Wed 1st April 15
March fizzled out but April started with a 13 miler barefoot on road and rough man made trails. Just went out for a little 3 miler to check out how my hip was and couldn’t bring myself to stop.. I just kept adding bits. That run was in me and trying to get out. I haven’t felt like it for a few ays but there we go. i just relaxed and pitter-pattered along. I felt like i could keep going indefinitely at times. Sitting typing afterwards,my feet are on fire but I don’t mind, I had to get that run out and feel better for it.
Gentleman Walker: Where are your shoes?
Me: What shoes?
Gentleman Walker: Exactly. Where are your shoes?
Me: What shoes?
Gentleman Walker: Your shoes
Me: I don’t have any shoes.
Gentleman Walker: Where are your shoes?
Me: I don’t have any shoes.
(Gentleman Walker exits stage left shaking head. Me exits stage right sort of pitter pattering along smiling widely)
For me running is a cerebral activity. The chance to have such philosophical discussions is what gets me out of the front door in the morning.
Thurs 2nd April 15
Wow – I am a tenderfoot this morning after the unexpected 13 miles from yesterday. I set off on my mile gingerly but with a big smile on my face. A mile was enough. I did 2nd day of April squats and am surprised how easy I found it. I can feel the stretch. My hip woke me up during the night a couple of times last night. It causes me no issue when running and it wasn’t running that causeed it to go again. I think that it will improve over time.
Fri 3rd April 15
3.6 miles barefoot this morning which was a suprise after Wenesday’s run. I think that the fact that the road was very wet and full of puddles helped. After a short while, I was back in the groove and ticking along nicely. Decided not to do 5 and cut my normal route short. Feet OK but i do not want to push it too much.
Went over the Heswall on the Wirral last night to listen to Ben Le Vesconte. It is a couple of years since I have heard Ben and it is interesting to hear him again with a lot more barefoot miles on the clock. In a lot of my writing, i may come across as anti-coaching. Nothing could be further from the truth. I just find it difficult to remember abnd focus on what some coaches say when they are not there. I think that it is more to do with readiness. If you are ready to do what it takes. Plus, ben knows his stuff. i have been to coaching sessions where the coach is sputing a prty line and just doesn’t have the knowlege or background to treat people as individuals.
I am pretty sure that Ben could sort out my hip issue. I will look forward to him a running clinic up here sometime soon.
Saturday 4th April 15
The body is an amazing thing. My feet felt mashed yesterday but they were fine today and I really enjoyed the feeling of the warm floor in the sunshine. Just another mile today but i really enjoyed it. I just took my time and pitter-pattered around. I do have a blood blister on the ball of my left foot which must have come from standing on something well into a run because I don’t remember doing it at all.
Sun 5th April 15
Feet are feeling great other than a soft tissue injury on the ball of left foot from running on trails last week. Not affecting things too much. Nice to be up an out very early before heading off to Farmers Market at Staining today with Em. Been a while since we have done a market together and she seems so much older than this time last year. The whole thing will be a family affair with my Auntie and her Delphi Design Jewellelry making her market debut.
Just a barefoot mile this morning.
Mon 6th April 15
A barefoot mile in the dawn mist this morning beforte heading off to Hoghton Tower for the farmers’ market today. I have this tender spot on the ball of left foot which must be making me run slightly differenntly as I have some tightness running up the back on my hamstring and into my quad. Not mucle but the structure underneath. Doesn’t feel a problem and I should be back to normal soon. Felt that I had a lot of spring in my step today.
Tuesday 7th April 15
Glorious 6 mile barefoot run in the sunshine. The dry roads make such a difference and my feet felt good. I set off not realy fancying it and then after a mile found myself heading off on an unplanned route. If i didn’t have a busy day planned (My dad is playing bowls this afternoon and I am going to idle away the afternoon watching) I would still be out there. The months of winter running day by day have set up the warmer weather so well and I am looking forward to the summer more than I have for ages. I can feel the soft tissue injury in my left foot but it didn’t cause me a problem.
Wed 8th April 15
Today is brew day number 4 for our little nano-brewery and I have got into the habit of getting up early and running whilst the first mash is going on. Just a quick barefoot mile this morning. My left foot is a little tender but nothing much.
Thurs 9th April 15
Aggravated the ball of my left foot yesterday by spening the morning moving things ar ound and lifting stuff in very minimal shoes. 5 hours in and the soft tissue was very sore. Swapped to boots and it was better but I am suffering for it this morning. My ball of my left foot is very sore and I ran just a barefoot mile rather than my planned 5 this morning. By the end, it was enough. It will be interesting to see how how this develops over the coming week. I am learning not to cram in miles that I have missed. i need to live with it. That 13 last week was so much fun but it has left me with an issue. I have then made it worse. Ho hum!
Fri 10th April 15
A full day walking around Liverpool yesterday and my foot was sore. Right on the bony bit of the ball of my foot. My close of play, I was struggling to walk and had a good look. A black speck had appeared deep down and after much probing and peeling back of skin with tweezers a thorn popped out. it must have been in there about 10 days working its way back to the surface. I put on some spray plaster, which stung quite a bit as the antiseptic kicked in.
This morning, I experimented with a mile and it feels much better already. I had been worried that the streak was coming to an end and I was convinced that it was asoft tissue injury from banging arounf barefoot on rocky ground but there we have it. Learnt a bit more. Streak is intact but my mileage has dropped a bit this week whilst sorting this out.
I am beginning to think that after this year of barefooting, i will see how I go in a pair of minimal shoes every now and again. this barefoot spell was always planned to just be a phase. We will have to see how it goes.
I was lethargic this morning. Maybe too much to eat yesterday.
Sat 11th April 15
Woke up with a headache and got up later than expected. i set off thinking that I would just do a mile but then ended up doing 5 barefoot miles. I am a bit wheezy and lethargic at the moment. my left foot was OK. i can feela bit of pressure on the ball of the foot but nothing much. the way my gait has been affected has caused a problem deep up inside the groin hip area on the left side. It feels structural rather than muscle and runs up the back near the glutes. Hoping that sorting my foot out will sort this out too. Hope to get a session with Ben Le Vesconte sometime soon.
Weather back to cold and rainy. Ground was full of water and my feet took a while to warm up. Hands were cold. Ina ll my running running through the winter, I have nor worn gloves and my hands were as cold this morning as at any point.
Sun 12th April 15
Just a mile to close what has been a tpsty-turvy running week. Digging that thorn out of my foot has limited my miles and I am just glad to be back to almost normal and to have kept the runstreak going. The squats are going well. I am not sure if my left hip/groin tightness is due to a change in running form or the fact that I have spent so much time with my left fott pulled up under me whilst inspecting it. Whatever, it seems to going away. Hopefully back to normality, next week. Off to Rammy today to chat and sell beer all day.
Mon 13th April 15
5 barefoot miles in the fog this morning. I really enjoy running in the fog. I like being in my own bubble at the start of the day. After 3 miles, I was feeling it in my legs but i completed the planned 5 with no trouble. It is amazing that my ip is now fine again after going into crisis a couple of weeks ago. The squats were deep and good this morning and I am looking forward to reducing the height again next month. The temptation is to reduce the height now but the system seems to be working so I am going to stick with it.
Tues 14th April 15
A lively barefoot mile this morning. Felt good and it might be something to do with the way I ate yesterday. I ate what I fancies, ate slowly and stopped before I was full. Not rocket science but harder to do than I thought. I do seem to have some motivation. Everyone around me seems to be losing a few pounds at the moment and I suppose I had better not get left behind. My left foot was sore at the the end of the day but on closer inspection is infection free and was fine when I prodded and poked it around. It is going to take some time to heal. I am looking forward to taking Dan to the Harriers tonight and gettign stuck into the final draft of my assignment.
Wed 15th April 15
Another sensible day of eating yesterday and that means that this morning, I was full of life instead of full of food. I was spritely duirng the 5 barefoot miles this morning. I found myself imagining racing and shifting along much quicker than usual and enjoying being on the edge of what I could do. Looking forward to getting my assignment finished and sent off tonight and taking Dan training and watching him play football tonight. Really enjoyed it. Who knows, I might even sneak in watching the rest of Game of Thrones. Fell asleep with 20 mins to go in ep 1 Season 5 on Monday night. Going to have to catch up.
Thursday 16th April 15
Ran a little later this morning as I ended up reading Barefoot Running Magazine. Good to see my artilce about Jean and Hellerwork in there starting on page 38. I really enjoyed my visit to see Jean and I learned a lot. Re-reading it has made me think again about setting up little experiments with my body and seeing how I react. Good fun and worthwhile.
A quick barefoot mile and I am feeling very good out there running at the moment. Looking forward to sending off my assignment today and getting that boxed off. Planning a 9 miler for the weekend.
Friday 17th April 15
I stayed in bed and then did a mile a little later. I felt lethargic and clompy this morning. I just slowed down and went with it. Just the barefoot mile this morning. Looking forward to going a bit further in the morning.
Sat 18th April 15
I had it in my head that I was going to run a 10 miler this morning so was up early and it was beautiful at dawn. A privilage to be out in the West Pennines. My feet were a little more tender than I expected but I had no issues, i just had to slow down on a couple of sections more than normal. Felt it it my right hip. Just a whisper that never arrived and my left hamstring area after a couple of miles but then it went away. I felt like I had run a long way in the last couple of miles but then for the rest of the day things felt mormal. A good run.
Sun 19th April 15
A barefoot mile before heading of to the market at Hogthon Tower. My soles feel good but the structure of my feet feels tired and achy. I can see how folk get stress fractures from doing too much. I don’t think that I am there but if I attempted another long run today, I might be. I think that my feet are gradually getting stronger and that goes for the whole internal structure of my lower legs too. This barefoot year may be a way of gradually building it up before trying to add shoes or big distances. If I was running in shoe, I would be doing 15s to 20s at this stage but the barefooting has kept the long runs down.
Mon 20th April 15
A 5 miler barefoot this morning. The ground was damp and that makes a difference. My soles felt it sraight away but settled into a 4/10 on the barefoot burn scale for the entire run. My hip feels excellent at the moment. Good post from Jae Gruenke today. About not missing the vitals tep of looking at where you are at the moment before crashing on with change and trying to improve. She gives an interesting experiment. before changing technique out on the road, just analyse for a moment how you are running before the change and you improvement will be better. Worth trying on tomorrows run.
Tues 21st April 15
A barefoot mile and I concentrated on my actual form this morning before attempting to improve it. I found that I was holding tension through my core and right up to my shoulders for some reason. I then had a few goes at releasing that tension and being lighter on my feet. i can see how this works. i then got a niggle in my right calf and I had a good look at my form before loosening the tension in my legs off and the niggle went away. Thanks Jae.
Wed 22nd April 15
6 amazing barefoot miles between 6 and 7am this morning. i headed out into the West Pennine countryside. It makes me want to set out even earlier and go further. I am feeling lighter and more like my old running self.
Thurs 23rd April 15
A barefoot mile at just gone 6am this morning. The sun was just rising over the hill and it was glorious. Met a runner coming the other way and we were both just enjoying out and alive in the sunshine. I am thinking about getting up early and going for a long one tomorrow.
Fri 24th April 15
Overslept this morning. Must have needed it. Just a quick barefoot mile. Found myself plotting an increase in miles. No events coming up it would just be because I like being out there running.
Sat 25th April 15
Soles felt robust and strong this morning and I enjoyed feeling the textures of the ground under my feet. It is a sign when you are absent mindedly wandering off the smooth tarmac on to a bit of rough stuff just so that you can enjoy the change in texture. A lazy, slow barefoot mile before heading off to hear Gert Biesta speaking at MMU today. Looking forward to MMU today but not as much as going to see Avengers Age of Ultron tonight. My son has been talking about it for months.
Sun 26th April 15
A glorious 13 miles barefoot this morning in the spring sunshine. Ended up going off road for the last few miles and going slow. 13 miles took 2hrs 15 mins and I didn’t want to stop. The miles are clocking up. I don’t get injured barefooting but I do get wounded. I scraped the skin off the same toe again and then a mile or two later smacked it hard on a rock. I hit it up the upstroke and by the time it landed again the wolrd had gone inot slow motion and I had panicked and then assessed it. It was a hefty blow but no lasting damage done. Maked for a 28 mile week which I think is the most so far. I just ticked along nicely. I can’t believe it. I thought those Sunday morning long runs were a thing of the past but here I am with no ill effects.
Mon 27th April 15
A barefoot mile and I must admit that my toe was a bit sore this morning. That 100 mile for the month of April is sitting there as a challenge. 11 miles in the next 3 days will get me there. Thinking about goal setting and when you take the research to do with children and motivation in schools we shouldn’t really be praising achievement as much as the process that gets them there. We know this but it is so hard to do. I am going to try and set myself process goals that will help towards my overall aims of being fit and healthy into my old age rather than running a 3hour marathon or 100 miles across them onth of April (Oh blast – slipped up already, this is so trick!).
It is cold and bright in the mornings. Lots of ice about.
Tuesday 28th April 15
5 barefoot miles under a stormy sky and hailstone. Excellent! Feet were chilly and I taped up my cut toe. I only caught it once about half way round and would have scraped it in the exact same spot. Usually the skin is robust enough but this would just keep opening the cut up so tape seemed like a good option. It did mean that I avoided puddles rather tahn ran through them though which was a shame.
I was up at 5.10am in order to fit this run in and I didn’t set my alarm, I just woke up ready to go which shows that I am up for this. I have 2 more April days and 6 miles to go to make it 100 miles across the month. The 1000 miles across the year seems to be getting me out of the hoouse and on the road for runs that I otherwise wouldn’t do. It is breaking it down into a process to get there that seems to work.
Wed 29th April 15
A barefoot mile this morning in wet conditions. Toe sore and needed a good clean up and taping up again. My hip is fine and the sqats were OK. Looking forward to making them more challenging in the month of May. Just kicking a ball means putting pressure in my hip at a funny angle and threatens to create a problem. Fine when running.
Tomorrow”s run should take me to 100 miles for April and 331 for the first third of the year. If you divide by number of days so far (120) and multiply by 365 you get 1006.7 miles for the year. just goit to keep doing what I’m doing and I am on track to get there.
Thursday 30th April 15
Whooooh!!!—April draws to a close with a barefoot 5 miler in the early morning after a huge thunderstorm during the night. 100 barefoot miles across the month which is the first time I have run 100 miles in a month for almost 9 years. Even then, I knew that I was on the edge and on borrowed time. Now I just feel refreshed and strong. Who would have thought that the answer was taking off my shoes. That is the first 3rd of the year done and I am on track to run every day and manage just over 1000 barefoot miles across 2015. I have not run in shoes for well over 6 months and have no plans to run in any sort of footwear this year. My plan is to try wiith footwear again on January 1st 2016 and see how it goes. I will continue to log each run and you can find it here. http://www.barefootbeginner.com/category/barefoot365/