My actual footprint =====>>>

August 27, 2014 (Wednesday) [3.1 miles]

Last weekend's workout stressed my left abductor hallucis. I guess that's a good thing, since this muscle controls the big toe, so I'm actually using more of my left foot. For a change, the area that is the most sore on my left leg is not my Achilles tendon. A swim on Sunday, and a bicycle ride on Tuesday kept my fitness level elevated. This morning, everything felt good (except for the Achilles, which will be healing for more weeks to come). A good 15:22 warm up mile, then I was able to drop into the 14s for the next few mile. Keeping it short as to not stress anything. Overall 3.1 miles at a 14:56 average pace, just the right speed for Disneyland in a few days.

August 23, 2014 (Saturday) [5.0 miles]

Muscles feeling better this morning even after my run-walk yesterday. I wanted to try out my Xero sandals, since I will most likely use them for part of my Disneyland runs. Used Body Glide all around my feet, and started out my run with them on. First observation is that they are extremely noisy. My right knee area started to hurt because my form had changed due to lack of feel for the ground. I adjusted my form and was able to make the pain go away. After the first mile, I took off my sandals and ran barefoot. I was able to run the first 2 miles at the Disney pace (under 16 minute mile), but started to feel the lack of energy after that. I experimented with taking on and off the sandals, since that is what I'll likely be doing in the race. Total sandal time was probably less than 2 miles, and it really makes walking easier. Last mile or so I could feel a little pain in my recovering left Achilles tendon. Overall finish pace was 16:51.

August 22, 2014 (Friday) [5.1 miles]

With the focus on recovery for the Disneyland races at the end of the month, this is going to be an easy week. My heel was still tender, so on Tuesday I went for a bicycle ride. Surprisingly I was actually able to pedal comfortably. A little trouble generating enough force to clip in, but little pain, a big contrast to the bicycle rides last month. Legs felt refreshed this morning, so I started out running with the first mile split at 16:46. Picked up the pace slight for the second mile at 16:14. Struggled to keep up the pace on the next mile, and time dropped to 17:00. The increased effort put a toll on my left leg, I felt some tendinitis around my knee, most likely due to my instable foot landing. A little walking until the pain went away, then back to running, but the pain kept coming back. Time to head home. Next two mile splits are ridiculously slow due to the amount of walking, 24:44, 26:54. Hopefully my inability to run continuously is due to fatigued muscles from Sunday, not lake of fitness.

August 17, 2014 (Sunday) [13.5 miles]

Strained my gluteus medius during my last run and the pain in the lower back kept me from running until today, the AFC Half Marathon. I started at the very end to avoid any confrontations with other runners. Moving at a slow but steady 14:30 pace, I actually caught and passed a few walkers. As I got warmed up, I was slowly able to increase my pace and pass a few more runners. First 10K in 87 minutes 10K (under a 14 min/mi pace). Pace started slowing down after that. I could feel a little pain in my left knee area, and walked for a bit. More walking than running each mile. At mile 11, I was forced over to the sidewalk, as the streets were begin re-opened. Last mile before the finish was uphill, and pretty much all walking. My feet hurt, since I could not maintain good form, and I took advantage of the grass as much as possible. The last few hundred yards were back on to the asphalt street, and the surface was hot. Since I could not maintain a fast cadence, I could feel my feet burn. A hand full of walkers near the end, but I was pretty much one of the last finishers. Thankfully, the race organizers kept the timer going and I received an official finishing time (4:00:51) well over the recommenced completion time of 3 hours. I was even able to get my finishers medal, and the triple crown bonus medal (Carlsbad, La Jolla, AFC). Definite rest day tomorrow, as I scrapped off my heel pad on my left foot, so the skin is much thinner than normal (and a little sensitive).

August 13, 2014 (Wednesday) [3.2 miles]

Rare evening run, but with my physical therapist appointment tomorrow, I will need to start work early. Warm and humid, and the black asphalt heated up from a full day of sunshine. After a slow 18 minute mile warm up, I concentrated on smooth balanced running form. Too bad I wasn't moving fast (21 min/mile). Every time I tried to go faster, the limp would come back. Looks like a limping half for Sunday.

August 12, 2014 (Tuesday) [5.4 miles]

Too tired yesterday for another run. Much better this morning. No more long runs until the Sunday AFC Half. I was trying to balance my stride, and discovered one reason for my limping, I was not using my forefoot on the initial landing, but instead using only the heel. A bit of pain when I try to run correctly, but I need to balance myself out if I ever expect to run normal again. Disappointed in my speed, my mile splits in the 16 to 20 minute mile range. Overall under a 19 minute mile, but for this short run I would have expected better.

August 10, 2014 (Sunday) [4.0 miles]

Back to the beach for some more speed work. First mile in 12:38, but then I had to take a walk rest break. Mostly running, but a few short walk intervals. Best 5K pace at 14 min/mile, which is exactly what I need to do to finish the AFC Half in 3 hours. Running form is getting more balanced, but still have a limp. I definitely using my left leg more, and tolerating a slight pain in order to regain the fluid movement I need to recover completely. 24 miles this week with 4 run days, felt good to be back (though still slow and limpish).

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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.