Here we are, another year. A few changes going on. I got divorced last year, adjusting to that and more importantly hoping it gets easier for my kids, especially my oldest who is 12. Things have smoothed out and getting in the flow of this new routine of life.
I have completely switched gears from a runner into full blown weight training/bodybuilding. I can count the times I ran barefoot last year on one hand. I still run but it’s more like 2 miles 2 or 3 times a week, but completely strayed away from barefoot running for some reason. So much crap on the street, I was just getting tired of dealing with the small rocks and crappy roads, it become so much easier to put something on my feet to make the runs more enjoyable. I even forgot I had this blog until now, so why not a post. I should change the title of the blog, but will leave it. This coming spring I’m going to start running barefoot again, I do miss it.
I’m slowly building a home gym in my garage, which is convenient especially when I have my 3 kids with me. I can’t leave in the morning and drive to a gym, my youngest is 4 and my middle 8, so I’m lucky to have a garage that I can just walk to.
My weight when running was around 150lbs, I am currently 185lbs. I can feel the difference when I run but used to the weight now.
One of my favorite exercises is the deadlift. I never did this movement when younger and just started doing them last year at 47 years of age. Form is key, just like barefoot running. Here I am pulling 315lbs for 3 reps. I’m looking to pull 400lbs in 2019.
Throwing the iron around is back in my life, again. In my 20’s I was a gym rat and was really into lifting, buying all the bodybuilding magazines and what not, then it faded. I got back into again maybe 13 years ago, joined a gym, started to have kids, and that faded out again. Now at 46 years of age, I’m back.
I can thank Crossfit for starting the spark to lift again. I caught the bug for Crossfit during the summer and started to attend classes and whenever a workout involved a barbell I got excited. I remember this one workout involved bench pressing. It was decades since I bench pressed and for one I couldn’t believe how much strength I lost (though I never was strong with the bench press), and two I couldn’t believe how excited I was. The soreness the next day put a smile on my face. All the other stuff that went along with Crossfit is cool but it just didn’t do it for me. This is weird but what also turned me off was the social aspect of Crossfit. My anxiety would raise if a workout involved pairing up with a partner, that’s the last thing I want to do when working out. That’s why I like to run, it involves no one but yourself. So Crossfit stopped and lifting weights began.
A basic gym membership won’t break the bank these days, but having your own gym to me seems the way to go, if you can do it. There are advantages of having your own gym. First, the thought process that you need more is not true, less is better. There is no traveling involved, you have access to it whenever you want, you don’t have to wait for equipment or battle the New Year’s newbies. I have a decent size garage where I can start building my own gym. I have some dumbbells, those can be expensive. I have a dip bar, pull up bar, EZ curl bar, a flat bench and just bought a squat rack. It’s the brand CAP, and bought if off Amazon for $99, it can hold up to 300lbs. I bought an Olympic size bar, the brand CAP as well off Amazon for a great price. Plates are pretty cheap as well. My next purchase will be an incline bench.
Summertime I can throw the garage door open which is really cool, but I don’t have heat in the garage so in the dead of winter it’s going to be interesting.
I started lifting in the beginning of August and currently using a push/pull routine.
Day 1 – Chest/Shoulder/Triceps
Day 2 – Legs
Day 3 – Back/Biceps
My running has significantly slowed down. I’m trying to gain weight/muscle. I run 2-3 days a week and the mileage is very, very low. Nowadays a 5 miler would be considered a long run for me, definitely the shell of a runner I used to be, but I’m enjoying the change of just not running all the time. I still love the half marathon and will continue to run them, but now I would have to REALLY train for them, as before I was always ready to run one.
All the best!
It must be summer, it must be June, which means it’s time for my yearly hometown’s half marathon race report. To make it short and sweet, training was nothing magical, very low mileage hoovering around 15 – 18 miles per week. All runs were slow. I recently bought a new Garmin, the Fenix 5X, and started to play around with running by heart rate, since the watch has a built in optical HR monitor. This was my 9th consecutive year running this race, 8th time barefoot. I came in with a time of 1:50:29 which I was very pleased with considering how light my training was. I actually beat last year’s time by 2:24. How that happened I don’t know. I got about 4 hours of sleep the night before the race, for some reason I just can’t sleep before a race. The weather was beautiful and bit hot, it was close to 80 degrees at the 8AM start time. Happy Summer!
I’m currently getting ready for a half marathon in June and had a nice 10 mile run on Sunday. Coming home my 3 kids saw me running down the road and they all ran out, all barefoot as well, to greet me. It was really cool, I wish I could have captured that picture. So I said to my 3-year-old daughter if she wanted to run up the road with me, my middle son had my phone and snapped this picture of us. Amazing how natural kids run barefoot, but we all ran this way as kids. I believe we are all born with a natural foot strike, but years of footwear diminishes that natural instinct, but can always be re-learned.
Let me come clean. I used to make fun of crossfit until I took a class and instantly become hooked. But this is not shocking to me, I knew it would happen and I knew I would love it. Crossfit is perfectly designed for my DNA makeup. It’s a nice structured program that basically touches upon every movement of the body, it’s fast and intense, then you are done. I went to 3 different crossfit gyms for a “free” workout and get a feel for the scene. Was I intimated? Yes! There can be that superiority, holier than thou attitude with some crossfitters, it’s definitely out there. I could careless about the fashion as well. I’m also not sold on kipping or these butterfly pull-ups, to me that’s just not a pull-up. I’m all about keeping it strict. But so far my overall experience, with 3 different gyms, is everyone is pretty damn cool and supportive. It’s absolutely a community.
I’m not fully a member at a gym yet. I try to do at least one drop-in at this particular gym that I like, and will probably start a membership there when I can afford it. To be honest crossfit is not cheap! I basically live from paycheck to paycheck and I don’t have an extra $140 floating around, which would cost for 2 classes a week for a month. So the knowledge I gain from classes and online stuff, I do my own WOD at home. I have a decent size garage that I can actually turn into a small crossfit gym, which is something I’m interested in doing. You just need some basic things to get going. I already have a pull-up bar, something for dips, two Kettlebells, some dumbbells, a jump robe, and an old school barbell with weights. My next purchase would be an Olympic bar and bumper weights, that’s a must have.
This was my work out this morning in the garage:
5 minute double unders
10 hanging knee raises
10 pistol squats (5 per leg)
10 hollow Rocks
5 rounds for time
12 dead lifts
9 hanging power cleans
6 push jerks
You are supposed to use 155lbs for this workout. I stared with 80lbs. since it’s the first time doing this. It’s not easy.
It was so nice to finally head out the door for a run in just a t-shirt and shorts. I had a nice 7 mile run on Sunday morning, slowly starting to train for a half marathon in June.
7.1 mile barefoot run. Time: 1:03. Pace: 8.57
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.
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