Monday, May 30, 2011

Journey of 1,000 Barefoot Miles - Week Ending May 29, 2011

After the previous week, I was excited to get back out and put on some miles this week san shoe (or Vibram if you will), but once again life got in the way. It’s funny how that happens, I make plans to go diligently go out for a run daily, and something comes up that just does not allow it. This week was pretty much the same.

Monday was a write off (didn’t even make it out to my WH3 run), the weather was terrible and we had some rock to move out of our front garden areas. It’s amazing how long this actually takes to do, when you first evaluate, you think a couple of hours, by the time you are done, it was more like all day and your absolutely exhausted. Needless to say, no running on Monday, Tuesday fared no better, too busy at work to go at lunch and Nic had hill work outs in the evening. So I had to wait till Wednesday at lunch, neither hell nor high water was going to keep me from heading out.

So here we go, the week that was:

Wednesday May 25, 2011
Barefoot: 7.18 miles
Vibrams: 0.00 miles
Total: 7.18 miles

The weather was decent, although a little windy (the weather channel said 27 km/hr winds from the north, but it felt like it was double that when you hit the open areas. I call it resistance training, and push myself to keep the same pace or as close to it as possible. This was a pretty good run, consistently picked up my pace mile after mile. As this was a run over lunch, I really haven’t had a chance to experiment too much on routes, so I kept to running down Pandora and over to Regent and back towards work. At least there were no trains this time.

Thursday May 26, 2011
Barefoot: 7.80 / 6.35 miles
Vibrams: 0.00 miles
Total: 14.15 miles

The first barefoot mile total logged was another run at lunch from the office, but I decided to shake it up a little bit and find a new route. Instead of heading straight out to Dugald, I curled around the industrial park by a couple of construction sites to Plessis, before heading north. Then decided to run west on Pandora instead of east and cross over to Regent and run up the strip back to the east. This was a lot of fun, as I got numerous honks and waves of encouragement from commuters and pedestrians alike. Like the day before, I tried to increase my speed with each mile, pushing that little bit harder to not only expand my endurance at a higher heart rate, but also push the boundaries just that little bit more. I was very happy to see my 10 km time was around 56 minutes and my average mile pace was a 9:12 mile, not supersonic but a improvement none the less.

The second barefoot miles total logged was a evening run with City Park. Always a good time, as I really enjoy who I run with. I do not put myself in the quickest group, the majority of them are newer to running and training for half marathons or 10 km runs, not the full marathons and longer distances that I prefer. But they are a great group of people, with a sense of humor and are out running for the enjoyment of it, not for the trap of competitiveness that a lot of runners fall into. Running with this group also allows me to work and perfect my form, without concerns of trying to keep up with the ‘Jones’ if you will. The run consisted of the same route as last week, through the park, out to the Moray Bridge over to Roblin, out to Grant and around. Always a fun route because you get a little bit of everything for terrain.

Funny story, that Nicole told me when I got home, she got a phone call from one of her clients into the evening, telling her that as she was driving down Roblin, she saw this group of runners, and there was one guy hopping and brushing off his feet at a light. She then realized that he wasn’t wearing any shoes, and then recognized that it was me. I had to laugh, as this is my usual routine at stop lights, I brush the bottom of feet to ensure I have no hitchhiking stones or rocks along for the ride, and it probably looks a little ridiculous to see from someone else’s perspective. Sa la vie.

Anyway pace was a little slower until we reached the park, when I felt so good I decided to turn on the jets and just let it all hang out. I wanted to see how fast I could go and how long I could hold it for before I had to slow down. At this point we had run about 5.25 miles, and I was hanging at the back with Julio, watching the girls slowly take off from us. I turned to Julio and said, I think they are trying make us look slow, should we go. Julio looked over with a grin on his face and quickly nodded, so I started the ramp up and off we went. By the time we were out of the Formal Gardens, I was in full flight, I have no idea what my cadence was, but I felt like I was flying. I went from a 10:00 min/mile pace down to a 6.85 min/mile pace while still dealing with cars, bikers, pedestrians and the like. I never felt so good letting it all out, and just going for it. I carried this momentum for about a mile, until the traffic became too heavy to maintain it, so I backed off to an 8.0 min/mile for the rest of the distance out of the park and across the foot bridge. I think I spooked a few people as I galloped by them. The crazy thing, after all that extra speed and reckless abandon, I was not tired, I felt rejuvenated. As I made my way back across the bridge to meet my running partners amongst a lot of finger pointing at my feet, and ‘did you see him go’ comments, a big perma smile was plastered on my face. All I heard from my running partners was ‘Wow, you just blew by us like we were standing still!”, and “It looked like you were floating, your feet didn’t even look like they were touching the ground, your upper body was completely still, just your lower body and your arms were moving.” There is nothing more satisfying to a barefoot runner then hearing that your form was that tight (I do not use the word perfect because nobody is perfect) that your upper body is motionless and your legs are moving so fluidly that it looks like you are floating and your running is effortless.

Now if I can only maintain that on an ongoing basis, then I’ve got something.

Saturday May 28, 2011
Barefoot: 11.45 miles
Vibrams: 0.00 miles
Total: 11.45 miles

This was an easy 18 km run with City Park in the morning right after my Saturday morning workout with Carolyn. It was a good run with some great conversation and some fantastic running partners to finish off the week. Only area of note, was that I avoided the limestone path down Wellington and opted for the adjacent grass (which sometimes is worse because of the unknowns) due to my not completely healed bruised foot from last week.

Kudo’s also go to Andy who is currently designing my next tattoo for my right leg as of Saturday morning, it is going to be awesome, and I cannot wait to see the designs.

Sunday May 29, 2011
Barefoot: 0.00 miles
Vibrams: 0.00 miles
Total: 0.00 miles

I was very proud to max out my miles for Sunday at 0.00, because today Nicole took another big step forward, as she smashed her Personal Best time at the Air Force Half Marathon to little bitty bits. She came in at 2 hours 11 minutes and 4 seconds; this was an improvement of over 10 minutes once again over her previous personal best which she just achieved at the WPS Half Marathon earlier in the month. She looked very strong completing the run, and I am expecting the time to be cut again next time around. It’s amazing what you can do when you don’t stop to take photos along the way. I am so proud of her and her accomplishment, and now I have to step it up to get my time below 2 hours for my next half marathon, and 4:30 for a completion goal at the Manitoba Marathon in mid June.

So the total for the week and year date are as follows:

Week Totals:
Barefoot: 32.78 miles
Vibrams: 0.00 miles
Total: 32.78 miles

Year to Date:
Barefoot: 177.89 miles
Vibrams: 71.26 miles
Total: 249.15 miles

Until next week, from the land of ‘The Ten Toed Commandos’

(catch phrase courtesy of GE and AF)

On On.

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