Friday, November 19, 2010

A double double: Weds 11/17/2010 and Thurs 11/18/2010


I learned an important lesson that I should have already known, but discovered the hard way when it comes to barefoot running in the cold. 

1.  If you're only going to run a short distance barefoot in the cold, get to it right off the bat or keep your feet covered in socks and shoes.

2.  If you are going to run barefoot in the cold, you have to be slightly crazy.

It was probably low 40s high 30s on Wednesday when I went running.  My mistake was that I walked barefoot for a distance to the road.  Then I started running barefoot.  Half-way through my half mile run, I wasn't sure if my feet were getting numb or the road was doing a number on exfoliating my feet.  Either way, it was an odd feeling.  Not a bad feeling, just odd. 

While barefoot running on road conditions, its interesting to notice how I am a bit more aware of the ground than I am with running with shoes.  Generally, I do not pay attention to what is on the surface unless it is large objects or holes in the ground that catch my attention when running with regular shoes.  When running barefoot, each small pebble and stick on the ground catches my eye.

But I don't run with my face pointing down at the ground watching where my feet are going; while running barefoot, I'm forced to stand more erect with my head up, but that allows me to look further down the road.  I don't have this same posture when running with regular shoes, or I don't notice as much.  I definitely do a lot more conscious thinking when running barefoot, but it consists of reminding myself to come down on my forefoot and flex my knees; watch out for hazards; have a more erect posture; and keep swinging my arms.

 Apart from letting my feet freeze up while running barefoot, I can't really recall anything of note in the run.  I think I ran a bit faster than I should be at this point since I was going at an approximate 10:23/mile pace.  The only reason I mention that was because I had to stop and walk for a little bit.  Not a long walk, but stopping and walking a few paces and then starting back up.  A dead give away that I was running too fast. 

Well, that and listening to the Sound Doctors on NPR that introduced me to the Budos Band and Jamie Lidell.  Interesting artists. 

Here's the cold stats.  And it was cold outside. 

Barefoot run:
.51 miles run; 11'10"/mile; 5:43 run; 92 kcal burned

Brooks Ghost 3 shoes:
3.02 miles run; 10'23"/mile; 31:23 run; 539 kcal burned


Thursday was a somewhat packed schedule: oversleeping my 0500 alarm, not getting up until 0630, then doing the reading I didn't complete the night before, classes, group lunch with William Erskine, Jr., class, space out and show this video: (no, its not pr0n either) to some of my classmates, then attending William Erskine's lecture on the "Six Myths that Confuse the Same-Sex Marriage Debate."  It was a very good lecture too.  I feel fortunate that I get to have the opportunity to hear scholars of such a caliber at my school.

Third Tier Toilet Bowl Law fucking ass.  At least Valparaiso did not produce the worst president in American history like a school in New Haven, CT bestowed upon the US.

Since it was past 1700 (5 PM) in November in the Midwest, it was already cold and dark outside by the time I left the law school.  I was already plotting to skip the run and to put it off until Friday.  The thought lingered in my mind as I walked to my car.  It remained as I turned it over and started driving.  Never did it exit my mind during the drive home and once I pulled up to my apartment.  

Running procrastination continued even though I pulled on my shorts, my cold weather gear and shoes.  And it didn't stop until I was out the door and walking to warm up and started my run.  

Should I be concerned that nothing really stands out in my mind from the run?  Besides all the goose shit on the sidewalk.  

Well, it was really cold outside.  I know the cold air was doing a number on my lungs, but oh well.  Lesson learned: make sure I run when the sun it out at least.

Here's the run breakdown.  Minus any severe illness from the cold:

Brooks Ghost 3 shoes:
3.03 miles run; 10'39" pace; 32:20 run; 540 kcal.

Until next time.  Well, I might end up getting some Mizunos soon.  I don't hate the Brooks, but I don't love them either.  


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday 11/16/2010

Day one, week one of my marathon training.  Enter internal monologue:

"Damn it is cold.  Do I really want to go running now? Can't I wait...nah, get it done now."

36 degrees outside.  But after hobbling out of my bed, going through the motions stretching on my floor, I meandered out of my apartment to stare up at the blue skies.  And see the light clouds rise from my mouth.  Yep, it's fall in the Midwest.

Generally these days, I start by walking.  Why?  I read about walking before starting a run in Hal Higdon's Marathon.  I think the advice from a guy who has run 100 or so odd marathons seems to be a wise thing to do.  Plus it helps wind up my motivation to go run.  Specifically, "shit it's cold, I better start running to get this over with!"  And it was cold.  The fleece from the Chicago Monster 1/2 Marathon wasn't doing a good job of keeping me warm.  The irony of not being able to run that race did not really dawn on me. 

I get to my starting point, the entrance of my apartment complex and prep my watch and Apple product to time my run.  Then I bend over to take off my shoes.  I left my socks on.  It was 36 degrees outside, so I wasn't going to run completely barefoot.

And listening to NPR.  I don't quite dig listening to music since it does affect my pace (makes me run faster, run slower...I like to just maintain my pace); but its nice to have noise to drown out the brain telling me: hey it is cold; hey I'm tired; hey my feet hurt; hey this sucks.  That and to get some news since I don't watch TV seeing that I have an ancient TV that does not have a digital antenna and I don't really miss TV that much to where I will give COMCAST my money or go buy a digital antenna.

Generally the idea right now for my early barefoot training is to run around 10% of my runs barefoot.  This run was for 3 miles, so I should have planned to run .3 miles.  I ended up running .5 miles.  I guess it could be considered overdoing it, but .2 miles I don't think is enough to be over training.  Now had I run a mile barefoot...different story altogether.

So most of the first mile of my run dealt with listening about the referendum in Sudan dealing with the southern part of Sudan separating, which the northern part of Sudan is not too happy about; something to do with natural resources such as oil.  The one thing I noticed was that there is too much goose shit on the sidewalks here.  Far too much.  People in the area wonder why the local lakes here cloud up each summer with algae; maybe if they picked up their lawn clippings, didn't use fertilizers, and didn't have so many Canadian geese shitting all over the place, they might not have that problem. 

I didn't accidentally run in any goose shit barefoot.  I had already put on my Brooks Ghost 3 shoes.  By the way, even though I own a pair of Brooks, I am not a big fan of the shoe.  The pair I have are ok, but if I had a choice, I would much rather have a pair of Mizuno running shoes.  Mizunos are probably the best running shoes in the world.  Brooks are....well, they suck.  Nike running shoes are even worse.

When running, I tend to try not to think about the run.  It's more of an escape from reality in a way.  Its 3 to 10 to 20 miles of you and your breathing together.  Generally, I think about what I want to write about for a class, or an issue from class, or things that I need to do, or mulling about a book I read.  One of the mental games I play is playing the music discography in my mind.  Right now, the mental game I play is to make sure that I'm coming down on my forefoot and flexing my knee on impact while running.  That tends to keep me mentally occupied. 

So, I hit the halfway mark, turn around and start running back.  The cold is definitely kicking in as my muscles are tightening up in my thighs, calves, and hamstrings.  I don't feel the tightness in my shoulders either.  So it's a good run.  Any run is a good run as long as you don't get injured.

I really can't think of anything that stood out in the run, besides the goose shit.  Oh, it was cold. 

3.02 miles
10:32 pace (slow, but my goal pace for the marathon is 11:00-10:50ish)
533 kcal (estimated)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Introduction to Insanity

The roots of my insanity were born in playing football in high school.  I hated mirrors, music, and bumper weights in the weight room.  I would have been happy breaking rocks with a hammer to work out.  Needless to say, I was a perfect candidate for the true weapon of mass destruction; the Kettlebell. 

I did not discover this weapon until 2007 through a co-worker who loaned me a copy of Pavel Tsatsouline's first book on kettlebells.  Luckily the gym on base had kettlebells and I started my journey with the kettlebell.  Sometimes on, sometimes off, and inconsistent at best with sticking with the program.  But at the bottom of it, the kettlebell pointed to practical strength; where power was preferred over beach muscles that are not powerful.  Plus the idea of gireviks wrestling bears just sounded awesome.  Then I entered graduate school in 2009 and fell completely off the wagon.  The point of this blog by sharing my kettlebelling is to keep me on track.

As for the surfing, the greatest sport in the world was introduced to me in 2008, culminating in several adventures along the East Coast of Japan in Chiba and Kanagawa.  Now stuck in Indiana, I have attempted to unlock the secrets of the 3rd Coast, the surfing tribe of Lake Michigan. 

And running?  Well, a former co-worker posted on my facebook page after I commented: "Looks like Mr. Plantar Fasciitis made a Special Guest Appearance during the Chicago Half!" that I should look into barefoot running.  I'm signed up for the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon in VA Beach next March, so I will be in my training attempting to transition to barefoot running. 

The end goal one day with all of these?

1.  Certify as an RKC within the next ten years. (see to see what an RKC is)
2.  Be able to hang five or hang ten on my Mal; and make use of my Hobie retro fish
3.  Finish the Yuengling Marathon in less than 5 hours.
4.  Run at least two marathons in 2011
5.  Run one of those marathons in 2011 barefoot
6.  Complete an Ironman in 2012 somewhere
7.  Complete an Ultramarathon in the next five years

Why?  Because I don't have to be in the gym with the guy who spent more time doing biceps in the mirror and hear terrible pop music or wait endlessly for two guys yammering on about nonsense.  I'll see you outside as I toss my kettlebell or as I paddle into the freezing waters of Lake Michigan to catch that NW swell rolling down.