05 April 2019

Yeah, but how many miles do you get?

I run.

I run really far.

I run really far barefoot.

Yes, it’s true, I am a barefoot runner. Now, confessions aside, you may wonder what that has to do with anything. Well, not much. I took it on to remedy or cure a multitude of running related niggles, injuries and maladies. Modern running shoe technology failed me with its promises of better, faster, cushier running. Research showed me that my naked foot, a marvel of technology itself, solved my problems. By strengthening my feet and using them as designed, I removed the load on my joints, straightened my back and incorporated the muscles that should propel me across the land. As a result, my running improved, and those niggles, injuries and maladies disappeared.

As much as running barefoot feels good and free, I sometimes need foot covering of some sort. For instance, the ground may have pointy rocks or the temperatures may be too cold. In that case, plenty of options are available. Sandals made for running are nice for treacherous terrain. Another choice is a minimal shoe that has a very thin sole, no support and a light airy upper. These shoes are also handy at my job in health care where they frown on bare feet.

At first glance, these shoes appear normal enough, but on closer inspection one can see that the sole is a not quite an eighth inch thick. They are so thin that I can roll them up into a ball that would fit in my pocket. These shoes are also terrific for walking and running, and that leads me to this post’s topic. One of my coworkers has taken to running and did so in a minimalist fashion. She isn’t interested in running barefoot, but would like to use the least amount of shoe possible. In the past months she has transitioned down to the same style as me.

She told me the other day that her pair had splitting on the side and she asked me if I experienced that with my shoes. I said it can happen, but I get a lot of use from them before they tear. So she asked me, “Yeah, but how many miles?”

Sadly, I couldn’t give her a clear answer because I get a lot of mileage out of my shoes and have pairs that have over a thousand miles logged on them before they show signs of wear. I feel bad I can’t give her a straight answer. I made a video in the past and posted it on YouTube to illustrate this problem and thought I’d send her a link to it hoping it might answer her questions. I thought I’d share it here.


29 March 2019

Some New Blog Thoughts

Starbucks [47°44'04.2"N 122°38'10.7"W]

It has been a month since my surgery, and I am itching to get back to running full time and for longer distances. Yes, I have a horrible problem with focus and I chase squirrels all day long. Writing in a journal and note taking help me keep focused on tasks at hand, but I still leave a little in the morning which cut planned runs short. It was time to change that.

I will start by changing the focus of this blog, continuing to draft it on a typewriter, or on an AlphaSmart Neo which does the same thing. These tools are distraction free and force me to write in a stream with minimal editing. I make plenty of mistakes, but Those get cleaned up in the editing process. They also force me to concentrate on the task at hand because I can’t just jump into YouTube (my worst distracter) or e-mail. Fortunately my social media participation is not extensive. No Facebook, Instagram, etcetera. I keep a Twitter account and take part on Strava, but that’s it. If you want to contact me, you can find me on those accounts, or better yet, write me a letter. If you write, I will reply, and please use a pen or typewriter.

Okay, here we go. Yesterday I decided that it was time to get back in the running groove. Walking has been my pastime for the past month, but the itch has been getting hard to ignore and I needed to scratch it. Spring is here and the morning temperatures are warming, so I replaced my tights with running shorts. I was still chilled, but knew that it would motivate me to run so I could warm up and kick the chill.

Still able to move with ease and pain free, I kept my effort and pace gentle. No point to ruining a good thing. To make the experience better, I left my phone and podcasts behind. This was about the run, so my focus was on what I was doing, and I soon fell into a meditative state which led to the idea for the new blog theme. A title change with a new banner will be forthcoming and I hope to present prose with more interesting content. We’ll see how it goes, one step at a time.

As part of this process, I hope to get participation. If you run, write, or type, I would love to read your comments and thoughts. Criticism is okay, but please keep it constructive. If you think my writing needs help please criticize away, but I would prefer you did that via the mail system rather than electronically. My goal through all of this is to become a better writer/commentator and to get my act together with running. I’m too old now to compete at the level I did in the past, but I still want to be competitive in my age group, so I’ll be setting pace and distance goals for future training. Signing up for races will be part of that aim. Look for race reports. If I can’t come up with a good report, I’ll give you a good tale, fictional or otherwise.


28 January 2019

The Power of Criticism

Please excuse the heavy use of correction tape on this green paper.

Tips for writers:
  1. Do write the first draft off the top of your head.
  2. Put it away for a week, then re-read it, fixing spelling and grammar errors.
  3. Add and remove stuff without mercy (keep a printed copy of the original in case you change your mind).
  4. Wash, rinse, repeat until happy with the copy.
  5. Make a "pretty" copy for the editor and be ready for whatever comes your way.
  6. After you get over your hurt feelings, fix it and resubmit.

In time, you will get it right.

Cool editing tools:

  1. Grammarly/
  2. Tool kit that comes with your word processor
  3. Human editors
  4. That stupid red English book that gets revised every year, and you are forced to buy it over and over and over again...  Aaaagghhh!!