Friday, July 22, 2011

Super cautious return to barefoot runs

I did a lot of short barefoot runs two years ago, and my feet benefited greatly from the extra strengthening. With being injured last year, I let that part of my training go, and had intended to get back to it this summer. Then I started having some plantar fascia issues, so I thought I had better hold off. But after reading this post, I decided to add it to my physio regimen and carefully try to do some grass barefoot runs to see if it would help. I asked my physiotherapist about it, and she agreed that as long as I was careful, to go ahead.

So, here's how I progressed with it: (all done in bare feet on grass, at end or in middle of a run)
Jun 18 - walk 5 minutes
Jul 3 - 2 x 2 min, with1 min walk (i.e. recovery between)
Jul 5 - 3 x 2 min, with 1 min walk
Jul 7 - 4 x 2 min, with 1 min walk
Jul 10 - 4 x 3 min, with 1 min walk
Jul 13 - 5 min, 3 min, 3 min, with 1 min walk
Jul 19 - 10 min
Jul 22 - 15 min

So it took me a month to get to 10 minutes of continuous running, but it is always better to be extremely patient with adding barefoot, even without a sore foot. With having tightness in the PF, I knew I could make things a lot worse if I did too much, so it wasn't hard to hold back and make sure it was helping, not hurting. I had three physio treatments for my PF as well, and am feeling quite good about how things are coming along. I'll probably do another 15 minute barefoot run next time, before hitting 20 minutes and then holding it at that level after that. For what I want out of it (injury prevention in the form of stronger feet, stretching out the achilles and calves, and a bit of help with form) I think that is enough time. Occasionally I might do 30 minutes, but that's about it.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Trip to Asia!

It's officially confirmed...I'm going to Taiwan and Hong Kong in November!! This has been in the works for a few months, but I didn't want to say anything until the decision was made for sure and my flights were booked. Talk about going out of my normal realm and comfort zone; it took time for me to process the thought of going so far from home. I've wrapped my head around it now, and I'm really excited.

This came about because my best friend Deb invited me to take part in the Oxfam Trailwalker Hong Kong 100K race along with two other friends of hers, so I'll be celebrating the year of my 40th on and around her actual 40th birthday while doing this event! We go way back, Deb and I, and she's one of those miracle friends who know you more than you know yourself and likes you anyway. It will be a very memorable way to celebrate her birthday with her this year.

Deb and her husband Dan have been living in Taiwan for eight years now, and I will be spending the first part of my trip staying with them. It will be so cool to see the life they have there. They work for a little sporting goods company you may have heard of, or maybe you've even used their stuff at some point while you were Just Doing Something.

Then we will go to Hong Kong where the race is, and have an adventure as our team of four navigates the MacLehose Trail that winds along the coast and over mountains of Hong Kong for 100 km. I'm looking forward to meeting Deb's friends Kristina and Kim and spending some quality trail time as a team. (Get this: Kim is the world record holder for the 24-hour inline skate!) Obviously I'll be writing a lot more about everything in the months to come.

Earlier this year, feeling a bit of weight from just turning 40 I guess, I started experiencing a very deep desire to see more of this world, and was looking forward to a few years down the road when we would have more time and energy to put towards that. I guess life goes at its own schedule though, and within weeks of feeling that shift in myself I had won the entry to TransRockies from iRunFar, and then Deb asked me about this Hong Kong trip. I read somewhere recently that often we go right up to the edge of our comfort zone but then ultimately don't take that final committing step over the line. Was life maybe asking if I was serious?

Thank you D, for this incredible opportunity, and for helping me navigate that uncomfortable last step to committing to it. Travelling all over the world for you is normal, but you've been your ever patient and positive self in dealing with my less-adventurous self.

I'm lucky enough to have had another Debbie to talk it over with, my sister-in-law, who is also an extreme world traveler and equally patient and positive. I so appreciate your excitement and encouragement, Debbie. It helps me to see stuff through your eyes.

And Derrick, I cherish that we support each others dreams. Vote for Pedro.

Monday, July 18, 2011

It's the DEWPOINT!!!

From this Running Times article on hot weather running.

It's Not the Heat, Nor the Humidity....It's the dew point.

50–54 (10-12C)Very comfortable
PR conditions
55–59 (13-15C)ComfortableHard efforts likely not affected
60–64 (16-18C)
Uncomfortable for some peopleExpect race times to be slower than in optimal conditions
65–69 (18-20C)Uncomfortable for most peopleEasy training runs might feel OK but difficult to race well or do hard efforts
70–74 (21-23C)Very humid and uncomfortableExpect pace to suffer greatly
75 or greater (24+C)
Extremely oppressiveSkip it or dramatically alter goal