Favorite Pastime - Resting!

Favorite Pastime - Resting!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

MEATBALL !!! -- Why did I run again so soon?!!!!

OUCH - That was dumb.  Why did I run again so soon.  Last Friday's run up in Howe IN kind of did me in but by Monday afternoon I was looking at the weather map and thinking that the foot didn't feel too bad.  And acutally it didn't feel bad at all and I was kind of amazed at how the skin had completely healed and there was no residual pain...after all it had been a whole 72 hours since I was bleeding.  God has given us amazing healing power in our feet (and our whole body for that matter).  I decided to go out when it was about 39 degrees (and dry) to get ahead of the incoming snow.  My route gave me the choice of a half mile, a one mile, a 3.1 mile or a 4.2 mile total.  I checked the feet 3 different times (at .5, 1.0, 1.6) and everything looked (and felt fine).  So I went for the whole 4.2 and decided to check again at about the 3 mile point. 
Uh-oh.  At 3 miles I started to see a little "pink" on the healing wound and the weird part was that the OUTSIDE of my foot was hurting/burning again...kindof like last Friday.  I surmised again that with the outside edge of my foot hurting I was changing my gait and putting new pressure on the ball of the foot and leading to another blister on top of blister.  The pavement was still a little wet in spots too, which may not have helped either.  I decided to just grin and bear it and actually kind of pickep up my pace on the last mile.  But when I got back after 4.2  miles, it was brutal....I had to take a photo and didn't even bother to brush the leaf off my foot.  (I think it would have hurt to much to wipe my feet anyway.)  Of course I did soak in an ice bath after and then hit the hot tub.  Even though the foot felt even worse than Friday, I felt okay about it knowing it would heal quickly.  And I did stay ahead of the approx. 2 inch snow we had the next day.  Now it's Wednesday and I'm sitting in the Boston airport on my 4 hour layover on the way to London.  The foot feels pretty good today, 48 hours later, but I would definitely not be up for a run today.  Looking forward to sleeping on the plane and maybe getting in a short run in Wales on Friday or Saturday.  Yes, I did bring the Vibram 5-Fingers since I know the weather forecast is cold and rainy for the whole time I'm there.  I also know my running routes from the hotel and much of it is trail or road with some gravel sections, so not really conducive to barefooting.  But we'll see!
Happy Barefooting!
BF Dan

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sandpaper Run - Ouch!

Happy Turkey Day Weekend Barefooters!
Well this week started out good but finished with a fizzle.  Monday was a good 4.2 mile run in the late afternoon and almost ended in the dark...still not used to the short days and the daylight savings double whammy.  On Wed., I went a little earlier than normal and ran on semi-wet roads in order to do the Thanksgiving travelling later in the afternoon.  I had noted a small abrasion on the ball of the left foot from the Monday run, but it "seemed" to be okay after the Wed. run and figured I would have another 48+ hours to recover before my holiday weekend run.  Well, Thursday (Thanksgiving) came and went and I enjoyed the time off and letting the feet rest.  Then, on Friday, after the temps started to rise to the mid 40s, I went for a mid-morning run so the afternoon could be left open for any Black Friday shopping (albeit Shipshewanna style).  I was at the in-laws in Howe, IN so decided to do my normal run on the "Lake Road loop."  The loop is a 1.7mile triangle which is basically divided into thirds.  The first leg is on Hwy 120 and is exceptionally smooth.  The 2nd leg is a county road heading south and the surface is consistent, although somewhat "sharp" asphalt with some "shiny" rocks which resemble cinders.  The 3rd leg is the actual Lake Road portion which is an older asphalt section with many small pebbles, and sand strew across the irregular, frequently cracked surface.  While each section is about .6miles long, the 2nd and 3rd sections are MUCH rougher than I'm used to.  I originally had decided to run either 2 or 3 loops which would have been 3.4 or 5.1 miles. 
Once I got about halfway through the first loop, I thought about just calling it quits after one loop since everything seemed so uncomfortable.  But of course, I talked myself into a 2nd loop and then thought maybe I'd be able to do another 2 loops the next day before heading back home.  But this was a big mistake.  On the second loop I started to feel a lot of discomfort on the outside of the left foot and must have changed my landing enough to put additional pressure on the ball of the left foot.  Before long I was back on the "sandpaper" Lake Road section and the ball of the left foot felt like I had a rock stuck on it, which often happens on semi-wet pavement.  I stopped to brush it off and OUCH, I saw a bright red spot on the very bottom of the ball of the left foot.  How could I have gotten a blister that fast AND already popped it on the same run?!?  This was the first time I had ever seen blood after almost 4 months of barefoot running!  While I have had several blisters (even blood blisters) i had never popped one on the same run and again, never seen blood during (or after) a run.  I gingerly ran (limped) the next rocky half mile back to the house and jumped into the shower, being careful not to leave bloody footprints on my mother-in-law's beige carpet.  OUCH! Was that ever a painful shower!  And the shopping and walking around Shipshewanna later that day was downright painful.  Another first:  only time I've ever put on a bandaid on my foot since I started barefooting...very disappointing.  Today (Saturday) the foot is still very tender...no way to run on it today.  We travelled back home and enjoyed time with the kids, putting up the Christmas tree and "decking the halls."  Next week I will travel to the UK (Newport, Wales) on business where I had hoped to get in a few good runs...but now I think I just may take the time off and heal up.  I will throw in the Vibrams since it will be a long trip with NO running whatsoever.  But Vibrams after 4 months in the barefeet may feel like a total "throwing in of the towel."  Not sure I could do that either...we'll have to see how the feet feel and how the typically cold, wet November/December UK weather pans out.  Oh well, barefooters have to put up with some setbacks and this is my first major one...
Talk to you all in another week,  or two!
BF Dan
Total Barefoot Miles for the Week = 11.8 Miles

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cool Running in November

Hello Barefooters!
Another great week barefooting.  Even though it's getting cooler I still haven't had to resort to putting back on the Vibrams...still wearing just my "birthday feet!"  This past week I actually had four sessions:  6 miles on Monday, 3.1 miles on Wednesday, 4.3 miles on Friday, and another 3.1 miles on Saturday.  It was nice to do a Fri-Sat back-to-back and the feet still felt great even with the short recovery time.  The blisters from a couple weeks ago haven't returned.  I've been spending more time concentrating on the soft landing and I think that has really helped.  Hoping the cold weather continues to stay away...I like the 30s and 40s!  Okay, short post this week.  Everyone enjoy your Tryptophan this week and get in a good barefoot run after the turkey.
Happy Thanksgiving!
BF Dan
Barefoot Miles for the Week = 16.4 Miles

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Light Week

Well, I didn't do much this week but did get in a couple of runs.  On Tuesday evening I went out for a run and said loudly as I went out, "Anyone want to go with me?"  My 11 year old Megan decided that she would go but opted to wear shoes when I told her we were going for at least 3.1 and possible 5 depending on how we felt.  She hung in there but when we got to the decision point at about 1.5 miles she opted for the shorter route.  I wasn't that disappointed since we were keeping a slower pace anyway.  We stopped three different times to catch our breath (at 1.5, 2.5 and 2.9) and ended up running our 5K in 31 minutes...exactly a 10 min pace which was a new PR for Megan.  Very nice run!  Then yeserday I waited for the temp to warm up from the 27 it start out in the morning.  When it got to 40 I went out for a 5 miler, although cut it to only 4 miles due to rough road (old chip and seal) on the 5mile route plus some sloughing blood blisters from a couple weeks ago.  The cold pavement seemed a little uncomfortable at first but then seemed to warm up a little about a half mile in.  Still nothing seemed to comfy so I was happy to get in the 4 miler.  I did a quick 2 min ice bath after and was surprised at how tender my feet were afterward.  Oh well...the life of a barefooter...still happy it's not too cold outside yet...really not looking forward to putting back on the Vibrams.
Happy running,
Barefoot Dan
Total Barefoot Miles for the Week = 7.1 Miles

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Speed is Coming Back!!!

Good Morning Barefooters,
Well, I passed another great milestone this morning.  Since it started out so cold (30 degrees) I decided to wait a couple hours before going out for my speed trial.  I had planned to start working on my speed once the cold weather arrived so I figured this was a good time to start.  I also didn't want to go too long distance wise today, since I can still see the blood blister remnants on both feet from last Saturday's 6 miler.
So I went out when the temp got up to 37, but of course the pavement was still much cooler.  I started off on my 3.1 mile loop at a fairly quick pace and it took over a mile before my feet began to "thaw out" and I had some feeling in my toes and soles.  Actually I was sort of afraid I might be doing some damage but after stopping to check at the half mile and again at the two mile point I was satisfied that the feet were holding up fine, just maybe not as sensitive as I'm used to, what with the colder pavement temperature.  I tried to really turn it on in the last mile, but attempted to stay ever mindful of the soft foot landing, the quick cadence and the slight "lean" forward to increase my speed.  With a half mile to go I ran by a large group of resting bikers who were looking on in amazement.  One gal asked me if I was having fun and I shouted "Of course, nothing like it!"  Then she yelled, "You should be doing the Monumental (Marathon in Indy today)" to which I just gave a thumbs up.  I thought, I still can't nearly do that distance, but I was really enjoying the speed finally and pushed hard though to the end.  I was really winded at the end but it felt so good to be pushing it again.  And the result:  a 5K at a 8:58 pace!!!  Sort of a new PR.  Of course it's nothing like my old speed, but it is a full 1 to 1.5 minutes faster than my normal pace barefoot.  So this was very encouraging...there may just be a future here!  Praise God!
Happy Running,
Barefoot Dan
Barefoot Miles for the Week = 6.2 miles

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Barefoot in Honduras - Are you crazy!!!

Hello Barefooters,
Sorry for the long hiatus.  I just returned from a 2 week mission trip in Talanga Honduras.  First off, let me say it was a truly amazing trip.  I travelled with World Mission Builders, with 27 people from 6 different states.  With God's providence, we completed the building project which was a 28 x 80 concrete block church building for Pastor Celeo Archaga of the Cuerpo de Cristo (Body of Christ) Christian Church.  The team worked really well together and we were even able to furnish the inside with 46 handmade pews, pulpit and communion table.  At the dedication ceremony last Wed. we had 169 in attendance and had 4 people came forward during the alter call, two of which were baptised in the new baptismal pool we had literally just filled only minutes before.
I acutally got in 4 different barefoot runs during the trip.  Each one was unique in that I had different running partners for each...no others were barefoot although I did offer.  The first run was myself and team leader Travis.  We started out from the hotel and ran out toward the main highway.  The road started out as rutted dirt with all kind of debris and then quickly changed to concrete strewn with pebbles/sand and in sections switched back to dirt or gravel.  Needless to say, this was quite a challenge for my Newbie barefeet, but they held up just fine and we got in a good 3 mile run.  It was great to get in a run in a place I wasn't sure it was possible.  A couple days later, we did another 3 miler and Trav and I took along Nick from Tennesee.  I was happy to be keeping pace with them even though I did have to slow down for a couple of rough spots.  I got lots of stares since I don't think anyone down there had ever seen a Gringo barefoot runner.  Then two days later, both of my running buddies had returned to the states, so I ran alone for the first time.  I actually picked up the pace and ran all the way to the sawmill and back for a good 4 miler.  Later that morning at the jobsite, I stepped in a ditch full of water with both feet and that turned out to be not so good.  My feet ached in my workshoes and I actually had to take my left shoe off several times during the day.  I had a hot spot on the outside ball of the left foot and actually sort of thought maybe I had some imbedded glass or a thorn or something.  I looked and looked but never could find anything and the next day it felt fine.  So then another 2 days later, I took Lucas from Arizona out for another 4 miler to the sawmill and back.  Lucas had been in Honduras for a few weeks before our team arrived and had done a few runs but never with a running partner and, of course, not a barefoot partner! 
We had a really good run and my roommate Steve snapped this picture as we returned to the hotel.  This turns out to be the only picture I've seen of myself in barefoot action and I must say I think my footstrike is just as I had been visualizing it.  I flew back last Friday and then went out at home for a 6 miler on my home course.  I'm not sure what happened but I ended up with a huge blood blister on the ball of each foot (maybe my speed was a little too quick).  This was definitely disappointing but by Wed. of the following week (today) I was able to go out for a 3.1 miler on the home course with no issue or additional damage.  The other possibility is that I had "forgotten" my good form while running on the dirt roads and with running partners in Honduras.  Regardless, these great runs in Honduras were totally worth it.  So today, during my short run, I really tried to concentrate on my foot landing and high cadence.  It really seemed to help and the feet feel fine now after a 2 minute ice bath.
Happy Barefooting, See you on the roads, Barefoot Dan Lutes

Barefoot Miles 1st week in Honduras = 6
Barefoot Miles 2nd week in Honduras = 14 (includes 6 miler back home in Indiana)