12 Weeks to Barefoot Running: Weeks 5: Hardening Your Skin
What the plan called for:
Pace: Jogging + Hiking
Distance: Jogging 2-4 miles, hiking 1-2 miles
Objective: harden and strengthen your skin
What the week held:
Tuesday – 10 mins shod, 7.5 mins BF, 12.5 mins shod. Humid and hot, even at 4:30. Last mile felt like a real struggle, though the splits were not far off from each other.
Wednesday – 22.5 mins shod, partly through Belmont prairie, tall grass and low light made it difficult to see path but great for running, 12.5 mins BF, first part on what is arguably THE worst road in Downers (and that is saying something), 15 mins shod. Cool start but still humid made for slow going.
Thursday – 10 mins shod, 8.5 mins BF including a painful gravel section – exactly what I don’t like about BF running, 21.5 mins shod. Slightly cooler today so tried out my Columbia Peak-2-Peak jacket, don’t think I sweated any more than I would have without it, pretty impressive.
Saturday – 90 minutes LSD on the menu. First 30 mins pushing Little Worker and Munchkin in the double stroller, while Laima ran and Tazer and Gaigai rode bikes. 89 1/2 mins shod, 1/2 min BF. Tried BF on trails at Maple Woods, but TOO MANY SHARP THINGS!
So there it is, one thing I definitely know is that my mansuit must still be at the cleaners, because I do not like to run on sharp objects. That, to me, is the number one drawback to barefoot running. After 7 weeks, 4 of which were pretty consistent with the BF aspect, my feet don’t feel any more prepared to step on things that hurt – isn’t that why Saint Bowerman created Wafflestompers?
I was asked: “Dude, why are you bothering working on running form when you barely participate in the sport anyways?”
First, ouch. Non-participation means I don’t race, which is something I didn’t feel like doing this year and seems to have rubbed more than one person the wrong way. All I can say is that it is a good thing that Karl Meltzer occasionally competes in organized races, otherwise he too would not be considered a participant, never mind that he ran 2000+ miles of the Pony Express Trail. So I’ll keep doing my thing and hope that I can get back in the cool kids club later on.
Second, I’m 45 1/2 years old and my youngest child is 1. If I want to be running with him 18-20 years from now, I better be uninjured and relatively fit. I believe that working on my form will allow me to continue functional running longer, with the idea that better form = less injury. I’m sure there are studies that show that better form does just that and an equal number that prove the opposite. Either way, if I don’t work on form now, then when?
Not too many entrants for the RokitFuel giveaway, giving those that did enter a better chance. The winner was Laura, from Live Well, Laugh Often, Run Much. Laura, email me your address and I’ll get this out to you as soon as possible, not sure how long the Postal Service takes to get this up to Canada, hopefully faster than the Pony Express days.
Today and tomorrow I will be in training, hopefully learning how to do my job, so I won’t be visiting blogs much and commenting even less. It’s not that I don’t love you (well, except for ChrisK), I just have to at least pretend to be paying attention.