My actual footprint =====>>>

October 23, 2014 (Thursday) [3.9 miles]

Nice and easy. Legs felt kind of heavy at the start, and only slightly improved as I warmed up. Achilles showing some pain near the end, so I had to slow some. Rest up for the weekend.

October 21, 2014 (Tuesday) [4.2 miles]

Legs a bit tight this morning, but a few static exercises got my heart rate up and the blood pumping. Slow run start, but I was running smooth, despite my recovering Achilles tendon. I stretched out the tendon really good last night, and that seemed to make it better. Original plan was 3 miles, but I kept feeling better each mile. Still on recovery week, so not too intense, and managed negative splits, 16:36, 15:28, 14:26, 13:28. Rest day tomorrow, and one more run on Thursday before the Sunday Half Marathon.

October 20, 2014 (Monday) [3.1 miles]

I thought with the easy beach run a few days ago that I would have lots of energy, but my legs felt heavy. Could be all that ladder climbing I did yesterday putting up Halloween decorations. Super easy, super slow, super short. Hope to get my energy back tomorrow.

October 18, 2014 (Saturday) [5.2 miles]

Easy low tide beach run in perfect SoCal weather. Several stops to take pictures of the hang gliders over the cliffs. It was nice to be able to run through the soft sand without pain, as my Achilles is much stronger now.

October 16, 2014 (Thursday) [5.2 miles]

This morning's plan, speed workout, 3 x 1 mile. Workouts consists of 1 mile warm up with a few spurts, followed by 2 x 400m with 400m rest break. Mile intervals with half mile recovery. Last interval I normally maintain some speed until I get tired, then I head home on the cool down. That's the plan, but it did not work out this morning. Sluggish warm up, with no leg speed. First 400m at 2:08 (8:29 pace), with rapid breathing. Recovery OK, but cannot get much speed on the second 400. First mile interval is difficult, as I'm struggling to maintain a smooth stride. Pace isn't too bad at 11:52. Nice to get some speed back, and much faster than the last time I did this work out on September 25. The recovery half mile got me to the water fountain, but I had to walk a bit to get there. I took a break and consume an energy gel in hopes that would give me the boost I needed to finish my workout. I could not seem to get my heavy legs moving again and did more walking than running. I realized that I needed to abort my training plan, and head home. I managed to maintain a running form as I headed back, but at a slow 19 minute mile. I will need to rest tomorrow, I guess my body isn't bouncing back as fast as I would like. Next up, recovery week in preparation for the Rock 'n' Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon on October 26.

October 15, 2014 (Wednesday) [3.5 miles]

Should I run or swim today? Triathlon season is over for me, so a slow easy recovery run this morning. Controlled breathing (i.e. nose only) kept myself from going to hard. I saw a person walking along my route on the sidewalk ahead of me as I was waiting for the signal light to change. Rare to see anyone at 4:30 in the a.m. I ran out on the street to avoid a direct confrontation, but I wasn't catching up. I know I'm not running that fast, but I didn't think I was running that slow. After I got home, I looked at my splits, 19 minutes a mile! Hopefully that slow pace will allow me to feel fresh tomorrow.

October 14, 2014 (Tuesday) [6.6 miles]

Still running by feel. Attempted to run negative splits by increasing effort each mile. Did fairly well, but the last two miles were at an even pace of 12:42. Overall pace of 13:38 is enough for a sub 3 hour Half Marathon. Strong finish, so I should be able to recover quickly.

October 12, 2014 (Sunday) [8.2 miles]

Extra break days from running to allow my muscles more time to heal. Felt good to start running without a walking warm up. Planned to run at least 6 miles. Each mile got a bit easier, as my muscles warmed up and my form was smoother. At mile 5, I decided to add an extra mile, and again at mile 6 and 7. Ignoring the pace, and running by feel, I stayed close to home, and once I felt my pace dropping, I headed home. Overall pace 14:20, with the fastest mile (13:21) near the end of the run. Let's see how quickly I can recover before my next run.

October 9, 2014 (Thursday) [3.4 miles]

Basic repeat of last week's taper run, but instead of winding down, I'm winding up. Negative splits (thought still slow), but still taking it easy. Still have a slight limp since I felt a little pain in my recovering left Achilles tendon.

October 5, 2014 (Sunday) [13.3 miles]

San Jose Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon. Finished in 3:30:21, pace 16:02. Ran the whole way, but I did get slower every mile. More details in the race report.

October 2, 2014 (Thursday) [3.4 miles]

For the previous two years, I have made October my daily run month, running at least 3 miles (4 in 2013) every single day of the month. As I'm still recovering from my injured Achilles tendon, the longer recovery time from any run will not allow me to perform a daily run. An easy swim day yesterday, but my legs still did not have much go in them this morning. Easy 17 minute miles, and felt better each mile. Kept it short, so that my muscles will be fully recovered for Sunday's Half Marathon race.

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I first began running barefoot in 2006 when I was doing a swim-run event (Aquathlon) with the Triathlon Club of San Diego, and accidentally brought two right running shoes. I knew the only way to complete the run was to go barefoot, as some of the other club members do. The soft sand beach run actually felt good, and the lack of shoes made my feet feel very light.

I would often see club members running barefoot on the street, which seemed rather brutal on the feet, but some people say the same about running barefoot on the sand. After reading several articles about barefoot running, I decide that 2010 is the year of the bare feet. One of my main purposes is to avoid injury. I haven't been about to run weekly for a whole year in over twenty years. No major injuries, but just minor pain in joints that takes the fun out of running and forces me to rest to recover. Another reason is to try to minimize the calluses on the ball of my foot (3rd metatarsal bone) and my big toe. A properly aligned foot should have pressure evenly distributed, and running barefoot will help strengthen the muscles of the foot. My first goal was to do the run portion of a Sprint Triathlon running barefoot which I completed in July 2010.

As my training distance increased I set my sights on possibly a Half Marathon. I had always loved the La Jolla Half in April, so I was targeting that as my first barefoot running race. I then found out there was a Half Marathon on my 50th Birthday in January, and increased my distance more aggressively than normal. By November 2010, I finish a training run of 13.1 miles, so I felt confident about my first running race in a few months. I ended up completing 4 Half Marathon races in 2011, and also an Olympic distance (1.5K-40K-10K) triathlon in October.

Running Background

I wasn't much of an athlete when growing up. I played some tennis in high school, and always enjoyed riding my bicycle around the neighborhood. In October 1987, I decided to run a marathon on a dare. I had been riding my bicycle for two years, completing several century (100 miles) rides. I figured I was in good shape, and even though I never did any distance running in the past, running 26.2 miles seemed easier than riding a bicycle for 8 hours.

My first "run" in October 1987 was for 4 miles in tennis shoes at a 10 minute/mile pace. My 2nd run the next day was for 6 miles. In January of 1988, I bought some running shoes, and began my training for the Long Beach Marathon coming up in 4 months. Within a month, I was logging 80 miles a month, with a peak in March of 100 miles. I completed (barely) the Marathon in 4:42:59 (the first half was under 2 hours) and didn't run again until the next month.

Running continued, but no more marathons. Many half marathons with the fastest being 1:49:31 in April 1989. Most of my running was during short triathlons, but I did do a 10K in August 1991 @ 46:20. My fastest one mile time-trail was on October 24, 1991 at 5:55. By 1994, due to family commitments, my exercise was reduced to bicycle commuting. It wasn't until 2005 when I decided to get back into triathlons that I started running again. In 2007 I was able to complete several training runs at a half marathon distance. Injuries (usually right knee soreness) never allowed me to run longer distances every week, and often I would have to rest for several months before running again. I torn my right calf in June 2005 (but didn't know it at the time), and torn left calf in March 2007. It would be 25 years from my first marathon before I complete another marathon, this time barefoot.