My actual footprint =====>>>

July 16, 2014 (Wednesday) [1.5 miles]

Each day gets better, but I still cannot walk without limping. I did not need the compression sleeve the past few days, as the swelling is pretty much gone. TriClub Aquathlon, the swim was great, even kicked a little. I started out with my limp shuffle, but realized that's putting too much work on my right leg. I focused on a good balanced running form, and finally found something that worked. Only problem was I almost running in place, with super short, fast steps. After the first loop (1.5 miles) taking over 30 minutes, I realized I would not benefit from going longer. Also, there were not many runners left, since I was already one of the slower swimmers. Off to the pizza line, and the slices are still warm.

July 13, 2014 (Sunday) [3.1 miles]

I most likely experienced a small Achilles tendon tear, due to the sudden contraction of the calf muscle. The few days after the injury, the swelling was so bad that I had to keep my foot elevated, otherwise the throbbing would be intense. I wrapped my lower leg with a compression bandage, and by Thursday could get my with a compression sleeve. Walking still with a limp, even this morning. I decided to try to complete the Carlsbad Triathlon which I had signed up for months ago. The 1K swim was easy. I did have to hobble up and down the beach, but no pain. Getting on the bike was difficult, since I could not put all my weight on my leg forefoot. I ended up finishing the 25K bike pedaling mostly with my right leg. I started out on the run with a super short stride, with a noticeable limp. I tried walking a few times in the beginning, but I wasn't moving fast (25 min/mi pace). The limp pace was around 16 min/mile, and I managed to maintain that pace the entire way. Afterwards, I actually felt better. There were still several people behind me, as I finished 721 out of 743.

July 4, 2014 (Friday) [2.0 miles]

A bit humid, but the skies were clear this morning for the Scripps Ranch Old Pros 10K Run. I didn't get a chance to pick up my race bib yesterday, so I went to the race early to get it. As I waited for the registration table to official open at 6 a.m. I realized I forgot my ankle strap to attach my timing chip. I searched my car for something I could use around my ankle, and cut a old swim suit waist string to fit around my ankle, problem solved. Quite a lot of people at the race, but a different crowd (less experienced runners) than my usual half marathon group. I decided to start in the back, since the start area and course is pretty narrow. The first mile was difficult, and there's little room pass. I run a few surges to pass, and slow as the runners gets congested. Bumped lots of shoulders, and said sorry too many times to count. At 1.5 miles, the group was going about my speed, so less passing was required. I found my race pace, then the 2 mile mark with a water station came up. Normally I would not have to use water on a 10K, but it was warm this morning. As I approached the water, there were some bead necklaces being handed out. I heard some voices behind me, like "Oh look!", then I felt a shoe hit my lower left leg. I stumbled, and my Achilles heel started to hurt. I heard a girl say "Sorry", then I said something like "This may put me out of the race". I limped through the water station, hoping that I could shake off the pain. I could no longer flex my foot, so I hobbled with a stiff ankle for about a 1/4 mile. At this point I realized my injury would not get better, and I would have to abandon my race plan. A bicycle Police officer stopped and called the paramedics to get me a ride to the staging area, where another Police officer gave me a lift back to my car. Using a clutch with only the heel (as to not stress my Achilles) was a bit tricky. As I was headed home, I passed near the finish area, I thought about picking up my race shirt, but decided it wasn't worth the trouble, and I already have a bunch of shirts anyway. I would have trouble wearing a race shirt for a race I never finished, even though the cause was no fault of mine. Still wondering what lesson I learned today. Maybe start in the front? (click on image below to get more detail)


--- Older Entries ---


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.