Sat 1st Aug 15
A 6 miler this morning to start off August. I tried to go over the really rough parts of the road because I drove around the Chester Marathon route the other day and the surface is going to be unrelenting. No respite even for a mile at any point. We will see how we go!
I am planning my long runs now for August and think that I will get two in but firther apart than before. I am looking at a 20 and either another 20 or even a 22 miler. 2 annd half weeks apart. I enjoy the long runs.
Sun 2nd Aug 15
A barefoot mile. Soles don’t feel tender exactly. I have a couple of little cuts that are just surface level in mmy left arch that need keeping an eye on. I think they happened when I aimed for the rough road intentionally. I need to keep an eye on that too. Getting ready for this marathon is a balance between getting enough time on my feet and not putting too much stress on my soles. i am hoping that when I taper (yes I did just use that word) my soles will recover and become robust enough to manage the marathon.
Mon 3rd Aug 15
Felt fine but those little cuts are niggling. A barefoot 5 miler. I think that I am better getting out early and running than workking first and then getting round to it. Groin tight at night.
Tuesday 4th Aug 15
A barefoot mile this morning after getting up at 6am to work on next EdD assignment. I enjoy it when I can get a bit of headspace to get into it.
It is now 9 days since my last long run (18 iles or so) and I am still feeling the effects. My soles have been a bit tender and my left calf is still knotty. I have rolled it out and it is tender and I have rolled my arches before running. It isn’t in a spot that is sore when running. It happened in the space of one stride length at about mile 17 when I was going up a steep section and is surface level but still there. It is playing on my mind in a way that is not the norm for me anymore. I used to run with fear of injury as a constant companion but no longer do. I think that the surface for the Chester marathon route is at the bottom of my anxiety. I am doubting whether the 26 miles on such broken roads is possible for me and it has been niggling away at the back of my mind.
The truth is that i have really enjoyed the long training runs and the marathon itself is incidental. If I can’t do it then so be it. I found myself measuring some alternatives like running to Blackpool Tower (32 miles) that i could do instead or even at some point after. I need to let go of the the amount of importance I have attached to this marathon. If it happens then great but if it doesn’t then no problem. The world will still turn and I will still be running.
Wed 5th Aug
11.3 barefoot miles this morning just to see how I would go. I wanted to see how my left calf was after tweaking it on a long run 10 days ago. It is still there and still surface level. I just observed it during the run and focussed on relaxing when my form dipped. It was fine althoug I can feel myself protecting it and getting aches in unusual places. I ran on some very rough surfaces and just slowed down whilst getting over it. Curving my fingers up when looking behind me is becoming a habit and means that my toes follow and don’t scrape on the floor.
Thursday 6th Aug 15
A gentle barefoot mile. Feet fine after yesterday.
Friday 7th Aug 15
A 5 miler early thhis morning. Bumped into my dad for a chat. Off on a Bushcraft weekend today with my son. Should be fun. Worried about how to keep the streak going whilst I am there.
Sat 8th Aug 15
Had great time sleeping out in the forest last night. I had a quick chat with the guys runnning the course and they were all really interested in barefooting. Got into a chat about Born to Run. I slipped away and ran a forest track for what was well over a mile. Over some very spiky ground. Got something stuck in underside of right big toe. It was a hot spot for rest of day. i slipped away again and did some first aid on myself. Whilst everyone else was carving spoons, I was carving my way towards something stuck deep in there. Took a fair bit of perseverence to get it out but got there in the end. Then my toe just felt likeI had been poking around in it with something sharp. I had more antiseptic things with me than I usually have at home! It was fine after that.
Sun 9th Aug 15
The best bits of the weekend were sitting in down time with our back against a tree whiitling bits of wood or just sitting and doing nothing at all. Nice to have some very quiet time together. Ran a barefoot mile when I got home. I enjoy new surfaces when barefooting but forest trails are the ones that I find most challeging. they disrupt things because I end up with scratches and things on the underside of my foot that can become worse. For this run streak, I am going to keep them to a minimum.
Mon 10th Aug 15
A pleasant barefoot mile in the drizzle this morning. I quite enjoy running in fine rain. Feet are fine. Pulling my foot underneath myself to get object out of my big toe on Saturday was a challenge. I could still feel it in my hip this morning.
Tues 11th Aug 15
A topsy turvy night which meant that I was up later than usual and just ran a mile barefoot. My feet feel great and I set off very quickly. A little girl was fascinated by my lack of shoes. It was completely alien to her.
The bushcraft weekend was thought provoking. I have no desire to sleep on a forest floor again but it did show that we can if we need to. Connecting meat with the anilmals they come from annd preparing them was also a good thing to do. The best thing though was just slowing down. It took a while but eventually life became very slow and it was great. I shouldn’t have to drive 2 hours and sit in a forest to do that though. I need to work out how to do that in a better way.
Wed 12th Aug 15
A barefoot mile after a very heavy night out in Manchester. It was nice to be in the fresh air.
22.3 barefoot miles this morning. Set off at 6am. Glorious weather. In the background, you can just make out Round Loaf which is an ancient burial mound and the landscape that supposedly propmpted Tolkein’s ‘Fog on the Barrow Downs’. One of my favourite bits and always left out of Lord of the Rings. I was up a Stonyhurst recently which is where Tolkein wrote some of LOTR whilst visiting his son. The West Pennines are such a beautful place.
Feet tender afterwards!
Friday 14th Aug 15
Slept OK which is what I worry about after such a long run. I had a couple of times last night where nausea swept over me but it didn’t last long. Managed full squats this morning and a gentle mile without any difficulty. i am now stiffening up a bit.
Sat 15th Aug 15
Planned a 5 miler this morning bbut all the power went off overnight and the alarm didn’t sound so it was just a gentle barefoot mile. Felt very lethargic for the first half mile but then warmed into it. Feet feel fine. left calf, which was fine all the way round thhe long run, was niggling. It pinged whilst I was driving last night. Working the clutch. I Altered the angle of my foot and it went away.
Did a lot of Maffetone reading yesterday. Fascinating. I definitely have the symptoms associated with carb intolerance. I am more concerned about being addicted to sugar than anything. I am pretty sure that I am and that it is the reason that I carry too much weight. Once the summer hols are over, I will do the 14 day experiment to see how I feel. Might help with this mild asthma and hay fever too.
Sun 16th Aug 15
A barefoot 5 miles this morning very early before heading off to sell our beer at Hoghton Tower Farmers’ market. Lovely day. I slept for 3 hrs yesterday afternoon and had an early night last night. Legs feeling it. Right groin is main area of tightness. Nothing to stop me running but a bit sore. The run this morning was steady. I set off slow and worked my way into it. Now trying to plan miles this week. I think that i will go with the flow and probably do a 10 miler on about Thursday.
Mon 17th Aug 15
A gentle barefoot mile this morning whilst contemplating how to fit in some longer runs for the rest of this month. At the mileage I am doing at the moment, I could well have reached my 1000 mile target by the 23rd October. This is when I started my runstreak least year and would mean a 1000 miles across a year whilst running every day. That is way beyond what i thought I could manage and would change things a bit. I may well them try and introduce some footwear at intervals to see how I cope. A bit like Maffetone’s experiment to see if you are carb intolerant by laying off them for a week and then adding them in gradually as a test. I will have laid of shoes for a year and then will experiment to see if I am footwear intolerant. It will be interesting.
Tues 18th Aug 15
I have some top of foot pain this morning and it altered my form as I did a barefoot 5 miler. After the long run last week, this part of my foot and ankle ached. I thought it was more to do with ankle flexibility and yesterday did some stretches to ease that off. I did put a lot of pressure on it on a cold, hard floor but to be honest I have had this now for a few days. It comes and goes and is most troubling on shallow downhills. I am thinking about stress fractures. I have no sharp pian but it is uncomfortable. My owen advice would be to lay off or at least drop my miles right back but with a marathon in 6 weeks, I am finding that difficult. I am hoping that it is just a hangover from doing too much last week and that it will gradually ease off over the coming week. We will see.
Wed 19th Aug 15
I got some good advice from members of our group on facebook last night. I can hop around on it which makes me think that no stress fracture. It feels tendony and a simple case of overuse. As w ith an achilles tendon issue, keeping completely still can cause an issue whereas pulling back the miles a lot but not completely seems like a good way to go. I ran a gente barefoot mile this mornign and it protested a bit at the start and eased slightly. Not as much as I hoped though. i will keep at this barefoot mile a day level and see how we are in afew days.
Thursday 20th Aug 15
Foot sore when I press in to it in a certain spot between bones. Feels tendony and not as serious as yesterday. I am going to run a gentle week and then see where I am upto. I am running with fear as a companion for the first time in a long time and I don’t like it. I think that it is linked to the marathon. If I let go and realise that there are lots of other races I coulld do at a later date then the feeling goes away. Seems like a no brainer…so why does it feel so difficult? A barefoot mile this morning.
Friday 21st Aug-Tues 25th Aug 15
Been away to Center Parc and been pretty active. Lots of cycling and swimming and I have run short distances each day of just over a mile. That has given me a week low mileage and my foot is still tender. I think that it is tendon because I have been attempting to protect my toe from scraping. I have been curling the toes on my left foot upwards when I run a la Ken Bob’s advice. I need to go back and have a look because he does mention something about being careful and pain. Marathon is looking unlikely. I am going to retuern to a pretty normal week and keep my toes flat where possible. We will see what happens.
Wed 26th Aug 15
5 barefoot miles this morning and I am feeling good. I have had a week of backing off and yesterday my left foot suddenly felt much better. I could hop around on it in a way that couldn’t do very easily a week ago. I had a run bursting out of me and really wanted to get out and stretch out a bit. I feel much better for it.
My running this year has been a revelation and I eventually came to the conclusion that if I was in pain, it must have been the way that I was running that caused it. What was I doing differently.
I had put it down to running over 20 miles and jjust overdoing it. That makes sense but why would it hurt on the top of my foot ratheer than somehwere else. I came to the conclusion that I was on the way to a stress fracture. I backed off and then came to the conclusion that it was a tendon issue. My long run had overworked the tendons that I use to point my toes upwards. How come? It seems obvious now. I was protecting my toe and running for mile after mile with my toes pointing upwards. When I replicate that action…it hurts!
This morning, I ran with the conscious effort not to do that and felt better. I scrpaed my toe once but it is taped up and I need to learn to run and not scrape it without bending my toes up in an unnatural way.
My foot did protest a little at first especially on downhills but it feels more like an overuse injury that is manageable. It On a scale of 1-10 my level of discomfort ranged from 0 to about a 4 with it mostly at about a 2. I want to give myself a chance to complete this marathon but am just going to run an ordinary week this week and see how that goes.
On a different note, I am feeling a craving to run in shoes. I just fancy putting on my VFF and getting out there on the trails. I am resisting the urge at the moment but it may be that towards the end of October, I have completed a year on only running barefoot every day and also covering 1000 miles which is what I set out to do.
Thursday 27th Aug 15
A barefoot mile this morning before I head off for a health check at my GP’s. It is at 8am which is a test in itself. It will be interesting to see how things come back. My diet is poor and I am a sugar junkie which is something I plan to address when I get back into routine in just over a week. I plan to go for 2 weeks and do a Maffetone test to see how I react to carbs when I add them back into my diet.
My foot still felt a little sore but again only about a 2 (maybe slightly more at times) on a scale of 1-10 of discomfort. I kept my toes flat against the ground and didn’t curl them upwards. Buring the candle at both ends at the moment as I work on my next EdD assignment. It is getting there but it does take up a lot of headspace and more time than I really have. Difficult to get into it when people are around so working mostly afrer they have gone to bed and before they get up which is only sustainable for a short period of time.
Friday 28th Aug 15
5 barefoot miles nice and early this morning and I stopped halfway to just contemplate annd enjoy. I was up early getting my head into some academic work which I really enjoy, followed by a nice run a bit of blogging. I will return to the academic stuff for a while before spending time with my daughter on some maths stuff. She is steaming ahead with long division. I am then going to sit down for an hour or two with the family and watch the athletic World Champs before having a pint or two whilst bottling our own commercial beer. Finally off out this evenig to watch Bolton play Blackburn in the pub. What a great way to spend the day.
My foot felt great before setting off and I had no discomfort all until about a mile and a half in. It came on a long gentle downhill. Running my normal wee seems to be allowing it to settle down and sort itself out. It looks like if I run properly then I get no real problems. It is only when I run stupidly that I hurt myself. The marathon is feeling less important. Just getting out and being able to run is far more valuable. The fear has gone away again. To be honest, I felt a bit sluggish and wheezy but the 5 miles pitter-paterd gently past.
Sat 29th Aug 15
A barefoot mile this morning with no pain at all. My foot felt completely normal. In the last 100 yards or so, I became aware of it (probably 1/10 on a discomfort scale) but up until then it was fine. It is getting better whislt running a normal 20 mile barefoot week. It looks like it isn’t running that does me dmage but running badly which is what i was doing whilst curling up my toes to protect my damaged toe. Probaly running too far had a part to play too. Good to out there without the fear as a companion.
Sun 30th Aug 15
11 barefoot miles this morning to see how my foot is. It went from 0/10 to 6/10 on the discomfort scale. Interestingly it was 0/10 on the last fast mile and 6/10 on a very rough section of road where I was running slowly. It is linked to to how relaxed my foot is when running. On the rough stuff, I was agitated and tense and must have been curling my toes up to protect them from scraping. I have come out the run optimistic. I will see if there is a reaction to the run latger in the day and tomorrow.
Mon 31st Aug 15
A mile to finish off August. 104 miles this month which is pretty good seeing as I have managed some top of foot pain brought about by running badly.
I stopped off to chat with an elderly chap walking his dog. he asked about the barefeet and said that he has seen my footprints in the snow last winter. He had a fall recently and has just been prescribed orthotics. he ssays that he finds tjhat is balance is all over the place. I talked to him abouut my view on orthotics. Good in an acute case for a short time and of course a few people may need them permanently but mostly they are something that once you start, you cannot stop with. I think that he felt the same.
I ran the second half mile faster than I have run for a while as I tried to catch up a runner in the distance. Nearly got there too. My foot was felling the effects fo yesterday’s run but nothing serious. I have also been doing lots of toes and ankle type stretches. i think, they may be they way to go. I still find Toega almosy impossible. Stll day by day the impossible can become possible.