Wed 1st July 15
July started with 5 barefoot miles after some deep squats. I turned over another 50 pages of the book I have been using as a heel raise (Readers Digest Heritage of Britain) and the lower raise was a challenge but I managed. I was a bit lethargic. A very warm morning after a stupidly hot day yesterday but I think that it to do with the fact that my diet is poor at the moment. Granola seems like such a good idea and I could eat it all day but I always feel bloated and horrlble later. Will I ever learn? Maybe.
My plan for July is to keep the miles at about 100 overall but extend my longest run to 15 and then 17 miles. I plan to do these in week 2 and week 4 as it fits in with the rest of the things I have going on. That seems a challenging but realistic thing to go for this month. Planning just 4 weeks at a time does seem to work for me and keep me moving along.
I am really pleased to have run every day barefoot for the first 6 months of the year and covered 500 miles. I am running more than I have ever done and more sustainably. I don’t feel like I am on the edge and that sooner or later I will break. I have always felt like that before.
Thurs 2nd July 15
A quick barefoot mile before work. Lots of things going on and a bit preoccupied.
Friday 3rd July 15
Dedication this morning. really felt lethargic and tired after a very late night following a busy day. I was up and did a barefoot miler. always fell better for it afterwards. It was the the thought of not getting in 20 miles this week that got me out of the door.
Sat 4th July 15
A quick barefoot mile before heading off to the National Wildflower Centre in Liverpool for their Scarecrow Festival. we are running our Lancashire ale stall and pop up bar which should be fun. Achilles and hip a bit tight this morning. Both right leg and a little wheezy. Nothing bad but certainly noticeable.
Sun 5th July 15
Ouch! – I have taken the skin off thhe top of the same toe again…doing the same thing. I moved to one side of the road to letr a passing car go by and then turned to look behind to check if anything else was coming. The action of running whilst looking behind me leads to me dragging the top of the toes on my left foot on the road and taking the skin off. Hurt like stink and will need taping up for a few days. 6 barefoot miles and they felt very easy and it was good to look back at what a challenge I used to find this route. it felt like a short run this morning rather than a long one. Although sore…I would rather be wounded than injured any day of the week. it won’t stop me running tomorrow like an injury would.
Mon 6th July 15
Double ouch! – I componded the toe skin removal by falling off a wall yesterday. One minute stood on top of it and the next monent I was on my back on the pavement below. Only about 4 feet but it rattled through my body and took more skin off. This time off my wrist. I have my toe taped up and went for a barefoot mile this morning. My calves felt tight and I just relaxed and the tension vanished. Starting off slow and gentle is a good thing to do. Let the body ease into the run. My hip was giving me some discomfort during the night. I might have been the fall but is more likely the slightly deeper squats I have been doing complete with a bit of a bounce when I am down there. I seem to recall something similar last time I made the squats deeper. I will persevere and hopefully become adjusted to it. If it gets too sore, i will back off a bit.
Tuesday 7th July 15
Sore throat yesterday and wheezy this morning which always makes my soles more sensitive. Just a mile rather than the planned 5 miler this morning. I also backed off the squats and did them with full heel raise. This seems to loosen my hip off without causing discomfort. i will persevere with a day with full raise and then a day with more challenge to see if I can ease the process a little. Got to wondering aboout the drills I do that have stuck. Squats, jumping whilst running. Using a watch to check form especially lifting and also having pints on run that I stop and smell the roses (I don’t actually smell roses but I do try and take it all in and slow my brain down a bit). Midfulness is an interesting idea.
Wed 8th July 15
5 wet and rainy barefoot miles this morning. I have a bit of a sore throat and was wheezy when I got up. First time in ages that I have checked peak flow and it was under 500 which is low for me. Took inhaler for first time in a long time too. Took me a while to find it. No issues when running though. Mind was busy and even when I stopped to just pause for a moment or two at half way, my mind was racing and jumping all over the place. It has been abusy few days with a lot going on at work and it churns when I am running and I jus let my mind go where it wants to. Toe was OK and I need to change the strapping after the wet road this morning.
Thurs 9th July 15
Interesting morning. I ran the slowest mile that I have for ages. I just took my time and ran light and gentle. I have a sore throat and my toe is very sore. I also ate cereal late last nnight which is never a good idea and felt lethargic. My soles do not feel sore, they just feel weary. More of an ache that a sensitive skin type of thing. I think that i will get the roller on them and really stretch everything out. Didn’t stop me planning my runs into Aug and Sept. Much too far ahead but it is easy to see how you can fall into that trap. I think that I will probably be back to normal tomorrow.
Friday 10th July 15
Triple Ouch! – Took the plaster and scab off my toe by scraping it as I walked onto my drive at the end of a 5 miler this morning. Hurt like stink. I need more secure taping. using micropore but need fabric webbing, i think. My hip is niggling and I need to get back into squatting every day. It is the insertion point at top of glutes that is nagging. This is a pre barefooting niggle that comes back periodically. squatting helps along with the clam stretch.
Be good to put my months together with things like my 33 reasons not to barefoot in between. Also 2016 would be a good year to explore barefoot and beyond and look more closely at minimalsit running.
Saturday 11th July 15
15.2 barefoot miles this morning which is my logest so far. No real problem. I had my toe taped up and lost the plaster with a mile and a half to go so ran pretty carefully. About. 2hrs 30 mins which was what I planned. i didn’t rush at any point and had a beeper on my watch go off every ten minutes. When it went off, I put my hands up over my head in a victory salute and grinned and tried to focus on my form. It is important to remember that it is good to be out and that I didn’t have to be there if I didn’t want to be. After 3 miles, I had tightness in right groin and after and hur my right hip flexor was protesting. Both went away eventually. I felt like 15 miles was aboout right for a long run today. Could have gone further but all going to plan. Soles feel fine. The road was very rough in places and i just slowed down a bit. lovely and smooth in other spots and I sped up a bit. It would be interesting to jump on the spot and get into a good sustainable rhythm and then see what that was using metronome. Could do it with a friend or by filming yourself and then seeing afterwards. Interesting to see what your personal cadence sweet spot is. Funny where your mind drifts when running for 2.5 hrs.
Mon 13th July 15
Feet are fine but hip ad groin are tight. Squats and quad stretches are needed. A barefoot mile. A bit stiff but eased up as I went. stopped half way to enjoy the rain. Not too hard and the world is so green and lush at the moment. Soemthing very Lancashire about enjoying a run in the rain. I am still pinching myself about the marathon coming up. It seems possible which is amazing. The impossible has become possible by little forward steps.
Tues 14th July 15
5 barefoot miles this morning. I took my time and did squats and quad stretches beforehand. I tightened up last night but my hip feels not too bad. I think that it is the routine of these midweek early 5 milers that are the key to my running. I feel better about doing this morning’s run than about the 15 miler on Sunday. It would be so easy to bail out and not do it but I am buidling a really solid base of miles. Not big distances but certainly more than I have ever done before inn all my years running. It was good to stop half way and ponder for a minute or so.
Wed 15th July 15
A barefoot mile this morning and I took the time to just stop at the halfway point and think about where i was and what I was doing.Life is so hectic that we can forget the marvel in it all. I stood and felt my feet on the ground and tried for a minute or two to lose myself in the birdsong and work out where each and every bird was. I also started to think about where everyone else was and what they were doing whilst i was stood in the early morning sunshine listening to the birds. I ended up not wanting to leave the spot where I was stood but once I did I enjoys the pitter-patter back home.
Also thinking about how much having a journal keeps me going. I clock up the miles and it feels satisfying. Not usre it should but it does. i am a pragmatist and I find what works and do it.
Thursday 16th July – A barefoot mile
A barefoot 5 miler today follwoing yesterdays single mile. I just couldn’t get out of bed yesterday and so am a day behind. I did the victory salute thing at the halfway point and broke into an involuntary smile. i find that I look forward to the brief stop the listen to the bird moments. I did deep squats and quad stretches this morning as my legs felt tired. i contemplated on the impact of running every day for the first time for a while. i don’t usually think about it but this morning the idea of having a day or two off and then running refreshed crossed my mind. Only for a moment though. My legs feel the strongest they have felt for a long time. i also thought about putting in speed work in footwear next year and seeing how fast i can runa 10k. Couuld I beat my pb. It feels possible aqnd even to be contemplating it is amazing after spending so long as a broken down runner at the end of the road.
Sat 18th July 15
A really pleasant barefoot mile this morning. I stopped half way and raised my hands in a victory salute. It would feel weird if there was anyone else around. I can disguide it as stretching if need be! It works. I find myself smiling when I do it and my mood changes and I remember why I am out there.
I felt a niggle in my left arch and have just attempted to dig out a thorn. I think i have got it all. i think it has been in there a day or two.
Sun 19th July 15 – meant to be a 6 miler but just ran a jile before market.
Mon 20th July 15 – 6 miler. they have put chippings all the way up A666. Nightmare
Tues 21st July 15 – Quick barefoot mile. Water supply affected. everyone is boiling water today.
Wed 22nd July 15 – A barefoot 5 miler this morning. Deep squats were a challenge this morning. I am still protecting the top of the middle toe on my left foot. I tend to drag the skin off it when I look round for traffic or if I head left or right to avoid traffic. I now consciously curl my fingers upwards when i do either of those things. Just on left hand with palms down. I find that this helps me curl my toes at the same time. Seems to work and I am hoping that it one of those things that i end up doing without thinking about it. Planne dmy 17 miler for Sunday lst night. interesting route but will need to be up early to avoid traffic.
Thursday 23rd July 15
A lazy barefoot mile this morning. Stopped half way and listened to the birds. I need to find out what each of them is. Hand on a minute. Is that a good thing? Am I interested in nature or can I not even enjoy the birdsong without turning it into some sort of learning curve opportunity. Instead of listening and just relishing being out there, I was thinking how I could find out what each of the calls were. I am a lost cause. Ok.. Just checked. Not a blackbird amongst them.
Friday 24th July 15
Up very early because I needed to get into work before everyone else this morning. Did a no nonsense 5 miler barefoot. Still had time to stop half way but my mind was dragged into work things rather than just enjoying being out.
Sat 25th July 15
A barefoot mile this morning. My hip and groin are protesting a bit this week. Fine whilst running. I commented on Les Ashton’s post today. he had missed a couple of runs and was feeling guilty and trying to gain the miles back. I recognise this and try not to do it anymore. My running goes in cycles and I wonder if gazelles and wolves beat themselves up over a missed run if they have more pressing things going on.
Sun 26th July 15
A quick 18 miler barefoot before breakfast this morning. Nice way to start a lazy Sunday. OK…it was 17.75 miles but that doesn’t quite trip of the tongue as easliy. I am trying to be cool about it but…Whooooh!
Felt fine. The last mile and a bit was steep uphill and I wasn’t exactly motoring but I wasn’t struggling either. Every 10 minutes my watch beeped and I stopped and raised my hands in a victory salute and then bounced on the spot at about 180bpm before focussing on my form for as long as I could remember to. Every time I do the arms up business, I end up grinning and I try and remember that I am doing this out of choice. Nobody is making me do this. The whole thing shouldn’t be taken too seriously.
Having said that,I woke up with a dehydration headache yesterday and so had my watch beep every hour. When it went off I had a drink of water. I didn’t want to head out there this morning lacking fluid. Now that I am back I am doing the same thing. I am also doing some deep squats to stop my hip and groin seizing up.
It reminded me of a discussion I had with one or two barefooters a while back. They had just completed an ultra I had been reading about the various scales that brewers use to judge the colour of their beer. It can all get very technical and nowadays the big breweries use spectrometers to get things exact.
We reckon that we can devise our own scale devised from the number of miles you need to run before your urine is the colour of a your favourite brew. Bad luck to all those who favour a dark stout!
Mon 27th July 15
Yesterday’s run took it out of my legs much more than the 15 miler a fortnight ago. I woke up a couple of times during the night with the feeling like I need to run the lactic or stiffness out of them this morning. I forgot to mention that in the last mile yesterday, I got a sudden tug on my right calf. Very surface level and not something that i am worried about but it is there this morning. My soles felt OK yesterday. This morning, they feel a little tender on the outside edge, particularly on my left foot up toards my little toe. I have checked for blisgters but there are none. It was 37 barefoot miles for the week which is the most i have run in 7 days by quite a way so I guess I should expect some reaction.
A barefoot mile and my legs feel fine. No tiredness at all but my left foot is tender. Icaught a sharp one in the same spot a couple of times yesterday and that may be the cause. I am considering making the long marathon training run once every 3 weeks instead of 2 and adding a 10 miler or so in the middle somewhere. We will se how things go for the rest of July and then make a decision for August.
Tuesday 28th July 15
A barefoot 5 miler this morning. A bit later than usual because I am on holiday and I didn’t drag myself out of bed at an ungodly hour. I must admit though, I love running when everyone else in still asleep. It makes it feel like the whole neighbourhood is my own private training ground. It is hard having to share it with the people who actually live here. I feel like my feet are fine but I did find myself weaving around more than usual subconciously looking for good bits of tarmac to run on. My left calf was niggling before i set off but I didn’t feel it at any point. I did have a bit of discomfort for a few strides but it more in the structure of my lower leg than in the muscle. I gues that could be compensatory. I am finding myself plotting and planning next months runs. I will see how I feel in a couple off days time. One thing I have noticed is that I am running from my door. I cannot remember the last time that I drove somewhere to run.
Wed 29th July 15
A barefoot mile whilst brewing this morning. Nice to get up early and get the water boiling. Grain in mash tun and then out for a run. I enjoy brew days. Got a batch of the ‘Imp’ on the go. Feet feel pretty good this morning. had a weirs twinge in my right arch but it went as soon as it arrived.
Thurs 30th July 15
Just a gentle mile this morning after a day brewing yesterday and a dash to Liverpool to renew daughter’s passport. Left calf pinged a couple of times but soles feel robust. Just took it easy.
Fri 31st July 15
I just ran a mile today. I am taking my own advice and not trying to catch up miles if I miss them and I feel better for it. Altogether, July has been a good month. I have run further and done a longer run than before. Planning a month at a time seems to work OK. Tomorrow, I will work out what is good for August and take it from there.
Ran 108 barefoot in all with a 37 mile week at one point. My long run was 17.75 miles and things are going OK.
Reading Chris McDougall’s ‘Natural Born Heroes at the moment. There is hope for me yet.”