OK.. So I didn't quite make it on Monday night to post "Part 2" of that blog but here is the recap. You remember how I said something about "Hell or High water?" Well, wasn't quite hell, but WAS planty of water, all leaving my body at an alarming rate. I got home Monday, did all the usual family stuff and waited out the sun. It was brutal hot for New England all day and even at 9:00 PM , after sunset, it was still 83° and 80% humidity. Easily my worst run conditions yet. And my first day on Week 4 with alternating 3 and 5 minute runs. About all I can say is I finished it. I did all myy intervals, did warm up and cool down... but nothing extra. And then went upstairs and took a loooong, coooold shower. So, some satisfaction that I successfully completed the run, moved on to W4 and did it in really unpleasant conditions . But it was not one of those "feel good" runs.
Then yesterday the weather broke and my wife had her W2D2 run scheduled for after dinner. Well after dinner turned into after dark. The weather was so nice, 65° and dry and clear and I needed the emotional boost of an enjoyable run. So I went out and joined her. I know it should have been a day off but I just felt like I needed to go and it felt great. The pace was slower than I am used to but it was good to get a feel for slowing it down and resting as I ran and she and I had a nice time out there together dreaming about the day we can do that together except in the middle of a 5 mile run.I'm really glad I went. We need those moments
So tonight is my W4D2, weather looking perfect and I'm excited. I'll post when I know how it went.
been a couple days since I posted. After my last run on Friday, I spent the whole day Saturday at an Air Show and, despite having a FANTASTIC time, was not exactly the recovery day that my body needed. Woke Up Sunday teh 27th and my ankles felt like solid chunks of bone, took a full half hour to get them bending again. Then it was off for 6 hours of Cub Scout training, and then home for grocery shopping and repeairing the wife's Mini-van rear hatch. By the time I finished that at 9PM I just had nothing left for a run. So ,... two days off this week... Not ideal but not fatal.
On the plus side the feet and ankles feel good so tonight will be my run night come hell or high water. Wish me luck!
So went out alone tonight... Have a big day tomorrow , lots of walking, and wasn't really happy with W3D3 on Wednesday so I decided to go W3D4 inetad of pushing on. Warmup walk went great Did my 90/90 run/walk, then started my first 3 minute run... interupted the podcast to shoot a short video of part of my run and then finished the podcast 3 minute interval, so that stretched to 3.5 or so ... then 3 minute walk , next 90/90 ...and I was feeling really good. Had a great rythmn, breathing was solid... just really feeling great. So I went a little nuts.
I ran my next 3 minute interval and was feeling so good when he said walk, I didn't... ran through the whole rest of the podcast... and the song that came on next ... ran right past my turn home and started my loop again...all told it was 11 minutes continuous!!! Then did a 2 minute walk, another 90 second run and then walked the rest of the way home.
Added another 6/10 of a mile to my route too!
WOOT!!!! I am so psyched I can hardly describe it! 2.6 miles in 35 minutes!! Week 4? BRING IT ON!!
Well, ran with both boys tonight and that was kind of trying on the patience... degenerated into a bit too much talking and goofing around, the walk segments were practically dead stops and I spent way too much time slowing down, hearding them out of the road, looking over my shoulder and generally keeping tabs.... was a little frustrating.
But on the plus side they are still asking to come with me and my younger son jumped right to week 3 with me after only two nights doing W1 and managed the whole thing, plus a little. I had to slow my pace a bit and, as I said, the walk segments were slow but not only did we finish all four run cycles, we tacked on an extra 2:00 and 90 second runs at the end. All told we were out for about 32 minutes and did 2 miles so definitely slower pace than I am used to doing alone. But even the 3 minute runs weren't hard. (probably the benefit of the pace) so that felt great. I might try to do W3D4 alone Friday, just to feel I got a more solid effort in and then move to W4 on Monday. We'll See.
Still, the boys out running with me, even if I have to moderate a bit, really is a great motivator and nice time together. Can't complain about that .
Weather was nice... didn't go out till almost 8:30 so was only about 77 degrees and not quite as humid. Definitely worth waiting and going a touch later.
Last night I also started the 100 pushup Challenge, did 5 sets of 6, 5, 4, 3, and 4 reps respectively. Form suffered a little on the last set but overal feels really good to have done it and gotten started. Also about time to start working on the diet again. All just a part of the grand plan for the big Four-OH!
Well, couple "hot spots" on my soles, just behind my toes from my double run last night. 3.6 miles barefoot is apparently still just a BIT much, but they didn't actually blister so I think with today's day off, I should be good. And, I got my younger son to run a whole W1D1 cycle with me, so worth some sore skin, without question. If I can set an example that my kids will follow, show them an active lifestyle that helps them buck the sedentary life I wasted far too much of my adult life on, then that is worth the world to me.
While I have a day off I figured I'd blog about something related, bare foot running. Now, I am by NO means an expert, nor am I trying to convince the world. But I do run barefoot. And I like it. Yet many times when I mention it or see someone on the street, I get regarded like I have three heads. So here are my thoughts on the subject
First, or anyone who's been hearing me talk about my barefoot adventures... let me be clear about a couple things. First, as I see it, there are generally two aspects of going barefoot. First is the "hippy, romantic, in touch with nature" element. And I happen to find that to be true. There are thousands of nerve endings in your feet and runnning free, or walking free, is like a continuous foot massage, without the tickling. For me, I enjoy that physical contact very much. It is part of what makes runnning fun for me. Plus, they never wear out, 100% waterproof, and always fit perfectly. and, like me, they are really, REALLY cheap.I'm not prone to touchy feely sentiment normally but in this case it is 100% true. To me, running and walking barefoot as much as possible just FEELS right.
But the second element involved is the barefoot running STRIDE, which more accurately is called the "forefoot landing" as opposed to a traditional "heel strike" landing that most shod runners fall into. And that "forefoot" landing" is what more and more research is showing can help prevent injury. It is what you will see most of those amazing Kenyan and Ethiopian marathoners using. It's what Roger Bannister used while wearing leather slippers when he became the first man to run a sub 4-minute mile. Even Scott Jurek, 7-time winner of the Western States 100 and 2-time winner of the Badwater 135 across Death Valley uses it. (He does heel strike but INCREDIBLY softly and only under his center of gravity. You watch him and he strides long but then actually pulls his foot back under him significantly before he actually makes ground contact.) And it's what the Maori bushmen still use when the persistence hunt, literally chasing an antelope for hours and hours until the animal literally drops from exhaustion. And that stride can be used by anyone, shod or barefoot. The whole "Nike Free" shoe, with it's return to thinner, less cushioned heels was created to cash in on. And This is the stride that for MANY people with chronic injuries, allows them to run pain free, sometimes for the first time in their lives.
Where the two meet, is that chucking off your shoes, slowly carefully for short distances at first, is that when you are truly barefoot those thousands of nerve ending will automatically change your stride. You Can NOT heel strike in bare feet, it is just way too painful. You WILL change that stride. And every time you forget and feel that *THUMP* of your heel remember one key fact. If you had your shoes on, you would not have felt that pain, but every pound of force, EVERY SINGLE POUND, would have been EXACTLY the same on your knees, hips and back. "Shoes don't block IMPACT, they only block PAIN! And Pain is what teaches us how to run more gently!"
So , when you hear someone talking about barefoot or minimalist footwear, or you see someone running barefoot... don't be so quick to judge. If we're out there and running and doing something good for ourselves, then isn't that the most important thing? And take a minute to TALK to some barefoot runners. I bet you will find that a much greater proportion of barefooters are actually ENJOYING their run than you'll find in the same number of shod runners. For them it's not about slamming out miles for the sake of the "greater health"... most barefoot runners actually, completely LOVE running. They're like kids, running around the neighborhood playing in sprinklers on a hot summer day. And I'd rather be in that group any day. And THAT is my $.02
MUCH nice day, got home headed out aroun 7:30 PM, roads were cool air was under 80° .. feeling so much more motivated than Saturday in the noon sun.
I went out and did the W3D2 podcast, did about 1.71 miles in the 22 minutes including warm up. Felt great to be out when it was cooler and to be able to go fully Bare Foot again after the blistering pavement Saturday. Still struggled a little on the first 3 minute interval and both 90 seconds but the last 3 minute started to feel pretty good again. Something about Week 3 still seems weird to me as you're only at warmup plus 15 minutes when you finish that last run. But I stuck to it this time, didn't tack on my extra run. Really felt like I should have though been doing more but decided to ignore my inner competitor and follow the program I figure I'll need the rest for Week 4. Still it's W3D2 in the books and I am still on track at right around 14 minute miles.Only dissappointment is my older son was sick and couldn't run with me, But got to use my new iPod and Robert Ullrey's C25K podcast! WOOHOO!The music isn't quite my test but there is definite psychological benefit to not having to watch a stopwatch. Just wish he gave a more definitive "Go!" on the running cues. All in all though, a good evening.
But THEN I got home ad my 9 yr old met me at the door and asked if I could take him out to try W1D1. His mom had promised to take him but she's nursing sick kids so I agreed. So back out with him I go, thinking MAYBE we'll do half the cycle before he drops ... but NOPE... did the FULL W1D1 with him! Another 30 minutes with warm up and cool down, another 1.95 miles!!
So, about a 10-15 minute break in between but basically I just did a 3.66 miles! That's more than a 5K!! (Granted, a 65+ minute 5K and with the extra 15 minute break in the middle but at least I know my feet can go over three miles. And now I have TWO sons who have run with me, which really is the coolest part! I am feeling really good today! WOOT!
Well, I didn't run last night as my son and new running buddy had his semi-formal for 8th grade last night and he didn't want to miss the run. But i didn't want to take a day completely off so I did 30 minutes on my stationary bike on a Weight Loss prgressive setting... and man that cooked my legs WAY more than running.
Then, in a flight of genius ( or was it stupidity) decided to run today. But instead of getting out early, I slept in, went to the compost center, THEN, at 11:30, when it was 85° , blazing sun and not a breath of wind... THEN I went running. (And we all chant in chorus "Idiot! Idiot! Idiot!" ) And let me tell you, first running in the evening with a nice cool breeze is sooooo much nicer... second, asphalt on bare feet in noon day sun SUCKS! Had to break down and put on my Vibram Five Fingers.
But, despite the grousing, we finished W3D1. And we even added and extra 2 minute run at the end because we were still a ways from home after the final 3 minute "walk" and it seemed odd to end the workout just walking when I always do a cooldown anyway. So ended up doing 11 minutes running and 9 walking plus warm up and cool down. Still right on pace, 27 minutes door to door, 2.05 miles.
Working tonight so a lot of walking and lifting there to keep me limber and then tomorrow will probably hit the bike again, in the Air conditioning. It is Father's Day, after all.
So I get home from work, have a light dinner, and my 14 yr old son says "Hey dad, can we go for a run? I want to try what you're doing." So what do I say to that? "Gee no son, I ran last night catch me some other time?" ... So ... I went running and it was AWESOME!
Decided to do Week2 Day4 and see how he did. He's very trim, but not a lot of aerobic habits. We did run 90, walk 2 minutes for the first two cycles. Then he said "Let's run 2, walk 2... makes the math easier" .. Can't argue the logic,... so we did. Stretched out to two minute runs starting at 7minutes. We did three 2 minute runs then as we started jogging again at minute 19 we just kept going... to 25 minutes! A full 6 minute run!
Pace must have been a touch slower because with all the extra run time I only added .2 of a mile but OMG I feel great! And today was my "off" night!
Looks like I might have a new runing buddy, he jumped right in Week 2! Night off tomorrow and then Look out week 3!
Tonight's post is entitled "GAWD I LOVE DOWNHILL!!"
Was another "low motivation night, was still feeling some minor stiffness in my shins and a bit of arthritis twinge in my ankles because I'm almost a week overdue for my arthritis meds (Enbrel) but decided I would just GO!
First few run cycles were tough... really started to wonder if I was going to be ready for Week 3 after today. Slipped off my Five Fingers two run cycles sooner tonight, and things got easier. I started landing more gently and pounding my shins less which was a huge help. Got through the middle bit and got to my last two run cycles, starting at 17:30. Was supposed to run 90 seconds but suddenly was feeling good, nice long downhill stretch so I decided to see if I could stretch it out a little, kind of guage if I would be ready for the 3 minute runs next week. I ended up running the whole remainder of my route home. Stopped my stopwatch and walked for a few minutes before I looked... it read 22:37! I managed to run the last 5 minutes straight! WOOT!
Maybe I CAN do week 3!
So with my 6 minute warmup walk, puts me at 28:37 for 2.00 miles... under a 15 minute mile, which is kinda what I'm shooting for. Also been doing pushups 3-4 days the last week, trying to get to 30 good ones every day but so far not QUITE there. One step at a time.
Well, it was raining again, and got harder as I went along but I god out and did it anyway. Was really happy because it would have been the perfect excuse to not go, but I pushed through. I have a couple virtual running buddies that I knew would be looking for my report so I made myself go, and I'm glad I did. So SeeFluffyRun and Trishinator, Thank you!
Diet and other lifestyle improvements still ongoing. One step at a time.
Well, made a deal with a woman on the boards here, SeeFuffyRun, that we would be "virtual running buddies." She's already completed C25K and several road races but I figured motivation never hurts . First night was to be tonight and coming home from work is 50 degrees, raining and thunder. SOOO don't want to go run. Now, I don't know if it was the thought I had some virtual company or the fear of shame for coming back and posting I didn't run, but I ran anyway. In the rain and thunder and 55 degree twilight. ( Ok was only 1 clap of thunder once I got out and then it did start to let up. )
Finally got a new battery for my watch so decided to see where I was aerobically. So looked at the plan and settled on trying W2D1. Figured I would run the first 90 seconds and do my 2 minute walk and if I didn't think I could run again I would back down to week 1 with the 60 run, 90 walk. First couple jogging cycles were kind of hard but I felt I could manage sticking with Week 2. Runs started actually feeling better as I got my wind and I realized I would have to extend my usual route or I'd be home before I finished the full cycle of jogs and walks. All told I did my 5 minute warmup and 22.5 minutes of cycles. Total route with cooldown walk was 2.0 miles even.
Felt really good to be out, especially when the rain let up and the sunset peeked through. I'm glad I went.
PS - Surprised I managed to go to W2D1 but I have been doing 2+ mile hikes after work a couple days a week in Blue Hills, so not totally "cold." Guess those paid off.
Wow... not at all the start I hoped for. Had hoped to be 3 months into a healthy lifestyle by now. Instead I've had various fits and starts. My eating has been better, and been walking with my wife once or twoce a week, but overall not what I hoped for at all.
So without any grand plans or potentially hollow promises, I can say at least I got back out tonight. I did an interval run/walk of 1.5 miles and felt really pretty good. Winded and heavy, of course, but that's to be expected. But overall I enjoyed myself.... my goal is to just focus on that and try to do it more often. Maybe good things will happen.