Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Barefoot Running Book - Review

The Barefoot Running Book

By: Jason Robillard

As you all know by now after suffering another running related injury I finally decided to go barefoot. I have been back to running for a couple of months now and was ordered by my doctor to take it VERY slow. So this gave me the perfect opportunity to go all out barefoot.

I was contacted around the same time by Jason to see if I would be interested in reviewing his new Barefoot Running Book. I cannot even tell you how excited I was to get it and absorb all the information Jason could share. And man does he have a lot of useful information in this book.

By the time I got Jason’s book I had already started my barefoot journey, but still found the beginning of the book very helpful with all of his drills. You see Jason takes a do it slow and well kind of approach to bare footing it. He tells you how to get your feet ready to go totally shoe less and gives you drills to practice being barefoot. No matter what your barefoot level is you can benefit from doing his drills.

The book is broken down to sections for the beginner, intermediate, and advanced barefoot runner. For the beginner you will learn how to start going barefooted and what to expect as far as blisters go. Jason also gives you several drills to do so you can get your feet conditioned and use to sensing what is under them. The advanced section is for after you are able to run about 2 miles without discomfort during and after the run. This section talks about varied terrain, hills, and speed training. Jason also gives you more drills to practice these things and get your foot eye coordination working to peek level. For the advanced level you will learn about racing and he gives you ideas of what to do with that timing chip that goes on the shoes you left at home. He also talks about trail running and extreme weather.

I have to say Jason has covered it all. If you are thinking about going barefoot you really must get this book. He will walk you through every step to get you barefoot and running as soon as possible. This book has really helped me in my barefoot journey and will continue to help me as my feet get stronger and I can do more of Jason’s drills.

So broken down this book is a must have for anyone who wants to go barefoot. No matter what your level you will find useful information in this book. And Jason’s humor makes it a fun easy read. For those of you who are worried about the looks and comments you will get from going bare there is even a chapter to cover that. So this book is truly your one stop barefoot running shop.

Note: Even though I was sent me this book to review, the review is my opinion and I was not paid in any way to write this. I truly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it


Friday, June 25, 2010

Decided to TRI

Since my injury, I have had to do a lot more biking and swimming to keep my fitness level up. And now that I can finally run again I have still been keeping up with the bike and swimming so I finally decided to go for a Triathlon.

I have always wanted to do a TRI but fear the swim. I am not a strong swimmer and have never had any professional lessons. So all I have been doing to train is jump into my pool most afternoons and try to swim as much as I can. I am for the first time in my life feeling a little confidant in my swimming. Now I am not fast and I don’t think I even look like a real swimmer, but I am able to swim a couple hundred yards no problem.

I have been planning a trip down to Miami, Florida to visit my family for a couple weeks and decided that I will do my TRI there. I made this decision for a couple reasons, the first being that it is FLAT. No hills for the bike or run which is a huge plus. The second reason is because I am so nervous about this having a big cheering crowd for just me will be helpful and I have a lot of family and friend there to cheer me on.

So now I have 2 more weeks to train before I leave for Miami, then I will have one week there before the big race. Holy Moly that is not a lot of time. I have never done an open water swim and this Tri starts in the ocean, so I guess this is a great way to break me in right? It was suggested that when I get down there I should go for a swim in the ocean and see how it is, but to tell you the truth I think it will scare me even more. If I just wait till race day, I will be nervous anyway and then really have no choice but to do it. Maybe not the best plan but the best plan for me I think.

These next couple of weeks are going to be filled with a TON of training, I need to swim or bike 6 days a week and run every other day (still recovering so can’t push it). And then on race day I will just have to hope that it was enough. This is a Sprint Tri so it is a ¼ mile swim, 10mile bike, and a 3.1 mile run.

I would love to hear any advice you have for my first TRI. What gear should I bring? What do you tell yourself when you feel like running back to the car instead of in to the ocean for the swim? How do you handle the first time you get kicked in the face during the swim? What fuel do you bring? It is going to be hot so is a wearing a camel pack with water okay for the bike or too much?

Please share your knowledge, I know nothing and need all the help I can get… YIKES am I really doing this?


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Running = Happy Mommy

It amazes me how even a little bit of running can make me feel great. I have finally made it to over a mile today 1.2 miles to be exact and on concrete too (which my doctor strictly forbade me from). The doc said it was too hard of a surface for my legs, but I am hoping the barefoot running will compensate for that (you know the built in shock absorbers in my feet/legs). I am getting sick of the treadmill and my feet need more of a workout on some other surfaces too so every other run I will try and get outside.

So far my leg is doing fine; to be completely honest I am aware of the spot that was hurting before. But only the day of my runs then it goes away, still not sure what it is but I am rolling with it for now unless it starts to hurt more.

The barefoot running is going great, I am reading “The barefoot running book” by Jason Robillard and following his advice (a book review will come soon). I was surprised today that my feet did not hurt and did not get tender the entire run. This tells me that I am not only on track with building my mileage up but my feet are adapting well too.

I have also decided to start swimming this week, and guess what that is going great too. I am finding the breathing to be the hardest part but find that every day I am getting better.

One other major thing going on right now is that my fellow running mom Anna Stein has brought me on as a partner on some websites. I always knew I loved doing graphics but never realized how much I really loved web design till now. We have created one site totally together and now we are working on a total site makeover on her site. Thanks to Anna I have decided that this is what I want to be doing. I find that I can spend the whole day working on the websites and never feel like I am working at all. Of course my family is getting a little annoyed with me for being on the computer too much so I need to find the right balance, but at 33 years old I have finally figured out what I want to do for a career.

I just find it so amazing that when I could not run I felt sad and depressed. I fought more with my family and was just stressed out all the time. Now that I can run even a little I am so much happier and my life feels like it is coming together. I believe that if everyone in the world ran that the world would be a happier place, I know my house is when I run.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Return to Running

Last week I finally got the results of the MRI on my leg. The doc said that it did not show a stress fracture but it might have missed it. He also thinks that it could be that my shin was stressed but not quite a fracture yet or that I just have very bad shin splints. Needless to say we still do not know what is really wrong with my leg.

He ended up giving me the option of starting to run again and see how it feels or to do a bone scan. I opted for the running. I am so sick of waiting and just want to get out there already. However when I made this choice I did not realize the return to running plan he was going to give me consisted of more time not running than actually running. Okay I knew I would have to build slowly but I just want to run so bad that I thought I could do a couple miles at a time at least.

Well my new running plan consists of starting out with ½ a mile every other day then I can build ¼ mile at a time. If I feel any pain I have to stop right away and wait a day then try again if I still have pain then I go in for the bone scan.

So far I have done 2 half mile runs and feel like it is such a tease. Just when I start to really get into it I have to stop. At the same time I am so scared of hurting myself again that I am for the first time in my running history following the plan and not pushing it. At this point I truly feel that it is just not worth more time off to get in a little extra mileage, so it is baby steps for now.

The one good thing out of all this is that because I have no choice but to build so slowly I am going totally barefoot now. The low mileage is no issue for my bare feet and I am willing to guess since I am building at this slow pace that my feet will adjust to my mileage at the same time. I am excited about going shoe free and with my history of pushing things till I am hurt I think this is probably the best way to break myself in to my new life as a barefoot runner. After all I have no choice but to go slow and build the mileage at a nice easy pace.

So I guess this last injury has finally taught me patients, well maybe not but it gave me no other choice but to practice it for now anyway. A half mile today a marathon tomorrow… well maybe next year.