Monday, January 31, 2011

Week 2 of My Recovery

I could not bike to school today. It was very rainy and I didn't want to show up to class soaked. Reluctant to pay $5, I told myself I would do my workout when I got home.

I rode my bike to my running spot(1.88 miles), ran(0.5 miles), and rode back(1.88 miles). It was a KILLER workout and I didn't have any problems with my knee!

Physical Therapy

Today I went to the schools physical therapist. I heard they were giving out a free exam to first-timers. I told the physical therapist my story, my stack of injuries due to overuse, my dreams of running an ultra, etc. I tried to not mention that I run barefoot since I figured he would recommend custom orthotics.

Anyway, he looked at my knee and thinks that it is patellar tendinitis. He taught me how to really stretch and showed me some exercises. I was really excited because even after the stretching the pain went away. Essentially, my quad was really tight and I was not stretching it while pushing out my hips. He was really nice and told me to come back if I needed anything.

On my way out the door he asked me if I was planning on doing an ultra. I told him I would try to do the Alex's Fat Ass 50K next year. He then asked, "You don't wear those five-finger shoes do you?" Hesitantly, I confirmed. What he said next was the best news I have heard all day... "Awesome! I have a pair. I read Born To Run and it kind of convinced me."(I am paraphrasing...)

This is awesome news. Physical therapists, or at least mine, are looking into the barefoot movement and appreciating it. Good job bare-footers.

The moral of this story is to go to doctors/therapists, even if you think they won't agree with your opinion. You might be surprised and they actually know what they are talking about!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Doing it in the Woods

Long time I know. I will try to keep up. I have just been doing strengthening exercises based on my hips and legs. I think they are helping my knee problems.

I saw the above poster at school and immediately sent an email to the leader. He said they usually run 45 minutes to an hour, every business day of the week, on road and dirt trail. Sounded fair enough.

I tried to run shortly after reading that poster. I just did a quarter of a mile. I went by my instincts and did what felt right to me. I fully engaged my hips and tried to twist the leading knee's hip above the knee. This resulted in a little waste of energy, but my feet glided across the ground. To me, at least at this point, less stress on my knees is what I need and that is exactly what the glide does for me.

I am going to continue doing strengthening exercises on Tuesday and Thursday. I will also run and do some yoga Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On Saturday I will do whatever I want and take off on Sunday. This should be a good balance between rest and exercise.

So far I am pretty excited about the running group. I am not sure how they will perceive my barefootedness, but I'm sure they won't mind. If they do I just won't run with them.

I am going to wait until I feel capable of running for 45 minutes until I join the group. I wouldn't want to hurt anything.

I have a review of my new yoga mat coming up soon. Keep in touch.

Seeking Improvements

For the past week I have been trying to improve myself.


I signed up for a DailyBurn account and have been tracking my diet. It actually helps limit how much I eat in some testing situations. I do not track my exercises that can be tracked on RunKeeper with it. I found that even with my dinnertime overeating I typically don't exceed the calorie limit that is suggested for me. I've been drinking a protein shake with black beans(Trust me it's good. I'll post a recipe later). For lunch I have rice or quinoa with black beans. I figured out how to use the crock pot to make black beans. It's so easy and cheap.

As I discovered this morning, riding a bike is fine with Vibram Five Fingers even with my Primo pedals. I was out of breath(I figured I would be) but felt great for the one class I had today.


On top of the various workouts I have been doing for my knee and lower body, I have also started doing the 100 Pushup Challenge, 200 Squat Challenge, and 200 Sit-Up Challenge(again). This time I am sticking to the intermediate level.

and of course... Running!

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

2 hr Farleks aka:fart licks

My first attempt at running based on time and not distance. Weird for me.
Tyler set me up a ascending and descending time Fartleks program..
I ran 2 hours alternating between brisk walk, slow trot and moderate running.

Temp 29 degrees, Ran in Vibram Five Fingers shoes, then last 15 minutes barefoot..feet were numb from temperature.

Wearing Hydration back pack (new Camelback Octane, XCT, 2011 model)

details of run at

The numbers to the right of each segment is the total elapsed time, it was the only way to keep it straight . I had to run with the program printed out.

(Listening to Rock...Bush, Van Halen, and Kidd Rock)

3 min warm up walk

1 minute walk - 4 mins
1 minute slow -5 mins
1 minute moderate -6 mins

2 minute walk 6-8 mins
2 minutes slow 8-10 mins
2 minutes moderate 10-12 mins

3 minutes walk 12-15 mins
3 minutes slow 15-18 mins
3 minutes moderate 18-21 mins

4 minute walk 21-25 mins
4 minutes slow 25-29 mins
4 minutes moderate 29-33 mins

5 minutes walk 33-38 mins
5 minutes slow 39-43 mins
5 minutes moderate 43-48 mins

4 minute walk 48-52 mins
4 minutes slow 52-56 mins
4 minutes moderate 56-60 mins

3 minutes walk 60-63mins 1:00 hr-1:03 hr
3 minutes slow 63-66 1:03-1:06 hr
3 minutes moderate 66-69 1:06-1:09 hr

2 minute walk 69-71 1:09-1:11 hr
2 minutes slow 71-73 1:11-1:13 hr
2 minutes moderate 73-75 1:13-1:15

(changed the tunes to Five Finger Death Punch- metal band)

1 minute walk 75-76 1:15-1:16 hr
1 minute slow 76-77 1:16-1:17 hr
1 minute moderate 77-78 1:17-1:18 hr

2 minute walk 78-80 1:18-1:20 hr
2 minutes slow 80-82 1:20-1:22 hr
2 minutes moderate 82-84 1:22-1:24 hr

3 minutes walk 84-87 1:24-1:27 hr
3 minutes slow 87-90 1:27-1:30 hr
3 minutes moderate 90-93 1:30-1:33 hr

4 minute walk 93-97 1:33-1:37 hr
4 minutes slow 97-101 1:37-1:41 hr
4 minutes moderate 101-105 1:41-1:45 hr

Took off shoes! celebration run

5 minutes walk 105-110 1:45-1:50 hr
5 minutes slow 110-115 1:50-1:55 hr
5 minutes moderate 115-120 1:55-2:00 hr

cool down run


I learned to hate the Slow trots..I couldn't wait til it was time to run moderately.
Felt great at the end, Felt great that I covered 14 K
Wished that it was warmer!!!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ready To Run

I have been cooped up inside all week. We had some crazy snow for this area and haven't been able to go anywhere or run at all. While reading reddit's running subreddit I found: Anatomy of a 6 Month IT Band Injury – Post-Injury Analysis and Lessons Learned. What I found was a ton of tips and an in depth explanation of healing the IT band. Now, is my IT band causing my knee pain? I don't know... but it couldn't hurt to work with it!

Today I stretched and did the workouts listed on that page. It feels good to activate the muscles in my legs. I have been running with a metronome for five minutes a day for the past two days at 210 steps per minute. My knee isn't bothering me. If I can take this form to the street I should be fine.

Well, that's my update. I ordered a sweet yoga mat. It should be coming in any time now...

Monday, January 10, 2011

CSN and Knee Healing

I was recently contacted by CSN to do a product review. See, CSN is comprised of over 200 websites, including everything from luggage stores to cookware and fitness. They offered me $15 credit toward any product that I want in their selection, which is clearly huge. I am going to pick out a new yoga mat, since foam rolling has taken a toll on my elbows(carpet burn).

I haven't ran in a while. I have been trying to be patient and let my knee heal. It is clear that it isn't going to heal while I continue to run. With that being said, I am going to try to do some activities  inspired by Jason Robillard, such as walking in place for 3 days a week until it is completely comfortable. After that, I will continue running. I am trying not to get frustrated with the knee problems. I just want to look at them as a learning experience and something that I can use to teach others about after I getting rid of it myself.

Whitney and I did a really awesome hike up Blood Mountain the other day. I will post some pictures soon.

Take care

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Review of The Barefoot Running Book Second Edition by Jason Robillard

Ten months ago I was sitting in my university library. I was supposed to be studying for a final, but instead was pondering barefoot running. I had heard it mentioned on reddit, but didn't think much good or bad about it. For some reason the thought popped into my mind. I started doing some research and found Barefoot Ken Bob, Barefoot Ted, the book Born To Run, and many other related links. In that pile of awesome barefootedness Barefoot Running University stuck out.

I don't know what it was about the Barefoot Running University that intrigued me, but I couldn't stop reading. The information was laid out so nicely in an easy-to-read format that I could relate to. In the corner of that page was a book written by the author of the site. It was the first edition of The Barefoot Running Book. I ordered it, said thanks to the author and read it within a week. Since then I have passed it on to other prospecting barefoot runners.

When a new version of The Barefoot Running Book came out I contemplated needing it. The author, Jason Robillard, strongly promotes minimalism not only on feet, but in life. Was this a want or a need? Eh who cares I had to have it!

I wrote Jason(we had communicated a few times since then) and asked him if I sent him money via Paypal if he would send me a signed copy. He quickly replied, asking me for my address. Within a few days The Barefoot Running Book, second edition, arrived at my doorstep free of charge, autographed, and with a nice note.
                  You're a great ambassador for barefoot running. Keep up the good work!


This version took me a little bit longer to read. I was bothered with my studies and had a few books in line before it.
If you are skimming through this post and looking for a book review you can start reading here.
Jason Robillard has many years of barefoot running under his belt. He teaches through experience. If he finds something that works for him he informs the reader, even if the notions seem odd or unpopular.

 The book is written from a teacher-to-student point-of-view. Jason is a psychology teacher and the material covered in the book is best learned from a teacher-to-student perspective.

 This book fits right into the barefoot movement styled books out there. Compared to The Barefoot Book it gives less information on why barefooting is so great, but seems to provide more information on how to run barefoot, which is clearly the intention of the book.

The Barefoot Running Book is geared toward a wide range of runners. From pure barefoot runners to even those shod that want to run correctly, the book fills in all the cracks. 

Jason writes in a formal, but laid back style. He seemed much more professional in this book and cracked less jokes than the previous edition. Is this a good thing? Eh... it depends on who you ask. Personally, I was expecting something clever in the section about injuries, but I guess if he is trying to appeal to a professional audience and get the point across that barefoot running is serious, then it is a good move on his part. 

 The Barefoot Running book is easy to follow. It persuades, gives beginner to advance advice, includes a ton of well written testimonials, and finishes up with some of Jason's success stories. As far as flow, it couldn't be written better. 

 Since reading this book I have only reinforced my perspective on barefoot running. Being similar to the first edition, the second edition makes me want to get out and run barefoot daily. It also encourages me to get out and be barefoot all the time. It is neat to see how my body reacts to conditions I didn't think it could possibly stand a few years ago.

I would recommend this book to all barefoot runners, beginners to advanced. I feel like I have a handbook that answers all my questions. If for some reason I lost this book I would buy it again, just to have a great reference and support a great author. 

Of course if you don't believe my praises you can give it a glance yourself. Jason has the first fifty pages available on his website(click here to open the PDF).

If you are interested in purchasing please use this Amazon link to do so or buy directly from Jason at Barefoot Running University.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Foam Rolling, Marathoners, and Hiking

The day before yesterday was my run day. I tried doing the c25K program. The walk in the beginning started out longer than expected. This was because my buddy Mitch showed up. We talked about his recent marathon in Honolulu and discussed foam rolling. He told me that he typically foam rolls his IT band for fifteen minutes a day, takes a break, then rolls for ten more minutes. This was much more than the two minutes that I had attempted previously. I tried to run but my knee started bugging me again. I hope that it feels better when I run after I roll it for a bit.

Here he is running like a champ and finishing in the top 1000 at 03:51:10. He is an excellent runner and is always one step ahead of me.

Seeing as school is starting back soon, Whitney and I decided to go on a hike tomorrow. Pictures will be posted tomorrow!


Hey guys. Just giving an update!

I have been trying to keep up with my running. I keep doing the 1.2 mile runs, but my knee keeps bugging me. Maybe I need an even more modest training schedule. Starting tomorrow I am going to start the C25K program. I hope this will increase my strength slower and not irritate my knee. In better news my knee seems to be getting aggravated later and later into my run. I really believe it is a problem with my IT band and I have been stretching it a lot to get it to loosen up as well as use my ghetto foam roller.

I still owe Jason Robillard a review on The Barefoot Running Book. Maybe I will wake up and write that tomorrow.

Christmas was awesome. Whitney and I went away to see her family. It is nice to see kids opening presents again. Her family was very good to me and I think they actually liked me!

Furthermore, I got Wii Fit for Christmas from my girlfriend's mom. I freakin' love it! This is me doing the Super Hula Hoop one. Whitney sneakily filmed it and immediately posted it to her YouTube account for everyone to see. Please, have a laugh. :)

I have also started reading The Barefoot Book, which I got from my girlfriend's father and step-mom. It is a great addition to my collection! I really like how it discusses all the biomechanics that are traditionally skipped over by most books, as most authors feel they aren't relevant to the subject.  Dr. Howell has the potential to take barefooting leaps and bounds. I have spent a ton of time out of shoes since reading his book and only hope to increase that time as I continue reading! Of course, a review of it will come after I finish it and settle my previous procrastinations.

Deck of Cards Workout

Whitney and I started crosstraining the other day. We had four workouts and pulled from a deck of cards. If you aren't fimaliar with this workout, more can be found here.
  • Diamonds involved carrying a chair across a room and setting it down gently.
  • Clubs were jumping jacks.(The easier of the 4)
  • Spades were pushups.
  • Hearts were situps.