quite heavily in the car as I drove to the meeting spot but then, the sun shines on the barefoot runners and it was all fine again. The ground felt cold with the wet surfaces but the feet soon warmed up. We had a good run, David is getting faster these days I noticed. We had a variety of surfaces to run on, the bitumen, paving and soft green grass of the parklands, that was the best. Runners with shoes on just don't know what they are missing, running barefoot through soft wet green grass is fantasticly soothing.
After the run we headed to the deli for a coffee.
As I prepared dinner later that day my only onion I had disintegrated a long time ago. I could drive to the shops before they close in 30 minutes but why should I do that when I have a good pair of feet to take me there. I put the shorts on again and did a barefoot run there and back for my onion and saved the planet a bit of petrol usage.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Autumn Again

Distance 36.2km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 5942.4km] Week10

Monday, 3-Mar. 4km

Well, after the good runs of last week this time I'm finding it hard work. The nice still weather that we enjoyed over the weekend is still here but it's all down to a timing issue. In the morning there is little wind, by late afternoon there is a strong sea breeze of around 30kmh. The combination of running in soft sand and fighting against the wind made my legs feel heavy and slow. By the time I had run from jetty to jetty I decided I'd had enough. I came off the beach and ran back along the road.

Thursday, 6-Mar. 9km

Much better run today although still facing the same issue of the 40kmh strong southerly wind blowing in my face for 4.5km the having it behind me on the way home. I stuck to the road all the way this time and put in a good effort which was shown by the sweat soaked t-shirt by the time I got back to the start. I have not been timing myself recently because my Heart Rate monitor has not been working. I think there is a problem with the pickup belt. I should give it a thorough clean to see if I can get it working again. Looks like I will miss the Beach Bash this year, I'm not trained properly to enter it so I'll see if there are any other races coming up before the end of the season.

Saturday, 8-Mar. 15km

Here I am again out and running before breakfast to beat the heat and the UV. I find it a real pain to put sunscreen on each time I go out so the only way to beat it is to get out before the UV levels get too high. I set off at 8am and got back around 9.45am. Having not eaten for around 13 hours means my energy levels are pretty low as I head back from my long run. The tide was also up so I had to run along the edge of the waterline to find some firm sand. I'm finding it harder to get up in the mornings as we move into Autumn and the darker mornings mean I wake up later, that si one reason I have been running before breakfast.

Sunday , 9-Mar. 8.2km

Even in the Autumn we can still get the hot days as this long weekend it proving, a couple of days of 35C before dropping back into the mid 20's again by the middle of the week. The dragon boats were racing again when I got to the lake, I did a few drills before setting off on my run today. I had emailed Michael to see if he wanted a run today but it probably got to him too late as he didn't show up. The humidity was higher today so within a few kilometres my t-shirt was pretty wet and I ended up just taking it off when I was half way around the course. It was a good run today and I just had enough energy at the end to push myself down to the gym for an hour of weights.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Best time of year

Distance 39km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 5906.2km] Week09

Tuesday, 25-Feb. 17km

After not feeling too good in the morning and calling in sick I managed to eat some breakfast at around 9am. I felt a better, the stomach not as rebellious. I went out to get some sun and had a jog along the beach that turned into a run much longer than I thought it would. The conditions were perfect, the tide was out, the temperarture was around 20C, sunny with some light cloud. I ran from Grange jetty to the Glenelg marina then back, I still felt quite good at the end, I did stop when I got back to the jetty but it did cross my mind to keep on running towards Semaphore but I reigned that thought in. A very enjoyable run.

Saturday, 1-Mar. 15km

It was cool overnight and sunny during the morning which lead to good running conditions. The tide had passed it's high point a few hours ago and was slowly on it's way out leaving some clean fresh sand to run on and check the footprints to see if they were even. I started the run before having any breakfast so I started slowly giving myself plenty of time to warm up. The beach has quite a camber when the tide is high and it's hard to find some firm flat sand to run on. I ran back along the foreshore from Semaphore jetty then onto the sparse grass behind the houses by the beach. It was a good run and I don't seem to get the problems of running without food like I did years ago.

Sunday, 2-Mar. 7km

Its that time of the month again when I get together with the shrinking band of barefoot runners for our monthly run. The venue this time was Henley Beach, meeting at the jetty at 9am. I got there early and did some short sprint drills to warm up. Cathy and Michael came on the run today, Cathy doing here own shorter course as she has only recently started running completely barefoot. Michael and myself ran to the West Beach caravan park at a good pace then back along the beach. The weather was just fantastic, the best is can be, mostly still with a very gentle breeze. These are the sorts of runs I want to commit to memory for my old age when I can't run any more, I can remember how wonderful it was. One thing I do know is that barefoot running has saved my joints and will probably enable me to run for a very long time yet. I was so lucky to read the BTR book and take up the challenge of rebuilding my running style despite people telling me it wasn't possible. What I have learnt is that the more people say it can't be done the more it should act as encouragement.