Monday, December 07, 2009

Snow on Saturday, 51 Miles Road Cycling on Sunday

We got a wet half inch or so on Saturday.  On Sunday, by 10:30 AM the sun was shining, though it was cold.  The roads seemed dry outside my house.  So I bundled up for a road ride on my vintage 1986 Cannondale road bike.  I purposely inflated the tires 5 PSI low for better traction and headed for the hills.

Watchung Reservation had a lot of snow in the woods and it was really pretty up there.  The road surfaces were a wet in the hills for the first hour, so I was hesitant about descending fast, thinking that I might eat pavement by hitting some black ice or snow.  There were ice chunks falling from the trees that kinda stung when then hit me.

The roads were mostly dry after that first hour, and I felt good, so I decided to go longer than I had planned.  After a pit stop at a Lukeoil station for the bathroom and eating the Cliff Bar in my pocket, I felt even better.  I saw only about 5 other guys out there for cycling workouts, even though it was a very enjoyable day.

There is still a lot of salt on my bike in the garage.  Gotta get out there and wipe her down today.  Here was my route:

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Haile Gebrselassie



Haile Gebrselassie is a forefoot striker.  Watch some vids at Youtube.  His feet move fast, so it is a little difficult to see his forefoot strike.  He ran 10K 2X per day to school and back, barefoot, for 10 years.  Kinda explains things.  In this vid, he places his arm around a young Ethiopian boy and says, "He could be my double, except he has the shoes. I had no shoes."

I jokingly propose that One World Running, an organization that brings donations and running shoes to Africa, is a plan by the USOC to slow down future African runners!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

An Uninformed Stupid Comment

A reader commented on my post entitled, "My adidas Spam Today".  In that post, I commented on an adidas model called "Ambition Power Bounce".  It is $130 of marketing and design bullcrap.  Check them out yourself if you don't believe me.  The adidas web site copy actually says, "So every time you head out for a run you have the chance to redefine who you are as a runner."  Um, yea, shoes can do that.  Not!  A PERSON can do that, not the shoes.

I have some running shoes that even I would defend mightily: Saucony Kilkenny, Reebok Circa and VFF.  So I guess I can appreciate a person that goes to bat for a shoe.  At the same time, I am kinda happy that A.) someone would actually read my post and comment on it, and B.) that there are still people out there that are hostile to running barefoot even after the Born To Run bonanza.

Anyway, I figured I can answer some of HyperHorse's questions in the comment directly here, even though I really think we should all just go out for a run, shod or not, and that it is all good.

HH. How the hell are your feet & ankles holding up, now that you're running barefoot???
TM. Well, it has been a relatively rough year.  I broke two toes this year, but they were both really stupid moves, off road, in the midst of awesome runs.  I must say they healed surprisingly quickly, and gave me an opportunity to enjoy my many bicycles to the max.  My goal for each break was to come out of the injuries more fit than I went into them.  I reached that goal for both of them.  Besides those two toes, the rest of my feet are completely healthy and happy.  They are strong and look great.  My ankles are golden.  That is why I got into running barefoot in 2004, to stop twisting ankles.

HH. And if you weren't such a lazy dumbass, since you don't apparently need shoes anymore, why don't you unsubscribe from the Adidas mailing list???
TM. OK, I will admit that I am lazy, and even a dumbass at times.  Frequently perhaps.  Aren't we all?  But I still need shoes sometimes!  I am not one of those really crazy 100% barefooters.  I run about half my yearly mileage barefoot.  What if adidas comes out with a wonderful minimal shoe at some point that I might want to buy?  Or I might want some of their cool clothes.  I need that mailing list.  If not for the possibility of a bargain, then just for the occasional comic relief.

HH. I've actually tried these on and I'm very impressed with the feel and cushioning of these shoes...  So maybe try them on before making an uninformed stupid comment?
TM. That is great and I am glad you like them.  I would not be inclined to try them on because there is simply too much shoe there and I don't think I have ever spent over about $80 for a running shoe even when I was into their alleged advancements in technology for our protection.  To me, that impressive cushioning would be painful.  Every step would force a heel strike: ouch.  I am going to choose to remain uninformed and stupid because I am an American, and that is what we like.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Philadelphia Marathon Photos Turn Up Everywhere

Here is a "Before" shot, around the starting line at 7 AM or so, from Joel S. via his Facebook album.  Left to right it are Christine, Jonn D., Joel S., Me, Steve R.




The next two are from Nick P., via his Facebook album.  The amazing observation to me is that even though these were taken around mile 20, when I was in extreme discomfort, I am smiling and aparently having great fun.  As Nick said, ain't runnin' wonderful?






Proving again that it is indeed a small small world, this is one photo from a set that a friend discovered, from her running club, MCRR out of Maryland:




Here is a screen cap from the official race photographer site:


Monday, November 23, 2009

Philadelphia Marathon



The race time prediction calculators were all wrong.  I went out way to fast, toasted my quads by mile 14.  I was at the half at 1:35:13.  Even pace would have put me at 3:10:26.  But I ran an 11 minute POSITIVE split, to end up at 3:21:31.  And it wasn't fun, hurting all the way out to Manayunk and back.  I couldn't decide if it hurt less to run slower or faster.  I was living for the next Gatoraid and just thinking the only way to get this done is to get it done...


I was definitely fooled by the rest, by the taper effect, for the first half of the run.  I was throwing the dice out there that all the bike riding - the bulk of my training in the last four weeks since I broke my toe - would somehow let me really stick to my 3:10 goal, which I had formed when everything was humming along swimmingly up until that fateful 8K XC race one month ago.

So checkout my crazy splits, especially my erratic 18-26, that I took on my Timex Ironman Triathlon watch:
Miles 1-11 @ 1:19:32 = 7:14
12 @ 7:15
13 & 14 @ 14:56 = 7:28
15 @ 7:28
16 @ 7:50
17 @ 7:51
18 @ 7:44
19 @ 8:10
20 @ 7:57
21 & 22 @ 16:05 = 8:03
23 @ 9:01
24 @ 8:33
25 @ 8:42
26.2 @ 10:24 = 8:40

So I can tell you unequivically, that you can not train for a marathon by riding a bike a lot and running a little.  I was so glad when that one was over.  I was only a minute and a half slower than my personal conservative prediction from way before the race.  See, I know a lot more than those stupid calculators.  It would have been much less painful if I just ran splits for a 3:20 from the start.  Going out too fast led to my most embarrassing moment: getting passed by the guy in the tutu. (Thanks Liane P. via her Facebook album for the photo, right and below)

Other Philadelpha Marathon snippits:
  • Drove down to Philly on Saturday afternoon with Joel S., Steve R., Kyle S. and John D. after a morning of two soccer games for my daughter.  We saw NJ state troopers with shotguns trained on some vehicle they pulled over, with the entire northbound side closed.  Not a word about it in the Internet newspapers.  
  • The expo was OK, the tech shirt is cool and the goody bag itself is mesh instead of plastic, and contained a nice pair of tech fabric gloves.  
  • Fourteen of us RVRR and related people had a great family style dinner at some restaurant that seated us by walking us through the kitchen.
  • It was indeed a beautiful day.  Compare this day to last year's 25 degree weather!  The sun was out and it was in the lower to mid 50's with a bit of a breeze.  Wore a singlet, shorts and gloves.
  • Ran the first few miles with Bill Bosmann.  He was running in a jacket just to carry a cell phone, despite the beautiful weather.  He joked that it was no big deal, because he "was running so slowly anyway."  I couldn't keep up with him - at 59, he won the 55-59 age group at 2:54:30!
  • It was so great to have the support of other RVRR friends.  A group was in downtown Philly, another group was just after the Philly Zoo, others were along the Manayunk out & back, and at the finish.  Seeing them, high-fiving and the hugs were the best part of the event.
  • It was cool to see John D. when he was on his way out to the Manayunk turn around while I was on the way back, and for him to say, "I'm coming to get you!"  And he did.  He ran a great race, finishing in 3:15:05, negative splitting by 5 minutes.  That is how to run a marathon!
  • Afterwards, we spent some time drinking some beer and eating, when we could find some service, at a Philly Irish pub, Tir Na Nog, that was not ready for the crowd.

    Friday, November 20, 2009

    Philadelphia Marathon Prediction Calculators

    My plan for the Philly Marathon this Sunday is to run conservatively, especially in light of breaking my toe a scant month ago.  I had wanted to run around 3:10 before the stupid move of breaking my piggy.  I felt I was on target to do it.  My training was going well.  So I tempered my ambition to run something more like a 3:20 this Sunday.  I feel that is pretty within my reach even though I lack long runs, and running mileage in general.  I filled the void with good cycling mileage.  I am aerobically an animal ready for big things, but lack the training specificity.

    Enter the Race Prediction Calculator.  There are a ton of them on this here interwebs.  Based on the 5K I ran last weekend @ 19:20, most of them predict I can run 3:10 or better.  Nothing like getting my hopes up and messing up my mental plan.
    Running Times predicts a 3:09:09 @ 7:12 pace
    McMillan Running predicts a 3:08:29 also @ 7:12 pace  (what?)
    Marathon Guide predicts a 3:08:03
    Running for Fitness predicts a 3:05:13  !!
    This little applet predicts a 3:04:49  !!!

    Wow - should I abridge my plans?  Whom should I listen to?  Perhaps my own body in the first few miles...  Feel good: attempt 7:12.  Feel not so good: attempt 7:37's for a 3:20 as planned.  We shall see.

    Monday, November 02, 2009

    6.5 Miles Eight Days Out from Breaking Toe

    I ran 6.5 miles today on the Columbia Trail.  When I tested my toe with runs this past weekend, it seemed like it was not ready to run yet.  But those tests were after cycling.  Today's run was fresh, and I figured out that I should tape the toe, with support under the curved part of it.  I used a cotton ball, legthened out, and curved into a U shape under the toe and around the sides.  I then taped around my big toe and third toe.  Put the whole thing into a sock and stuck it into new Brooks Cascadia 3 trail shoes.  Sorry, I didn't spare you the photos this time!  Here is my awesome tape job.

    Monday, October 26, 2009

    Sparing You The Photo

    I did not take a photo of the red misshapen toe.  But it is red, and misshapen - trust me.  I have an unrelated break in the skin on the bottom of the toe, and it is oozing some of the fluid build up inside the toe from the break.  I am spending time with a flexible gel ice pack and elevation.  Rode my Dawes single speed about 10 miles with little pain.  The best shoes to wear when your toe is broken are Teva river sandals.  Wore them to work today and eventually will try running in them.  I learned that during my last broken toe adventure.

    Sunday, October 25, 2009

    Stupid Move #2

    Stupid move #1: About two months ago I broke my left middle toe while running in VFF's on a trail. I did it by kicking a root on an easy trail. Proceeded to finish the run, about 5 more miles. By using lots of ice and active rest, I nursed the toe to 90% in 3 weeks, 100% in six, been training very well. Ran a little and rode my bike a lot during recovery time, so I came out of the injury in better cardio shape than I went into it.

    Stupid move #2: Today I raced an 8K XC race barefoot. It was muddy. Warm up was fine for no shoes. Didn't factor in that with lots of people running the course it would deteriorate, and that I would be running 6:30/mile rather than 8:30/mile. Half way through I slipped & fell going downhill, which was fine - slid right back up and continued running. A few hundred yards later, running down another hill and curving right, my right foot slipped sideways & forward with all my weight and momentum concentrated on my forefoot. In a hundredth of a second, I felt my 2nd toe bend too far, kinda under my 3rd, and feeling a sharp pain I kinda knew it broke. I finished the race at about 8 minute pace when I should have placed in my AG. Should have worn the spikes that I left in my car...

    Philly Marathon is exactly 4 weeks away. Wasn't going to run it barefoot - was going for a post-40's PR for myself - now I'm gonna have to depend on my bike again to keep me fit, but the PR might be down the tubes!

    Wednesday, September 16, 2009

    Proud Dad

    Son's first XC meet of the season: The race was fine, but this is more important: I am there barefoot, and intend to run cool-down with his high school team. Without prompting him to do this, I notice my son's XC flats are off and he is prepared to run the cool-down barefoot.  Now, as a good dad, I don't make a big deal out of this for fear of ruining it.  We're just chatting and being cool; and then spontaniously three other guys decide to run the cool-down barefoot!

    Before we start the cool down, coach says something like, "Any of you guys cut your foot I'm gonna stick it in your eye," or something equally ridiculous.. .

    We ran it barefoot, all grass. They guys liked it. All eyes and feet intact.

    Monday, September 14, 2009

    My adidas Spam Today...

    my adidas spam today led me to a link for these adidas Ambition Power Bounce running shoes, and I thought how funny it is that anyone would actually believe this and buy these for $130 bucks!

    Sunday, September 13, 2009

    Training September 7 - 13, 2009

    12 hours 21 minutes total time, 186.4 total distance = 168.5 cycling + 17.9 running. Ended the week today with 20:08 XC race, USATF-NJ 5K Championships, after a big workout day on Saturday of R5 & B44. Biked 43 miles after the race today. I need to do a duathlon!

    While running today's race, I had little to no pain in my 3-week old broken toe. Wore Nike XC spikes. I can't complain about the time after so much cycling and so little running. I didn't feel aerobically challenged during the race, but I just could not run any faster. For example, a guy in my age group from Rose City Runners passed me in the last 100 yards, but I just could not notch up the speed to catch him. Our 50's team took 2nd, open won, and 40's were buried in 4th.

    Workout summary below:

    Saturday, September 05, 2009

    Update: Second Run of The Day!

    OK, so this is crazy and it goes to show that maybe I know what I am talking about when I say that it depends on what time it is for running on a recovering broken little bone... I ran 5 miles with my son after dinner almost pain-free. I wore my Teva sandals. Maybe it is about the open toes.  Icing it now, just in case.  Am thinking that tomorrow I will try it at the Deer Path park XC course.  Then a bike ride starting and ending there.  We will see.

    Almost Two Weeks Since I Broke Toe...

    After the club run this morning, as I entered the diner where we all meet for breakfast, the Euro-sounding owner said to me, "Runners in the back," as he pointed to our usual large table. "How did you know I'm a runner?" I asked him. His reply: "Because you were limping."

    I attempted running on Wednesday evening and this morning with the RVRR crew. Both times I began running on the D&R Towpath in shoes, and turned around after a few minutes to return to the parking lot and change into bare feet. I then completed 30 minutes on the grass at Johnson Park. There was pain in the shoes, and less pain while barefoot. I didn't run very fast - maybe 10 minutes per mile. I had more pain this morning than on Wednesday evening. It is now early afternoon, and I have little to no pain. I am thinking I can run fine right now - just thinking it. I am thinking that later in the day there is less internal swelling so there may be less pain. In the morning the fluids may have built up while sleeping. I have ridden my bike a lot - over 132 miles/5 rides last week and 80/8 rides so far this week (commuting). I don't think I am losing any cardiovascular fitness, but I am not sure that I will be able to run the USATF-NJ 5K XC championships next Sunday.

    Monday, August 24, 2009

    Broke My Toe Wearing Vibram Five Fingers

    OK, I admit I was not paying attention.

    Yesterday, on an easy trail run with a bunch of people, after extoling the virtues of VFF's, within the first half mile I tripped really really really hard on a root. It jammed my toes hard straight back into my foot. I fell like somebody shot me. I kinda heard a snap (or imagined it) and knew I broke something. Finished the run of 4 more miles with increasing pain.

    This is the third toe I have broken on my left foot.  First the little toe about 13 years ago, when I kicked a packed suitcase before a ski day.  Second the next one over, last summer, when I kicked a bench on the pool deck.  Now the middle toe.  I seem to be working left to right.

    This toe is broken very near the metatarsal, which isn't really a good thing.  It is painful to walk and to try to curl my toes.  I'm icing every few hours. My foot is a bit more swollen today than it was yesterday. This sucks. It was so random, I had been running on trails with the VFFs before, and this trail was easy in comparison to others I had run. Guess I am putting in some long bike mileage over the next few weeks. Not a happy camper. :(

    Photo from yesterday:
    Icing, right after the run:

    Thursday, August 13, 2009

    Vibram Five Fingers

    I have aquired the Injinji socks, and now running in the Vibram Five Finger shoes is perfect! I have done trails and roads in them. Random rocks on trails do cause a lot of penetration, and can be uncomfortable. But for dirt trails or woods roads they are fine. They are great on the road. I ran a PR and an age group course record cross country race wearing the VFF's. I also ran about 12 miles over three legs of the River to Sea Relay wearing the VFF's. Now wearing any other running shoe feels restrictive! Even wearing minimal cross country flats.

    Embedded video below shows the future potential of Vibram Five Fingers. Also know for sure now that I have been pronouncing Vibram incorrectly for the last 35 years.

    Friday, June 26, 2009

    First VFF Run

    I ran in my Vibram Five Fingers KSO's yesterday.  It was a short run of three miles.  There is the feeling of running barefoot, but just not on top of your foot, and of course there is all that protection underneath.  For the first two miles they felt pretty good, but I could not help thinking I would rather be really barefoot.  My soles were missing the real feel of the road.  I had to stop a couple of times to tighten, then loosen the Velcro strap.  After about 2.25 miles I gave in and took them off.  It is the upper that was giving me some chafing, and I did get a micro blister on the inside of my foot above my right arch area.  I think I need Injinji socks - the ones with the toes.  And I think these will be used on trails, and maybe for racing, not for daily runs in warm weather.

    Wednesday, June 24, 2009

    Summer Series XC #2 & My Birthday Party

    I ran Summer Series #2 in my Nike XC spikes last night.  There were parts of the course where all the recent NJ rains have caused erosion and the exposure of random rocks and other scree.  I would have had to slow down a lot if I ran barefoot.  But it was very hot and humid last night and I am not acclimated because it just hasn't been hot this spring.  The spikes felt so heavy and hot I really wanted to stop and rip them off my feet.  I won my new age group, at least.

    The greatest thing about last night was everyone in my running club that made it special for my birthday.  The race directors, Doug and Janice, gave me bib number 50.  They announced it at the start line and gave me a special start line about 10 yards ahead of everyone else.  It felt so unfair but it was humorous.  There was another former president, IronPete , that shares my birthday, but 10 years younger.  He got a head start too, as well as bib number 40.


    After the race there was the singing of Happy Birthday and an absolutely wonderful birthday cake, made by Rebecca T.  It was an amazing work of art that is cheapened by text description: It was totally themed with icing as a plush mountain with a path to the top on one side.  The path had shoes cast aside and bare footprints passing milestones marked 35, 40, 45.  Over the top, the other downhill side had a gray rocky barren down-hill path with animal bones and skull exposed.  Rebeca spent like 10 hours creating that.  She should do that for a living!  And she cut it up herself.  (You might be able to see pics of it on Facebook.)

    Finally, Chris L had people chip in for a gift last Saturday.  What a guy!  They got me Vibram Five Finger KSO shoes.  I had been wanting them for a long time but have been too cheap to buy them.  So that was wonderful.  Of course we hung out and drank some beers as always.  It was absolutely the best 50th birthday I could have ever wanted!

    Tuesday, June 23, 2009

    New Age Group as of Today

    Today I am crossing the line into the 50+ age group.  Time to rock & roll!  First race as a 50 year old is tonight, but it is a series race that scores you for the same age group for the entire series, so I will be scoring in the 45-49 age group.  But that is OK, because the race will also be MY PARTY!  My real debut race will be Sunday at Pine Beach 5K, which is a NJ Masters championship.  I am looking for hardware, since I will be the youngest in the age group, but it will be more difficult to do that at a championship.

    Sunday, June 21, 2009

    Training June 15 - 21, 2009


    I had a moderate workout week this past week.  Considering the extra work at camp for a couple of days, I can't complain.  President's Cup 5K on Monday night resulted in my fastest 5K since July of 2005!  Bike ride yesterday on old rain bike had a decent speed considering what I was riding, and was mostly big-ring.

    Saturday, June 20, 2009

    Yep - I'm Insane

    "Dad, we saw you running before, on the way home," said my 11 year-old daughter.

    She had been in the car, with my wife and son, on the way back from a store.

    "Where?" I asked.

    "On Greenbrook Road."

    "How come I didn't see you? Which way was I going?"

    "Towards home."

    So they came up from behind me while I was concentrating on the road surface to avoid stepping on small pebbles and random road scree, which has been worse than Jersey-normal because of the huge amounts of rain we have been experiencing for two weeks.

    "How come you didn't wave out the window and beep?"

    "Because you're insane," my 15 year-old son chimed in.

    "Why do you say that?" I asked.

    "Because you were barefoot and wearing short shorts and running in the rain," he answered.  And he is a developing runner and he goes barefoot a lot - but not when he runs.

    "I see - and you make it a practice to not beep at insane people?" I asked rhetorically...

    I proceeded to explain how they should not conclude I was crazy.  That instead they should be impressed with my abilities. I told them that what I was doing took an extremely high level of skill, concentration, core strength, posture & balance - not to mention the fitness to keep this up for an hour and a half....
    But it fell on deaf ears as they were back concentrating on the X-Box.

    Friday, June 19, 2009

    Alive & Well & Fast As Hell

    The full account of making some stupid dangerous moves on my bike commute to work this morning:

    What happened was a domino effect.  Picture a red light with a left turn lane in front of you, with lots of cars backed up at the light to go straight on a moderately busy road, Washington Avenue in Piscataway, NJ.  I usually sneak up on the right of those backed up stopped cars.  There was a truck very far to the right and I wasn't going to fit.  So I figured I would sneak up the left side and cut through the red light before it turned green - no prob, I do that illegal move all the time - it is probably safer because it keeps me out of the traffic when it starts moving - at that point I am already on the right in the shoulder and everybody sees me.  Anyway, when I make the decision to pass on the left, a school bus pulled into the left turn lane and stops, and it was squeezed close to the other lane, so I couldn't slip between, and I decided to go left of it, even though it would be turning left!  But still no prob, as long as the light would remain red.  But it didn't, or course.  It goes green, and there were hesitating oncoming cars, so I went even further left to the crosswalk, which should have been fine, except that the oncoming car waved the bus through and it began to accelerate straight into me and I saw it out of the corner of my eye and all I could do is accelerate hoping to get out of its way and I heard those kids scream as it just missed my rear wheel!...  The kids saw me but I am 100% sure the driver never did.  This is the view from the perspective of the bus driver of the intersection (Google maps with street view is amazing!)


    View Larger Map

    It had been raining here in NJ for two weeks, so I have been driving daily  to work.  I needed this ride and prepared hastily when I saw on TV from my bed this morning no rain in this morning's forecast. Not one clip-out and those stupid dangerous moves resulted in a new speed record for this route. In my morning haste at home, I realized I forgot my wallet this morning after I got to work, so had I been hit I would have been without ID.... But it was fun hearing those kids on that school bus scream when they thought the driver was going to t-bone me.  I guess I am both a stupid and lucky guy!

    Tuesday, June 16, 2009

    Stroke of Bad Luck! ~ Escarpment Trail Run Entry Accpted

    Received my accepted entry notification this week for The Escarpment Trail Run. It reads, "Due to a stroke of bad luck, your entry has been accepted...." This will be my 5th Escarpment Trail Run, a 30K wilderness run with 10,000 feet of climbing in New York's Catskill mountains.

    On July 27, 2008 I ran my 4th Escarpment Trail Run. It was my slowest at 4:48. My previous times in 2005-2007 were 4:15, 4:09, 4:41. This race has no awards, just bragging rights. But they do give out 100 miles shirts. I am not sure if this coming 5th race is considered 100 miles, or if it is going to take two more races until I earn the 100 mile shirt.

    I never wrote a race report after the last time I ran Escarpment. For my legs the race was the least painful of the four. One of the reasons is it was the slowest - because I knew I had to go slow since I was running with a broken little toe on my left foot. I had broken it a few weeks before and most of the pain was gone, except when I hit it or moved it in a certain way. This course has endless rocks, so I had to run gently to protect it. The broken toe also curtailed my training, so I factored that in as I walked a lot more than I had during past races. This slower pace became both a blessing and a curse, however. Because about half way through the intense thunderstorms started. In the mountains this meant lightening strikes that were frighteningly close, and also some hale hitting my bald head. The storms continued and flooded the trails, which cooled my body and my sore little toe - that was the blessing that made this race easier on my body. But it also risked every runner's life. It is amazing how one suddenly re-discovers religion in such a situation. But with no road crossings, no shorter routes, and no buildings, there was no choice but "on-on". The severety of the storm was unprecidented. I am not exaggerating that I feared for my life - read Tony Fletcher's report for verification. Here is winner Ben Nephew's account. Until I read Ben Nephew's account, I had forgotten how dark it got as the storm brewed. It was a very scary race and I can't wait for the next one this coming July! With some luck and hopefully no broken toes as in '08, and no Achilles tendonitis, as in '07, I think I can go at least as fast as I did in '06.

    Another Twitter-er

    To me via Twitter:
    I'm sensing a convergence on barefoot/minimal coverage running. 2 friends have reco'd "Born to Run" & 1 bought Nike Free's.
    I responded:
    The more you look, read & question, the more it makes sense. Unfortunately, Nike Free sucks as a "barefoot" shoe: 2 much heel lift

    She responded:
    Yeah, the jury's still out for my friend who bought them. I'm looking at Vibram Five Fingers.
    I replied:
    VFF's are raved by as best "Barefoot" shoe. Pricy tho - get fairly close to the BF technique in XC flats. & just run BF 5 min/day

    " Making a (barefoot) impression" ~ A Facebook Message & My Response (after President's Cup 5K last night)



    THE MESSAGE:
    As I drove down Millburn Ave with my wife to the race last night, she saw you warming up and said to me "I think I saw somebody running barefoot". I looked over and said "Yeah, don't you know that he does much of his running barefoot?".
    We got into the discussion of hurting the bottom of your feet on all that you find on the road. I thought I noticed your later warm up with Ray that you were wearing shoes.
    I have read with great interest some of your opinions as well as some of the links about barefoot running. I especially liked the comment that bad shoe design causes so many of the injury problems. When I think of who is NOT running these days and talk to so many people with injuries, I wonder if barefoot is the way to go. How would I start to at least attempt it?
    I don't know what your expectations are these days, but I thought you ran pretty well last night....

    MY RESPONSE

    Hey DL - I saw you warming up too. Ray and I were about 50 yards behind you heading up the hill before the race.

    Yea, I switched to shoes for the race. I can simply run faster with shoes - about 15-20 seconds per mile faster. But the "barefoot" form and efficiency carries over, as long as the shoes are flats, not those over built, over hyped, overpriced trainers.

    I am in my fifth summer of running barefoot - over a year it probably comes to about a third of my total mileage. In summer it is probably about 75% of my total mileage. But I worked into it slow. At first, it was just 5 minutes at a time on a well groomed soccer field. Now I can do 8 miles on pavement (probably more if I wanted) and have done 12 on pavement plus grass. And I stay as barefoot as possible when not running to support the practice.

    There are tons of stuff to read about it. The two books to read are Chi Running and Born To Run. You don't actually have to run shoeless, but you can do the same technique if you get minimal flat running shoes. And train in them. I now exclusively run in cross-country flats, on and off road.

    If you google BF running, there is tons. A classic place to start is here .

    Monday, June 15, 2009

    Shoes are always the answer! NOT

    Via Twitter, saw this tweet:
    Awesome race yesterday, aaand I found out what's causing my knee issues. Apparently I'm an over-pronator. So I got new Brooks to fix it!

    I replied:
    New shoes do not fix over-pronation. They make you weaker by allowing it. Form corrections fix the prob that is due to heel strike

    She repilied:
    How do I fix it? Just start focusing on perfecting my footing?

    I replied:
    You could start looking at your technique issues. Most people have technique tweaks that manifest themselves in injuries. It is those soft and supportive shoes that have been allowing people to run long distances with sloppy technique that leads to eventual downfall. People who have been running for a long time are more vulnerable than new runners because the weaknesses sneak up on you, especially as you age with such great aerobic fitness.

    We have been told for so long that heel striking is the right way to run long distance, but that is so wrong. We were naturally selected to run with midfoot strike. The heel can be touching, but it should not be bearing the impact. Impact is dissipated by your entire body and not just your foot/shoe. Some studies actually show that the softer the shoe, the greater the impact, because your body needs to feel and respond to your foot plant! You mentioned you problem as being caused by pronation - the great enemy of all runners, according to the shoe companies - we gotta control that pronation! Well, if you run with proper technique, there is in fact little or NO pronation. All injury problems than go "poof" and they are gone (in time).

    Tweaking technique is a real process of reeducation, unlearning some false beliefs put forth by shoe company marketing, and physical practice. And since most of us have been running in over-built shoes for so long, the process needs to be slow, or else there are a host of other problems that you could create for yourself by trying to change something too quickly, even though it is the right thing to do! The absolute best place to start is reading the book Chi Running by Danny Dreyer....

    Sunday, June 14, 2009

    Workouts June 8 - 14, 2009

    Had an easy workout week this past week, which was needed following the Towpath "Train"ing Run.  Rain has been relentless.  This is keeping bike mileage way down.  Raced fairly well on Tuesday night considering the 27+ miles of running I did last Saturday.  I guess I will run all the Summer Series XC races barefoot.

    Thursday, June 11, 2009

    RVRR Summer Series XC #1 Barefoot - June 9, 2009

    My last three races were marathons.  MARATHONS!  They were Philly in November of '08, The Watchung Winter Ultra in January '09 (in which I fell and broke my rib), and Boston in April '09.  The last time I ran a 5K it was the RVRR Summer Series #4 in August of '08.  So I have been mentally and physically prepared for nothing but big distance runs for more than 6 months!  I had two Tuesday track workouts in before this race, with two weeks of skipping them before this first XC race of '09.

    So I ran this one on Tuesday night barefoot.  Finished in 20:17 for 4th in the 45-49 age group.  That time would have won 35-39 and 40-44!  Also note, this race comes just 3 days after the Towpath "Train"ing Run where I ran 27.3 miles.  (Perhaps I should not make an issue with that, because the winner of this XC race, Mike Dixon, ran the entire 34 miles of the D&R Towpath on that day.)  I didn't feel like being barefoot slowed me down at all!  I was surprised how I could run on the cinder path with no problem.  I did use the grass next to the cinder as much as possible.  My legs were definitely fatigued from the "Train"ing Run and my habitual lack of sleep.  I did not have much strength up old Red Barn Hill, but I felt I was cruising the flats very comfortably.

    I am feeling a little Achilles strain on the left side after the race.  This may be because I have not done any fast running barefoot.  My track workouts were in spikes for the fast parts.  My average pace barefoot is 8:30-8:45 per mile.  My pace was 6:32 for the race.

    I ran in Mizuno road race shoes last night to give my Achilles a little rest.  I need a day off.

    The next RVRR Summer Series race is June 23rd, in two weeks, and it is my birthday party!

    Sunday, June 07, 2009

    Training June 1 - 7, 2009

    Good training week even though I lost my voice on Wednesday - have some respiratory thing going on.  I need some extra sleep to kick it out.  Lots of good barefoot running.  Not much cycling due to rainy days.  Still failed at trying to run the full 34 miles of the towpath, but had a great time with the people on Saturday.

    Sunday, May 31, 2009

    Training May 25 - 31, 2009

    Felt bad all week.  Digestive problems producing extraordinary amounts of gas and diarrhea all week.

    Wednesday, May 06, 2009

    Running Pic of The Day

    This screen capture is from MyCentralJersey.com , from their pictures of the county high school track championships.  Intense!

    Thursday, April 30, 2009

    Believe In The Run - Placed 37th

    Out of 365 entries in the Believe In The Run contest at Brickfish.com, I ranked 37th based on the number of votes, and was the 14th "most viral" entry.

    Thanks to all the people that voted for me!  I am definitely in the top 100 entries that are eligible for prizes.  Judges are going to pick two people to go on the trips to Nike in Oregon and to a marathon of choice, and two more to receive the Nike equipment kits for second place awards.

    Tuesday, April 28, 2009

    Response to Sarah Stanley

    Responded to this post at Sarah Stanley's blog ...  she wrote about liking the idea of running barefoot, but unfortunately goes on to recommend using Superfeet insoles, which are OTC orthotics.  I wrote the following:

    It is too bad Nike messed up by giving the Free shoe an elevated heel - they missed part of the point of running barefoot.  Their Zoom Waffle XC (a $35 shoe) provides a much closer to barefoot experience than the Free series shoes.  I do about 30% of my mileage barefoot (May-November).  In 35 years of running, besides running 100+ mile weeks in my twenties, it is the best thing I have ever done for my running.  I used to be a heel striker, and I used to get injured.  I don't do either anymore, even when I run in shoes - which are always XC flats, both on and off road.  I admittedly can't run and race barefoot as fast as I do wearing shoes.  That and cold NJ weather in winter are the only things that really keep me using shoes.

    I am kinda glad all runners are not jumping into running barefoot for several reasons.  The selfish reason is it retains my training edge over people that stick to the shoe company marketing brainwashing about the need for their expensive stuff, that continue to run with poor inefficient technique, and continue to get injured.  I'm also glad because for most people used to elevated heels, cushioning & support, jumping into it will lead to injuries.  Runners should never change something in training abruptly, even if it is a return to the running technique we were genetically designed to perform.  It takes a year or so to slowly add barefoot running to your training.  I have been a member of the online barefoot running community for a few years (see runningbarefoot.org) - and I know this is hard to believe, but people just don't get cut by glass or step on nails.  It is the #1 fear cited by people to fault running barefoot, but it just does not happen.  The hazards out there are exaggerated, you tend to avoid them as you would if shod, and your foot is a lot tougher than you have been led to believe.  Your foot is more likely to get brutalized by the inside of a shoe, via blisters and chafing and resident bacteria.

    Tuesday, April 21, 2009

    Boston Marathon 2009 - Pre-Race

    Twenty-three years is a bit of time between Boston Marathons for me.  This year's race was a lot different than 1986.  In '86 I believe we drove to the start.  In '86 I think there were only a few thousand runners.  In '86 I could run under three hours.  In 2009 twenty thousands loaded yellow school buses for the hour drive to Hopkinton.  In 2009 I ran a relaxed 3:32:54.  Almost 15 minutes slower than I ran in the Philadelphia Marathon last November, but I was in better shape for that event.  I hold that it is very difficult for a north-easterner to run a spring marathon, because most training must be done in the coldest weather with the least amount of daylight.  Add to that my own propensity to try to get thirty days of skiing in over the winter, and you have a serious lack of preparation for a spring marathon.  From January 1st of 2009 through the day before the Boston Marathon, I only ran 259 miles (and biked 551).  My plan was to go to Boston to enjoy the race, to train through it in preparation for the Towpath "Train"ing Run (34 miles on June 6th), and to finish smiling.  I accomplished those things, and finished in the time I predicted to everyone that asked.

    It was a whirlwind trip for me.  I left as late as possible: about 1 PM on Sunday, April 19 for Monday's race. I had Ed pick up my number and other registration materials.  I was to meet him and others from my club at a restaurant in the North End section of Boston.  I almost missed them due to the NJ Turnpike going down to one lane for construction before the George Washington Bridge.  It took about an hour to go two miles.  That totally killed my drive time.  When I arrived in the North End of Boston, there was absolutely nowhere to park so I drove around for another 20 minutes looking.  I finally parked in a lot that looked like it had reasonable rates and seemed it might be close to the restaurant.  Ed and friends were on their way out of the restaurant when I called them after parking at 7 PM - six hours after starting this drive that should have been 4.5 hours.  They waited on a corner and I managed to navigate to them and get my stuff.  I got back to the car to find that the $4 rate I thought I saw for the first hour on that sign didn't hold on weekends - when everybody pays the same for any amount of time.  That 30 minutes cost me $14 dollars.

    Back in the car for a 20 minute drive to a cheap motel in Lexington where I had a $10 spaghetti dinner at a little Italian place called Maria's.  Checkout that value compared to parking in Boston's North End!

    Set up all my race clothes and bag before sleeping and set the alarm for 5:30 AM.  I was out of the room by 5:45 and parking at a metered spot in Boston only about a block from the finish line by 6:15.  I was meeting my running club buddies near the bus boarding area at the corner of Boylston and Tremont Streets at 6:30.  Found a perfect parking spot at a meter on the street only about three blocks from the finish line, near the corner of Clarendon and Newberry Streets.  Walked and jogged barefoot the 5 or so blocks to the meeting place and actually saw them in a taxi on the way to that location before I got there.  It was Ed, Bob J., John, John E., Jodi, Laura, Kristin & Justine.  There were tons of people converging on the buses to the Hopkinton starting line.  I needed a coffee to go with my banana and bagel that I brought in my race bag.  But I neglected to bring any money from my wallet that was tucked into my car's glove compartment.  There was a Dunkin' Donuts across the street packed with runners grabbing their coffee and carbs.  The heck with my personal DD boycott  - I had a marathon to wake up for.  Luckily, Bob J. was buying!

    We took some pictures and soon we boarded one of the busses for the hour ride to the staging area of the Boston Marathon: Hopkinton High School.

    Below: Ed's photo from the Boston Marathon bus ride - L to R: Laura, Kristin, Justine, Bob.

    Sunday, April 19, 2009

    My Previous Boston Marathons

    I found my results from previous Boston Marathons.  I honestly forgot the years and the times.  It seems like another lifetime...  It wasn't easy.  I had to go into a closet and go through a bunch of notebooks and logs - things that we used to keep before Excel files and online training logs.  Couldn't just type in a search term!

    In 1986 at 26 years old I ran a 2:54:33.  Here is a scan of the actual finisher card (that is something we used to get mailed to us after some races before the Internet...)


    In 1984 at 24 years old I hit the wall bad, walked the last 4 miles for a 3:27.  I berated myself for such a poor performance.  I had big goals and already had a 2:41 PR.  On Monday I will be running the whole thing in around that time, or slower!  But I will finish with a smile on my face and recover quickly  :)

    Saturday, April 18, 2009

    I'm Featured on Brickfish Home Page

    Check out the screen caps
    Top left is me.  Please go there and vote me up .  I would really like to win the contest and get the trip to Nike in Oregon.  Thanks!

    Believe In The Run

    I am trying to win this contest.  Please vote for me...  Thanks!~

    Thursday, April 16, 2009

    Found While Looking for Past Boston Marathon Times: My Marathoning History

    I am on this slow psych-up for Boston this week.  I figured I would look in my old "Race Results" file and see if I could find some record of my previous two Boston Marathon times.  I ran it a long time ago.  I would say the last time I ran it was at least 20 years ago.  No kidding.  I did not find any certificates for Boston - I have not given up because I have a shelf in a closet full of old running logs from when we had to write it down in a notebook - BUT I did find four interesting certificates from 1975-1978.  The Jersey Shore Marathon was my first road race.  Yes, after cross country there was no indoor track at my high school.  A bunch of guys decided to train for this marathon thing.  Why?  It was the year after Frank Shorter won the Olympic marathon.  Bill Rodgers was on a roll.  Marathoning was what distance runners did when they got serious.  We didn't even know that there were other, shorter races on the road.  We were pretty dumb about road racing, and about running marathons.  But we just did it.  Is that crazy or what?

    I ran my first marathon when I was 15 years old, January 19, 1975.  I was a sophomore in high school.  My son is 15 now - a freshman running track.  I showed him my certificate and told him I ran my first marathon when I was 15.  I asked if he wanted to try it.  Not yet, he said.  I hope my running history does not put undue pressure on expectations of his performance.  It probably does, but I really try not to push it on him too much.  Just setting an example and showing interest in his efforts, whatever the result is, should be enough.  Too much will push him out of it, probably.

    Here is a scan of the 1977 certificate.  I ran a 4:24:18 in my first marathon.  If I remember correctly, I didn't train too much for it.  I think probably only a few weeks of running, maxing out at only about 12 miles.

    The following year, with another track and XC season behind me, I ran it again.  If I remember the race correctly, it was freezing cold and snowing.  I remember an icicle formed on the face-mask/hat thing I wore.  I touched my chin at the half-marathon turn-around and thought my chin was literally frozen, but it was just the icicle formed by my exhales.  At 16 years old I ran 3:35:30.




    In my third marathon - my third road race, at 17 years old, a senior in high school - I broke three hours, running the Jersey Shore Marathon in 2:53:21.  In retrospect, I feel like I was a fairly good distance runner at a fairly young age.  I didn't really appreciate that until now, at 49, when it was a painful struggle to to run 3:18 last November in Philly.  Also, this makes me kind of psyched, to recall all this marathoning history that I honestly forgot about, as I am heading into Boston on Monday for its 113th running.  It will be my 19th marathon, if I have my count correct.



    In 1978 I was a freshman at Rutgers.  I was a lowly walk-on to the Rutgers XC and track teams.  I ran the Penn Relay Marathon in 2:41 and change.  I was the third college runner, and I have a bronze Penn Relays medal to show for it.  This was a time that I was doing hundred mile training weeks leading up to marathons. 


    I think I was lucky.  My desire to run marathons at a young age was fueled by Frank Shorter, Bill Rodgers, Alberto Salazar, and the culture of distance running that I became acquainted with.  It was, and still is, my source of friendship and feelings of self-esteem and accomplishment.  I am hoping that Ryan Hall and Kara Goucher become roll models for the young high school aged runners and spur them on to a great running life.

    Wednesday, April 15, 2009

    Bill Rodgers Running Boston

    In the media circles I follow, there is a general buzz about Bill Rodgers running Boston this Monday.  Bill is a great guy and one of my true heroes.  He will talk and have a beer with you, as you can see by the photo above from the 2003 Boilermaker 15K.  I make an almost annual trip to the Boilermaker 15K with people from my running club .  At that venue, Bill is always approachable and will talk with you about anything as if he has done a hundred miles of running with you.  He gave tons of advice about how to run the course to one of my friends last year.  Here is a cool video of his 1979 win at Boston.  Gotta love the hat!

    Tuesday, April 14, 2009

    Finally on The Taper and Marathon Day Forecast


    Ran a light 2 miles today while waiting for my son to run his race at the most cold & miserable track meet ever. Legs were tired from the last three days of training: Ran 10 on Saturday, Ran 19 on Sunday, Biked 22 on Monday on my single-speed over a hilly course.

    The weather is looking close to perfect for a marathon on Monday. As long as the rain holds off. If it rains, it might throw in a bit of a chill. Cloudy and 54 would be sweet.

    <--- Weather.com screen cap

    Sunday, April 12, 2009

    How to Care For Your Camelbak (Cheap)


    One key to keeping black moldy stuff and bacteria from growing inside your Camelbak water bladder and tubing is to dry it out between uses.  First empty the bladder as completely as possible.  Suck and blow all the fluid out that you can through the bite valve.  Then I use an air pump that is meant for blowing up air mattresses.  You just shove the pump tube into the bladder and let it run for about 15 minutes.




    Next, bend a wire clothes hanger into the configuration shown, and add an elastic band.  Shove the hanger into the bladder to hold it open and attach the elastic band to something.  Now you can hang the Camelbak up for a day or so.  This will allow any moisture the air pump missed to evaporate.






    Finally, store your Camelbak in the refrigerator to make it inhospitable to any invading microorganisms.  And remember to enjoy a beer after your run!


    PS - written on May 31, 2011.  Since posting this, I have actually been in close contact with the Skweet people.  They sent my running club samples.  I have been using Skweet, and it is really a great product for keeping the Camelbak fresh!

    Training: April 6 - 12, 2009 and Camelbak Commentary


    Good training week - was my last chance to "cram" for Boston.  I just finished a 19 mile trail run at Watchung Reservation.  Felt just fine.  I love my Camelbak and PowerBar Gels.  It is so great to finish a long run not dehydrated and craving carbs!  I tried out a new Camelbak today.  It is the "Blue Wave Vigor ".  Seventy ounces of fluid.  I had been using my skiing Camelbak "Zoid". The Zoid's tube and pack are insulated, and the bite valve has a heavy rubber cover to prevent freezing.  So the tube bounced around a bit too much for running, and I always had to tuck it in under the shoulder strap when not in use.  The new one works much better - no tucking necessary - once I figured out that the sternum strap was movable.  At first it was set as shipped, which was too low.  The strap was bothering my chest and I couldn't get the shoulder strap fit right.  After about an hour I took it off to grab a gel, and I realized I could move the strap.  It took me a couple minutes, but once I moved it the Camelbak fit perfectly.  It also has a better zipper pocket than the Zoid version.

    Sunday, April 05, 2009

    Training March 30 - April 5, 2009

    This week was an improvement over last.  The weekend was breakthrough.  I had been feeling bad on every run for almost two weeks.  Obviously overtraining and lack of sleep.  So I took Friday off and slept 9 hours on Friday and Saturday nights.  The result was a morning 7 mile run with my son on Saturday that felt good, and a great 34 mile bike ride in the afternoon.  The bike ride was very windy and I managed a 17 MPH average on my single speed.  Today I ran 21 (or maybe it was 22) miles at Watchung Reservation and I felt kinda fine for the whole thing.  Today's run was pretty muddy, but I importantly got twice through the area where I fell and broke my rib last January.  I ran that area very carefully because the memory of that was actually weighing on me.  Silly, huh?  It was the first sunny warm day in a very long time.  Ran with my Camelbak and almost finished the whole thing.  Used three PowerBar Latte gels.

    Training chart from Zelky below, some pics of muddy shoes and legs, and a cool new Blogger location widget!

    Monday, March 30, 2009

    Workouts: March 23 - 29, 2009

    Three weeks to Boston and this past week of workouts were not that great. All my runs felt draggy.  I was generally tired all week.  Guess I need to sleep more.  The stupid cat wakes me up every morning at 4:30.  That has to stop.

    Saturday, March 28, 2009

    I Thought I Ran Longer Today

    I only ran 13.3 miles today.  It took 2 hours.  I was dragging myself through the first 40 minutes of it.  I felt bloated and tired.  I wanted to get a two hour run in - and I accomplished that.  But I did practically the same distance last Saturday in 1:45.  Last week I followed up with an PM bike ride.  No ride today - had important stuff to do today 9 AM - 3 PM.  I wish Boston was more than 23 days away!


    Wednesday, March 25, 2009

    This Was My Response to The Best Email (now below)


    Dear Ogg,

    It is good that you are a cave-person - because we are talking about running like a primitive human - the way we were designed to run before marketing took over the activity called "running".

    we have to talk - lots of ideas here.
    several questions and all that...

    Anyway, here is some general advice: Follow the 10% rule.  If you are running 3.5 miles per week now, in trainers, then add no more than 10% barefoot.  So that means about a third of a mile barefoot to your total 3.5.  The next week, increase total (shod+barefoot) distance 10% = 3.75 miles.  The next week, add 10% more barefoot, so run about 2/3 miles barefoot.  etc.  Alternate between weeks - one week add 10% more barefoot miles to the previous week's total, the next week upping your total mileage 10% more.

    I have no trouble switching from barefoot to flats and back.  But, there are a lot of people in the barefoot community that say that is not good because it retains your bad habits from running shod.  They say simply go into it 100% from the start, but forget about doing the total mileage you are used to.

    It is a good idea to start on grass.  Find a nice soccer field to run circles around.  Run there, or warm up in shoes first.  Run the field loops shod first and look for anything that you can step on that might hurt and throw it far away or remember to avoid it.  Then take them off and run for 5 minutes around the soccer field.  Do that a couple times per week.  Begin to increase your 5 minutes barefoot by a minute or two per session.  Before you know it you will be doing quite a lot of minutes of running barefoot.  (BTW, that is how I measure BF running, by minutes, not miles.  As a barefoot beginner, you should not try to train as fast as you are used to while barefoot, so don't court injury - don't worry about how far you are going - add up the minutes instead.

    Orthotics - ween yourself off of them.  Wear them a couple of times per week, don't wear them a couple times per week.  Increase the latter and decrease the former.  To support the transition, go barefoot at all times, except when you are absolutely forced to wear shoes!  Push the limits.  Carry flip flops and put them on when the store manager asks you to - but make sure you tell him it isn't illegal anywhere and that you could bring him to court for discrimination if you were not such a nice person.

    Read these links:
    http://runbarefoot.blogspot.com/2004/08/my-running-barefoot-rvrr-newsletter.html
    http://runningbarefoot.org/?page_id=455
    http://runningbarefoot.org/?page_id=6
    http://runningbarefoot.org/?page_id=9
    http://www.barefooters.org/
    http://tinyurl.com/ckmfzv
    http://tinyurl.com/cqca3n
    http://www.tullyrunners.com/Articles/RaucciArticle.htm
    http://sportsci.org/jour/0103/mw.htm

    One of The Best Emails I Have Ever Received

    This is the email -->>

    81,001 BC: Ogg discover fire
    9,845 BC: Ogg invent wheel
    1829 AD: Ogg invent shoe
    1830 AD: Ogg discover 'runner's knee'
    *all dates are approximate
     
    Happy Wednesday!
     
    I've been getting back into running so slowly I can't remember what it feels like to actually train for something. I have been reading a bit online about runner's knee and, with what I learned in physical therapy coupled with yoga, I think I am finally on the right track. I've also been reading about barefoot running and have read a bit of 'evidence' supporting the benefits for people who have had runner's knee and for runners with high arches (me!).
     
    I've only been running 1 day a week (3.5 miles) and walking 2 other days (a little over an hour each day), and I wore a light knee brace for the 8k on Saturday because I hadn't run more than 3.5 since Belmar in July. My knee felt good, a little soreness at the end of the day, but a HUGE improvement from 8 months ago when 2 miles set my ITB on fire.
     
    I have resolved to not train for anything in the near future, just run and be content with mediocrity, so I was thinking about easing into barefooting since I'm not doing anything noteable for the next year or so. I have a pair of flats, but no insoles because I ripped them out to make room for my orthotics.
     
    This leads me to my first question- do I leave my orthotics in when I start in flats? It could be possible that I would need more strengthening and no knee pain before I start this whole plan, but in the grand scheme of trainers-->flats-->feet, do you think there is a 'smart' time or way to ease out of these? I've worn them (only when running/walking/hiking) for the last 9 years.
     
    Also, I have my heart set on the Philly Marathon 2010. It's a long time away, I know :) I already have a play list building in iTunes... Anyway, I am not going to be running a full marathon barefoot- at least not my first one. My body can't go too long without having some sort of injury, so I'm going to coax my body back into masochism slowly. While it's entirely possible I would run the marathon in flats, this brought me to my other question- in general, how do you find alternating between barefoot and shoe running? For example, if you come back from running in trainers all winter, do you find trouble barefooting again?
     
    No hurry, I'm running in trainers for the time being and I am switching to flats for walking anyway because the thick heel cushion on my Asics irk my shins after about 30 minutes of walking. Also, definitely sign up for Shamrock next year- tons of fun and beautiful course with lots of fan support. Not to mention, the beer tent on the sand adds a little something extra :)
     
    Hope your rib has fully healed! How has life as a former president been going for you?
    Thanks for any input you have on this topic!
    -Ogg

    Monday, March 23, 2009

    Short Dunellen Loop Today

    Short Dunellen 4 miler today @ 7 minute miles (below).  Was a little recover run after yesterday's 41 bike miles in 2:30.  It was windy and I ran out of water at mile 29.  I'm considering an early AM run tomorrow because I have a trip to the dermatologist tomorrow afternoon.  There is a thing on my right temple I want gone.  Been running and working in the sun for too long to fool with anything looking like it is on the fast track to skin cancer.



    Sunday, March 22, 2009

    Training: March 16 - 22, 2009


    Now this week was more like a training week, not just a bunch of "workouts".  I said to a lot of people on Saturday morning, "I'm cramming for Boston."  Now, I wouldn't recommend this technique.  It isn't "the ten percent rule", it is about the 40 percent rule.  But I have been able to get away with it for the past bunch of years with minimal damage...


    Saturday, March 21, 2009

    Longish Run This Morning and Recovery Spin in the PM

    Ran 13 miles mostly on the Towpath this morning, mostly alone, even though it was the RVRR Saturday Morning Run.  Thirty people were there, but the people that went long started earlier.  It was a beautiful morning, and I am glad I can do 13 @ 1:45 = 8:07/mile at this point in time.  Went to Somerset Diner to meet the people who had gone for breakfast after the run, and most were practically on their way out.  Since the money was in for the bill already, they seemed to have bought me my bagel and coffee.  Thanks guys!

    Added a 15 mile spin at 3:30 PM on my Quintana Roo Superform, which I retro-fitted to road bike styling.  Kinda hard to get the saddle position right with the forward positioning angles on that TT frame.  Makes it hard to get the same power from my hamstrings.  So far, even my single speed feels faster than the QRoo set up like that.  On the positives side, I was hating all the bars and cables for the TT set up - it was ruining the clean beauty of the bicycle.  So glad I am not presently a triathlete anymore!  But gotta thank the bike for fixing so many of my running problems last year.  Thanks bikes!

    Run route and bike route in the two maps below, from MapMyRun.com: