Sunday, May 31, 2015

Autumn to Winter

Distance 55.4km [total: minimalist 342.1km: Barefoot 7434.9km] Week22 (18th Apr - 31th May)

Saturday 23rd. 13km. The week was mainly a running free week due to cold wet weather. I did two gym sessions on Wednesday and Thursday. Today was the first run of the week. It was cold, it had been a cold night of 5C outside so I knew the ground would make the feet numb so today I decided to run in the Vibrams for a change. It is rare that I wear them as I prefer barefoot. They seem to give a bit more traction on the beach and I also don't have to watch for all the shells and stones to the same extent. This meant a faster than normal run, they kept my feet a bit warmer but they also rubbed a bit as well, nothing that left any mark but I was aware of a hot spot
Sunday 24th 8.2km. Why so I seem so late today! I did a gym session first that consisted of some lunges, shoulders, stomach and back, followed by a good half hour of stretching and flexibility. By the time I got back in the car to drive to the lake to run it was 11am. The concrete was cold, the pale sun had little energy to impart into the surface. I'm a bit paranoid when I do the lake run, at the places where the anglers frequent I pay close attention to the ground to watch for left behind fishing gear. A chilly southerly and some rain towards the end of the run cooled me down.

Tuesday 26th. 10km. A warm almost spring like day, at lunchtime I walked to the the gardens on South Terrace and lay down on the grass in the full sun just absorbing it's energy, closed my eyes and dozed off for 15 minutes before having to wake and go back to the office and the concentration. As soon as the clock hit 4pm I was off out of the door and heading home to get changed and then down to the beach. The sea was calm, hardly any waves, the sun poised off the western horizon just about to drop below some clouds. I ran along the shoreline then came up at the river estuary to run the rest of the way along the beach cycle/walkway. The sun had set by the time I got to the halfway point and darkness was slowly creeping in. As I ran past the redevelopments at Henley it was dark and then I run by feel, I can't see stones or other things I might step on so I have to use my reactions to protect my feet. Two other runners passed me today, I couldn't catch them but as I was on a low calorie day I didn't want to be doing any lactic acid inducing faster running. I did manage to keep a steady distance between myself and my last competition.
The rest of the week was cold and wet. I had planned a thursday run but just as I changed into my running gear the rain poured down and it was pointless to go out and begin a run.

Saturday 30th May: Great run today, 16km on a low calorie day. I really do feel different from when I would feel weak and wobbly without enough carbohydrates to burn. Now my body knows how to burn fat I can just run and run. I ran from Grange to Semaphore then back to Henley Beach and then to Grange. There was a northerly breeze that was quite chilly and so I was glad to get on the run back so I had it behind me. It felt like I was flying along and there was no fatigue as I approached the jetty at Grange so I decided to run on to Henley, a further 2km along the beach. There I got off and ran back along the road and into that chill wind once more. That was 16km on no food, something I wouldn't have thought I could have done only a year ago.

Sunday 31st May. My usual 8.2km lake loop. It had been raining overnight and the ground was still wet in patches. The sun poked it's way out from around the clouds occasionally and brought some welcome warmth but the feet stayed on the cool side. I passed a few other runners along the way and said good morning to all. I started off slow but got up to a good pace after a couple of kilometres. After the run it was off to they gym for a quick session which included some deadlifts, bench, triceps and abs.
The next few runs will be over the other side of the world in England, I have my Vibrams packed.


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Cold nights return

Distance 26.7km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 7392.5km] Week20 (11th Apr - 17th May)

The week started out windy and wet, that is what I was running in on Monday evening. Darkness came quickly. The rain was not torrential but the sort that is carried a long distance from the clouds it falls from so when you look above you it seems clear but way off to one side it is black.
The rain came down it small spits on the outbound run, on the way back it gave me a bit of a soaking on the stretch from the river to Henley Square then it stopped once more.
The run was good, I felt strong and fast. I was trying to out run the weather but that was a bit of a failure. Distance covered 10km
The rest of the week I didn't run due to rain at times I was going to head out. 
Saturday was a tiring day, it was also my low calorie day so considering that I crammed in quite a bit of activity. It started off by a trip down to my small block of land to check the weed situation. I had sprayed weedkiller around but it seems to have had little effect on the metre high weeds.
I spend an hour pulling deeply rooted weeds from the ground, this made my back ache. I got it done eventually.
After than I went for a run on a course that was local to where I would be living in the future. The measured distance worked out to be 8.5km. The tide was at it's low point so I ran from the Seacliff sailing club along the beach passing under Brighton jetty then on to Somerton Surf club before coming off the beach and onto the road. I then ran a detour around the outside of the large facility set up for the mentally disabled before turning back towards the beach and running along the Esplanade through busy Brighton with all its cafes and coffee shops, then on towards Seacliff once more.
Sunday saw me oversleeping and getting out of bed at one of the latest times all year at just before 10am. It had been a cold night of just 5C outside. I did actually wake at 7.30am, had some early breakfast then promptly fell asleep again. I thought it was before 9am but it was much later.
It was a bright sunny day outside but the ground was still cold when I ran. My feel felt numb and a bit sore running on the cold concrete. I looked around all the time to run on the darker surfaces with the hope that they had absorbed some energy and would warm my feet up a little. 
I ran the loop of the lake in the bright sun which felt nice on the skin but it was too weak to warm the ground. Distance 8.2km


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Windy week

Distance 32.2km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 7365.8km] Week19 (4th Apr - 10th May)

The winter weather is certainly with us now from the point of view of rain and wind but it has not yet got to the very cold that can be expected after June.
On the runs I have been on recently my feel have been cold but not numbly so.
Monday (4th) a short easy 4km run with a friend of mine from the river estuary to the holiday park. Cool, light wind. The coast path is mostly smooth concrete so easy to run on. There was some broken glass a couple of weeks ago that I keep an eye open for in case there are still fragments that have not been dulled off by the wind blowing the sharp points off.

The weather got worse towards the end of the week. A front came in from the west bringing rain and wind. I should have run on the Wednesday but I left it until Thursday and as I drove to the beach I could see masses of black cloud coming across. But as long as it's not raining heavily when I start I'll still give it a go. I parked the car and a few spots of rain were coming down. The tide was in so I ran on the concrete path that follows the beach. As I reached Henley the wind picked up to around 40km/h, I just put my head down and carried on. I decided to turn around if the rain arrived by the time I made it to the river. It did, there would be better running days. I didn't fancy running another 2km into the wind and rain before the return leg. As always, once the decision is made and I start running back the rain stops and the sun produces a beautiful projection through the clouds creating three beams of light. I put in a good fast run on the way back. Distance 7km.

Saturday (9th) I could hear the rain in the early morning and the wind was still blowing. I had a late start, it took me a while to get enthused to run. The rain stopped but the north west wind continued at 30-40km/h. The good thing about a north wind is that it is warmer than the south wind. This was a pre breakfast run so I started off at a steady trot to get the fat burning started. I had to keep the stride short so not to tire from the gusty wind blowing at me. I reached Semaphore then came off the beach and ran back along the foreshore before coming back to the beach at half way point. Now the wind was behind me and blowing me forward so I flew along the beach that I hardly noticed it. 13km.

Sunday (10th) Once again it was the rain I could hear in the morning, maybe a day to miss the run. I could run on the treadmill at the gym but I don't like the repetition of treadmills, I get bored not being able to look around and I most certainly would not be able to run barefoot. Toughen up! in my earlier running years I would run through blizzards and -15C cold with wind chill, a bit or rain and wind is nothing in comparison.
So, I get to the empty lake car park, no people fishing today. The path was quite dry due to the wind evaporating the surface water. The model boat enthusiasts were also absent today, the wind too strong. I got caught in a shower around 1km from home but I was feeling strong and splashing through the water on the pavement felt good, it warmed my feet a little. An enjoyable wet run. 8.2km


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

IBRD 2015

Distance 38.2km [total: minimalist 329.1km: Barefoot 7333.6km] Week18 (27th Apr - 3rd May)

Tuesday 28th Apr. A short run after work with a friend of mine covering a relaxed 4km. A nice late afternoon with some sun that is setting in the west. No chill winds blowing from the south but the air can be felt to cool as the sun sinks lower.

Wednesday 29th Apr. I got to the beach earlier today, the day had been warm and sunny and I wanted to do a beach run to Semaphore before the sun set. I got to the beach at 4.45pm and ran north along the beach with the breeze behind me. I was racing against the sunset, I kept glancing to the west to see how far above the sea the sun was. I got to the half way point and the sun was still whole, casting long shadows over the beach.
The sand had become quite cold and my feet were going numb. I came off the beach and onto the bitumen pathway that ran alone the foreshore. My feet sucked what little heat there was left out of the surface, it wasn't long before I was onto the colder concrete then onto the grassy surface behind the houses by the beach. The sun set just leaving a glow like a fire on the horizon, the cold started to creep in as I came back onto the back on to the beach with another 4km to run. The cold wind had started to pick up and was chilling me and slowing me down. I kept up a steady pace on the cold sand, the light had faded and I was running along a almost dark beach, keeping to the shore line to avoid any holes and uneven surfaces. I could see the lights on Grange jetty getting slowly closer, no silhouettes of people fishing tonight, too chilly.
I reached the jetty at around 6.15pm after covering around 13km. It felt good to haul myself back onto the path, wash the sand from my feet in the cold tap water then slowly float back to my car, knowing in a few minutes I would have warm air from the heater blowing over my feet.

Saturday 2nd May. A low calorie day for me, sticking to under 600 calories. The weather was holding up, sunny and around 18C. No breakfast as I headed to the beach at 9.30am. The tide was out so I had a nice flat beach to run on. South to Glenelg today, I wasn't sure how far I could run on an empty stomach. I can feel the hunger as I drive to the beach and when I start to run. I know the trick is not to try running fast, not to force it, just let your body decide on what pace to run at.
I start slow, a girl running with her dogs passes me easily and I just run at a slow steady pace. The body seems to know when to switch on the fat burning system, it seems to happen after about 4-5km and I feel better, the hunger evaporates and the running gets stronger. The distance to Glenelg is around 8km. I  mentally told myself I could turn back at any point if I felt too tired but I was fine. I reached the marina then made my way off the beach and onto the pavement. After a 5 minutes walk I began the run home. I was running into the breeze on the way back. About 4km into the run, another runner passes me and wonders aloud how I can run without shoes. I don't have the energy to match his pace and it would probably make my body try to burn carbs which are in short supply this morning. I began to feel a bit floaty and disattached towards the end of the run, still light on my feet but looking forward to finishing. I finished at the Grange cafe after a run of 16km.
I rewarded myself once I got home with a small bowl of oats and a cup of tea.
Sunday 3rd May. International Barefoot Running Day. I was worried earlier in the week that it was going to be a wet wintery day but as the week progressed the forecasts improved until in the end we had a sunny afternoon of 20C, perfect for a run. I met up with David and new runner Luke who has been running barefoot for a while now. That was the sum total of the turnout, Michael somehow picked the wrong time and place and the two girls were no shows. We ran at a good pace around the river/zoo loop a distance of 5.2km. I felt a little tired as I'd done some lunges and other weighted leg exercises at the gym earlier. Our nearby deli has shut its doors so we had to drive a little further to The St Peters Bakehouse for a coffee, quite a popular place judging by the lineup inside.
Neil and Luke after 5km Park Run

David and Luke after 5km Park Run