Thur Jan 1st 15
A barefoot mile to start of the year. My right heel seems fine after the glass of yesterday. My breathing was shallow and when i checked my peak flow reading it was down to 400 which is low for me. (650 usually). I have been having allergic reactions to things but can’r pinpoint what is causing the problem. My eyed in particular are watery and itchy and the skin around my eyes has become chapped. I have been sneezing and my throat and roof of my mouth has been itchy.
I have been thinking a lot about the power and danger of new year’s resolutions. Toying with the idea of 1000 miles in the year. Average 84 per month. Also to write one post a week for both Barefoot Beginner and Crafty-Ales. Publish on Tuesdays. it is all about forming habits.
Fri 2nd Jan 15
5.4 miles barefoot this morning. Mostly off road on rough man made trails. really enjoyed it. Worst surface is slippy grass and mud. I found myself running on gravel instead just to get some grip. I used petroleum jelly on my soles before setting off this morning because I think that the rocksalt locally is drying out and cracking my feet. I have ordered some Mushers Secret but thought PJ would suffice until it arrives.
I need to run off road more often. I am opening up more options and routes. The far side of the Jumbles was pleasant to run on. Good fun.
Sat 3rd Jan 15
1.2 miles barefoot around the walls of York. Good fun and lovely flag stones to run on. Off to railway Museum and bit of shopping round the Shambles today.
Sun 4th Jan15
6.7 miles barefoot this morning. Set off whilst it was still dark and then fancied getting off the road and onto the trail to escape all the fresh rocksalt that was spread last night. My Mushers Secret has arrived but I used PJ again today. Put some on my face to prevent chapping. I have been struggling with that since a market a couple of weeks ago. The worst surface this morning was easily the half mile or so across frozen fields. My feet got very cold and the surface was sharp and uneven. Gravel was better. Feel fine after it. I think this may be the furthest I have barefoot run in a week. About 22 miles.
Mon 5th Jan 15
A barefoot mile this morning and to be honest the outsides of my soles feel a bit battered. It is the outside edge of my midsole that feels tender. A little red and I think the rocksalt has played havoc. I am definitely putting friction through that part of each foot.
It was my first morning using Mushers Secret. It was more solid in the pot than I thought but when I started to apply it, it went on very easily. I covered each sole and heel liberally. I did this by standing next to a chair and putting the top of my foot down on the seat so that my sole was facing upwards. I slid a sock on afterwards to prevent treading it through the house. Took socks off at front door and ran. I can tell when I have something on my sole like this as they feel more robust but the outside of each foot was tender. I took my time. The morning was so dark and foggy that my headtorch just fogged up my vision. I used it held in one hand and then on the return just switched it off and ran in the complete blackness for quarter of a mile. I felt the way with my feet. it was good fun.
I am now about to wash the Mushers off, I suppose. With a dog, you might wipe with a cloth but I don’t feel right doing that. It will be a thorough clean of my feet as usual and then reapply before I go to work.
Tues 6th Jan 15
5 barefoot miles at 6am this morning. My soles are feeling a bit worn so I set off thinking that I would run about 2-3 miles but then once I am out, I find it hard to cut a run short even if it is the sensible thing to do. Maybe I can shock by body into a reaction and it will work out what I am doing and make my soles more robust…or it will just give up. Interesting experiment. Don’t want to always live in life’s sensible lane.
I used the Mushers Secret before setting off. I stood by the front door and used my left hand to apply to my right sole. I then put this foot outside and stood on it whilst repeated with other hand and foot. Don’t want to get it on the floor inside. It drizzled the 50 mins or so I was out and when I got back, I could see my waxy footprints leading from the front door.
I found myself avoiding puddles rather than running through them to stop it washing off. My soles were much more dirty when I got back. The wax seemed to have concentrated in a couple of stripes on my sole and collected the dirt. It should wash off pretty easy though. I don’t know how useful it is. Time will tell.
I am conscious that in pushing my soles harder than they wanted to go, I have overidden my body’s defence mechanism and I might pick up an niggle somewhere else, probably in my lower leg or foot. I will keep an eye out for that. I am gone further than sensible but I am not stupid.
Wed 7th Jan 15
A barefoot mile this morning. I applied the Mushers Secret more thinly this morning as it picked up loads of dirt and was thick even after 5 miles yesterday. I applied to the outside of my midsoles and heels slightly more than other areas. the salt spreaders had been out in force overnight but the freeze hadn’t happened. Salt all over the roads. I stuck to pavement and then came to the traffic free unlit section of road that I run most mornings. I had forgotten my headtorch so ran it in the dark. I felt my way. I can see this becoming slightly addictive. Running in the dark is thrilling. I do know this section of road very well. My soles were more tender than I expected when I set off and I was glad to be just doing a mile this morning.
I am interested to see if anyone else uses something to protect their soles from rocksalt or other stuff so have just started a thread in our forum on the subject. have a look. http://www.barefootbeginner.com/forums/topic/rocksalt-and-mushers-secret/
Thurs 8th Jan 15
5 miles barefoot this morning. I woke up early after making myself go to bed early last night. I am getting towards the end of Breaking Bad and wanted to watch the next episode but I could also tell I needed some sleep. I had no doubt that I would do the 5 miles this morning. My soles felt more robust. maybe it is the Mushers or maybe it is just that I am going into a good phase. It doesn’t mean that I don’t feel it when I step on something though. I do. My ability to lift my foot and prevent damage is improving though. Now I have said it, I am bound to tread on something tomorrow!
I enjoy the routine and imagine that I am someone who walks to work each day. This is just my version.
After listening to Ady Benn on the Trail Running podcast last night, I got to thinking about speed. I seem to be running my 5 milers at about 9.5 – 10 min mile pace. I am running well within myself and never get to breathing heavily. It is just -tick,tick, tick sustainable running. I am happy with that at the moment. If I can build up a really solid base of injury free running for a long period then I know that I will start to look at speed. I need to get this phase built up though. I want to be running into my 80s. I don’t want to join the ‘graveyard’ of broken runners (Total Fitness) by pushing things too hard.
By the end of my run, I was splashing through puddles, enjoying myself. the wax from the Mushers has formed a dirty stripe on the edges of both the inside and outside of my sole. Interesting. Bending down to put it on, I am shocked by the lack of flexibility that I have in my right hip in particular.
Fri 9th Jan 15
A quick barefoot mile. No new rocksalt and a lot of heavy rain so I ran without applying the Mushers Secret this morning. I ran half of the mile in total darkness and didn’t switch my headtorch on. I knew that it would be slightly addictive. Enjoyed it. My soles are OK. A little tender on the outside of my midsoles on both feet but I ended up running quickly this morning.
I am just putting together the next section of our guide and thinking about the transition from conventional running shoes to minimal. The prevailing wisdom and discourse at the moment it to go from conventional shoes to minimal with coaching to support the change in technique that might be needed.
I can see how that works and we have runners in our group who have done it successfully. I think that my mindset is all wrong and I struggle with the kind of diligence needed. I don’t think that I am the only one. My guide is for people like me. We slip back into our old way of doing things when we are given the chance. We know what to do but doing it is something else.
An honest admission but I think that there are a large proportion of runners out there like that. It is like when we get physio programmes and think that in itself will sort things out. We don’t do them. We think that just speaking to the physio is enough.
The guide advocates a period of barefoot running. Barefooting doesn’t allow us to slip back into our old way of doing things. It makes us relearn things from the ground up.
I would love to hear your thoughts.
Sat 10th Jan 15
Just a barefoot mile tonoight as it was going dark. 3C and a bitter wind. My feet felt cold at no point though and the ground was dry. Today was the first run in this runstreak where it felt like a chore and not a pleasure. I think that it is because I left it until the evening and didn’t run this morning. I love my morning runs and the routine it gives me.
I need to check how many days I have now run. I think that it is 110 on the trot which I think might be close to the most I have managed. i got close to that last year but gave up pretty soon after 100. No danger of that this time.
Sun 11th Jan 15
6 barefoot miles this morning whilst our West Coast IPA was in the mash tun. I also brew beer and have been recently licensed to produce and sell commercially. Second brew day and it went much more smoothly than our first. Nice to get a run in in the middle of it all and be greeted with a bacon sandwich made by my son when i got back. My feet feel fine but I was a bit heavy in my stride today.I found it hard to shake off. I think I was feeling pressure to get back and was pushing quite hard. My left calf developed a little hot spot but it didn’t stop me running. Overall a positive day. 7 days run and 20 miles barefoot into the bank for the week.
Mon 12th Jan 15
Couldn’t get warm last night and was aching all over. For about 3 months now, we have had children and staff sick and I have managed to avoid everything. It has finally got me. Also running 6 miles and then the physical work of brewing all day yesterday was a challenge. It was a bit overwhelming to be honest and I am a bit on the edge. I fell like I may have bitten off more than I can chew. I was up 45 mins later than usual but still got my barefoot mile in. I am not even out of breath and didn’t need my inhaler. My nose is running and eyes watering. I haven’t put Mushers on my feet for a few days but did put a very small amount on my cheeks. They have been getting chapped. It works well but you can only use a tiny amount because it just doesn’t come off.
I have been watching Breaking Bad. 2 more episodes and then I get my life back. It is compelling stuff. To be honest though. It is 7am and all I can think about is having an early night tonight.
Tues 13th Jan 15
2 miles barefoot this morning. I have a head cold and a very sore throat. I had a bit of a disturbed night sleeping wise but was up as normal to run a 5 miler. I have always used the adage that I am fine to run with a cold as long as the symptoms are from the neck up and my chest is pretty clear. Once I stop coughing up green stuff, I tend to back off. Did a tiny bit of that before I set off but my chest felt pretty clear.
It was my soles that limited my run this morning. I set off thinking that I would run a mile and see how I felt. If I was OK, I would carry on with options to run 3,4 or 5 miles by cutting short my usual route. After a mile, my soles were screaming and I turned round and ran home. I feel like I have listened to my feet and made the sensible decision. We have often chatted in our group about how our soles protect us and become more sensitive when we are ill to limit our miles.
It might all be in my head but it felt like that this morning. Planning just a mile tomorrow and we will take it from there.
Wed 14th Jan 15
-2C this morning and I was running on frozen hail. Ouch! It was a bit slippy and my steps were very small at times. I tried not to grip on with my toes as this tightens things up in my groin which I have a bit of a problem with at the moment. I even did a few clam type exercises yesterday which shows that it has been affecting me. Stems from weak glutes, I think.
My left calf had a tight spot when i woke up. Not much but there. It first came on a few days ago. Not sure why it should suddenly reappear as I woke up. It is when I stand up with feet flat on the floor and lift my toes towards the ceiling. I used the roller on my arches for the first time in a while and it was good to get into some tightness. it hardly took any pressure at all to get into a spot in my calf. Towards the top outside area. i will do it again tonight but gently. I didn’t feel it all in my barefoot mile this morning.
My plan for tomorrow is probably a 2-3 miler rather than the usual 5. i am still full of a cold.
Thur 15th Jan 15
5 barefoot miles this morning under the sort of moon you see in picture books. A well defined crescent with a nose and smiling mouth. It may even have a had a nightcap on, my eyes are always a bit blurry first thing.
I had no plan to run 5 this morning. In fact, I set off thinking that 2 miles would be a bit far but I just ended up keeping going and pitter-pattering along. I put a thin layer of Mushers on nut I could still feel the rocksalt burn in places where the residents had been out on steep corners and spread salt yesterday.
I could feel that dull ache in my left calf immediately and then after a mile, it vanished. On 2.5 miles, i turned a sharp left corner and it twanged. Then it died down. At 3.5 miles, I turned another sharp left and it twanged again and stayed with me for half a mile. At 4.5 miles, it started to make its presence felt.
It is a difficult thing, this runstreaking. It isn’t stopping me running but it is there. Do I not run? That might be the sensible thing to do but for how long? Not an option for me at the moment. I will see how it goes. Do I roller it? or do I leave it alone?
All things to learn and experiment with.
Fri 16th Jan 15
My left calf is fine although my right one seems to have gone out in sympathy. It feels superficial but I was a little worried before I set out. Whilst running this morning, it was fine and I can now no longer feel it at all.
A barefoot mile this morning and my feet felt cold. I kept waiting for them to warm up and my right one did a bit but my left one stayed cold all the way. No frozen puddles but it felt cold. The outsides of both midsoles felt a touch tender after yesterday’s 5 miler.
Sat 17th Jan 15
I was planning a long one this morning but the snow came in and I am not experienced enough in it to be gung ho just yet. It was the first time this year that i have had the chance to run in freshly fallen snow that is soft. It was good fun and my feet didn’t feel too cold until I walked back across my garden and my feet sunk in completely. I wish that I had gone out much earlier when no-one was about. prefer it that way. as it was, I ended up just doing a barefoot mile. No calf problems in either leg.
Sun 18th Jan 15
Got to say, it was pretty unpleasant this morning. Enjoyed yesterday running in the snow. Very cold and icy this morning and that made it unpleasant underfoot. My feet felt much more cold although towards the end, they were not too bad. Now 10 mins back inside and the pain is quite something in the toes on my left foot. I know that it will go away but for the moment it is quite something. Can’t get the car up the road so will have to give Hogthon Tower Framers’ Market a miss today.
Mon 19th Jan 15
It was -3C this morning and the roads were very icy. i can handle the cold but it is unpleasant and sharp underfoot so I decided to wait until this evening. It was 0C and I found a mile of road that was clear of ice and ran that. It was good to be out. My stomach is aching and I think that I have a bug of some sort. maybe the cold will kill it off. I think that I might be able to get out for a couple of miles in the morning. Don’t want to slip into just a mile a day. pavements are too icy but the main roads are OK. Would just need to be out very early to avoid traffic.
Tues 20th Jan 15
Still cold and icy so I just ran a mile this morning. Unpleasant to run on what was slush last night and now is frozen with sharp ridges. The clear bits of the road are easier but have been salted. Did ballet impressions a couple of times where i didn’t see black ice in the dark. Glad to keep the streak going and looking forward to spring.
Wed 21st Jan 15
-1C this morning with a new dusting of snow which meant that I slid all over the place getting out of the drive onto the road this morning. Not the -5C of yesterday morning but the new snow made my feet feel cold initially. I had a choice. Stay on the clear road or head onto the frwsh snow for half a mile. I stayed on the road because I didn’t know if the dark section had mostly a layer of ice under the snow and I didn’t want to end up all over place again. A barefoot mile.
Thur 22nd Jan 15
Roll on spring. A mile barefoot this morning and I stuck to the roads. The pavements are too tricky. Slippy, icy and hard on the feet. I did end up on the pavement a couple of times to avoid traffic and my soles felt on fire. tehn back on the road dodging the piles of rocksalt and they were fine. Right groin very tight during the night. I think i took the tiniest steps, I have ever run with this morning.
Fri 23rd Jan 15
A barefoot mile this morning. The air felt very cold and my son has pinched my running hat from near the door so it was a chilly start. The road was smooth for the first time in a week and nice to run on. Went off hard because it felt so cold and enjoyed it. Breezed up the steep hill and then pretty quick down the other side. Then the road became rough and I slowed down. My feet feel each stone when the temp is below zero and it was steady as she goes.Dreaming of fresh spring days and long runs.
Sat 24th Jan 15
A quick barefoot mile this morning before heading off to Glasgow to watch the athletics. Not a bit flashy meeting this and that is how we like it. A GB athlete in every race to cheer on. My stomach has not been right for ages and I didn’t have a cup of tea this morning because I couldn’t face it. I am eating porridge as I type and that is OK but something is not quite right. Lots of poorly people at work. Slightly breathless too. I think I feel a detox is needed. Not something I have ever done but feels like I need it. Itchy too. My chest and stomach have a slight rash. Must be a virus of some sort.
Sun 25th Jan 15
A barefoot mile from the premier Inn in Carlisle on the way back from yesterday’s athletics. First run without snow for a week and it was good. A boke with a big dog stopped me and asked why i had no shoes and then started to tell me i should run on the beach. I pointed out that his dos wasn’t wearing any shoes and he said ‘Yeh but she isn’t wearing any knickers either.’
I had no answer to that, laughed and carried on.
Mon 26th Jan 15
5 barefoot miles this morning and it feels good to be back to a bit of normailty after the snow. Running in the dark on a dreary morning feels like the norm. I love it when I am moving along and I almost feel still. It is like i am on a conveyer belt. my head is still and my breathing feels normal and unstrained. It is like I am detached from the bottom half of my body which is moving me along. I feel like I can keep going indefinitely.
Then I step on a rock and the magic is broken but I love it.
When i get in, I struggle to bend down and easily put my socks on. I am so inflexible around the hips and lower back. I need February to be a month where i address that in some way. To work with me, I need to do something simple and easy to understand. If it is too technical, i start to wondwer if i am doing it right and drop out of it. It needs to be every day and simple so that it becomes a habit.
My groin and hip feel tight on the right hand side.
Tues 27th Jan 15
Hip and groin made it difficult to sleep last night. I think that I lack stability in my right hip and I suspect my glutes are the issue. Then everything else works harder than they should to keep things stable and then tighten up in protest. Don’t blame them! It is pre barefooting issue that has returned. i first got it after an 11 miler in trail gloves a couple of years ago. Everything felt like it was giving way in the folowing weeks and I ended up at a physio with some exercises.
I am determined to do them again consistently during Feb and make Feb a Flexible February. I want to be 45 and flexible.
Yesterday, I also swapped my lunchtime piece of cake for an orange. I think that I need to lose weight and things will also be easier.
A barefoot mile in the rain this morning. Nice when the road is very wet. Feet feeling robust but a bit of tightness in my right achilles.
Wed 28th Jan 15
5 barefoot miles this morning in the dark and the drizzle. Love it. It is like having my own personal quiet space to run in. The morning closes in on me and i am completely alone and it gives me quality time to tick along and think.
Yesterday a colleague said how calm I am at work when everything is crazy and pressured. i out that down to running. I am able to cope with things much better when my running is consistent.
Also thought about the taboo of bowel movements and wondered how everybody else deals with it. i knew that i was going to get caught and sure enough my bowels started to gripe after a couple of miles and it takes the pleasure out of it and I am sure that it affects my form. I am pretty good at timing things but some morning I am just out of sync and it is a problem.
A regular route helps. I was tired this morning but determined to get out by 6am on the dot which leaves me not having to think about my run too much. I can do my regular 5 miler on autopilot and without the need to hurry or watch the clock. I haven’t taken a watch with me for as long as I can remember.
Although on auto pilot, i have a set of steps half way through my run where I force myself to stop and spend a few moments enjoying the morning. I heard owls hooting this morning and looked down at the street lights and found pleasure in being out when many people are still in bed.
I want to be flexible and this morning I struggles to bend down and put my shorts on. It was the lower sides of my back and torso that just protest when I bend down. I need to find a way to work on my flexibility during February. I have cut out sugar and sweet stuff and am substituting fruit and feel better for it.
Thurs 29th Jan 15
The snow arrived again and I just did a barefoot mile because I was pushed for time. Just a thin layer that was nice to run on. No problems with the cold. Good to be out in it. Pushed for time because I couldn’t find my car keys. 45 mins into the search, found them under the desk where I am sitting now. Must have got knocked off and kicked under last night. Stress levels were high but a run in driving snow sorted that out.
Fri 30th Jan 15
Slid barefoot down the road in ankle deep snow this morning. Out of control for a little bit but managed to stay on my feet. The windchill on the half mile out made it feel the coldest morning yet and I didn’t enjoy it. I found that running on the ice was warmer than in the freshly fallen snow. The run back was OK but now my feet are warming back up and the toes on my right foot are screaming out. The pain is quite something and I am reminded how imprtant it is the respect the cold. i have been out for 10 minutes or so and am now sitting in pain. Ouch.
Did exercises this morning. I then tried to just kneel down and realised that i find that a challenge and my quads are so tight. I have not been able to sit cross legged on the ground for years and i attempted that. It is a simple but challneging goal. to be able to sit up straight crossed legged on the ground for an extended period without falling over backwards
Sat 31st Jan 15
The last day of December saw me with glass in my heel and the last day of January sees me with snow induced blisters on the second toe of each foot. I new that yesterday’s run felt cold and my feet took a long time to warm back up. It has left two good sized blisters on the underside of the toes. The whole pad of the toe on my left foot and the pad and going inside on the right foot. Tender all yesterday and then when i went to bed and inspected properly, I could see them quite clearly.
they were still there this morning but I put a layer of mushers on each toe and set off. It was fine. the roads were mostly clear of snow and ice except for the odd patch hee and there. Lots of salt around but I am going to wash that off now. Just a mile to keep the streak going.
It would have been easy to not run today and let the blisters go down but the whole point of this challenge is to see if I can run everyday for a year. Turns out that this morning was fine. I thought about all those people on multi day events who set off with blisters from the day before. Granted, most of them are not barefoot but common sense also would be for them stop and they carry on and get there.
January: 31 Runs – 67 miles – Longest run 6.7 miles.
This is 1 mile further than my furthest ever barefoot mile total for a month which was November 14. I am pleased because things were cut short by the amount of snow and ice but I managed to keep the runstreak going.