Life is like music; it must be composed by ear, feeling, and instinct, not by rule.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Great Long Run Sunday

Just dusted off 17.36 miles in 2:31:12.  Held a good pace on the front 8 and tuned it down on the back 8 and concentrated on my form and breathing.  I ran in racing flats; the Asics HyperSpeed 3's; I love em'.  I'm a big supporter of barefoot running and minimalist running.  I may never become a true barefoot runner but I do run barefoot and with my Vibram's FiveFingers which is very close to barefoot running.  The thing is that barefoot running is the natural way to run and it improves the strength of the foot and forces you back to your childhood when you have perfect running form.  It is a huge benefit when I do return to shoes although I'll never return to the big cushion shoes and various crazy technologies that add all this unncessary padding.  I can feel the ground with my Asics running flats and it feels great.  It is low enought to the ground so that my nerves can communicate with my brain and let me know what's going on with my body; when I can speed up; when to slow down; how to attack hills; etc.

I recommend this to everyone.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Next Phase of My Life

Currently, studying the physiology and science of running and the mental and spiritual aspects (just finished my 2nd marathon and targeting my first 50k).  It is basically the difference (and battle) between the right and left brain.  I just finished a life changing book in this area called “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougal.  It concentrates on the incredible Tarahumara endurance athletes in Mexico’s Copper Canyon but also touches on Indigenous tribes throughout the world that run long distances in their 80’s/90’s injury free.  It also includes their eating habits which probably explain why they are so incredible. 

I’m adopting the running habits of the Tarahumara and other Indigenous peoples as well as their eating habits.  I’m working my way to becoming a vegetarian and I made my initial dramatic shift this weekend to a semi-vegetarian (or pescetarian).  I will not eat any meat or poultry (other than eggs/dairy) but I will eat limited amounts of fish and/or seafood, however, the bulk of my eating habits will comprise of beans, rice, nuts, grains, vegetables, eggs, dairy, and a lot of pinole and chia which is the life food of the great Aztecs of which the Tarahumara are descendants.

The closer we come to our own personal edges, the more we move away from the physical and unto a mental landscape, one that is fraught with dangers, traps waiting for the unknowing. It is the place where cause and effect start to break down, where time loses its grip – a place where chaos reigns.

I’m leaning about my own personal edges and this is my journey.

First Run Practically Barefoot

Just finished a 4.18 mile run in 41:52 in my Vibram Five Finger shoes which is basically running barefoot with a think slab of rubber under your feet.  It felt awesome!!!!!  I started very slow with a 12 min. mile then increased to 8:30 min. mile in the end and even did a .3 mile sprint sub 8:00 min. mile.  I got a kick out of folks faces as they looked at my feet.  To feel that good; to have your feet wake up and do what they were built to do; and to shred the fancy shoes that were damaging my feet feels great.

The shoe companies know very well what they are doing to folks; they are injuring folks and they don't care; and Nike is the #1 culbrit; they have all the raw data to know they are building shoes that cause injury.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Continuing the Change in Running Style

It's a rainy for my run this morning but I love running in the rain.  Since the streets were wet and the trail was muddy, I switched to my low profile Asics HyperSpeed 3's.  I knocked off 7.68 miles in 1:08:34.  I think since I've made such a radical change in running style that I'll find a Chi-Running coach to work with.


Monday, May 25, 2009

Good Mountain Long Run

Had a great long run Sunday.  13.65 miles in 2:10:32.  I ran a bit slower since it was my first long run in running flats.  I ran in the Puma K-Street's (the ancestor to the original Puma H-Streets; couldn't find any H's even on e-bay; a very hard shoe to find).

Friday, May 22, 2009

1st Step Toward Barefoot Running

What's life without personal challenges?  A somewhat boring on in my opinion.  Through my research of why my heel and achilles hurts, I'm convinced we have no clue about running.  Going forward, I'll continue studying the indigenous peoples of the world who have been running 100's of miles without pain or injury and doing so well past the age of 90.  In most cases, they run barefoot and that's my ultimate goal.  The first step is to graduate down to a minimalist shoe, then run in Vibram five fingers (or Hirachi sandles), then begin running barefoot.  

Today was my first step toward my goal and my next life in running.  This will be a process as it will require me to go back to ground zero and change and rebuild my entire running posture and muscles.  I ran in my first low profile shoe this morning which is the Asics Gel Hyper Speed 3.  It wa a great run, 7.28 miles in 1:05:37.  I didn't strike my heel at all; it was all midfoot to toes which is how the body was meant to run.  I also purchased the Vibram five fingers and I did run up and down the block on payment (it's very close to run barefoot).  I was to slowly graduate to this to world of barefoot running.

I'm very excited as my feet felt so free and natural.  I'm convinced the major running companies (like Nike) know they are trying to help with the rampant injury problem with runners.  After 20 years, the injury rate (8/10 every year) for runner's remains constant.  How is this?  How can we have all this technology and continue to rack up the number of injuries yearly while many indigenous tribes run pain free.

Hmmm, makes you wonder?  Bottom line, it's about selling $150 shoes and not trying to put out a product that actually addresses the issues because that product is quite inexpensive to produce.

I'll keep providing updates on my journey.

Have a great weekend.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

My World Has Been Turned Upside Down

My World Has Been Turned Upside Down

I listened to author Christopher McDougal live as he promoted his new book “Born to Run.”  I think I’ll remember back to that day because it is changing my life with respect to running.  I’m rejecting all the mainstream running sources (doctors, magazines, etc.).  My heel and Achilles really hurt and Christopher talked about how his feel hurt until we started studying the running styles of the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico’s Copper Canyon who commonly run 100+ miles and do so well into their 90’s. 

This begs the questions, “Why are runners so regularly injured in the U.S. with all out technology?” when the Tarahumara run in homemade sandals or barefoot with very few, if any, injuries during their entire lifetime.  We have all these fancy shoes, doctors, and methods yet, every year 8 out of 10 runners get injured.  It got me thinking with one simple statement I’ve heard from many minimalist runners:  We should run like we walk.  Ok, that makes sense.  But, we walk on our midfoot to toes and many of us run on our heels, hence, we aren’t doing that.  In fact, I’ve been told, heel to toes is a fine running method.  Well, it’s crap!!!!!!!!!!!  Total Lie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

The human body was build to run naturally; just like we walk barefoot.  But, of course, this would be devastating if the general public starting doing this; what the heck would shoe manufacturers do?  They need us to buy their $150 shoes.  Get this, they are many folks that run in minimalist or barefoot type shoes and put 1,500 miles on them as opposed to say, me who replaces running shoes every 300 miles.

If you run like you walk, then you strengthen your calf’s, Achilles, and, guess what, your knees feel better because you body is totally aligned.  All these crazy new shoes teach us to run with bad form and then, once injured, they doctors always have a new insert, new approach, whatever; but it generally doesn’t work and it costs a lot of money.

Bottom line, we know very little about the human body even with all our technology.  I defer to the Indigenous peoples of the world who have been running for thousands of years without our technology; living longer than us; living healthier than us; and doing so without all the pains and injuries we suffer.

At this point, I have to reject all widely accepted running sources.  That includes Runner’s World, all the shoe manufacturers and especially Nike.  I’m going back to ground zero and learn how to run correctly.  Yes, there is a right way and wrong way to run and yes, the shoes we’ve developed support the “wrong” way to run.

My venture starts today and I’ll keep you posted as I learn the Right Way To Run.



Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Great Post Birthday Run

Yesterday was my birthday.  My wife threw a surprise dinner for me with some my closest friends.  What great conversation; this is why they are so dear to me.  And, I rewarded myself with a semi-long run; 8.72 miles in 1:17:21.  What run, great course, great weather; can't ask for more.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Nice Tuesday Morning Run; Still Lots to Learn

Just finished a nice relaxing, easy pace run.  5.86 miles in 55:27.  I walked the last few minutes as a cool down so that brought my pace down to 9.28.  I'm in the process of learning how to better listen to my body and control my pace which requires you to tone down the ego and that can be tough.  But, I keep reminding myself why I love running; it's because of the sheer enjoyment it brings to me mentally and physically and not because I run a certain pace or distance.  This is the problem with us modern runners.  

Many of indigenous peoples have been running long distances (100+ miles) in their 80's and 90's because they understand the human body was built for long distances but not for pace; we just don't get it and neither do doctors in the western culture.  I think the indigenous peoples, for example the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico's Copper Canyons, is was ahead of us.  We know so little about the human body and especially about the human spirit.  We equally know very little about he right side of the brain and it's there where the adventure really begins.  It's a process and I'm having fun on the journey.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Friday After Work Run

Ran from work to my house.  Nice 8.12 mile run in 1:09:54.  Weather was perfect; about 70 degrees with a cool wind.  Most of the run was on dirt along a canal in the woods.  What a great way to end the week.  I recommend it highly.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Solid Run Today

5.71 miles in 48:58 (8.35 pace).  I'm slowly returning back to form.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Yoga at Home

I didn't feel ready to return to yoga class so I did a modified session alone at home.  It felt pretty good.  I'll return to regular yoga classes next week.  It's the great thing about yoga, you can do it any time, anywhere.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Almost Back to Regular Pace

Just finished a 5.13 mile run in 44.14.  A 8.37 pace.  Almost back to normal running time/pace after 10 days of recovery since the marathon.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

First Long Run Since The Marathon

Finished my first long run since the marathon.  11.57 miles in 1:49.  A nice comfortable 9.29 pace; still not pushing it for another few weeks.  Felt good though.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Where's Your Personal Edge?

In my past, I've met a few people who have basically said, "If you aren't living on the edge, you aren't living," or "If you aren't living on the edge, then you are taking up too much room."  I never really thought about those words until I was in the midst of the last 6 miles of my first official marathon through the finish line (I've run 26.2 miles before but not in an official race; the official race is a different animal; nothing like it). One runner said it best when he said:

The closer we come to our own personal edges, the more we move away from the physical and unto a mental landscape, one that is fraught with dangers, traps waiting for the unknowing.  It is the place where cause and effect start to break down, where time loses its grip – a place where chaos reigns supreme.

This explains why most people don't venture near the edge as they are too comfortable away from the edge and relax in the familiar, save, known and predictable.  For me, the marathon was a Life Changing Event.  Without taking a risk and venturing at least a step toward the edge, we fail to begin to understand our true capabilities or what we really have inside; we just remain in the status quo.

Most people associate "on the edge," with someone crazy, unstable, risky; we associate it with a negative image.  For me, the marathon forced me to take a few steps toward the edge.  To a place where mental and physical depletion meet; a place where one has no reserves.  I have to admit, it was a scary place.  When you enter that place, simple logic doesn't help you; time loses its grip; cause and effect break down; simple logic doesn't apply.  This is the unknown.

Doesn't this sound like the original opening to the classic “Twilight Zone”?  By the way, one of the best series and Rob Serling is one of, if not the most talented director ever.  Essentially, once you move away from the physical to the mental landscape, you are entering the Twilight Zone.  We all like control; well, “on the edge,” you control very little.  Funny thing is, in real life, we control very little although we think we have some control.

I’ve never been one to preach but something inside is telling me I must share my experiences (especially over the last 3 years) with others as it might be beneficial to a few folks.  I highly recommend that you venture at least “one step” toward the edge; get out of your comfort zone.  Remember, being near the edge is only temporary and then, once there, it’s not as much of an unknown.  In fact, you are expanding your comfort zone.

I just found out that less than one tenth of the world finishes a marathon each year.  I’m honored and humbled to be part of that club and now I understand why it is such a big deal.  I played almost every sport and I’ve never been challenged nor ventured so far near the edge as I did during the marathon.  Imagine a constant battle with your left brain telling you to stop; you can’t do this; you aren’t ready; you are crazy, and you still push through.  It was an out of body experience.  Even the 3 days following the marathon, I didn’t feel like I was totally back mentally.  Everything looked different; the sky, trees, grass, my kids, wife . . . everything. 

I feel like I broke through a wall.  The scary thing is I could see me breaking through the wall but a whole new series of walls was waiting for me.  This makes me think of one of my favorite movies being the original Matrix.  Every time Neo ventured deeper, there was more walls waiting for him but each time, he never saw the world the same again.  The world is so vast; there’s so many great people out there; so many special people; so much spirit, love, determination . . .  but we can’t begin to understand, relate or even sympathize until we move toward the edge in some way or another.  Otherwise we live in a box (just like the all the folks that were part of the Matrix).

Really, think about it?  I know I’m just starting a new (and perhaps scary) venture in life.  I’m so lucky to have my wife by my side as I try to comfort the “new walls,” in some way, fashion or form.


Recovery Continues

Day 4 after the marathon and I just tried by first sorta' real run (or more like a jog/jaunt).  I ran 4.63 miles in 55:05.  A slow 11:55 pace but not bad since I'm still in recovery mode and I don't want to even try to push it.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Let the Recovery Begin

I'm following Jeff Galloway's post marathon recovery program.  I just finished a 46.37 walk with 12, 1 min. very slow jaunts.  It's like I can feel my body healing; just amazing.  I can see it takes incredible discipline to deal with the post marathon period.


Monday, May 4, 2009

I bow to them

I spent my entire life playing basketball and tennis; went on to play basketball in college.  I played with great players, several of which went on to play in the NBA.  However, I picked up running 3 years ago and I can say, without question, runners, swimmers and bikers are some of the most incredible athletes I've ever met.  The endurance, spirit, focus and determination is unparalleled.  The quality of person I meet is inspiring and daunting.  To speak with a 60+ yr. old man who is running is 65th marathon; to speak with a 62 yr. old woman running 50 marathons in 50 states; to get passed (and beat) by men and women of all ages is humbling but so inspiring.  I'm making a generality here and it doesn't apply to each individual but unlike my prior life in athletics, these folks also have such a broad and inspiring view of themselves, others, and the world.  I learned more about a person's spirit in 3 yrs. of running than I ever learned in basketball or tennis. 


Official Marathon Time

My official marathon time is 3.48.44.  Finished in the top 28% overall (276/997).  1:43:08 at the half point.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Finished The Marathon; Here's the Journey

Just finished the Fort Collins, Colorado marathon through Poudre Canyon.  Here's a breakdown of the last 12 hours; kinda interesting:

8pm - My wife and I are trying to sleep but there's kids acting like fools in the hallway.  Now, we're parents so we understand but come on, this hotel was the sponsor for the marathon and they told everyone at the front desk to keep it down.

1am - woke up briefly and looked outside; it was raining hard; sure hope it stops.
3am - wake up call.  time to get dressed.  the bus picks up at 4:45 am
5am - dropped off at the starting point in the canyon.  pitch dark.  bus leaves us and it's only 33 degrees outside.  we looked like a nice snack for the mountains lions.  finally, another bus shows up and lets us sit in the hallway
6:15am - race starts
* I feel good through mile 8; relaxed on mile 9-11 then pushed it until mile 18; then at mile 18 i got a bit tired; juiced up and pushed ahead; a lot of folks cheering us on at this point; i thank each and every one of them; it helps a lot
* mile 22, someone dropped a piano on me.  i had nothing else.  next 4.2 miles was going to be a complete physical and mental battle.
* mile 23. not sure if i have it in me to finish then reminded myself of all the hard work; looked at folks with one leg pushing through and all their spirit; i had no excuse but to deal with the pain and push through
* mile 24.  my left hamstring almost popped.  lucky it didn't so i slowed down significantly
* mile 25.5.  i can see the finish.  i'm going to do this.  i don't emotion much but inside more feelings were flowing than i can describe.  i accomplished a major goal in life; a goal i set for myself  3 years; finish a marathon before i turn 40 (i turn 40 in 10 days) and finish under 4hrs.; i finished in 3 hrs. 9 min.
* finish line.  just awesome.  thinking about my baby and hoping she is doing well; waiting for her to finish.  she is my inspiration.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Last Run Before the Marathon

Just finished a 5.30 mile run in 42.06.  Nice comfortable 7.57 pace.  Taking tomorrow off and then it's the Marathon on Sunday.

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter

    My Blog List

    My Blog List