The winter of 2017 has been somewhat mild. It was unusually warm at the end of February and in the beginning of March, I was in shorts at times and observing the crocuses and daffodils prematurely sprouting. March can be a funny month, such as the saying goes, March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb, or vice versa.
So we got our good first snow of the winter. It’s crazy because I’m not a fan of winter and really could careless about the snow as I get older, but I always find great excitement running in the snow. Anyways 6:30am the alarm goes off, I change and out the door I go wearing my Vibram Komodsports. It’s snowing pretty good, wind is at 20 mph, with a temperature of 25 degrees F, and not a soul is out. As I am heading home up ahead in the middle of the street I see someone with a tripod and camera. I stop and he introduces himself and asks if I want to talk about the weather. He worked for HAN Network. So random but a fun experience.
Here is the video.
Here is another video I did at the tail end of my run.
This image may well be my next tattoo. But what is Wabi-Sabi?
Not sure how I started following Mark Baumer’s journey to walk barefoot across American to support awareness of climate change and water shortages, maybe through some Facebook link, but I happened to start following his journey from the beginning. He started in October and fast forward to September I’m in my car with my oldest son going home from a soccer game, when I see this guy in a poncho, bright green shorts walking barefoot. I knew instantly it was him just from watching his videos which he posted which were awesome and entertaining. I had to pull over and introduce myself. We chatted just for a few seconds and off we went on our own ways. He certainly had a unique personality and I was inspired with his outlook on life.
When I heard he had been killed it really shocked and saddened me. I only met him for a few seconds but it seemed I actually knew him more than that. Just a tragic accident and my thoughts and prayers go out to his family. RIP Mark, what you were doing was amazing and I enjoyed following your journey.
7 years of running barefoot under my belt, a few weeks ago I had a slight epiphany when it comes to running barefoot in the winter, humidity determines a lot with the comfort level. You have the obvious common factors of what will make your barefoot run enjoyable, challenging, or miserable during the colder months which are, temperature, dry or wet conditions, ice, snow, wind, but one thing I never took into consideration was the humidity. Living in New England we experience periods of high humidity in the spring/summer months, at least with me I never gave humidity a thought during winter. See how strange my mind thinks as someone who runs barefoot in all seasons.
I get mixed reviews from my feet running barefoot in the winter, it can be 20 degrees F and that run can feel great, the next run it can be in the 30’s and the feet feel over-sensitive. Again, common sense will tell you that wet conditions in winter is always a challenge as opposed to dry conditions. The point is why do some colder runs feel more comfortable than warmer runs? That’s where the humidity factor comes into play, something I never thought about until a few weeks ago.
Every morning before a run I check my trusty “Weather Channel” app on my phone to see what I’m dealing with and off I go. Last week before a run I checked the temperature before my 5:00AM run and it was 35 degrees F, not bad at all, scroll down a bit more and I notice the humidity was 60%, wow I thought, that is high even though when you go outside you don’t initial feel that humidity. I got 4 miles in, dry conditions, but the feet were super sensitive on this run, and it actually felt like it was in the 20’s. That’s when my very small light bulb in my head went off, humidity! I put that thought in my memory bank for the next run.
A few days later, the same process wake up at 5AM, check my phone first before I head out. Temperature reads 28F, wind at 15 mph, and humidity at 20%. Given the fact I had that wind going, this run was much more comfortable, the sensitivity was minimal compared to the previous run at 35 degrees. What I learned with this observation is the comfort of running barefoot in lower temperatures all depends on the humidity index. High humidity expect some discomfort, low humidity is your friend.
Case in point on this morning 3.5 mile barefoot run, 15 degrees F. Coldest run of the season so far, humidity was 30% which made it very tolerable and was still more comfortable than my run last week at 35 degrees F. Once it hits the teens I become more cautious, it’s not about distance but exposure to time. Reflecting back to a few snow runs throughout the years, I remember that nice, fresh, crisp fluffy snow where surprisingly it feels great to run barefoot in, compared to that thick dense snow where the coldness just cuts you to the bone, I’m sure it had to do with the humidity. Absolutely useless information, but to a barefoot runner maybe it can hold some value.
I love music, all genres and variety, except country, sorry it just does nothing for me. Growing up there was always a variety of music playing from my parents, it went from Crosby, Stills & Nash, rock, classic rock, all the way to the classic years of Motown. I gravitated to the black artists mostly when younger, I remember the first time I discovered James Brown and was completely blown away. Then discovering Michael Jackson, that was the cream of the crop for me, I became obsessed with MJ, still my favorite artist to this day.
Soul, Rhythm & Blues, the Motown culture, the rise of Hip Hop out of New York was fascinating to me. One of my favorite shows to watch as a kid was Soul Train on Saturday mornings. My favorite part of the show was the dance off. I was soaking it all in like sponge.
My earliest memories of hip hop was probably around 1982 or so, I was around 12 years old. I remember on a Friday night listening to DJ Red Alert on the radio, 98.7 to be exact, on my boom box and making my own mixed cassette tapes. I would pop a blank cassette in and when a song came on I liked I would press record, then hit pause when it was over, then just repeat again. I would pause out all the commercials and talking so I just had a continuous flow of songs. Then I discovered break dancing, I would practice for hours. Just dancing in general was something huge to me at this point. I self taught my self to break dance, and dancing just by watching Soul Train, Micheal Jackson, etc. I was completely enthralled with the culture of the streets, you want to learn how to dance with soul, or break dance you certainly won’t find that in the white suburban neighborhood where I lived. So the TV and VHS tapes were my tutorial system. A major movie influence was Beat Street, once that came out it was over!
My sister was into ballet and at this one place she took classes there was a sign for break dance lessons, so of course I had to check it out. I remember after my first class one of the instructors came up to me and asked if I wanted to teach. I was like 13 at the time, for one that was a huge compliment, but refused the offer, had no interest to teach. I went to a few more classes and since I was at the same level as the instructor I just stopped with the lessons. In all honesty, I wanted to take ballet as well, a little secret I kept to myself. It was a little dream of mine to be a dancer and somehow make a living with it, oh well that ship has sailed.
Here is a picture of me at 14, maybe around 1984, at one of my middle school dances. It was a very “white” school but there I was going to school in track suites, toe shell Adidas with the fat laces, suede puma’s, drawing graffiti on my notepads and submerged into 80’s rap. Not only was I knee-deep into the music, but the culture as well.
Fast forward the to the 90’s and basically I was at the mall buying at least 3 hip hop tapes a month, maybe more. I have a huge Tupperware bin to this day with all the tapes I accumulated during that time period. 90’s hip hop is no doubt my favorite era. I’m not going list my favorites but if I have to pick one album that really blew me away it was Public Enemy’s “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold us Back”
It was hardcore, raw, aggressive and controversial. The production was on another level, sampling at it’s finest, extremely creative and unique. This album taught me more about black history leaders than any school or book. It was more than music, it was an education as well. I was definitely a soul child, I had to question if it was my Dad or the mailman, kidding!
Peace and Merry Christmas!
My family and I had a great short vacation in Newport, RI this August. We try to go every year, it’s a nice getaway without extensive traveling. We are beach people so if there is a beach, a pool we are good to go. We stayed at the Atlantic Beach Hotel which is in Middletown RI, it’s a great location, the beach is right across the street, a few restaurants, some surf shops and it’s all within walking distance. Newport, RI is about a mile from where we stayed and that’s always fun to go into town and check out the stores and scenery. The night life during the summer is full of action and so many great places to eat, so after a nice dinner it’s fun to walk around and take in the scenery. The seaports are really beautiful at night, and some of the yacht’s that come and dock are insane.
On our last day there I got up at 7:00am to sneak out for a barefoot beach run, then hit the Cliff Walk and run that for a bit. I slipped out the door with everyone still asleep, and it was a beautiful morning, clear sky’s and about 75 degrees at 7Am. I first hit the beach and barely anyone out there. Something about the ocean that is so spiritual and cleansing, if I had the money my dream home would be right on the beach somewhere, to wake up every morning and having the ocean greet you would be absolutely amazing.
I never bring my phone when running but for this one I did, I wanted to capture some moments.
Here’s a quick video when I hit the beach.
Some photo’s I took from the cliff walk, it was a perfect morning.
Most of the Cliff Walk is paved except for one section, I thought it would be fun to record this part running the rocky section. I had to concentrate on foot placement and while recording could be a bad combination, so took it nice and easy.
Enjoy the rest of your summer, or enjoy the beginning of your summer wherever you are!
My parents bought me my first and only skimboard about 34 years ago and I still have and use the same one which is pictured below.
The technology and design obviously have improved over the years they are much lighter and you can even surf waves. My board is really heavy and sinks like a rock when the water gets too deep. it’s my old reliable but looking to upgrade at some point.
I don’t have the time or the opportunities do much skimboarding during the summer, but I make sure it does happen each summer, even it’s just once. It’s just like riding a bike for me, I may be rusty but after a few runs I find my groove. I feel blessed that at 45 I still have the ability to skimboard and my body the next morning certainly reminds me of that. It’s a great workout and hits various muscles i normally don’t use everyday, most of all it’s fun!
It requires a quick and short sprint to catch up to the board when you skim it across the water then gently land on the board for the ride. It’s all about feel and technique. I think about my transition to barefoot running and how easy it was for me, my years of skimboarding, running on beaches barefoot, and being barefoot a lot during the summer could of been some contributing factors to my success of barefoot running.
I’m about 11 years old here when I first got my skimboard. (1981)
20 years old at South Carolina. (1991)
Middletown, RI (2013)
Misquamicut State Beach, RI (2016)
Middletown, RI Beach 1 (August 2016)
Here we are again, the most monotonous, predictable post on this lackadaisical blog, on a positive side it means summertime! This race marks my 10th barefoot half marathon.
Basically the same formula I use for all half marathons, train 8 weeks (if you call it training), it’s more like running 3 days a week which I do all the time, except running longer on the weekends, which is maxing out at a few 10 milers.
It was a beautiful morning on race day, but was going to get hot by 9AM it was already in the 80’s but zero humidity, so to me quite comfortable. Came in at 1:51:38 which I was happy with it. I did stop at mile 8 to hit a port-a-potty, first time ever I stopped to pee during a half marathon, I was kind of pissed (no pun intended) at myself I had to stop but just couldn’t hold it any longer, my time would of been cut shorter, but oh well.
I have an interesting company to tell you about called Skinny & Company Coconut Oil. Skinny & Co. produces small batch, extra virgin, cold-processed coconut oil, made with nothing but 100% pure, raw, wild-harvested coconuts. No chemicals, fillers, or preservatives.
I was offered to try a free sample and went with their raw soap bars. I currently have been using African black soap for a few years and like the idea of soap being chemical and toxic free. I received the lemon grass and green tea soaps.
I’m using the lemon grass first and after a few days I have to say I’m happy with the product. The scent is enjoyable and not overbearing. The soap lathers really nice but not too much so it seems like this bar will last for a while, and definitely makes the skin feel clean, refreshed and moisturized. No soap residue at all once it’s rinsed off.
They have an impressive catalog of products and on you next purchase use SKINNYCO15 for 15% off any Skinny & Co. order.
An Entire Collection of Amazing Skateboard Tricks You Can Learn Today!
Running along the Southport coast for one and a half generations
I'm simply an apprentice. . .
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