Stomp of Approval!!!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Night Time Barefoot Trail Running!

Sounds EXCITIN dont it?

In all honesty, it really was! This took place about 2 or 3 weeks ago as a test run to try out the only headlamp I currently own. Being a barefoot runner, my vision is pretty important. It helps me determine what might be painfull before I place my foot on it. This is difficult to do while running at night as its usually dark, and I wasnt born with adequate enough nocturnal eye sight.... This is where a quality head lamp would be very usefull.
I used my headlamp from work. Its a "Princeton Tec", model "EOS II". I think its rated at 35 or 45 lumens and works great for what I do for a living. It is rated as a class 2, division 2 explosion proof battery powered device so I can wear it all over the plant, and the beam isnt a floodlight but instead more of a spotlight. So there wasnt alot of the path illuminated, just about a circular yard a few feet ahead of me. Its all I really needed to see since this trail was fairly easy to follow and all I was looking out for was roots. But on a longer run where mental fatigue would come into play I would want a brighter flood light, along with a good quality handheld.

I went and ran a part of the Village Creek trails that I knew contained some pretty rooted up areas from previous runs.

I ran the "Village Creek Trail" highlighted in blue.

I started just before the sun went down just as a practice run to snap some pics and make sure my headlamp wasnt going to bug the shit out of me before it was too late. I did snap some pics along the way...

The leaves are changing!

At the end of the trail you come to the swimming area, this is what it looks like as the sun sets....

...And then the sun set. Between the lack of sunlight and the canopy of trees covering the trail, it was dark...

This one is with the flash of my cell phones camera, which is actually really really bright...

Then I turned on the headlamp and started to run. I was able to continue at my normal pace, and could easily identify obstacles before it was too late.

Heres some pictures of some root beds as illuminated by the head lamp.

My last mile (of 4) was ran pretty quick (for me as of lately) just to see if I could run fast in trails in the dark. I kept a 7 something pace and it was a BLAST!!! My adrendaline was pumping, my eyes were wide with excitement, and I had a huge smile on my face!

Ill do a more thorough review of the headlamp I used on a later date when I have used it for a few longer runs.

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My 4th MAF test.

Hit the track yesterday evening and performed my 4th MAF (Maximum Aerobic Function) test. This is part of the Maffetone training method, and used to test and evaluate how your training is going and see wether or not you have been improving. I do a slightly altered version than what Maffetone suggests and follow more along what Hadd suggests his famous "HADD post".

Maffetone says to run 5 X 1 mile repeats, all at the same HR and ideally over time you should see 2 things happen. A) your times improve and you get faster, and B) your times become more consistent, as in your first and last miles arent very far apart.

Hadd suggests running 5 X 2 mile repeats, but at varying heart rates. You start with 2 miles at 140, then 2@150, 2@160, 2@170, and end with 2@180. I like this test better because if will show you if training at a lower HR actually makes you faster at all HRs. So since Ive only been running my my HR under 150, doing this test will show me wether or not Ive gotten faster when my HR is above 150. In other words, will my strictly aerobic training make me faster anaerobically? Lets find out!

This was my 4th MAF test, so Ill show all 4 tests so you can see the results, then post some breif explainations...

Since Im doing this all on my cell phone, Im not sure how this is going to look. Hopefully it wilk make sense.

1st test. 2nd test. 3rd test. 4th test

8-24. 9-29. 11-11. 12-26

139=13:43. 135=11:40. 136=10:53. 135=10:44

147=14:03. 146=10:28. 145=9:41. 147=9:53

Skipped. 155=9:17. 157=8:09. 156=8:43

168=10:49. 167=8:01. Skipped. 168=7:40

178=8:47. Skipped. Skipped. 176=6:45

In case it doesnt look very clear, heres an explaination of what your looking at...

Theres 4 colums of 7 rows. Each column represents a MAF test. The first row is the number of MAF tests and the second row is the date it was performed on. Rows 3 through 7 show the avg HR for the each 2 mile run, and the assocociated pace per mile in minutes in order of increasing HR cap. So the 3rd row shows my runs at a 140 cap, 4th shows 150 cap, and so on and so forth till row 7 which shows the runs with a 180hr cap.

Ok, so as you can see (hopefully) I have gotten alot faster in just 4 months. On all but this last test I had to skip out on different HRs due to time constraints. Another thing you might notice is that between the 3rd and 4th MAF tests I have slowed down a little. This is because from 11-26 untill 12-15 I had ran maybe 10 miles due to injuries. This time off, plus very bad eating habits over Thanksgiving, birthday, and Christmas, led to a decrease in performance.

Another thing of interest is my pace with a 180hr cap! Before starting my Maffetone training I was running fast and hard on all my training runs, and doing speed work quite often. Since starting the Maffetone method my HR has seen numbers over 160 vey seldomly, as in maybe 5 times tops! Yet, despite all this slow running for the past 4 months, Ive managed to DROP 2:02 PER MILE!!! And if you look up at my pace with a HR cap of 170, Ive managed to drop 3:09 PER MILE here!!! All of this was done with slow running and staying under 150 BPM. Plus Ive lost about 10 pounds.

I would also be willing to bet that if I were to correct my diet, my next MAF test would yield even better results!!!

posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Book Review "Running on Empty" by Marshall Ulrich


I already know what your thinking, and yes, I actually CAN read. Although there were very few pictures, I managed to muscle my way through it.

The book was actually a surprise birthday present to me from my amazing aunt (whose been running and triathaloning (?) For as long as I can remember and has always been a HUGE inspiration to me) that she picked up while checking out the expo at her last race, the Las Vegas Rock n Roll half marathon,which just so happened to be held on my birthday! The Author, Marshall Ulrich, was there selling and autographing the books. So my Aunt took a look and chatted a while with the guy and told him about my venturing into barefoot ultra marathoning. She then bought am autographed copy, in which Mr. Ulrich had hand written me a personal note saying...

"To Chase, Good luck with your Ultras. My very best always to you. Dream it and do it.

-Marshal Ulrich"


So now on to the book...

Basically Marshall Ulrich is the kind of guy that doesnt really exist except in fantasy world rumors and stories. He holds some insane amount of world records in the world of endurance, and has been "on of the first" if not "the first" for many of his great accomplishments. He has ran all the big marathons and ultra marathons and summited all 7 of the worlds tallest mountains (including Everest). Among his amazing feats are; unassisted Badwater crossing, the first ever quad Badwater crossing covering 540 miles of Death Valley non stop, Pikes Peak marathon, Leadville ultra marathon.

Anywho, the guys a total badass runner, but seems to have been a pretty shitty family man. His first wife died a horriblle death from cancer, and it was during this time he found his love for running. He had 2 unsuccessfull remarriges and then finally found the right woman for him. He has 3 kids that he admits he was never there for, and has very little of a relationship with due to owning his own buisness and rising to the top ranks of the ultra marsthoning world.

The book is focused around his attempt to break the world record for a trans-continental crossing on foot. I believe the record was set by a 28 year old who had averaged somewhere around 65 miles a day to complete it in 54 days if Im not mistaken. To secure funding he adds Charlie Engle to the run since Charlie has connections. Things between Marshall and Charlie turn south, which I saw coming as soon as Charlies name was mentioned. Everythig Ive ever read about Charlie made him come across as a complete and total ass hat, and he deffinatley lived up the that reputation in this book.

Throughout Marshalls journey he goes pretty deep about the psyche of an ultra runner, and what it takes to completely ignore your body telling you to stop. I really liked this aspect of the book. He talks about suffering, and the different levels of suffering. Of course, hes averaging somewhere around 60 miles a day, so he deffinatley understands suffering! He also discusses all of his injuries and physical ailments that he had to push through and endure in order to complete this ordeal. It would seem that running across America, from West coast to the East coast, is a little harder than Forest Gump made it appear to be...

The only thing I did not like about the book was his affixation with his current wife. Look, I love the shit out of my wife, and Im sure he loves his wife just as much, but if I wanted to read a love story I would have picked another book. Thats really what I got out of this book, that he couldnt live life without his wife by his side. Not a page went by that didnt refrence her. Serisouly... I dont doubt that his wife was very instrumental in his trans-contenintal run, but come on!

Anyway, it was a great book with lots of cool and interesting facts about ultra marathoning, both usefull and nonusefull. I would rate it around a 7.5 for a book about running.

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, December 22, 2011


I cant deny him, thats for sure! Not that Id want to anyways!!!!

posted from Bloggeroid

Dirty feet? Clean them up with Orbits!

Ok, so I dont really use Orbits to clean my dirty feet, or mouth. In factz come to think of it, I dont know that Ive ever used Orbits gum to clean anything before. Hell, I dont know if Ive ever even had Orbits gum in my pocession, let alone in my mouth!

But my feet DO get dirty, REAL DIRTY!!! Especially when I go running at the track, which is where the majority of my afternoon weekday runs take place. On a high school track of my old rival teack team back in high school. I say rival, but what I really mean is that they were the one team that handed everyone their ass on a plate. They had 2 guys, cousins, that were both sub 4:10 milers. The faster of which was my age, and knocked out a 4:04 his Sophomore year in highschool. These guys were studs to say the least.

But thats not important to my story, is it?

Running barefoot usually means that your feet are going to get dirty. Running barefoot on a black hybrid rubber track means that the soles of your feet will also be black. I wonder if other color tracks will yield different colors? Anywho, after running 7 miles today on the black hybrid track mentioned above, my feet were quite black...

This happens often, as I run this track on average thrice a week. Sometimes more. Ive learned that just plain soap and water doesnt do the trick, so Ive resorted to more advanced (and dangerous!) methods to clean my dirty feet!

Meet my new friend! Its a little hand tool thingy that has a handle and a cheese grater type of thingy on the end thats used to "shave" off the outermost layer of skin.

Heres the difference it makes. This is the before picture again.

Heres the foot I used soap on. And not just any pansy type of fufu soap, this was some hard ass, take your hide off LAVA soap. Its my preference of soaps.

And heres the other, cleaner foot. I didnt use any soap on this one, just straight cheese grated it for a few seconds.

It usually does get them a little cleaner, as I usually will scrub a little longer and use some soap, but my water heater crapped out on me as usual.

Oh, I didnt explain why I said this was a dangerous method. Well, this little tool belongs to my wife, and she wasnt aware that I was using it up untill she reads this. So now it becomes dangerous....

Wish me luck!

posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, December 19, 2011

My First Attempt at Shoe Molestation!!

Since going BF I have become more acutely aware of the way different shoes fit and feel. I removed all my arch supports and inserts and such first thing after I started running BF and noticed my shoes were alot more comfortable, plus it felt as if it was easier to maintain my balance in them as well.

Fast forward to a few months ago when I purchased my first pair of Adidas Sambas to wear as a nice shoe. Other than the Sambas all I wore when going out was a pair of Adidas Kanadia trail running shoes, so my wife welcomed the addition of the much nicer (and cleaner) Sambas.

Right off the bat I realized that these shoes wouldnt work. The heel to toe drop isnt very extreme, maybe 2~4mm tops, but they were super stiff. It took great effort to bend them over double by hand, and were very uncomfortable to wear while walking, standing, or even sitting. I hated the way they felt, but I did like the way they looked. So I decided to use my red neck ingenuity and see if I couldnt make these shoes a little better!

Unfortunatley I didnt think to snap some pics untill after I had the surgery underway, so we will get to those in a minute. The footbed of these shoes was some type of super hard material almost like a piece of masonite board. So using my vast array of surgical tools and devices I went to work chopping and cutting away on it.

I started with the forefoot areas by cutting the insole in half where it would contact the arch of the foot. From that I would pull up on the insole while using one of the many knif... Err.. tools to cut the glue holding it to the shoe.

When I got to the very front of the toe box I couldnt reach anything to cut, so I resorted to some forcefull yanks, tugs, cursing, and pulling untill I managed to free the insole from the toebox of the shoe.

The heel portion was very easy and didnt require any cutting. It all came out with one solid pull, leaving me with this...

Thats the cement hard insole that I was walking on. It was heavy and very dense along with being rock hard. Im pretty sure you could shatter a bullet proof window with one of these damn things!

The shoe now was very loose, flexible, and extremily comfortable. It was almost like a water shoe, but without looking goofy. The inside is a honey comb looking structure, so zero dropping them by cutting off some of the sole wouldnt work as you would be left with holes in the heels of the shoes.

The second shoe was easier because I knew what to expect going into it. When I tried to pull the toe box part out, the shoe turned inside out. This made things a whole lot easier.

All in all, it wasnt too difficult of a project, and took maybe 10~15 minutes. It was very worth it, as the shoes are super comfortable now!

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Fasting (like not eating...)

So on my quest to reach nice, lean 170 pounds in standard USA pounds Ive decided to employ yet another tactic. Fasting! Not like running faster, that would go against my Maffetonian beliefs (did I just create a belief system?), but not eating for set amounts of time.

I know lots of people think this is some crazy idea and that its unhealthy and Ill have severe side effects and heres starving kids in Africa that dont get food so its wrong of me not to eat mine and all that good stuff, but I dont buy it. It doesnt make sence to me that a human being, as highly "advanced" as we are (more on that in another future post) should HAVE to eat every few hours in order to not crash and burn. It doesnt seem plausible that paleo man, all super fit and healthy, had a refrigerator or pantry that he could pull food out of every 3 or 4 hours so that he would have the energy to later on stock said food storage device. It seems more plausible that there were times where paleo man (Ill refer to him as "Ugg" from now on) would go awhile without eating. More than likely Ugg didnt eat as often as most people like to think necessary in order to survive. I imagine Ugg would sometimes go a day or two between meals, maybe even longer in some extreme cases!

Now, dont get me wrong here, I dont intend to go for multiple days without food. Unlike Ugg, I dont have those situations in my life where thats necessary, plus I like food too much to abandon it for so long. No, my "plan" is to fast for roughly 18~20 hours, and eat for 4~6. How will I do this? Its simple really!

I wake up at 4:00 everyday and get to work by 6. I will drink lots of water through the day like I already do, but I wont eat any food or calories. Work ends at 3:00, then I typically go running till 4:30 or so. On the way to running I will down some V8 and a few servings of fruit. This puts me at around 12 waking hours before any caloric intake. After running I pick the kids up and fight traffic to get home. This puts me home around 5:30, which is around the same time my wife gets home. After we settle in and get dinner ready and start eating ts already 6:00~6:30 in the evening. Ill eat dinner, and then graze while we continue about our evening duties of cleaning and caring for the children, making sure to get in as many servings of fruits and veggies as I can, and finish everything around 7:30~8:00. Then its past my bed time, so I go to bed thus starting another period of fasting.

Im eating from 3:30ish till about 7:30ish which gives me 4 hours of feeding, and 20 hours of fasting.

The common thought against this is that the human body will go into "starvation mode" and will burn muscle and store fat. This is true, but only after extreme periods of fasting (read 70 something hours...) and I have no intentions of going that far. The other popular reasoning behind it is that it slows down your metabolism. This is also true, but if I reduce my caloric intake by say 25%, and my metabolism only slows down by 9%, Im still creating a deficit (side note, I dont remember the exact numbers, but it is a deficit).

For more information and scientific explainations regarding this, a good site to check out is Lean Gains for a better understanding.

Oh, at the time of this writing Im at 185.4 pounds, so Ill see how welk this works / doesnt work!

posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, December 12, 2011

My Avacado trees

I like Avacados. Well, not really... I LOVE guacamole, but as far as eating an Avacado straight I just cant seem to enjoy it. Maybe I need to try adding salt or some Tex-Joy or something like that on top to make it a little more pleasant. So knowing this, plus the fact that Avacados are great for you, I decided to try to grow my own Avacado trees. Why grow my own trees when I can just go to the grocery store and buy some you ask? Because I want to, thats why. My hopes are to get to the point where I enjoy Avacados so much I can eat them straight. Lots of Ultra runners, including my hero Patrick Sweeny fuel themselves on their long runs with Avacados since their so chock full of calories and potassium.

I took 3 Avacado pits and partially submerged them in water and placed them on my kitchen window sill untill they grew a substantial root system. Then I took the pit, roots and all, and transplanted them into some quality soil from my burning pile in the back yard.

At this point I had 2 pits that started sprouting little stalks, and one that wasnt doing much of anything. It was like that for about 2 weeks so I switched positions of 2 of them, the ones on the sides of the window (east and west) and sure enough they switched growth patterns. The whole time the one in the middle continued growing. Ive since switched the two outside ones so that their both on the east side, thinking that there isnt enough light reaching them on the west side due to the layout of my house and back yard.

Heres a few pics of them, in chronological order...

Thats the bigger of the 3, which has been placed in the middle of the window the whole time. Its grown probablly another inch to inch and a half since the last picture.

This is the smaller one, I havent taken alot of pictures of this one either.

So if your planning on growing Avacado trees, my advise is to make sure you get plenty of sunlight on them!

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Injury follow - up, The root cause.

I started running again on Monday. It was only 2 miles, but I could feel my calf getting a little tight again. Then Tuesday I did 3 miles, and again my calf got a little tight. So while I was running Tuesday I thought about what Dr. Gangemi had mentioned on The Barefoot Running Society's "Ask The Doc's" forum regarding my injury being caused by a trigger point somewhere else, most likely somewhere around my big toe.

A few months ago (like 10 I think?) I had raced in a 5k in my VFFs on a very VERY rough road (the same road that ate my lunch a few weeks ago on a 15 mile attempt...) and apparently had stepped on a rock or something causig bruising and some tissue damage on my right foot, just behind my big toe on the ball of my foot. This area still bothers me a little bit as its a little tender. The area feels as if the tissue there has been damaged and if I probe around on it, theres a "crunchy" kind of feel to it. If I step on it wrong theres a poping kind of thing that occurs from weight transferring over it. All in all, it doesnt feel good.

So I started researching again, and came up with some pretty good ideas of what it might be, and posted again to the "Ask The Docs" on what I thought was going on. This time Dr. Andrew Klein came to the rescue! He said I was right, but was calling it by the wrong name. He said I have "Seismoiditis" (probablly butchered the spelling...) And gave me a few suggestions as of how to help rehab the problem.

In the mean time I think running BF might futher aggrivate the injury, so I might be in the market for some type of shoe with a little bit of pading to it... yay...

The moral of the story is that its awesome that Ive gotten to the point to where I can listen to my body and notice subtle changes in the way things are happening. In this case I noticed my feet werent landing the same, and that I was not putting ad much weight on the damaged area as I thought I had been.

A huge thanks to TJ over at the BRS for assembling the "Ask The Docs" forum as its been a life saver for many of us barefoot runners.

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wheres Waldo, ChaserWilliams style!!_

Believe it or not, I made the front page, of our local News paper a few months back from running in the Gusher Half Marathon. Now, Im not bragging or anything like that. I just feel like those 2 or 3 people that actually read my blog (Hi Courtney!) Would be interested in seeing it....

So here it is!!

I know, I know.... The camera was clearly out of focus. I talked to the photographer of the event and straightened it out. But did you see me? If not, this might help...

Pretty sweet huh????

Oh, I also had my own write up too! Heres a picture of it below.

See, Im like a local celebrity!!

posted from Bloggeroid

Im in!

Notice something new....? Heres a hint, LOOK UP

Thats right! Barefoot Runner Society's STOMP of approval! This means Im a certified badass!!! I think its got something to do with being too cheap to buy shoes too.... Not sure though...

In celebration, heres a pic of one of my 3 avacado trees! Enjoy!

posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, December 5, 2011


WOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! Just sent off my check in the mail to Tejas Trails for my entry into the 2012 Rocky Raccoon 50 mile Ultra Marathon!!!! Talk about excited! This is almost as good as that time I found that dead skunk! Hot damn!

Also, on a somewhat positive note, I ran today after a 14 day unwantwd hiatus. Only got in 2 miles before the right calf started feeling tight again... I need to find a way to work on that. Anyone know a good way to relax your "Peroneous Longus"? Maybe I should look into a quality chiropractor or maybe a good massage...

So, Im officially registered for my FIRST ultra marathon! Its the first step in my newly revised plan for 2012, but Ill save that for another post!

posted from Bloggeroid

My runners world issue..

So, since its now posted on Jim's blog I guess I should make a comment about the issue myself.

To cut to the chase (no pun intended..) I have been banned from the Runners World forums. Im not 100% sure why I was banned as I was never told I was being banned untill after I noticed my posts werent visable to other posters. So I emailed the help desk guys and one of the responded with the following message.....

Hello Chaser.

Your account has been blocked in response to several of your forums posts, which were flagged as offensive.

Kevin Knabe

Ok, so I have been banned. Well, what have I said that someone considered offensive? Why hadnt I been made aware that there was an issue? Do I get a second chance? I didnt have answers to any of this, so I responded with the following Email...


Thanks for the response. Is this a temporary ban, or a permanent ban?

Thanks, Chase Williams

The reply I got was rather surprising, mainly because of who it was from.

Chase, Except in rare cases, we no longer reinstate blocked users or otherwise spend time “managing” problem cases (e.g. by sending warnings, giving “time-outs,” etc). We simply no longer have the time.

So, blocked users are blocked.

Regards, Mark

Wow! Mark Remy personally addressed the situation! So I replied with the following message.


I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to reply to my question. It saddens me to hear the decision to make this a permanent ban as I have enjoyed my time spent on the forums discussing topics both related and unrelated to running. While I wont deny that some of my posts could have been offensive to others. I myself am very thick skinned and very seldom, if ever, get offended, so I can see how a small percentage of my posts could have been found to be offensive by other users. Althogh I have never once gone out to maliciously attack another user and feel that the vast majority of my posts have been both helpfull and benificial to the small group of regular posters on the Barefoot forum, along with all the newcomers as well. I offer encouragement to others and advice to the runners who are just starting out Barefoot in hopes that they can continue to run in a healthy manner without getting injured.

Regarding the few questionable posts that have been flagged as offensive, Im not aware of the qualtity involved but it seems that with almost 3800 posts in just a little over a years time it must be a relatively small percentage for the ban to have just occured. I also believe I could have made better judgment calls regarding my posted material in these few situations.

Having been a moderator on an internet forum in the past I realize that its not easy to please everyone and that many banishments are well deserved and please the vast majority of the members inside the community. On the other hand some decisions are somewhat frowned upon by the majority, and good people are lost amidst the day to day happenings and the vast majority loose out on good insight and input into conversations that they care enough about to partake in, and in most cases start. Im sure that you, as an author, blogger, and writer, have seen your fair share of such situations and can understand where Im coming from with this. Based off the reactions Ive seen in the Barefoot forum (my former "home away from home") I think that just might be the case here.

If your still reading this, then thank you for hearing me out!

P.S. Ill often find myself refering to myself in omnipotent 3rd party as well. Its very strange...

Thanks, Chase Williams

Im still (almost 3 weeks later) waiting for a reply...

It seems, based off a few threads from RW's barefoot forum, that there are quite a few people that arent very happy / in agreance with this decision. Yet RW doesnt seem to care too much about the majority that enjoyed my input, but more about the small minority that found me "offensive". I cant act too surprised though, it seems that their just following in the foot steps of our goverment. The idea of "no one offended" doesnt work because it infringes on everyones freedom of speech, which offends me!

All in all, it isnt a "bad" thing. Ive moved over to the Barefoot Running Societywhich is THE most Premire Barefoot Running forum in existance. Currently the site is a little jumbled, and a tad bit difficult to navigate, but it wont be that way for long as they are about to switch over to a different template / host / setup (whatever its called) that is SOOOOO much smoother and easier to navigate than either RW or the current BRS.

So, if your a barefoot / minimalist runner, or you want to be, come check us out at the Barefoot Running Society!

posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Day 13, Feeling weak...

My last run was 14 days ago today. I havent ran in 13 days. I feel fat and weak and sick. Its amazing how much of an effect that running has on a persons psyche.

After graduating from highschool, where I ran year round for track, cross country, and for fun, I slacked way off in the running department. I had went from weighing 155 pounds Christmad my senior year of highschool to weighing 225 pounds Christmad my freshmen year of college. Now granted I had gained most all of my weight in solid muscle as I still had very defined Abs and a no fatty "pooch" or love handles. I was hitting the gym almost every day for 3~4 hours a day, and getting great results. I still ran a little here and there. When I got up to bench pressing 350 pounds I decided to time myself in a flat out mile and see where I was. My last timed mile had been around 4:45 or so, so I was expecting to be alot slower than I had been. 5:01 was my time. So I was keepig a decent running base.

After that real life kicked in. I had a real job to attend to, I was engaged to the most beautiful woman in the world, and we were (and still are...) trying to remodel our home. There wasnt much time for running or the gym. After getting married I moved to anothet job that required a whole lot more time, and didnt involve any physical activity. Then we started having kids, which as anyone who has any knows take up a whole bunch of time. Yet, although life was great in every way, I still felt like something was missing within myself amd swore that one day I would start running again.

Finally, after 7 years I got to a point to where I had time to start running again. 2 or 3 mornings a week I would lace up my expensive Addidas running shoes and run 1~3 miles before work. This was great! Except for the small fact that I could only run for a month or two before an injury would bring me down for a month. This went in for about 10 months and in the end the fastest mile I had recorded was a 7:37... Total upset.

Then I read about Minimalist and Barefoot running and decided to give it a try. Instantly I knew it was right for me! I was running 5 to 6 times a week and feeling GREAT!!! Life outside of running was going great as well. I had 2 beautiful children and an amazing wife who, although thinks Ive become even crazier than I was before along with becoming a healthy hippy nut case, supports and stands behind me in my running goals. Things were good!

So here I sit typing this on what is the 27th anniversary of my birth into this world (the term "birthday" bugs me, as Ive only been born on one day, not 27 days...) feeling somewhat bummed. I had a goal of running 27 miles today in celebration of the event, but due to this numb foot issue thats been postponed...

I know that this injury will pass and Ill go on running and it will become a distant memory and a valuable lesson, but it sucks in the mean time!

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Great... Just great...

Well after having an awesome weekend with successful back to back 20 mile runs, Im now injured...

My right calf was feeling abnormally tight again, so I decided to ice and massage it on Thursday (Thanksgiving) afternoon. Aftet icing it for 20~30 minutes I removed the ice and started massaging out the troubled area in my calf. The ice had left my calf and the outside of my foot / ankle numb and tingly. The numbness left my calf within 10 minutes or so, but the foot and ankle stayed numb....

Here I am, 7 full days later, with a foot that is still numb. I went and saw a Dr on Monday to see what was going on, and she was clueless. She said she thought it might be due to some inflamed muscles pinching a nerve, gave me a steroid shot and some anti-inflamatory pills and said to come back in a week or so and if the foot is still numb they would do some type of nerve map contact test thingy. The steroid shot helped some and I regained a little feeling, but not much...

So I posted on the BRS in the "Ask the Doc" forum about my issue and a user by the name of "Dr. Gangemi" replied that it sounded like I had strained my Peroneous Longus" and that it was inflamed, that combined with icing led to the nerve being pinched, and thus the numbness. He also said it sounded like I had an imbalance somewhere causing the strain on this particular muscle and suggested a few things it might be.

WOW! Dr. Gangemi is a wizard or something. After looking at some diagrams of the foot and lower leg muscles it appears that he was dead on the money. Unfortunatley he never gave any reccomendations as to how to rehabilitate the injury, but did give some good workouts to help strengthen the problematic areas.

Meanwhile, my foot is still numb and I havent ran in 8 days... I feel like Im loosing my mind!!!!! IM GOING #*@%!NG CRAZY!!!!!

If things dont start looking better pretty soon then it looks like Ill have to scrap my Rocky Raccoon plans... I still have 2 months. But Ill have to register here pretty soon....

So, my fingers are crossed, and my foot is numb.

posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, November 21, 2011

My first double!

Well I did it! This weekend I ran my first back to back double. Saturday I ran 20.09 miles, and then Sunday I ran 20.13 miles. The physical requirements of these runs werent too bad, but the mental challenges I faced were pretty tough.

My last 2 long runs ended poorly with me aborting the run early. Once was due to a legitimate concern with my right calf feeling really tight. The other one was due to more of a mental defeat. I was slightly dehydrated and having problems keeping my HR down so I was concerned that pushing on would result in an injury so I aborted early. Im having mixed feelings about these runs, mainly the second one where I felt dehydrated. Did I do the right thing with cutting them short? Or should I have manned up and pushed through what might not have been anything at all? I guess thats what running is all about! Not knowing for sure when to gamble futher or when to pull out.

If you push on through it then you have 2 possiblle outcomes. The first is that its just a mental block and once you break through it you improve both physically, and mentally because you know what it feels like to hit that wall and break through it and you know how to handle it next time. On the other hand, if its actually an honest issue and you push through it you run the risk of getting injured. Then your set back both physically and mentally, nobody likes sitting on the sidelines...

Then theres the option of cutting the run short. You have the exact opposite results of what you would have experienced had you pushed through it. If you cut short you greatly reduce the risk of injury, but you loose out on futher physical improvememt.

I think the only way to know which option to take is with experience. If you hit the same wall, around the same time, on almost every run no then you either need to reassess issues regarding your running, or push through it cause its a mental block.

Regarding my 2 long runs, I did a little of both. I carried 2 liters of honey water with me, along with drinking a liter of chia seed honey water pre-run. This helped me to assure myself that I wouldnt become dehydrated during the run. Then when I did start hitting the wall I would close my eyes for a second and take a deep breath in and hold it for a second before exhaling deeply and imagining that I had just taken a short break and was just starting up again. Surprisingly, this worked out quite well! Im happy with the knowledge that I have learned a little more about myself and how to push myself futher in the future and continue to grow and improve as a runner.

posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Long run Saturday 11/19


After my last 2 long runs fell flat on their asses with me cutting the runs short and being picked up early both times you can imagine my satisfaction after completing all of todays "scheduled" 20 miles without any outside assistance!!

I was planning on sleeping in till 5:00am, then getting ready and going running. Instead I let my wife sleep in. This meant that I got up with the kids and took care of them untill she woke up. She deserves it! As much as she does for me its the least I could do for her. So this meant instead of waking right up and being on the road 45 minutes later, I woke up and was on the road almost 3 hours later. So I figured I should eat something, which I normally dont do. Luckily my grandmother had dropped off some Satsumas a few days before, so I had 2 of them along with the 1 liter bottle of Chia seed Honey water I had mixed up the night before and a half liter bottle as well.

I hadnt ran since Monday, so after 4 days off it felt great to be running again. Unfortunatley the effects of the week full of pre-Thanksgiving feastage was taking its toll on me. I was chugging along around a 10:45 pace and my HR was staying between 147 and 149 (its capped at 150) so I was a little worried, but my Garmin never beeped at me so I must have been doing alright!

I was carrying 2 liters of the Honey water I had made the night before, and was through 1 liter by mile 9 and was feeling really good.

Who peed in my water bottles??

About this same time I come across a little dog standing in the ditch eating from a small pile of dry dog food thats covered with ants. Great. This poor dog had obvisouly been dumped here by some douche bag, but at least they left him something to eat. So I carry on running and turn around at the 10 mile point to start heading back and there about 50 feet behind me is the little black dog I had seen a mile back. So hes now following me....

Around mile 13 I stop for my second pee break and the dog is still with me. This time I pet on him a little and notice he was nothing but bones, hair, and ticks. After pulling about 12 ticks off his head, neck and ears I notice he has a huge gash in the side of his face thats scabbed over and pretty nasty looking. At this point I start to notice how well behaved the dog is and tell him that if he can make it the 7 miles back to the car then Ill bring him home and take care of him temporarily untill I can find someone else to take care of him.

Within the first 1/2 mile I realize that this was a mistake. The dog was now running in the middle of the road proudly instead of running in the shadows behind me hiding. This resulted in 3 cars, 1 big Dodge dualie, and 1 18 wheeler (pulling a fuel tank of some sorts) having to slam on their breaks hard enough to lock up the tires. I kept yelling at the dog to get out of the road, and with all this extra stress my heart rate was sky rocketing and I was forced into a 12:45 pace with my HR still hitting 152 every time a car would pass. Luckily around mile 15 the dog had stopped at a house that had 3 dogs in the yard and was climbing through the fence the last time I saw him. So I turned the HR alert off and decided to pick up the pace for the remaining 5 miles. My legs were pretty tired already, but I wanted to push through the pain to show myself that I could do it. I think my last 2 or 3 miles were under 10 minutes each with the last one being pretty close to a 9 flat if Im not mistaken. It felt good to pick up the pace for once! And it helped me prove to myself that I can still run through burning and tired legs. I think this will come in handy when Im around mile 30~40 and know that Ive got another 10~20 miles left to cover...

I finished with 20.09 miles in 3:39. Not fast by any stretch, but not TOO slow either. I had me a big glass of chochlate milk when I got home for my recovery drink, and it tasted soooooooo good!!!!

So heres what worked and didnt work.

-1 liter of Chia Honey water before hand seemed to do pretty good.
-A few Satsuma oranges before hand also seemed to work nicely.
-2 liters of Honey water seemed just right for the distance / time I ran.
-So overall I would say my nutrition today worked out pretty good! No GI problems at any time and the Honey water never left a bad taste in my mouth like most sugary sports drinks do.

What didnt work.
-Running with a suicidal dog was not a good idea. It was so stressfull that my HR was skyrocketing, therefore killing my training plan.
-My poor diet choices the past week werent great either. Too much dressing, potato salad, rolls, and WAAAAAAYYYY too much Bananna Pudding (if there is such a thing...) All these complex carbs killed my fat burning machine, I think.

So thats Saturdays 20. My goal is another 20 on Sunday. Hope it goes as goos as the first one!

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, November 18, 2011

Honey Water, part 1. Continued...

Ok, after letting the honey waters sit out for a little while and rise to room temperature the honey dissolved quite nicely, so I added another quarter ounce (maybe?) To each bottle and shook them up.

Then I added 2 large spoonfulls to one of the bottles to have as my pre run drink. Im thinking that the extra calories plus the extra hydration gained from the chia seeds will help out. Then Ill carry the other 2 bottles with me and sip from them throughout the run. Although I hate carrying water bottles... Ill just think of it as cross training!

Can you tell which one has the chia seeds added in?

posted from Bloggeroid

Lessons #1 in making a honey water mixture...


In my feeble attempt to prepare for tomorrow mornings "long" run I decided to mix some honey in with some water for a good solution for both energy, calories, and hydration. I know a few people that do this, and the good Doctor (Dr Phillip Maffetone that is) suggests just this in his book titled "The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing" Hell of a title huh? Wonder what its about?

I started out with a nice cute honey bear full of all natural Texas made honey.

Then I added a little bit to a 1 liter Ozarka "sport bottle" which is just a fancy way of marketing a bottle with a closeing pop top with spout as opposed to a regular twist on and off cap.

How much honey did I add? Hell, I dont know! I basically squeezed for a 3 count then stopped. I think I bought a 6oz bottle, so I would guess maybe half an ounce per liter? Maybe? Maffetone suggests a certain ratio, but I dont remember it off hand so this will do for now!

Then I grabbed 2 of the 3 bottles I had mixed and started shaking, and shaking.... And shaking....... And still more shaking, but the honey that had sank to the bottom wasnt budging. Apparently the ice cold water solidified the honey and it wasnt about to start mixing together.

So I grabbed my old mixer thingy that we used for baby bottles and for protien shakes, stuck it down inside, and turned it on hoping maybe the cyclonic action would help to mix the honey in. Wrong again... Instead it made a vortex straight to the bottom and started to slowly pull up little streamers of honey towards the top that would then spin around untill makong contact with my mixer and then sticking to it.

So Ive decided its probablly best to just let them sit out and reach room temperature, then try to mix them up. On my next attempts I will first warm the water, then mix in the honey so it will dissolve better.

Wish me luck!

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Long run - Sunday 11-13-2011

I woke up Sunday morning with a number in mind. 32. I wanted to run 32 miles. Not sure why I was insistant upon running a 50K that morning, but thats the goal I had set in my mind.

My longest run prior to then had been 26.23 that I ran on the exact same kind of whim on a previous Sunday a few weeks back, so this kind of thing might be somewhat normal for me to do, who knows! I had planned on a long run all week, so I had purchased a 6oz bag of Walmart branded Trail Mix amd seperated it out evenly (or at least close enough) into 2 little sandwich baggies that I had then wrapped up tight and taped shut, effectively making a pair of 3oz trail mix pouches. One went into each pocket. Then I grabbed my lunch box and threw a few bottles of water in with some ice packs, grabbed 2 boiled eggs, my Garmin 305, Garmin HRM, SPI belt, car keys and I was out the door before the sun came up.

I downed a nice crisp refreshing 500ml bottle of Ozarka (man, I should be their spokesperson!) With the 2 boiled eggs on the way to the Exxon gas station on my side of FM 421, which as Ive mentioned before is one of my favorite roads to run on, and then grabbed 2 more bottles of water and took off running.

I enjoy running in the wee hours of the morning before the sun is up. Its motivating to know that while 99% of the world is still sleeping in their cozy beds, oblivious to the world around them, Im out there on the roads training / preparing for my next race / zombie apocalypse. Unfortunatley today was a little different. See this is one of the most important weekends in Southeast Texas. The day before was the official opening day of hunting season, so every man worth his weight in shit was sitting in a deer stand waiting for the big one to show up in his cross hairs. Oddly enough, this is the first time Ive been running down 421 that I havent seen a deer. Actually, I guess thats not entirely true. I did get passed by a truck that had its tailgate down with a huge White Tail Buck in the bed with a massive rack. Wish I could have gotten a pic of it as it was pretty impressive!

Anyway. My nutritional "plan' today was to test out eating while running. So I had planned on eating 3oz of the trail mix and washing it down with a bottle of the amazing liquid of the gods known to man as Ozarka (see, look at this publicity!) at miles 10 and 20.

I was feeling good, although the weather had done a 360 on me in the past week. Last weekend it was on the upper 50's / lower 60's with relativley low humidity. Today it was in the 80's when I started with pretty high humidity and very little wind. Gotta love Southeast Texas weather! So come mile 10 Im very thirsty. It takes me almost a full mile to eat the 3oz of trail mix, which I chase down with the Ozarka.

I keep chugging along feeling very good, but also very thirsty. At this point I should have thought about it and turned around and headed back to the car where I had more water sitting on ice. But that would have been the smarter thing to do, and theres no way in hell Im going to take the smarter path, right? By the time I reach mile 15 Im feeling quite dehydrated, but I push on to fhe turn around point. 16 miles away from my car I turn around and start heading back. I still have my other bottle of H2O excelence, along with the remaining 3 oz of trail mix. I know I still have 16 miles to go, so I hold off on consuming them for a little longer in order to attempt to ration them out as intelligently as I can.

Come mile 18 I realize that I havent pissed since mile 5, so Im pretty sure that with that fact coupled with the way my body was feeling I must be pretty dehydrated. So I call my amazing wife and she says she will drive me out some water. At this point Im fighting to keep my heart rate under 150 so Im almost positive that Im dehydrated. I go ahead and down the remaining 500ml of Ozarka and its like heaven found its way into mouth. I felt great! For about 5 minutes. Then I felt like a paper sack of ran over dog poop again. Finally, at mile 21, I see my wife pull off the road onto the sholder and I slowly make my way up to her. I drink one bottle of ice cold Ozarka and realize just how dehydrated I am. My legs and back start to get stiff as I stand beside the truck and I feel as if my kidneys have been punched by Chuck Liddell. I decide to call it quits at this point and my wife gives me the ride of shame back to the parked car.

I ended my run short for the second Sunday in a row.... Its driving me crazy!!!

So, since the purpose of training is to learn what works and what doesnt work, heres the brekdown of it...

What worked.
-The boiled eggs before the run didnt seem to have any negative side effects as far as GI issues are concerned.
-My ingenious packaging of the trail mix surprised me. Maybe Ill make a write up post of a "how to" Below is a pic of what all I had with me (food wise) on this run and you can see the trail mix packets.

-My choice of running barefoot didnt let me down either! Go figure, lol!
-Compression shorts, normal basketball style shorts, and cotton T shirt from the only sprint triathlon Ive competed in all held up great, as usual.

What did not work.
-Hydration. I need to find a way to have more water avaliable on these longer training runs. I either need to find a good 4~8 mile loop and start running it, or drop frozen bottles along the sholder of the road and hope their still there when I get to them.
-The trail mix might have been a little too salty, causing me to become more thirsty (I dont think 'thirstier' is a real word) which wouldnt be an issue if I could resolve the hydration issue.

So I did actually learn something from this run! Hells yeah!

posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Well... It started out great!

I decided that for today's (Saturday) run I would just take off from my sons soccer game and run home. Easy little 15 or so mile run, should be no problem! WRONG!!!!! I forgot how shitty the roads in my hometown have become thanks to the city's bright idea to cover everything with what has to be the worlds worst version of chip seal. So heres a quick recap of the run, with pictures!!!

I actually started off at my wifes gym (Exygon) in Beaumont and headed through a few little roads following your average grade sidewalk heading to one of the major roads in town thats got massive sholders, oddly enough this major road is actually named Major Dr.

At this point in my run I realized just how far my feet had come in the last year. Last December I had my first double digit BF run on part of this road and remember thinking that the little rain / traction grooves were absolute torture. This year they werent anything! I couldnt even tell they were there! Good thing too as I ran on them form mile 1.25 to around mile

After Major Dr. I hooked a right on Hwy 105 for a quarter mile or so then turned onto RFD Rd. This is a little cut through road from 105 to Hwy 69. I like this road cause theres a bunch of live oaks (My favorite non-fruit bearing tree) and very little traffic, plus its a really smooth asphalt surface, which seems to be my favorite running surface so far!

After this I stayed on the feeder road of Hwy 69 which was, of course, lovely asphalt. Up untill this point I was chugging along at a nice easy 11:20ish pace, just enjoying the beautiful day. I checked my watch and to my amazement I was running around 9:45... Not sure how or why this happened, but it felt good so I just went with it.

Then I got up on the Hwy so I could cross Pine Island Bayou via the bridge. The road itself is a very smooth, worn down asphalt, but the sholders leading up to and away from the bridge were very rough looking cracked and uneven cement. I was blown away at how quickly my feet would adapt to it. I stepped on it and was worried about how rough it was, but within 2 steps it felt just as good as the smoothened asphalt on the road. Leonardo Divinci wasnt joking when he said that the human foot is amazing!

Then I got back on the feeder road of Hwy 69, but this time I was not only in a new city, but I was also in a different county, so the roads were what I rememberes to be killer chip seal from my last run on them, which had been back when I was first starting to run BF. Turns out my feet have came along so far since then that not only was this surface no big deal, but I was able to keep up a sub 10:00 pace for all of it without sky rocketing my HR (which was capped at 150 per the Maffetone method mentioned in a prior post) so I was shocked!

Then I came to the killer. Old Silsbee Hwy.... About 2 years ago the County / city decided to take this perfectly fine white asphalt road and cover it with the nastiest, roughest, shittyest chip seal imaginable... Unfortunatley this is the road I live on. Needleas to say, 1 year was had not been long enough training for me to tackle this beast yet. I tried, but only made it 100 yards or so before crossing a field to hop on the sholder of Hwy 96 (Hwy 69 splits in Lumberton to become Hwy 69 and Hwy 96, very confusing at times...)

but the county / city had just covered the lanes with the same devilish chip seal that also.covered Old Silsbee Hwy (Thanks...), but left the sholders covered with tar, which just grabbed the loose rocks that came off the lanes during the paving process. So the sholders were even worse cause there wasnt even the half ass eveness that was on the rest of the road, just 1/4" rocks spaced every 4~5 inches apart. Just far enough so that they REALLY hurt like the dickens when stepped on... Unfortunatley I was in too much pain, and too pissed off that I couldnt run in my own hometown to take pictures of this treason towards all Barefootery. If thats not already a word, I get credit for inventing it, much like President Bush and "strategery", which is an awesome word!!!

Oh, I also started the run in shorts, a long sleeve undershirt, and a T shirt, but as it warmed up I took the under shirt off and wore just the T shirt. After a mile or so I got tired of carrying the long sleeve shirt in my hands, so I threw the shirt part over my back and tied the arms around my neck. I like to think that I came across to the average passer-by as a Barefoot super hero, much like the "Maple Grove Barefoot Guy", but Im pretty sure I just looked like a looser. Oh well, good thing Im used to it!

posted from Bloggeroid