Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Open Men's 5K Championship at the Presidents Cup Night Race last
night. Manoman was I wrong! We fielded A, B, and C teams with at
total of 22 team members! I couldn't even begin to guess how many
women of RVRR ran the race also!
Age groups: Chris Lehman, Imme Dyson 1st; Cathy Glamkowski, Jeremy
Stratton, Roger Price, Doug Brown, Patricia O'Hanlon 2nd; Kathy
Rocker, John Nowatkowski 3rd!
The night was cool and the race times were fast! The food was too
little, but the free Sam Adams was endless (until they had to clean
up). The best dancers were all RVRR members - what a party!
In my opinion, the real story of the race lies in seeing 19 open men's
teams entered in the race! That has to be some kind of USATF-NJ
record! Club racing is alive and thriving in this state like no other
in the USA! A lot of it can be attributed to RVRR, for being
undefeated as a club in the overall club Grand Prix since its
inception. Morris County Striders and Sneaker Factory are borrowing
our depth tactics to try and catch us. In the meantime, the real open
speed demons are running with the store-sponsored teams, which creates
a whole different dimension within the Grand Prix. The 2005 NBGP is
going to have a very exciting fall season, the way this is shaping up.
Train hard and participate at whatever level you can - it is gonna be
a fun ride!
Second observation: Early in a barefoot run my feet are more sensitive than later in the run. I think it is both because of the nerves acclimating to the feelings, and because of better form after being warmed up.
After I cooled down last night, the President's Cup post race party was great. Not enough food, but plenty of free Sam Adams, music, dancing, good conversation. Did it all barefoot and a lot of people asked about the barefoot thing. They shut the free beer down at about 10 PM, so many running club friends went into Charlie Brown's (the race/party location is their parking lot). I went in barefoot and no employees cared. One thing I had to keep reminding myself as I made a couple of bathroom trips, however, was that urine is sterile...
Monday, June 20, 2005
On Friday I did a lunchtime 6 miler. I tried to wear fairly new Mizuno Mercury trainers. I can not wear these for running ever again. There is just too much shoe there, pushing my feet to do things that they don't want to do. They don't want to land heel first. They don't want to be stopped from pronating. It was really annoying. The shoes were making my whole body feel horrible during the run. So I took them off for a middle mile, running on some grass and some roadway, and my entire run became more comfortable. I ran my entire PM run barefoot on grass for 4 miles.
Friday night my family and I attended a Patriots baseball game. I wore Teva sandals, but I took them off at our seats. I chickened out about walking around the stadium without them. Don't want to think about going into the mens' room there without shoes...
On Saturday I had an awesome 5 mile run at 7 A.M., wearing Mizuno Revolver racing shoes. They might become my regular trainer now. I took my PM 5 mile run 100% barefoot from my house again, accepting the road as my running surface for much of the time on the way to Greenbrook Park.
On Sunday I did an easy 5 on the road, wearing my older Mizuno Maverics. Those shoes are not too annoying. However, they were annoying enough for me to remove them for the last mile. I had to do a lot of running on sidewalks and the street barefoot at the end of this run. It didn't bother me a bit! I am convinced that running barefoot is more difficult at the beginning of a run than at the end of a run.
Race tonight: President's Cup - probably wearing the New Balance 150's. Hoping to be under 18 for 5K.
Sunday, June 19, 2005
I am trying to maintain the perspective that I am doing it to run in races faster, to use it as part of
an overall training program, not to over-do or become some kinda local 24/7 Obe-Wan of barefooting. But I gotta admit, that is kinda happening anyway; it is like outa my conscious control....
Friday, June 17, 2005
Thursday, June 16, 2005
After entering last night's mileage into my excel training log, I was up to 51% barefoot for the month of June!
Tonight I put on shoes for the regular RVRR Wednesday Night Club Run. I ran 8 miles in Mizuno Mavericks. The heels of the shoes are definitely feeling like they are in the way! I hated dragging those heavy shoes along. I was tempted to remove them and run on the grass next to the bike path in Johnson Park, at least for the far end that is less developed. But I also rationalized that my feet body needed a dose of support and my feet a dose of protection for a change. I have bumped up my barefoot time a lot this last week, and I don't want to get injured. Well, don't you know that my shins hurt a little tonight, a few hours after that shod run! Probably because of the foot confusion those shoes caused. I am thinking that I might have to permanently train in racing flats!
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Barefoot Running: "Ankle sprains are the most common acute injury suffered by athletes. Runners who frequent trails or uneven surfaces may be especially vulnerable to this type of injury. Since nearly all ankle sprains are inversion injuries, it behooves athletes to find ways to improve their lateral stability. The best lateral stability, with mostly reduced inversion, is found in the barefoot condition. This is because a shoe’s sole increases the lever arm thus escalating torque around the subtalar joint during a stumble.19,20 Also, imperfect proprioception can cause the foot to be placed in an awkward position. Compared to being barefoot, foot position awareness has been shown to be 107.5% worse when wearing athletic footwear. The authors of this study believe, 'The inescapable conclusion is that footwear use is ultimately responsible for ankle injury.'"
Sunday, June 12, 2005
I went to a race on Saturday. First I got some coffee and a bagel at Dunkin Donuts and went in barefoot. That was really a bit of a rush - my first food place barefoot. Nicely air conditioned; cool tile floor.
I am not racing barefoot on the roads, nor do I intend to. I don't think a person can race fast on the roads of NJ barefoot. There are certain times where running barefoot is detrimental to speed and to training. I am trying to maintain that perspective while pushing these barriers of barefoot belief. However, I am racing with very minimal shoes at longer distances than I ever would have before training barefoot (up to 40+% now, on grass) since last summer. I have been using New Balance RC 150's (discontinued) that is little more than a flat like the blue nylon Tigers and Nikes we used back in the late 70's.
BUT I did not put on shoes until my warm-up and took them off immediately after finishing. It was a hot and humid 10K in Jersey City, NJ, and barefootedness was very refreshing.
So here are the comments:
1. Look out for glass (walking from the parking deck) (there wasn't any - I have noticed that glass is the non-barefooter's #1 fear)
2. Are you running the race barefoot? (at the check-in area)
3. You must have lost your shoes (after the race from some exhausted guy)
4. I guess your shoes were bothering you (on the way back to the parking deck) - I said "no, I am barefoot by choice" - but actually, I guess shoes are, in a way, bothering me. (more about that in another post)
Saturday night we had dinner over Debbie & Andy's house. Donnie and Allie were there too. Nobody had any problem with me being barefoot. That was nice. I don't even think I had to explain it to anybody. This group has spend a lot of time skiing and hottubbing together, so I guess everything goes with us. Well, I did have to explain to Andy that driving barefoot was not illegal when we went out to pick-up dinner.
On Sunday I began scaring myself a little. I stopped at Dunkin Donuts again and had no problem going in and getting my bagel and coffee barefoot. No more risk there after I broke the ice yesterday. Then we had orientation at camp, where I work in the summer. I run the pools, and have the luxury of being able to be barefoot most of the day in the summer in a venue that non-barefooters would consider normal.
Scary thing one: The rules of camp say that outside of the pools, shoes must always be worn. It is a safety thing. Staff members are expected to be a model of good camp behavior. Well, I took a risk. I carried my Tevas most of the day, and only had to put them on once when the director asked me.
Scary thing two: After I got back home from camp I had to mow the lawn. MOW THE LAWN. Yes, I did it barefoot. OMG, am I crazy? I figured in the last 30 years of mowing lawns, my shoes were never needed to protect my feet from the spinning blade. Why should they start having to do so now? I did pay a bit more attention when I was pulling the mower towards me. And it was good! I usually hate mowing the lawn and this time it was actually fun.
So I hadn't gone for my run yet, and I wanted to do barefoot loops at Greenbrook Park. I do a lot of my barefoot running in Greenbrook Park, which is about a half mile from my house. I usually do a barefoot session on grass there, sandwiched with wearing shoes there and back. But today I was seriously thinking about doing the half-mile there and back barefoot, thinking that I knew the streets, and that they were smooth and free of stones and other hazards. But it was hot, and I was thinking it might burn my feet. Plus I knew I had already done a lot of barefoot running this week, and didn't want to push it to cause injury. I didn't want to do anything detrimental to training. So I ran there in shoes, then took them off and did my grassy loops. On the way back I knew I was ready to try it - so I did scary thing three for the day: I did not put them on! I found that I could run about half of my steps on grass between the sidewalk and street, and the other half was on the street or sidewalks! From now on I can do my Greenbrook Park loops without having to stop to take off shoes, put them on, or run with them in my hands!
Finally, I went to 7-eleven to pick up a gallon of milk. I brought my Tevas just in case. I parked in front of the store and carefully looked for the "Shoes must be worn" sign I am sure I have seen on store windows in NJ. No such sign! So I went in and picked out the gallon of skim. Then walked over and proudly paid for it. One of the clerks who was refreshing the coffee bar certainly did a double-take, but said nothing!
Total time wearing running shoes or Tevas this weekend, including the race: less than 2 hours.
My soles are so tingly. They feel so good!
Saturday, June 11, 2005
Friday, June 10, 2005
you are gonna have to go through the whole intro before you get to the "view commercial" link.
"Entering the school of thought" and reading the "philosophy" may be interesting or at least produce a chuckle. Checkout the wallpapers in the "appendix" section. There is even a wallpaper with one of the sponsored pros, Maria Sharapova, appearing barefoot while all the male pros are wearing the Free. What kind of statement is that?...
I actually used one of the wallpapers, proclaiming "Run barefoot" - I wish I had the skill to photoshop the nike logo and the shoe out of it?
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
In addition to twisting ankles, I have also suffered from plantar faciaitis and achillies tendonitis. Not since running barefoot, though!
I began mixing barefoot running into my training routines a little bit at a time. 5 minutes per day, every other day, adding 5 more every week. Now I run up to an hour barefoot, both distance and intervals.
Running barefoot has changed my footstrike from heavy heel striking to one where my entire outside edge strikes at once and my heel is only down for a nanosecond. I have been able to race faster with less intervals and speedwork. I can't run on any grass surface anymore without thinking, "I should be barefoot." I constantly seek out parks and other large grassy areas where I typically do repetitive long laps as part of my longer workouts that start and end with shoes. I am kind of addicted. It just feels good and right.
Many other runners in my running club have seen me running barefoot now and we talk about it. I tell them how it has changed my running style and has banished injuries. I tell them I don't fear glass, that some of the stuff that falls off trees can hurt so I stay out from under them, but 99/100 steps are pure pleasure. Some are using barefoot running as part of their cool-down after hard runs and track workouts.
Now, when I buy training shoes, I look for shoes with little or no difference in sole height at the toe and heels. I run in racing flats and retro-shoes a lot - that is how I got through the NJ winter while retaining barefoot running feet. I also have the advantage of a summer job running a pool so I can be barefoot all day.
So though I am not a 100% barefoot runner, I am convinced that it is an extremely important part of a well designed training program.