Friday, May 28, 2010

My Inner-Croc caught on Video

It's been a while since my last post.  Sorry about that.  I've had a serious case of of blogger block.  I found this on a friends facebook page and thought this is perfect for FTS! I'm struggling to get my head back in the game. I believe we all have a subconscious part of ourselves that caves in to the moment and is purely interested in pleasure. It what makes us choose short term gratification over long term happyness. It's what takes over in the addicts head and screws up lives. It's prehistoric. I call it my Inner-Crok (as in crocodile). I'm constantly at war with it.

What's been happening in my world? Well, I've been trying to get my fitness and speed back. Last year I pretty much tried going cold turkey and run all my runs barefoot to see if I could transition completely. When it got cold I spent the winter running on my treadmill barefoot. The result was unfortunate. I had a lousy barefoot run at Huntsville, AL. I completed the course but did tremendous damage to the bottoms of my feet and nearly needed medical attention. It was a gritty course with lots of course neighborhood streets. I walked a way more than I wanted and finished just under 4 hours. I was hoping to run a 3:30. After all the indoor running, I ended up with feet far too tender for the roads.

Discouraged by a total lack of drive and fitness, a friend also struggling with different issues asked if I'd run one day a week with him in shoes so he'd have company. Like any addict, once I stepped into the shoes I've quickly become even more dependent on them. I enjoy the ability to run faster pace work and the roads around my house and to run a marathon training program with Blair Dog coaching. In Peoria I have so much grit, crappy unswept shoulders with chips and debris that it's been difficult to go fast. Taking a break for a short Hawaii vacation in Kona, I realized just how bad my roads were compaired to the strip of road near my vacation rental. That week I was able to do quite a bit of barefoot running with no injury. I also had some better luck with my Huarache sandals.

I'm registered to run Grandma's Marathon in a few weeks and am running about 50-60 miles a week currently.

I've moved toward the Huarache Sandals for my middle distance runs and am encouraged by the results. They appear to be a viable alternative to barefoot running but with enough protection I can run faster. However, the shoes have not been quite reliable enough yet. I'm not sure if it's the shoe or if it's how I am making them.

Initially I purchased a kit from Barefoot Ted consisting of a sheet of Vibram Cherry rubber and some hemp lace. My first run was a 10 miler where I gave myself bad rope burns. I've since altered the way I tie them and switched to some quarter inch leather strap and have had better results. I completed a 20 miler last week but had a break at about mile 16 that I had to stop for about 10 minutes to fix.

I purchased a large roll of the rubber material on ebay and tried a few different laces. So far the leather has been the best but it still breaks too often for me to have confidence in them for a marathon. Regardless, I might try them for Grandma's (June 19th). I made a pair for my 8 year old daughter as well and she seems to enjoy her pair.

On Wed, I ran a test run Boredom and encountered a new problem. It was really muggy, the first fast longer run in the heat for me. I did go out WAY too fast but also had a setback in that the shoes started really slipping climbing Detweiler Drive. My feet started to incur blisters so I bailed at mile 8. I had to borrow a cell phone from a stranger to get a ride from my wife. Humiliating! I'm still trying to figure these things out. I may try gluing some thin suede to the sole to give me more comfort but this will only make the shoes thicker which kind of works against the benefits of being barefoot.