Friday, July 31, 2009

Poll Finds Rob Better than Schroff

A survey was recently conducted by the staff at Faster-Than-Schroff. The participant polled overwhelmingly found Rob Fennell to be better in all categories than Dave Schroff. Results were nearly unanimous. The only question where the survey participant choose Mr. Schroff was "Who has a better friend Dave or Rob?". What this means for Dave is still not clear. Fortunately for Dave Schroff, Rob Fennell is happily married to a woman who hangs on his every word. So Dave retains a fleeting chance of finding a date, eventually marrying, and subsequently reproducing. God help us all should he accomplish all of this.

On a side note, Faster-Than-Schroff was voted best web site by Rob Fennell for the second year in a row!

-- AP

It's Official. I'm a Pig.

It's been quite a week. The big development is signing up for the Pigman 1/2 Ironman in Iowa. Shev's going to meet me after she trains for her upcoming Ironman in Wisconsin and she'll swim on a relay. I will bring the girls. It should be fun.

I am excited to see how I'll handle the distance. I've not been training for this (or anything for that matter) so I need to take it EASY. My plan is to make a day of it by not charging the hills and not trying to push. It will also be a new distance achievment for my barefoot running as well. I am a bit worried the road will be too hot. By the run the sun should be at it's apex and the pavement may be scorchin! If you smell bacon....

If I am going to do a full marathon barefoot, I'll need to keep pressing the distances. Pigman will be an excellend opportunity to do just that. Plus I should get a great endurance workout and I will experience running tired barefoot.

I am making progress. Tuesday night was the all comers track meet at the Peoria Stadium. I am glad I went. We were rained out but none the less most of the meet went off without a hitch. The Peoria Track and Field Club is off to a positive start. This week in addition to 2 all comers track meets they are hosting a camp at no cost for kids k-8. This is a great thing for Peoria. We'll be searching for voluteers with experience running track meets to raise this to its max potential. I ran the 3k. Wow, what a great distance! The goal was pacing. I tried to run exactly 1:30 quarters. I was a few seconds slow. In the past, I've tried to do barefoot running on a track thinking it would be more gentle on my feet. It's deceptive though for although you have a soft, gravel free, surface you also tend to revert to the old habits learned in shoes. So, I often get a blister.

Wed evening I went for a bike ride and got my butt handed to me by my wife who effortlessly climbed away from me. I ended up lost outside Chillicothe but found my way back. I finished about the same time as her but she went much further. On Thurday I did a 60 minute swim workout and then later went to the FAST practice where I did 6 miles of barefoot running. It went well and I managed about a 9 minute pace.It was an improvement over my previous barefoot attempts on this terrain. I just need to keep it up. I saw a lot of folks including Chris Alexander who is having knee surgery today so keep him in your thoughts. After he recovers he's going to do some barefoot running as well. I look forward to having someone around to talk to about barefoot running. Hopefully we'll make some progress together.

Tomorrow I am competing in my first Tri in Canton. It's just a sprint distance and thats a good thing. The trail run is 3 miles approximately and paved supposedly. I need to get my bike cleaned up. It's a disaster. I am looking forward to it.

On Sunday, I plan on running 12 miles barefoot and then biking with Shev for about 40-50 miles of her 6 hour ride. So that's my plan. For the week I will have 22 miles of barefoot runnig. Not bad.

Why do I enjoy to run barefoot? I think the feeling of my feet on the road makes me feel more alive. It's no different than wanting to go outside on a cold winter day. You could just stay indoors. It's strange.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bad Biomechanics?

This is a reprint of a post by Barefoot Ken Bob that makes a ton of sense for me in many athletic endeavors, not just running......

A salesperson said I have bad biomechanics and should not run without special shoes, which cost an arm and a leg?

I am often told, “how lucky you are, that you have perfect biomechanics which allow you to run barefoot.”

My reply is, “I don’t have good enough biomechanics to be able to run well woth shoes blockign my ability to feel the ground beneath my feet, and respond appropriately by correcting my, otherwise, sloppy biomechanics.”

Are our “Biomechanical Problems”, simply mechanical defects in the human design, which cannot be repaired, and can only be patched or corrected by adding cushioning, motion control, support, etc., provided by wearing modern hi-tech running shoes and orthotic devices?

Do we really have “Biomechanical Problems” with our feet, our legs, our hips, etc., or do shoes actually cause it to appear that we have biomechanical issues, by depriving us of an essential component in the design of the human running “machine”, depriving us of the one thing that might help us learn to run “biomechanically” correct?

I believe that actual genetic bad biomechanics are very rare. Most of us are born to run well. It’s in our genes. When someone says we have “bad biomechanics”, they often mean that we run with bad technique. The assumption is that we are born with our running technique, instead of my presumption, that we learn how to run as we grow up.

When we learn to run WITHOUT feedback from the soles of our feet, as they touch the ground, we often learn to run badly, just as a deaf or hard-of-hearing person has trouble learning to pronounce sounds they cannot perceive.

The best runners in the world come from areas of the world where they learn to run barefoot. Good running technique in these areas is taken for granted. In fact, it is in our genes as well. The problem is, shoes often get in the way of the natural advantage a barefooter has, in learning how to run the way we are designed to run.

Even such seemingly severe problems such as seeming leg-length discrepencies, well, I suspect that most, perhaps nearly all, asymmetry issues; leg length, uneven wear on your shoes, etc., are the result of learning, practicing, and adapting unsymmetrical postural habits. The right leg might appear longer than the left leg, if we, for example, spend a lot of time standing with our weight on one leg, with the other leg stretched out to the side. This may not result in bone-length differences, but the asymmetrical posture, when it becomes habitual (you may not even be aware you are standing that way), will result in asymmetrical strengths and weaknesses of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, etc..

In such cases, the cure is NOT to add a shim to the bottom of the sole, which would only reinforce the leg-length discrepancy by pushing the “short” leg even shorter! The cure is to exercise, and stretch, and practice symmetry in your day-to-day posture, movements, and other physical habits - to, in short, make symmetry a habit, over the long run.

Most of our bad habits are learned because we aren’t aware, either that the practice is bad, or that we are doing something in a particular way. Awareness is key in developing good biomechanical habits. Shoes block awareness.

We can continue to depend on sales people and shoes to control the way we run, with the underlying, and obviously wrong, assumption that humans were designed to run with shoes blocking valuable sensory information about how we are running.

Or we can learn to improve HOW we run - starting by listening to and paying attention to what we learn from our bare feet.

Sphere: Related Content

posted by: Barefoot Ken Bob:
Huntington Beach, California

Overcoming Fear

LET me not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless in facing them.

Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain but for the heart to conquer it.

Let me not crave in anxious fear to be saved but hope for the patience to win my freedom.

-Rabindranath Tagore

Monday, July 27, 2009

Are We Having Any Fun Yet?

Walter Cronkite is dead. Hardly anyone paid any attention. Creepy MJ got more press. It makes you wonder. What does it all mean? Do I matter? Do you? In the long term, maybe not. But here's the thing; your life is pretty special. Your health is fleeting so have some fun while you still can.

I just got back from my midlife crisis. It was awesome! I recommend it to everyone regardless of your age, if your 22 or 72 you need to do something goofy. I've spent too many years worrying about what people think. I am done worrying about my image.

Everyone who knows me well knows, I can't dance, I can't golf and I sure as hell can't sing. When I try, people become very uncomfortable. But you know what? Comedy, when done properly SHOULD make you uncompfortable. So go ahead and shake em up. Don't allow yourself to get stuck in a the same routine. People want to see something different and you want to try something new. So go skydiving in a speedo or sail around the world in a bathtub. Dress up like a pirate and go to confession. Do something with your life before its too late, but always consider the consequences.

It's funny how happiness works. Regardless of the situation, happiness is ultimately determined by how it ends. What do I mean by this? Well, say your happily married for 15 years. After your anniversary, you find out your spouse has been having a long term affair. You don't think, gee regardless, I sure have a happy marriage. You say, I was in a bad marriage. It's not fair, but the fact the affair comes out negates all those great times you two shared. It negates the entire happy marriage. So be reckless but at the same time as strange as it sounds, be careful about your recklessness. Make decisions with a happy LONG term ending.

So don't be afraid to laugh at yourself and have some fun at your own expense. Try something unpredictable that makes you feel silly. Life is short and if you walk around worrying about what people think, you'll miss out. It doesn't have to be epic. You get joy from the little things too. Go to the grocery store barefoot. Walk the dog in your pajamas. Smoke a cigar (just not more than one) in the living room. Bottom line, have some fun. In a hundred years it won't make any difference.

Kiss Miss Precious

This morning I recieved this email. Thought I'd pass it on. She "likes my person in general".... Wow. What guy wouldn't just swoon from that line. I am sure we were great friends (maybe even more). I just can't remember her....

I'm thinkin if I replied, my computer would catch a virus so serious it would melt like the wicked witch of the west and all my credit cards would catch on fire.


From: precious200 []

Sent: Sunday, July 26, 2009 5:49 PM

To: Rob Fennell

Subject: Hi Dear

Hi Dear
Peace be onto you, how are you today. I do hope that you are fine.
I saw your advert and like your person in general, this made me to
write to show you, my extent of interest in you. Please send me
an email soon at my mail box thus for more details and to equally
send you my picture.
Kiss Miss precious.

No virus found in this incoming message.

Checked by AVG -
Version: 8.5.392 / Virus Database: 270.13.31/2264 - Release Date: 07/26/09 11:07:00

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday's Long Run -- 10 Miles

My first long run for Huntsville was 10 miles from Running Central just past the tower and back. It was a snails pace for me. When I was healthy I might have averaged 6:45 on this course but barefoot today I was about 9:40. Fog rises from cow poop faster. Barefoot Julian my guide to the world of exposed soles said don't sweat it. It will take time. A tip that's really helped is to make extensive use of sidewalks. Also, don't just go out and tear your feet up. Run with a pair of shoes if your trying a new distance. That way you can always slip em on if you get too sore. Until I get more comfortable, they are my safety blanket. This is the furthest barefoot I've ever ran. My previous best was a 6 miler on a sidewalk in North Carolina. My soles held up pretty well. Krause suggested I write a list of what it running barefoot feels like. I'd get great joy in seeing his version. He imagined rubbing his lips on the sidewalk. The image is in my head. If you're bf & running boredom, I'd say the most challenging part is the section on Bootz. It's just been tar chipped and its still pretty rough. Imagine running on petrified cottage cheese. Ouch! I had to gingerly pick my way through. I also had to walk around a few rough spots near the Cohen's warehouse in the heights. Afterwards Adam showed up at Running Central. He looked beat from getting ready for the kids camp next week. The store looked great and the weather was perfect. Overall a good run!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Last night I did my core work at the pool but before I did, I ran a couple of miles. Man were my feet tender from the Thursday workout. It's quite a stretch for me at the moment to envision running 26.2 miles barefoot. Yikes!

Heres a picture of my feet in their current condition....

FINA Finally Gets It Right

I read this morning FINA has figured out which of those high tech full length swim suits to allow -- none of them. Good for FINA. I honestly didn't expect it. I sincerely hope this is the end of this nonsense. The suits have done much harm to the sport. New records drew little more than yawns from fans. It had become laughable to suggest the suits weren't the culprit. Since Last year, 130 world records have been broken by swimmers wearing them. This decision is good for the sport of swimming and strengthens the legitimacy of the governing body FINA. Since the suits were introduced, each record has raised a bit of ire among fans. The changes won't go into effect until after the world championships that begin Sunday in Rome but each world record set will I am sure be sub noted with a "Yeah right." The next thing FINA needs to do is to asterisk each record set with one of these suits. It's going to be a long time, if ever before some of these records are broken.

For more on the FINA decision read this piece in Reach For the Wall

Friday, July 24, 2009

Barefoot Milestone

I was going to hit the pool this morning and swim a workout. But I just slept in. Some days its just not worth the effort to chew through the restraints and get out of bed.

Last night was a milestone of sorts for my barefoot running. I went to Brad's FAST practice and decided to try the group B workout. It went really well. The workout consisted of a 2 mile warm up through the cemetery followed by a double series of ladders on the Glen Oak hill. I was only able to muster a 9-10 minute pace and wasn't able to accurately do the 60 second pickups on the last 2 mile segment but I did complete the distance and I didn't have any major delamination issues.

I've decided to run Huntsville in December barefoot. My goal is to run the course entirely barefoot at a pace fast enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon (3:20).

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lost in Translation

OK. I lost my appetite....

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ever have the perfect workout?

Ever have a workout like this? Maybe not but I bet my fathers fathers fathers dad did. He was running from a saber toothed tiger!

Nature....You just can't improve on it.

Tellman Knudson Completes 101 mile week of running. Barefoot.

I'm still working on my barefoot technique. Last night I completed the FAST group C workout on the goose loop. The feet held up quite nicely. I no longer feel as if my feet are going to scab up after a workout. I'm able to do some speed changes and run some hills without shoes. I'm getting accustomed to barefoot running. Mentoring this group of runners enables me to go slow and work into my barefoot running while healing my other injury. So I'm making gains but trying to get a grasp on how much progress I should expect for my BF running and I come across this:

Tellman Knudson must be a remarkable human being. I admire his virosity on many levels. He's a visionary with the grand ambition of running across the country barefoot. To do this he will have to run about 150 miles a week. He's organized himself with enough success to get invited to dinner with former US president Clinton. I've stumbled across his blog Run Tellman Run

What I find remarkable is when surveying his blog, he was just beginning his bf journey by running in Vibram five fingers in April. In these posts he's doing about 20 minutes of barefoot running with another 30 in the shoes. By June he's completed his first 100 mile (101 to be precises) completely barefoot week!

Maybe he'll fail but maybe, just maybe, he won't. I find his quest uplifting.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

FAST track practice tonight (Tues)!

I'm really looking forward to tonight. At 6 the PATFC is meeting at Woodruff High for the first official FAST workout. If you want to check it out. Meet us at the tennis courts near across from the parking lot.

It should be a blast!

Great Video -- Running Central Stocks These