Saturday, December 18, 2010


Along with my slow increase in mileage I have been doing some cross-training. I have found some great guides written at Kimme Fitness. I like the Deck of Cards workout for a in-home solution and the Back Yard workout for something more adventurous.

I am going to order this guys e-book and maybe try to touch base with him about barefoot running or running in general. Jason Robillard talks about him, so he must be good!

Friday, December 17, 2010

My First Winter Barefoot Run

Burr today was chilly. I had my heart set on running a mile and a tenth(10 percent rule) today. I looked at the weather and saw 30 degree temps and the snow symbol. I then looked outside and saw a bunch of cold rain. How bad could it be?

I bundled up, stretched, did some pushups and situps to warm myself up, and drove off to my spot. The first tenth of a mile were fine. I quickly started loosing feeling in my feet and by the halfway mark I could really only feel things on the tip of my big toe. About 8/10 into the mile my knee started to hurt. I walked for about five seconds and started running again to the finish. Toward the 9/10 of a mile point I started regaining feeling. I ran the remainder of my planned run, hopped in my car, and felt the sting of blood rushing to my feet.

The sting  was also the sting of success. Call me crazy, but I enjoy the cold puddles of water around my feet. I don't know how much longer I could have done it, but for the distance it was enjoyable.

I don't think the wearing on my left foot is from bad form, just dead skin.

During the run I wore my heart rate monitor. Being cold + running got my heart rate up nicely! I really dig my new Garmin 305.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Easing Into It

I haven't ran since my last post. My knee hurt a bit, so I took it easy. I am in no hurry and feel taking my time will be the best.

I have been doing the golf ball trick(rolling it under my foot to stretch the plantar fascia). Since I have started that pain has decreased. The bump on my heel has decreased and become less noticable, as well as the pain when I wake up in the morning has decreased.

I have also found a great use for running(besides running shorts). They have a really great video for strengthening the hips. It can be found here.
I have also been reading Jason Robillard's second edition of The Barefoot Running Book. I am already a fourth of the way done with it, but I am learning new things that either weren't in the first book or I forgot about. He is an excellent writer. A formal review will be posted once I finish. :)

Finally, my girlfriend and I ran in place today(I am writing this after the previous paragraphs). She was barefoot(I think unintentionally), as was I. We watched King of the Hill(~20 minutes), one of our favorite shows. Thursday I want to do a real run. She doesn't like running outside right now because it hurts her chest due to the cold weather. Anyone have any tips to prevent this?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

First Day Back

Today my girlfriend and I started running. We started at one mile and ran it at a comfortable pace. I really enjoyed it and I think she enjoyed it a little more than she thought she would.

About mid-way though the run my knee started to ache a little. I decided to run though it and see what would happen. It didn't bother me too bad.

After the run we played for a little bit...

Then made a short clip of me running so I can analyze my form. Doesn't look too bad. I can't really pinpoint anything wrong with it.

Monday, December 6, 2010


So a few weeks ago I had 2  main problems: my knee and my heel. For about a week my knee has felt better. I haven't ran and have been pretty sedentary . Today I had to run to get somewhere and it did not hurt, so that's a good sign!

On the other hand my heel still has a raised spot that is uncomfortable. After some research I have been lead to believe that it is a bone spur caused by plantar fascitis. So what is plantar fascitis?
"Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia is strained as a result of increased or over activity, poor foot biomechanics, or in association with the normal aging process. The ligament is typically strained repeatedly, over time before the onset of plantar fasciitis. As the ligament stretches beyond its normal extension it causes the soft tissues of the fascia to tear, usually at the point where attached to the heel bone. This leads to inflammation, heel pain, and possible growth of a bone spur (calcaneus) at the heel bone attachment."1

The remedy for plantar fascitis is to stretch the calf, achilles, and plantar fascia.

One thing that I haven't done in months is massage my feet. I used to do this after every run, but became lazy. I massage them by rolling a tennis ball under them. It feels great, is easy to do, and loosens up the plantar fascia.

Since running did not cause me any pain I am going to start running next week or late this week. I am going to start at 1 mile and increase it 10% per week. A great thing about this is that my girlfriend will be running with me. When I asked her to run before it was intimidating because I was running 10+ miles per run. I told her we can start small and build up. I hope this is something that can build our already awesome relationship.

We also plan on hiking some over our Christmas break. I found a book at the library of North Georgia trails, so we should just need to pack our bags and hit the trails.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Rules of My Body

Typically when I am presented with a conflict I spend hours at once trying to fix it. I work hard, get it fixed, and go on with my life.

Running injuries are not like this at all. This year I have had a few injuries, specifically right toward the end of the year. I enjoy running a lot, and I overdo it sometimes. When I had a hurt heal I took a month off. I felt much better when I came back. I hit the ground running and started doing 7 mile runs daily. I thought because I could do it before that I could do it now. I forgot to listen to my body.

For the past week or so my knee has been bugging me. It doesn't hurt unless I'm running. I make it about 1/8 of a mile and it starts to hurt. I know, I must be doing it wrong. I must be running wrong.

I have tried a ton of different form suggestions that all lead to the same thing: knee pain. It sucks to say this again, but I am going to have to take another break. I guess it will be another month. I need to ice it more(I don't have an ice pack). After this I need to come back slow. I am strongly considering starting out doing 2 mile runs every other day and increasing by 10% per week. I have never followed the 10% rule. I need to though. I want to come back stronger than ever. I want to cross train on my off days.

So the thing that has been on my mind: Is this a set back? At first it sounds like it. Looking at it with a more open mind, I feel that it is an opportunity to start fresh and follow the rules of my body. I know things will get better. I just need to be more patient. I really want to be good at running, but I am slowly learning that over-training and hurting myself is not a good way to be a better runner.

Monday, November 22, 2010


I haven't been running lately. I have every intention to, but with finals coming up and a sore knee I haven't had time. I will have time in the next few days to go out and experiment though!

I have been doing squats to strengthen my legs and knees. I have seen an improvement. My knee is much less sensitive to downhill movements.

I have been reviewing some barefoot running tips just to make sure I am doing everything right. Sure enought I stumbled across a few things that I find need improvement.

  • Cadence: My cadence isn't as consistent as I would like it to be. I just need to practice running and paying attention to it. I think around 200 steps-per-minute fits me well.
  • Lifting: I never pay attention to this. I need to be focusing on lifting my feet, not putting them down. 
These plus some forward hip lean will get me running right.

Since I have had all these injuries I don't know if I am going to be able to run the 50K. My mind is telling me to start small again (5K days for a bit until I am comfortable) and build up to the longer distances. I think I lost a lot more than I thought on my time off, but still believe I can run the distances, which will get me hurt in the long run(no pun intended).

Today I experimented with a vegan diet. I found a book on OrganicAthlete that is completely free(PDF download) and informative. Am I magically a vegan now? Heck no! Turkey day is right around the corner! Am I going to make an honest effort to eat more vegan-styled meals? Sure! My health is very important to me and anything to give me an edge over the "I just ate McDonalds now I want to run a 5K" guy is just what I need. I figure I will also appreciate those non-vegan meals I eat from time to time.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Snap, Crackle and Pop: Chiropractors Rule!

Last night a buddy of mine and I were looking through an anatomy book for what was bothering me. I tied it down to 2, well technically 3, muscles: my IT(illiotibial) band and my iliopsoas(a combination of the psoas major, psoas minor, and iliacus).

The pain in my IT band had moved from the side of my leg to the spot where it connects to my knee. I could really feel it when I walked down hills. The iliopsoas hurt when I lifted my knee up toward my chest.

I went to my favorite chiropractor, who aligned me like usual, then looked at my situation. The first thing he noticed was my fibula. How surprising, a professional knows more about my body than I could find in a book! I suspect this is the problem I thought was my IT band since they connect in similar areas.

He then looked at my iliopsoas. He first warned me that it was going to hurt. I then told him to never tell me that again. He made me lay on my back with my knees up and resist his hands, which were on the outside of my knees. I felt a slight pop. I looked at him like with a "Is that it?" look. He said, "Ah that wasn't so bad!"
I had actually watched a video of someone doing the pop on themselves, and tried it, but was afraid to push too hard since I didn't have anyone around me. I'm glad I went to a professional though.

I walked out of there feeling great. I was laughing at how loose I felt and how comfortable I was.  My fibula is still bothering me a bit. I suspect what the chiropractor did is knock it into a place where it can recover. I am strongly considering running tonight and just seeing how it goes. Not today... Chiropractor told me to wait a day to let the muscles relax. Maybe tomorrow!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Barefoot Tyler Business Cards!

Today I got bored and created a business card to hand out to people so I can promote my site. Vistaprint is having a special: 250 cards with anything you want on them(gloss or matte) for $3.99 + shipping and handling. Righteous bucks!1

I created the card using GIMP and the Feetish font.

1. Must be said in a Jeff Spicoli voice

Hip/Pelvic Pain

I am essentially posting this so I can show the great people of reddit where my pain is. It hurts when I kick my leg up. I have a feeling they are just muscles that aren't used to being used as much as I used them yesterday.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Long Days, Blistered, and Rollin'!

RunKeeper Stats of Today's Run I've decided to stop including the map in my blog post. It slows my site down quite a bit.

Last night I had the urge to run. I decided to wait until morning, but set my alarm for 5AM. Well something happened between 4:49 AM and 5:01 AM, because my alarm didn't go off. I suppose I zombied it off.

I ended up waking up at 7, which seemed fair enough.

I washed my face and did about 10 minutes of stretches. I drove out to my favorite run spot and started running.

It was pretty cold at first. I was told that it was 32 degrees F and that was 1 hour after I started. Nevertheless, me and my barefoot feet warmed up around mile 2. During about that time the outer part of my hip started to hurt. I decided to run with it. The pain stayed about the same for another mile.

My running buddy(who I knew was going to be there but was sleeping in) showed up and started to run with me. He set the pace at 9 minutes/mile, which was much faster than my 11 minute/mile pace. I told him about my pains. Something cool happened as I increased my speed though, my pain decreased! He explained to me that he thinks lactic acid builds up on slower runs. He used to run long runs at a 10 minute/mile pace, but found he hurt a lot the next day, while he rarely hurt after a marathon. Convinced, he switched all his practice runs to 9 minutes/mile.

Fair enough, fair enough. I trudged along at that pace, monitoring my form and such until the 11 mile mark, where I called it quits. It's the longest run I've done in a while, so it felt good(mentally) to run that far.

As I was doing some stretching on the hood of my car I noticed some blistering on the bottom of my left foot. Darnit!

I soaked them in hot saltwater, put on some socks, and went to work. All day at work my leg bothered me. Every time I swung it forward to step it hurt. Something just wasn't right!

I came home and immediately began researching some stretches and skimming through some "how to run without injury" articles. I came across some great stuff written by Olympic runners. The thing is, I seemed to be doing everything right.

The idea of a foam roller had been running through my mind all day. If I just had a foam roller... A friend of mine has one, but I feel kind of bad about mooching off his, so I made my own.

If anyone would like to buy one please notify me. They seem to be in high demand...

I watched some videos and went at it. It hurt, but in a good way. By the time I was done rolling over my bottom half twice I was laughing in pleasure(kind of like when the crazy geocaching* chiropractor cracks your neck).

*My chiropractor is a geocaching nut. He recently got his 1000's geocache! That's a lot of time looking through the woods for gold coins and happy meal toys!

And now I am sitting here, writing about how I did all this in one day. And despite the aches and pains, I feel great inside and wouldn't change a thing.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Self Improvement

I haven't had the time to run this week. It's quite sad, but finals are coming up and it's all I can do to study. I have, however, been improving my habits in hope to be more productive.

I have been reading The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich. Reading this was inspired by Jason Robillard. It has given me a ton of lifehacks that I can implement into my life easily, without huge change.

I have recently quit drinking coffee. Why? Because I want to know how bad I am addicted to the stuff. It's day four and I have a headache and want to take a nap. I want some coffee pretty darn bad. I have replaced it with decaffeinated green tea. Until now, I thought the manufacturers added caffeine to the tea. It actually occurs naturally in it, but in the tea form has 1/2 to 1/5 of the caffeine as coffee.1

So far I have noticed an increase in concentration because I am not constantly changing from a caffeine high and crashing. I don't drink coffee with sugar or cream, so I know it is the caffeine that is doing this to me. Addiction is something I am afraid of. If I can't function properly without something I don't want it.(See the relation there to shoes? aye? aye?)

Reddit pointed me to a 30/30 work schedule that I have found effective with some manipulation. I am currently in my 30 minute of fun time with 17 minutes to go. So if this seems rushed you know why. Anyway, this is the link to the article. When I have more stuff to do I change it to a 45/15 schedule. Either way, you are rewarding yourself for working hard and giving yourself incentive to work hard to get everything done in x amount of time. It also gives you a fresh look at your work after a break. Turning your brain off sometimes helps.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Stretching It

I have been trying to stick to my schedule posted here. Unfortunately some problems have been holding me back. My hip flexor is bothering me again. I think I can fix it by stretching it more often. So what is my problem? Time.

I am a full time college student. I don't have much time to run. I need to do something with my schedule so I can have at least 2 hours every day to go from the idea of "oh I gotta go run" and taking a shower after running.
I was, however, impressed with myself by the distances I am still able to run even after a month off. I am trying a little harder than I used to, but 7 miles is really not that bad.

I was a little sore on day 3 of the schedule(7 miles, 7 miles, then 6 miles) but after the run I loosened up. I think my main problem is stretching and warming up. I should be spending more time doing that, but I feel like I am wasting my running time if I start out with a 15 minute stretch. Then again, what do I know.

I suppose today I will stretch thoroughly before I run and try to keep my form nice. I used to think I could just get out and go, but these longer distances are proving me wrong. What are your warmup routines?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner, By Dean Karnazes

 Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner

Topping the "What book should I read for motivation?" threads on /r/running, right next to Born To Run, is Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner.

Ultramarathon Man, written by Dean Karnazes, is essentially the story of how Dean went from an uptight swanky office man to a ultrarunning fanatic. The book is really a few short stories showing different adventures he has partaken in. From the tight running cliques to the toughest runs, this book will beg for you to read it after every page turn.

If you are looking for running motivation, this is your book. As Dean runs 199 miles nonstop for charity, he describes the things that push him forward. Clearly this is a man of steel, both physically and mentally. The thought of a man running this far for someone else is more than enough to make you want to stop whatever you are doing and go run.

His stories show the greatest obstacle to any runner: himself. Every step he makes effects his next step. Something that happened miles back could affect him 3 hours later. I have developed even more of an appreciation for ultramarathoners after reading this book.

Throughout the book he asks himself the question, "Why am I running?" A typical question most runners struggle with.  He gives many answers, but finds peace in one answer that he supports with his whole heart.

Now, Dean does not run barefoot. He finds joy in running in shoes. After finding the shoe that he liked he stuck with it. Do I see him as anything less for wearing shoes? Heck no! If you can run 100+ miles I am in no position to judge you. Do whatever you want and do whatever works for you. I do, however, wonder if he has considered some barefoot training...

If this book has taught me anything it is to run with your heart. Once your legs give out and your mind is telling you to quit, your heart will keep pumping and guide you to the finish.

I give this book a 8/10. It is an excellent read. Why the deduction of points? I think some more details could have been given about what he does to train, what he wears, etc. The lack of these topics is clearly a way to get non-running geeks to read the book, but maybe my interest is a little geeky.

If you are interested in buying the book Ultramarathon Man, please use the links from my site to purchase it. All funding contributes to

Going For A Run

I have a run planned tonight with my girlfriend. It will be the first time I have ran in a month. I had some heel problems(bone brusing I think). I have been waiting for it to heal. It is still there, but I think some gentle running will be good for me and my form.

Anyway, we have probably about 3-4 miles planned. We are just going to run/walk and enjoy ourselves at a steady pace. I will try to make it fun by incorporating some tag or something.

Now, I am off to write my review of Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes. Should be up soon!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Some Thoughts On 50K

As January approaches, I beg my heel to heal. I want to start training again so I know that I can run the Alex's Fat Ass 50K barefoot. It will be a challenge since I have never ran that far and my feet are going back to old softees while waiting for this injury to heal.

Next week I am going to start walking around barefoot in the street to hopefully harden my feet a bit. I understand that toughening of the feet is not necessary to run barefoot, but I know from experience that there is some toughening when beginning running barefoot or starting after a long break.

When my injury heals I want to start cranking out long runs. I will probably be following a slightly modified 8 week plan developed by the RunnersWorld SmartCoach Training Program.

Your current race time is: 0:20:00  for a 5 K
Your distance training goal is: Marathon
You currently train: 41 - 45 miles/week
How hard you want to train: Hard
Your long-run day: Sunday
Your training program Starts: Monday, 11/1/2010 and Ends: Sunday, 12/26/2010
Length of your training schedule: 8 weeks
Wk Dat Mon Tues Weds Thurs Fri Sat Sun Total
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 7 mi
Easy Run
Dist: 7 mi
Tempo Run
Dist: 6 mi, inc
Warm; 4 mi @ 7:04; Cool
Easy Run
Dist: 7 mi
/ XT
Long Run
Dist: 14 mi
41 miles
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 8 mi
Easy Run
Dist: 7 mi
Dist: 6 mi, inc
Warm; 2x1600 in 6:37
w/800 jogs; Cool
Easy Run
Dist: 7 mi
/ XT
Long Run
Dist: 16 mi
44 miles
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 7 mi
Easy Run
Dist: 7 mi
Tempo Run
Dist: 7 mi, inc
Warm; 5 mi @ 7:08; Cool
Easy Run
Dist: 7 mi
/ XT
Long Run
Dist: 18 mi
46 miles
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 8 mi
Easy Run
Dist: 7 mi
Easy Run
Dist: 7 mi
Easy Run
Dist: 7 mi
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 8 mi
37 miles
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 7 mi
Easy Run
Dist: 7 mi
Tempo Run
Dist: 8 mi, inc
Warm; 6 mi @ 7:08; Cool
Easy Run
Dist: 7 mi
/ XT
Long Run
Dist: 20 mi
49 miles
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 8 mi
Easy Run
Dist: 8 mi
Dist: 7 mi, inc
Warm; 3x1600 in 6:33
w/800 jogs; Cool
Easy Run
Dist: 8 mi
/ XT
Long Run
Dist: 20 mi
51 miles
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 4 mi
Easy Run
Dist: 4 mi
Tempo Run
Dist: 7 mi, inc
Warm; 5 mi @ 7:04; Cool
Easy Run
Dist: 4 mi
/ XT
Long Run
Dist: 8 mi
27 miles
/ XT
Easy Run
Dist: 4 mi
/ XT
Tempo Run
Dist: 6 mi, inc
Warm; 4 mi @ 7:04; Cool
Easy Run
Dist: 4 mi
/ XT
Marathon Race Day
Time: 3:18:18
40 miles
Example What it Means
Easy Run
Dist: 3km
Run a total distance of 3 kilometers at a pace of 8 minutes per kilometer.

Dist: 8km, inc
Warm; 3x800 in 4:00
w/400 jogs; Cool
Run a total distance of 8 kilometers. Your run should include:
- a warmup of about 1.5km
- 3 repeats of 800 meters each; each repeat should take 4 minutes
- a 400-meter recovery jog after each repeat
- a cooldown of about 1.5 km
Note: Warmups and cooldowns are generally 1.5 km each. But on some days, you'll need to make them longer to reach the total distance for your run.

Take a rest day, or do moderate cross-training activity.

Race Day
Dist: 5K
@5:00 Time: 20:00
On a race day, run your 5K at a 5-minute per kilometer pace. Your time will be 25:00.

Anyway, what I plan to do is ignore the speeds and focus on the distances for each day. When I run the 50K I will be running at about a 12-15 minute/mile pace. This feels slow for me, but I think if I start slow I can complete it and end strong without injury. I want to run all of my runs at that speed and just get used to being patient with myself. I have a tendency to get cocky and see how fast I can go. If I go slower I can concentrate on good form and maybe not get another injury.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Too Long... Standing Strong

I am still waiting on my heel to heal. I think this is going to be a 6 week thing, meaning I have(*checks blog...*) 3.5 weeks to go. Don't get me wrong, I really want to run, I just don't want to aggravate my heel any more.

After 6 weeks, if it still hurts, I am going to see a doctor just to double check everything.

After I finish healing I am going to still run barefoot, but I think I am going to stay clear of rough trails. I know that the mistake I made that caused my injury is my fault and not a flaw in barefoot running, but a flaw in my experience. I should have ran softer trails first and eased into running the rough terrain. Never-the-less, if I am going to run a rough trail I will probably sport some Vibrams instead. Barefoot running is fun and enjoyable, so I want to be able to do it as much as possible with the least amount of injury.

I have been reading Ultramarathon Man. I take a while to read books, but I only have one more chapter left, so a review should be coming soon. Keep an eye out!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Staying In Shape With Some Low Impact Cardio

Aside from doing the 100 Pushup Challenge and 200 Situp Challenge, I have started something new. I need some way to keep my legs in shape while keeping my heel satisfied. For the first time in 2 years I am riding my bike!

I have had some bad experiences on my bike. Surely I have had more good than bad though. I used to race BMX in the American Bicycle Association and was Expert at age of 12. Sometime while I was 13 I broke my femur at a local race. I still loved racing, but was convinced by my parents that it wasn't in my best interest. I gave it up, took up guitar and pool, and went on with my life.

I really want to post a picture from that era. Maybe I can round one up....

A few years later I had an itch to ride, so I bought a bike and started riding again. A few months after the start I was doing some dirt jumps and had a concussion. Once again, riding was not in my best interest, so I gave it up.

So what am I doing back on my bike? Well instead of concentrating on getting big air or seeing how fast I can go around a track, I am concentrating on seeing how much I really need a car. Luckily, while doing this, I am able to get some much needed exercise in. I can already feel it in my legs! (These Georgia hills are something!) I can also feel it working my arms and chest. I had some brutal pecks when I raced, maybe I can get them back.

So here I am, saving gas, taking five minutes longer to get somewhere, enjoying myself, and getting a workout all at once. Most importantly, I am trying to be safe. I don't want any more incidents. Wish me luck!

On a barefoot running note, I tried running yesterday just to test out some changes in form. I have come to a conclusion that my current form is the one for me. Everything else I do feels odd. My heel is still uncomfortable. When I stand on it barefoot I feel the bruising. I am positive that resting it will help it heal faster, but I am just impatient. Grrrr wanna run!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

100 Pushup and 200 Situp Challenge

For those of you who have never heard of the 100 Pushup challenge, it is essentially a training guide to get your butt off the couch and do some pushups. There is also a 200 situp version which does the same. The goal of these is to reach 100 consecutive pushups and 200 consecutive situps all at once, for each individual activity.

I am taking a break from running to give my heel some time to heal, but I told myself that I would build my core. I figure pushups and situps are better than nothing.

I started Week 2 of each training guide. I am fit enough where I don't have a problem starting a bit ahead. Every other day I am going to do the 100 pushup and 200 situp challenge to gain strength. I don't really care if I actually am able to do 100 pushups or 200 situps, just that I am staying strong.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Playing With Pose

I am still on my recovery, but I started studying techniques that may help me prevent injury. One of them, is the Pose technique.

From what I can tell, I am supposed to fall forward with my back straight, head up, bending at my ankles. I tried it for a few steps on the carpet floors(to not irritate my heel) and it felt alright. It definitely kept me more on the balls of my feet without stressing my calf muscles. Now, is this better? I dunno. I only ran 10 feet with it.

Will I go full on Pose method if I do decide to keep the form? Probably not. It is something I want to play with and implement into my running if it works for me. Experimentation can be good right? Anyone have any experiences with Pose or even Chi running?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Taking A Break

My heel still isn't feeling better. I talked to a doctor today and he believes that it is a bone bruise and won't get better unless I give it some rest for 4-6 weeks. He recommend just trying 2 weeks and seeing if it feels better.

I am going to take his advice. These next few weeks are going to be bad without running, but I know that it is for the better and will help me in the long run(no pun intended). I think once I get my heel taken care of maintaining a streak will be much easier.

I plan on reading more about running through Ultramarathon Man
and The Barefoot Running Book and posting reviews of each.

I also want to work on strengthening my core by doing pushups and situps, as well as other exercises. I think when I reach a point of fatigue during the Alex's Fat Ass 50K these core exercises will carry me though.

After this 4-6 week period my training will start again. I will focus on running flat surfaces, since most of the 50K is flat. I will be focusing on my form, distance, and core building. I want to be able to run at least 25 miles before the big run. I expect the awesomeness of the race to carry me the other 6ish miles.

Here are some pictures I took yesterday but forgot to put up at Yahoola. It really is a nice place.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Taco Bell, The Runs, and Speedy Surprises

Yesterday I did not want to run. I had Taco Bell the night before, and it didn't work out... It left me feeling weak and tired.

I set out to run one mile so I could at least qualify for USRSA. At the top of the hill that I was looping I did something I didn't even expect myself to do, I ran away from the finish. I ran the 3 miles I told myself I would run prior to the Taco Bell fiasco.  I kept it slow and steady, but I felt so great after I ran. Sometimes, a little run is all you need to ease the pain.

Today I slacked. I didn't run all day and was actually debating on whether or not to run. My heel was still bothering me. I iced it twice today and it finally started to feel better. I have been walking with Crocs on, but still running barefoot. I think the improper gait I use when I walk while barefoot doesn't help my heel. Crocs soften the step.

Anyway, tonight I went to Yahoola. I started out at a steady pace, then felt myself speeding up. Since I was only running 3 miles I figured I could let myself go a bit. The second mile came around 16 minutes 40 seconds. I decided to give myself a good run and ran as fast as I could. It really felt good to run hard for a mile. It gets the endorphins going and gives the body something more than step, breathe, step, breathe, repeat.

This is what inspired me to run hard... Thanks Jason!

I finished that last mile at 7:04, which is fast for me. While it felt great to go fast, I really need to focus on distance. This Sunday I will try for 15 miles and see how it feels. I have to double that January, so I might-as-well start it now.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I think I end up running more hills than my fellow runners, not because I have the ambition to be an excellent hill runner, but because there seems to be a huge hill everywhere I run.

Today I went out of my way to hit some hills. The route I like to run usually includes one big downhill in the loop, then one big uphill. Today, I got to the top of the uphill, turned around, and went up the hill I just went down. (That doesn't really make sense does it?). I ran hills today. BLAHHHH!

I actually really enjoyed it. The weather made all the difference. Maybe Fall is finally starting.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Couldn't Keep Away

I wrote about running in place earlier today, then I started reading up on the United States Running Streak Association. Since I already have a little over a week under my belt, I might as well just try to run 1 mile every day to try to play by their rules.

The weather was cool, but the sun was shining, so I ran.

I iced my heel earlier today and will do it again tonight. It is really helping the pain and I didn't notice any discomfort during my run.

Running In Place

I told myself that part of my streak would involve running in place if the weather did not cooperate. I did run in place today, because it was raining a lot, but I am considering going out to run more. Why? I feel like I cheated. :(

The United States Running Streak Association defines a streak as:
STREAK DEFINITION: A running streak is defined by USRSA as running at least one
continuous mile within each calendar day under one’s own body power (without the
utilization of any type of health or mechanical aid other than prosthetic devices).

If I want to be a member of this seemingly cool group in a little less than a year, I better get my butt out there! Then again, what do I care if I am part of some cool kids club or not? One mile today couldn't hurt though...

While browsing reddit's running subreddit I found this video. I think it is really great and displays trail running and a runners commitment nicely. Most of all, it makes me want to hit the trail!

Sunday, September 26, 2010


This morning I woke and my heel hurt. I iced it for 20 minutes and it felt so much better. After eating a huge lunch/dinner and hanging out with family I really wanted to run. It was cool and barely raining. The ground was wet. I needed to run.

I decided to run a flat area that I knew since I wanted to keep it easy and it was getting dark out. I immediately noticed how fast I was running. When the RunKeeper lady said 1 mile, 8:57, I was surprised since I wasn't trying hard. The next mile was faster, then the mile after that was faster.

All-in-all it was a great run.

I also hung out with my Aunt and Uncle today. She is a personal trainer. We talked barefoot running. I tried to not shove it down her throat too much. She seemed be interested.

I let her borrow The Barefoot Running Book and Born to Run.

She was complaining about shin splints. She said the nice man at the shoe store told her she was rolling in on her foot and that she needed custom orthotics. I showed her some barefoot running technique. With my 30 second crash course on barefoot running, Jason Robillards awesome book, and some inspiration from Born To Run, she may be set!

Welp, that's all for today. Keep on running guys!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Backwards Route

I did my new, but typical route, only mostly backwards.

At the start my heel hurt. I milked it by using more of the front of my foot to run, thus tensing my calf. Toward mid-run I was running mostly normal. Throughout this whole run my stride was very short and knees extremely bent. This made my steps really soft, which is great for me.

On my way home my fifth metatarsal on my left foot, the one with the heel problem, started hurting. Landing on the bone was hurting me. I walked for about 45 seconds, then started to speed it up a bit. I did my form check: back straight, head facing forward(not down), knees bent, short stride, and feet landing in front of each other. Sure enough I was able to run home.

During my 30 miler I will need to do this form check every ten minutes or so.

So yep, that's about it. I was afraid I wasn't going to get a run in today and would have to run in place tonight. I'm glad that wasn't the outcome.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Day 4, Some Pitfalls...

Today's run felt great. I ran it faster than I did on Monday and felt overall better about it.

A problem I have been having for a while is with my heel. I do land midfoot and gently rest the heel on the ground, but I think it is bruised and has been for some time. I think it has been sore for at least a month now. I believe it started by stepping on a pesky rock on the trail. It only hurts when I use my heel while walking, and it rarely hurts while running(because of my mid-foot stride), but sometimes during my runs I step on a rock in the right spot and it hurts like a mofo.

Anyway, I am debating what to do about it. I think I am going to wear more cushioned shoes during my day(I have been walking around in VFFs) so I take the stress off when I use my heel the most. I also am going to ice it today. After some internet research I have concluded that it is either fine or I am going to have to have surgery. Thanks internet. I will still run tomorrow, since I am gentle on my heel during running anyway.

I have posted this on Runner's World Forums to see what they think.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hot HOt HOT!

Day 3 of my streak was a little tougher than I expected. I got out of class around 11 and decided to do a mid-day run. The sun was shining and temps were in the high 80's F.

I decided to make it an easier run and leave out the tough hills from yesterday. I still ran a hill or five, but they weren't nearly as rediculous as yesterdays.

All day yesterday my IT band was hurting me. This never happens to me. I looked up some stretches, considered buying a foam roller, and watched a few videos on youtube. I tried to do one stretch, but it didn't do anything for me. I then walked outside and ran 3 miles. What do ya know? The IT band didn't hurt anymore! With my old schedule it could have hurt for days and just by running I was able to clear up the pain.

On some of the hills my left achilles was hurting, but it wasn't so bad that I couldn't run. I expected there to be some pain, as this is some of the most continuous exercise I have gotten in my life.

Finally, on my way home the sun was really shining and the ground was toasty. I know that my feet are getting more used to the heat. When I first started barefoot running my feet got blistered. Now, under the same conditions, my feet are fine. I even ran on some really hot metal. It was uncomfortable, but my feet were fine afterwards. Hooray for perseverance!

Day 4 is coming up. Might do a trail run in my VFF KSOs and see how big the difference is between them and barefoot on the trail. Then again, I might just run around town again. The change of scenery is nice. Maybe I'll take some pictures from my route. People like pictures. Right?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Keeping Up

I've been slacking. The last two months have been packed with college leaving me little room to run. Fortunately, I have found a way to keep myself motivated. I'm going streaking!

For those that don't know, a running streak is simply running every day for a specific amount of time/distance or more. Right now my goal is to run at least three miles every day.

On the days where the weather is really bad(lightning storms) I will run in place for 40 minutes. This is almost double the time of my fastest 5K. The reason being it is not as hard of a workout, but it is boring. It gives me incentive to just run outside. During these runs I will probably watch Rugrats.

So far, I have run two days in a row(yes, such a big deal). Yesterday's run was ~10.5 miles and todays was a 5K.

The 10 miler went great. My RunKeeper messed up, but I think I got the path correct. I know the time is right. It looks about right...

Today's route was completely new. I started at the same ol' spot, but went through some REALLY hilly neighborhoods. Once I reached the top of the hill at 1.2ish miles I felt like a king.

One section of this was through town. I was running on the sidewalk and a car was pulled over it waiting to pull out into the road. The driver was nice enough to back up and let me pass. I guess he felt I didn't really want to run on gravel. It would have been fine, but I appreciate the thought! He probably recognized me from The Nugget. It was a great run. A little hard on the hills, but I feel great right now.

Well back to studying Discrete Math. AdiĆ³s!

Friday, September 10, 2010

PADMA NailMat Review

A few months ago I contacted PADMA, the creators of the PADMA NailMat, to ask if I could do a review for them. They were kind enough to send me one!

I explained to them that us barefoot runners all have something in common, feeling. We love to feel the ground and anything on it.

The advantages of the PADMA NailMat are described by PADMA as:
For centuries, nail mats have been used for meditation and yoga in China and India. But you don't have to know the first thing about either acupressure, yoga or meditation to use your PADMA NailMat. Simply lie down on it and feel the mat start working its magic. Within minutes, you'll start feeling warm and relaxed. You might even fall asleep lying on the mat, and that's quite alright. You can hardly overuse your PADMA NailMat, and the longer you lie on it the greater its effect.
The first thing I did when I got the NailMat was read the instructions. They basically said that I can do whatever I want with the NailMat. I can lay on it with my shirt on, off, in any position that I want for as long as I want. I like to use a small pillow to support my head on my hard wood floor.

Naturally, I took my shirt off and dived right in! I lay down on it as fast as possible to apply an even amount of pressure across my back. At first it felt uncomfortable. My back kind of stung, but I stuck with it. I layed there for five minutes and decided to get up and let others try. My grandmother loved it!

The next day I tried it again. This time it wasn't as uncomfortable. I layed there for 5 minutes and decided to stay a little longer. This time for 10 minutes. I got up and felt nice and relaxed.

The back of the PADMA NailMat

I have been using the NailMat for about three months now and love it. I lay on it whenever I need to relax and take some time for myself. I can comfortably lay on it for extended periods of time. I found after the first five minutes I completely forget that I am on it and am in a very relaxed state.

After some time on the PADMA NailMat I get some cool markings on my back. As red as my back looks, it does not hurt. Actually, when I get up it sends a cool feeling to my back.

On the feet the PADMA NailMat is a little different. Even with the reduced sensitivity on my feet the NailMat is a bit uncomfortable to stand on. I do, however, enjoy sitting on the couch and put my feet on it. I don't think running in place on it would do much for a barefoot runner as far as training goes, since it gets you used to sharp small objects, which aren't so common while running barefoot. It could, however, help decrease the foot's sensitivity. I will have to try this more and see if it helps with anything.

The PADMA NailMat looks like it is a great product that will hold up nicely over the years. It obviously doesn't take much abuse, as I just lay on it. The construction is simple. There are two parts to it. There is the foam inside, and the cloth+nail outside. I have not needed to wash it, but I figure I can just put the cloth part in the washer and air dry it.

All-in-all I really enjoy my PADMA NailMat. I recommend it to anyone that wants a new way to relax. After fifteen minutes on the PADMA NailMat I feel refreshed and ready to continue on with my day. Hopefully you will too.

If you are interested in purchasing the PADMA NailMat, please do yourself a favor and use the promotional code KQ76-8382 at for a $5 discount.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Welcome Nuggeters

If you have recently read the article about me in The Dahlonega Nugget and have an interest in barefoot running, please understand that barefoot running, like any sport, can be potentially dangerous if not executed properly. Thankfully our bodies inform us when we are running wrong while barefoot. Barefoot Running is very fun and peaceful. I encourage anyone that is looking to begin running, improve their form, or just try something new to try barefoot running. To make things simpler for yourself, please do some research on how to run barefoot before attempting it. Here are some resources that I find useful:
If you prefer to have a physical book that will explain the many techniques of barefoot running check out  The Barefoot Running Book: A Practical Guide to the Art and Science of Barefoot and Minimalist Shoe Running.

For an amazing adventure, good read, and answers to many of the "Why?"questions, check out Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen.

If you want to go out for a run with me or ask me questions don't hesitate to send me an email at barefoottyler (at) gmail (dot) com.

Of course, look around, read some of my posts, and subscribe to my feed(located on the sidebar) or "Follow" me(also on the sidebar) so you can receive updates for

I Was On The Front Page Of The Dahlonega Nugget For Barefoot Running!

The other day I got a call from Matt Aiken. He wanted to conduct an interview on barefoot running. I was more than excited and took the opportunity to promote barefoot running.

This is the article. No shoes? No problem for local runner

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Night On The Town

I went running with my girlfriends, roommates, brother today. He was wearing VFF Bikilas. He wanted to do a 5K, so we did one.

The first thing I noticed was his form. I'm not trying to be mean, but his strides were really large and his steps were really loud. I think he should consider bending his knees more and taking shorter steps. It just sounded really painful. Of course, I started to tell him how to run, he said "what?" because he didn't hear me, then I realized he didn't ask so I shut up and we carried on.

The run went well. I wanted to fly down the hills, but he was stomping a lot and I didn't want him to get hurt, so I slowed down.

I guess if he asks for advice or complains about pain I will help him, but until then I will keep my mouth shut like a good little boy.

How do you go about giving advice to people that don't ask for it?

Monday, September 6, 2010

I'm Back In The Saddle Again

Today's run felt great. Probably the best run in a month.

I ran a different, more scenic route. I basically ran across the city of Dahlonega, starting at 52, crossing over 52, and ending up... on 52. Happy Hollow was like running on a cheese grater.

I also ran by a dead possum in the middle of the road. I had to cover my nose and mouth to stop from gagging. Poor thing.

My feet were really tender the day before yesterday. I ran 6 paced miles(runkeeper didn't track it). I let them heal and sure enough I was able to run longer and faster today. I am confident if I keep increasing my mileage and experiencing with new surfaces I will be able to run Alex's Fat Ass 50K no problem.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Comment Moderation

I recieved an uneducated, clearly promotional comment on my last post. I will exclude the link, since I do not agree with others using my blog, without permission, for promotion.
To me barefoot running is very dangerous. Come to think of it, you might step on something painful like broken glass or a contaminated nail perhaps. You never know, you might end up getting infected or something like that. Instead of searching on the Internet about barefoot running, why don't try barefootshoes like Vibrams. I think it's the best alternative for barefoot running. It looks like a glove and it's very light. In terms of comfort and convenience, I have to say it's very impressive. Here's a sample image to see how it looks like. [REMOVED LINK]
 Opinions are fine, but throwing a link at the end of the comment made me mad. I understand that the guy is probably just trying to make some money off promoting a website, but I don't want it on my site without my permission.

Other than that, his argument has considerable flaws.
you might step on something painful like broken glass or a contaminated nail perhaps.
Yes, but I am sure I will be able to avoid it by watching out in front of me. I have ran over broken glass and guess what happened? Nothing. My step was light and I did not even know it was there until my trip back over the same spot.  Contaminated nails aren't really anything to worry about. If a nail is laying down on the ground, it won't pierce the skin anyway. If it is, by some chance sticking straight up, anyone, even someone with shoes, can step on it and "infect" themselves.
Instead of searching on the Internet about barefoot running, why don't try barefootshoes like Vibrams.
Questions are typically ended with the symbol '?'... anyway. Barefoot running teaches one to run with a light step. A light step is needed for "barefootshoes", such as Vibrams. Additionally, I like to feel the ground, the dirt between my toes, and the moisture of the river; something that you can't do as well in Vibrams or other "barefootshoes".

So yes, that is my take. Don't post advertisements on my site without asking. I appreciate the advice, but I have done the research and enjoy barefoot running. Thanks.

I have enabled comment moderation from now on. All that means is that I have to approve comments before they show up on the site. 

First Run In Two Weeks

Yesterday was my first run in two weeks. Due to a trail race coming up, I hit the trails.

My pace was slower than I expected. It took me 3 times longer to run three miles on the trail than it did to run on asphalt. Pace is something I will work on after comfort.

My feet were a little more sensitive than two weeks ago, but I think they will be fine by the end of the week. I am going to try to run the trail as much as possible(probably for every run until the race). I really want to get comfortable on the large, loose gravel sections.

Lake Zwerner is proving to be troublesome. The sharp pointy rocks prutruding from the sharp downhills is causing problems. I have to almost walk down them. Of course, practice makes perfect, and in a month I should know the fastest route down them.

So why am I doing this? I love the feel of the ground. I won't lie, the wrong steps suck, but the right steps feel awesome. After I run and my feet are a little sore I feel like I accomplished something. Every time I run it I feel more comfortable. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Site, Barefoot Running Is Bad, Is #1 When Searching For Barefoot Running On Google

The other day I was trying to get more information on barefoot running when I came across this.

This, well, really sucks. I can see tons of curious people wanting to learn to run barefoot, only to see this. Worst of all, most people that have heard about barefoot running have doubts about it and are looking for more information on it. They search, and their doubts are verified.

Personally, I think a site like 'Barefoot Running is Bad' is pathetic to begin with. There are many sites on barefoot running, discussing its benifits and flaws. Why create one to bash it? Why not just create a site on shod running and talk about how great it is.

I understand that most barefoot running articles and sites tackle shod running and call it bad. The difference is, these articles are titling themselves as "Barefoot Running May Save Your Knees" as opposed to "Shod Running Will Cripple You". Downtalking others shows a weakness in your argument. Other than that, if someone wants to do something perfectly legal that you see harmful to your body, you should by no means pester them about it. If they complain of ailments, then offer guidance.

So how can this be fixed? #2 on the Google search for 'Barefoot Running' is the awesome site hosted by our good friend Barefoot Ken Bob, The Running Barefoot. Do him, and all prospecting barefoot runners, a favor and link to his site. This will boost the search priority.

Alright, heading out for a nice trail run... without shoes.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Gravel Training

Inspired by Todd Ragsdale, I started gravel training today. I only did it for about 10 minutes, but I can already feel the great effects! Not only that, I can't wait to do it again!

 Some small gravel with light litter

After running in place and also within the range of what you can see in the picture, I ran on some larger gravel. Surprisingly, that gravel didn't bother me. What does this mean? Most of my gravel and rock running issues are psychological. It may hurt a little, but no where near as much as I think. If I keep this up, along with some laps around Lake Zwerner, I'll be in tip-top shape for the 5K.

Monday, August 30, 2010


  • The sickness
I am feeling much better today. I can still feel some junk in my lungs and I am more tired that usual, but other than that I am doing great.

  • Upcoming Events
I am planning on running a 5K at Lake Zwerner. My time for this one will probably be a little on the slow side. Once I feel better I will start training there as much as possible. Right now, since I've been sick, my feet are a little more sensitive then they were a week ago. Fortunately, a few trips around the lake will straighten me right out.

  • New training techniques
I am going to try to implement this training technique inspired by Todd Ragsdale, the world record holder for the most barefoot miles in 24 hours.

  • Publicity
Last night I got an email from Matt Aiken, a writer for the local newspaper "The Dahlonega Nugget". He wanted to interview me about my barefoot running. I explained to him why I enjoyed it and why I chose to do it yada yada yada. He told me he would run barefoot with me sometime in the near future at Yahoola. We took some pictures at Yahoola and he went on his way(we took pictures at 13:30 and he had to have his article in by 17:00). So yup, I'll be in the newspaper Wednesday promoting Barefoot Running. Sweet!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired

I have had a cold since Tuesday. It started out as a sore throat and has moved to my nose and lungs. I have went to the doctor and they told me it was viral, but I am going back tomorrow since I have been coughing stuff up from my lungs. Maybe they will give me antibiotics or something...

I haven't been running because I have been so beat from this cold. I feel it is best not to. I think the only thing this taper will affect is my feet, which sometimes sting after some dormancy. I can probably get them back to acceptable shape after a few days though.

I probably won't run until at least Wednesday. I'm itching to, but know it is better than I don't.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


I woke up this morning wanting to do a nice trail run. The nearest trail is the not-so-barefoot-friendly trail around the lake.

I started off running, if you want to call it that, on some large gravel. This stuff was gnarly. The trail smoothed out to some scattered rocks, some of which were easy to avoid. Finally, toward the end, I hit some more gravel, which was a little easier to run on.

The worst things about this trail are the large rocks that shoot out of the down-hills. The flat spots on this trail are fine, but it was the hills that hurt.

Anyway enough whining.

As I was tip-toeing around I asked myself, "Why am I not running?" I tried to just go at a 10 minute/mile pace and I was surprised how easily I glided across the land. I felt really great. This feeling ended on the sharp downhill rocks, but the freeness continued for the rest of the run. There's just something liberating about running smooth.

I've been doing a mix of 1/4 Gatorade + 3/4 water. Seems to fill in my needed sugar and electrolytes(my light headedness the other day encouraged this).

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

First Day of School

Well obviously not my first, but at least for my Senior year of college!

When I started running I was not in school, or was at least taking a convenient online class. I didn't know how I would implement my running into my schedule. After registering for all the classes I needed I found that I had a 3 hour gap between my first and second class. Sweet! I can get some running in there!

The place I ran at yesterday is near the college, so I wore my running clothes to Physics. After class I kissed the girlfriend and went on my way. I wore my Crocs when I walked down there since the gym probably didn't want me walking around barefoot(this is where I store my stuff). I also wore the Crocs for the walk since I didn't want any wierd looks. I like to keep my barefoot running quiet, but when someone asks I give them the speech.

I ended up running almost 7 miles. It was hot out, but tolerable. The pavement didn't burn my feet, but I felt it getting warmer. There was one time when I realized I forgot to put on my BodyGlide, so I ran up the nutshell covered part of the trail and put it on some of my more discrete parts.

I drank my awesome milkshake before the run, this time leaving out the banana and putting in chocolate chip cookies. Oreos tasted better and seemed to blend better.

Well that's about it, off to do some homework!