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So I have been humming along thus far just fabulously with my stopwatch and my iPod and tracking my runs on  Nothing I have been doing has really required anything techie geeky and knowing my heartrate to the beat every step of my run hasn't seemed important.  Last night changed that.



I have  struggled the last couple weeks with hudity related painful flares in my arthritis but I was feeling motivated and pain free last night,  ankles felt good...  was super psyched for Week 7 Day 2. Mapped out a new route that took  most of my uphill during my warmup walk instead of a mile long steady  uphill for my starting mile running and figured that might help me find  my stride better. I played a lot with stride and cadence, experimenting  and getting a feel for what was the best blend of gentle and   efficient.  Ran all the way through the Ullrey 25 minute podcast and my  route still had me a ways from home.. so I kept going...  ran right  through the cooldown and realized "THAT IS 30 MINUTES!!!" And then I had this hunch I was close to a 5k so decided not to go straight home and extended my run just another couple blocks.

Kept  running till I reached the bottom of my street. Figured the walk up  would be a good cool down.   If only I had known, I would have run up  the hill...


Final stats for tonight; 35:22 straight run,  2.94 miles!! It is .18 miles from the bottom of my hill to my house!


On the larger side I am so happy with this run...  but in that one small dark corner I realize I was >this< close to my first 5k. ( With my cooldown I was 3.25 in 40 minutes... grrrr)

Thursday it will be mine!


And in continuing happy news.. my younger son graduated to Week 3 last night as well.  he's sticking with the program and his older brother is doing all the runs with him and some with me.  Still loving that whole fact .

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8/15/10 ramblings.

Posted by Wideguy Aug 14, 2010

Well just got back from my W7D1 run.. success! 25 minutes 2.06 miles after two days off.  Still having a rough August in terms of getting out as often as I want, the every other night run still eludes me.


My boys have been out twice this week too, together, running around the local school and riding our stationary bike. Once again, I can't  tell you how proud I am of them and how content I will be, even if I never lose another pound, if I have had any small part in encouraging this in them.


Behind on my meds again... and really feeling the three weeks of incomsistent dosing, especially in my ankles. Even on my off days they are stiff for the first 10 minutes out of bed and takes a lot of walking and stretching to get them moving again.... you would think, considering how much I KNOW I feel better, I would be better at remembering to take them.


Had a really nice night out with my wife last night, went for Chinese for the first time in 15 years and it was fantastic. Fiji steak... mmmMMMmmmm.  After dinner we got fortune cookies of course and  mine said "You have a secret admirer." Other than my mom and my wife,  don't know many admirers  but if you're out there feel free to not be secret.


But it was my wife's fortune that actually caught my attention. Made me think about my friends in the 200+ Pound Club and a little "what is your favorite " discussion we had a couple weeks ago.  There were some really great ones in there  and I read this last night in that cookie and it struck me as actually pretty cool, especially with some of us still struggling with weight loss, injuries, difficulties "finishing weeks" etc.  Yet there they all are week after week, trying new shoes, trying new strides, taking weeks off and getting back on ... and every so often you will hear this one word uttered by someone.  And the fortune confirms what all those fantastic people are NOT. It said :

"You are not a failure until you admit you are happy being one. "


All it takes is the continuing desire to WANT to do better.If you have that, you're halfway there .


Keep Running


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8/12/10 - I almost forgot!

Posted by Wideguy Aug 12, 2010

     I've talked a few times about my sons running with me.  My 14 yr old keeps up with me just fine and has joined me on two of my longer runs, including a 26 minute one a couple weeks back. But my 9 yr old isn't quite ready for that kind of distance or pace  so I've been running with him on my "off " nights.  Last night he wanted to run but I was really wanting to try my 25 minute night  so I kind of hemmed and hawed  when he asked me.  I hate to put him of, of course I want to encourage this.  So in comes my 14 yr old to the rescue.."Hey dad...I'll take John running. What week is he on?"  I suggested they stick with Week 2 , 90 second runs and two minute walks, and off they went. They cam back half an hour later full of excitement and details of where they ran, how many laps, how my younger son did... the works.  They went up to the elementary school and ddid laps "so we wouldn't have to worry about cars" and used the flashlight  on the short walk from there back to home.

     Gotta say, that is pretty cool.   I'm so glad that this seems to be working for the whole family and to see the boys so excited about it. I'm more proud of that than anything I'm actually doing myself by far.


     As for me, I'm much less sore today after last night's run than I expected to be.  So I'm pretty happy about that.  Starting to think of ways I can add more exercise, vary my routines to make sure I keep fresh and get some cross training in.  Time for more experimenting


Till next time

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8/11/10 - still plugging away

Posted by Wideguy Aug 11, 2010

Been a long week... forgot to reorder my arthritis meds, so was 4 days late with those.  And adding in the humidity all week, my ankles have been locked up solid. So I haven't run in 4 days!  Yikes.  But tonight I decided it was time to get back out.


How do you Spell Ugly? W-6-D-3... Well...  I thought my ankles were feeling  better, and they were... so I went out. I decided I was just going to do  a short run, wasn't going to try  to  do the "official" W6D3  25 minute  monster.  My reasons were that I had been fighting these stiff ankles  all week and when I looked at my run Calendar I realized I had only  really run once this week . Just seemed like it would be smart to throw  in an extra day to ease back into it.


Well... fortunately I have never  been reasonable or smart. I just finished off 25 minutes and 2.1  miles!   I thought my calves were going to explode at 7 minutes. but  said " Ahhh it's just cuz you're going uphill".. and sure enough they  relaxed a little on the downhill.  Then around 11 minutes got a stitch  in my side..but convinced myself it was just bad breathing. few minutes  of relaxing and slowing down taking full breaths, it was gone... around  15 minutes I passed the shortcut home... but reminded myself that I'd  miss my favorite section of freshly poured smooth asphalt and that house  that always smells so good. So I skippe d the shortcut.... and at 20  minutes I said "Well hell, I've come this far. No I gotta stretch it to  the 25 just because I know I can and I'll kick myself for giving in to  the excuses."


So  I finished it... and it reminds me again of this journey... it's going  to be choice after choice. Chose to run or choose to sit? Chose to do  the exercise or chose to shop for bigger pants?  Chose to eat the cookie  or put it down? ( well, OK.. I ate the cookie...  it's a work in  progress)


Tonight  I chose to not let myself use the excuses. ( Well, OK.. I ate the  cookie...  it's a work in progress )   I may pay for it with sore  muscles tomorrow, the fact I haven't run enough lately is true. I might  pay a little bit.  But at least I feel like I earned the cookie .

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8/6/10 How time slips away...

Posted by Wideguy Aug 6, 2010

Wow... couple busy nights the last two, and another busy one tonight.  By tomorrow it will be 3 days since my last run.  It still sneaks up on me.  The only saving grace this time is I miss my runs!  Not too far in the past I would have gone days and weeks and months and not "missed" a workout one tiny bit.  That may be related to how I got up to 300 pounds, eh?


So tonight is off... tomorrow is run . Back at it. No excuses.


You can call me on that.

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And by way of a cautionary tale...  I offer the following....


      I went out last night with my older son and did Week 6 D1... and we  rocked it!  Awesome! WOOHOO! And with my son! Fantastic!

So  tonight my younger son asks me to take him out. He did a day or two  earlier in the program but hasn't keptup as well so I figured I'd take  him out for a nice W2 D1 ... good workout for him and a good "light"  off-day supplement for me.  He did an awesome run. I was so proud...  chitchatting and laughing the whole way.  I said all along I wanted to  set a good example for my kids... and this is just gravy for me.


      Then I got home and my wife asked if I'd like to go with her. We have  hardly talked today and I knew she needed some hours in her office  tonight so I figured it would be nice to spend some time and she was  doing W1 as an "off day" supplement... well only did a mile and a half  with my son,  and pretty easy pace,... wife is planning Week 1 and  another easy pace ... sounds good. So I sat while she went to slip on  her running gear.


     What I did NOT do  is eat dinner.


So  about 3/4 of a mile in I BONKED!  Dizzy, distracted,   sweating....  a  sudden and complete breakdon like I have rarely felt before. On an  "easy" 1.5 mile  "supplement" run.  Had to walk/hobble home and  immdiately made a sandwich and guzzled a liter of water. Feeling MUCH  better today.


So,  what did we learn today?


I'm going to bed now.

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8/2/10 - Really Proud

Posted by Wideguy Aug 2, 2010

I'm proud tonight.  I'm proud on several levels.  Best and coolest level first.


     I went out tonight with my 14 yr old son beside me again to tackle Week6 Day 1 of C25K ( )  And that is the coolest part. He came home from an evening with his friends and said "Hey Dad, we going running Tonight? Week 6 right?"   Now how can you not love that?

     So we set out  and as we're doing our warmup walk I'm explaining that our last run, on Friday, was a long continuous run, and we won't be going 29 minutes today. Instead we'll be doing intervals again 5/8/5  with 3 minute runs between, I explain.  His response was " Cool! 8 minutes is Easy after 29. I think we should push the pace on the runs. We can do anything for 5 minutes."   Again, can't argue with enthusiasm and it is exactly what I had in mind,  use the intervals to try and push my speed a little faster than my 13 minute miles from Friday.


     Second thing I'm proud of is it worked!   1.9 miles in 24 minutes, average pace 12:30/ mile. So even with walking two intevals we still brought our average down by 30 seconds/mile. And when I mapped just the  running segments we did the 5 minute runs at 10m/m pace and the 8 came in at an 11m/m. So we did exactly what we aimed for, we went faster.


     Third is that my 9 yr old cam out when e got home and said "Dad, I know I'm only on Week 2 (last time he came running with me ) but I'd really like to get going again. "  So looks like my "off days"  will be starting the program again with my younger son.  TWO kids who want to run with dad.


     But finally I'm just kinda proud of myself for still being here at all, still trying to transform myself  even after all my stops and starts. I started this blog back in March and back then I expcted/hoped to see myself a lot further along than I am here on August 2nd.  There are some legitimate and some less legitimate excuses for why I'm progressing through the weeks slower than  I hoped but the memory is not so distant of days all those little things would have draild me completely and I'd be watchin NCIS and CSI live instead of on demand.   But instead I come home and my wife wants to know if I'm going out first or if she is. My kids are running with us.  We are slowly becoming a better, healthier family.  I am so proud of my wife and kids for joining me on this screwy journey based on some running program I found online.


     And I guess I'm letting myself be just a little bit proud of me too.


Week 6 Day 1 Down! Bring on Day 2!!

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7/29/2010- The good and the bad

Posted by Wideguy Jul 29, 2010

      I got out for a run with my wife last night. I was working on Week 5 day 2 of the C25K program but her pace is a bit slower than mine and she was having an off night so we ended up doing Day 1 instead, with the 5 minute run, 3 walk, 5 run, 3 walk, 5 run.  I ended up stretching my last run out to 11 minutes and felt really good doing it,  so that was nice. And we got to work out together and that is even better . Something I've always enjoyed and very often I need that company for motivation.  She and I are even talking about marathons in a couple years which is just a mind blowing idea. All in all very cool.


     This morning I posted in a thread here, the 200+ Pound group, and was reminded by a couple of posters of all the challenges we "bigger" folks face.  We deal with all the physical, obviously. It's a lot harder to propel 280 pounds down the road than it is 180.   But that is only half the battle for some of us. We also have the metal hurdle  of looking down a long long road of 100 pound weigh tloss and overcoming a lifetime of bad habits and deeply ingrained body image.

     All too often we "See" oursleves as fat people, and that make it very easy to give up when a run or a workout gets hard. It's easier to say "Well I already have all the fat clothes anyway."  But the one that really resonated with me today was a poster who said yesterday had been a really bad day. She had no motivation to go out, no desire to exercise, and she hadn't even wanted to log on to any of her "fitness" websites and face other people's workout reports.  Now, in the end she DID go out and did a nice half hour workout. She said she struggled with low motivation and energy and that it didn't feel good. She said she needed motivation.  Then a couple people reminded her, and me, that she was missing the point.  She, and many of us, was looking at "What good is one half-hearted workout when I still have XXX pounds to lose?"  She was missing the fact that she DID get out and exercise. On a day when it would have been so easy to say no, to watch TV or whatever else she enjoyed, she beat that demon, even just for a half hour, and went out for that run!


      We congratulated her, and she should congratulate herself. We all should.  Every time we look at the choice between couch and run, and choose run, we should recognize that small victory. Our lives will probably be filled with those forever, and ever time we choose healthy, choose exercise, it will will probably make the next time a little easier.   And when we string 10 or 20 or 30 of those together suddenly we're breathing just a bit easier. We will be moving just a bit more fluidly. And eventually we'll have 100 or 200 or 300... and the weight comes down and so does the pant size.  Then maybe the payoff will be more easily understood.


     But when that day comes, and we have to beleive it will, it will only be because of THAT day, when it was hot or rainy and we just didn't want to and we , like her, said "Ah screw it, I'm going out."  So let's learn to give ourselves credit for those days now. These are the days that will bring us to that end goal, and every one of them is a victory in itself.  Congratulate yourself. And go run tomorrow.




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Well here it is another week gone. I've had some good luck with runs this week.  My calf pull  healed OK. I took two days off then tried a nice uphill hike and 1/2 mile trail run . It tightened up hard again. I started to worry that it was going to be a longer term thing, started to make excuses for a prolonged "injury break". It kind of pissed me off that I was so willing to just write it off for another week or more... so I decided not to.  Went out after another day off with my wife who runs at a slower pace than me. I took a nice long 10 minute walk  and then when she ran i ran.. focusing on "light and Easy Light and Easy"  soft full contact with my feet on the road and no tension in my calves. We managed to do a nice easy mile and my leg stayed relaxed the whole time. I was really happy that it went that well. Walking around the next day it felt good, not 100% but definitely healing.  So glad I didn't just give in to the easy excuse to quit.


Then last night I went out to try Week5 Day 1 of C25K .  My progression through week 4 took almost 3 weeks with interrruptions for family vacation and Scout camp, so I'm feeling a bit "off program " but looking forward to getting back on.  Grabbed my iPod and off I went... only to realize that I didn't have the Week 5 podcast installed and couldn't remember the intervals exactly. in my mind I was saying

"5 minute something? or was it 8?  Well, did 5 minutes  lst week so must be harder right?  and at least two intervals.. but was a  short rest I think?.... "


So  I did my warmup and started running ...  did 8 minutes, 3 minute walk  and 13 minutes!!  1.94 miles, (I was so pissed I missed two miles even )  Turns out the program for Day 1 was run5:walk3:run5:walk3:run5.


So  Not quite the W5D1 plan, but I did longer intervals, only one break and longer overall run time by 6 minutes, so  I'm counting it!


On a seperate note , the "200+ Pound" group here on continues to be a huge source of support for me. Amazing to see so many heavier people starting up and supporting each other. And you hear so many similar stories of emotional eating, stress, doubt ... but then so many voices chiming in to say "Been there, beat that, and so can you!'   Truly an amazing bunch of people.  Hoping to know them for a long time.


I am slowly redefining myself, changing my outlook... I'm starting to think of myself as a "Runner"... it's pretty wild.  The fact that last night, there was some stress in my life  and I looked at my wife and said, "I need to go for a run" ... was such a foreign emotion.


I might just like the new me, once I meet him.


Off to work

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The world's worst blogger.

Posted by Wideguy Jul 20, 2010

OK... so it's been  3 weeks or so?  Wow how time gets away I guess.  A lot has happened since my last post to this but I think the key point is I'm still here, I'm still running and I'm still trying.


I ended up rolling my ankle at work the last week of June so decided to take a few days off. Rode the stationary bike once . Then July 2nd-5th I went to New York and Niagara Falls with the family. Did lots of walking, kayaking, playing with the kids and neice and nephew,... but no running.

     Then I was home for 3 days, but still didn't run.  In fact didn't get back out till July 12th!  Two full weeks off.. UGH!  But had a great run that night,  did 10 minutes continuous and felt really strong.  Then another couple days and out on the 15th  for what I could consider a complet W4 day.  Didn't do the intervals like I should have, ended up with a 3 minute, a 9.5 minute and a 6 minute run.... but adds up to more than the 16 minutes of week 4 running so I'm happy.


     Along the way , from the 9th through the 16th, I was at Cub Scout Camp with my son. Got a couple nights running in but did lots of walking and rowing etc.  LOTS... so that felt good and kept me active at least


     Another dissappointing night on the 17th  but still got 10 minutes running in and pressed on making myself get out regularly again. Good news is the ankle felt completely healed. So not too bad.


Then comes last night... and  I think I can consider this a  completed W4D3,  but not QUITE on plan. Here's what  happened...


      I went out last night, took a 4 minute warmup and then started the  podcast. (I've been finding I do better with a slightly longer warmup  and the extra 5 minutes out of my life isn't a big deal. )  I took a  slightly different route because I figured I might need some more  distance to finish my run before I got home if I stayed with the  intervals. So I was a little further out than usual near the end of my  first 3 minute run.  As I turned a corner out into a big open stretch of  farmland I saw the lightning... seemed pretty far away but couldn't  tell how far or which way it was heading so I started looking at  options. More house ahead than heading back the way I came so i figured  that was the safer choice. I did my 3 minutes and when the podcast said  "Ok lets cool down for 90 seconds" I just didn't. I figured I could  handle 90 seconds and get just THAT much ahead fo the storm.

      Then the 5 minutes run... and that was managable,  so I kept going.  And  right through the second 2.5 minute walk segment, the second 3 minute  run. Continuous!!

That worked out to be a 15 minute  continuous run covering just over 1.25 miles!!!

      Then, just  as he was saying " ok get ready for your next 5 minute run, it's your  last run so don't be afraid to push it a little."  I was thinking  maybe  I'd go for it!   I was close to home and the storm seemed to be passing  away from me.  I went to jog over a speed bump and landed wrong or  twisted funny or something and felt this sudden shooting pain in my left  calf.  So I managed to slow down gradually, and limped the .25 mile  home. 


     So, it's only 15 minutes running, and W4D3  should have been 16 minutes... but it was continuous, so think I can  credit myself the minute?   I have very mixed emotions... great run, and  I really needed one after the disssappointing attempt in the humidity  on Saturday. But then this fluke in the last minutes looks like I'm out  at least a couple days.  Hate that.



     So all in all, I'm feeling pretty confident in my running again, actually enjoying parts of it too. I've seen a little weight loss, down to 272 the other day but definitely have to do more with the diet to keep that up... walking miles at camp everyday was a huge help, need to work that in more often.  But as I said... I'm still here, I'm still working, I'm still striving to improve myself and my goal of being in the best shape of my life by 40... and that is something.

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6/28/10 part 2  & 6/29

Posted by Wideguy Jun 30, 2010

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.

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6/28/10 - Part 1

Posted by Wideguy Jun 28, 2010

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!

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6/25/10 - WOOT!!!

Posted by Wideguy Jun 25, 2010

     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!!

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6/23/10 - W3D3

Posted by Wideguy Jun 23, 2010

     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!  


See you all tomorrow!

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6/22/10- Random musings

Posted by Wideguy Jun 22, 2010

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 

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