Monday, August 15, 2011
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Chris McDougall's Naked Tour came to Town on Sunday. There was a fun run for the event which Ken Bob, Bob Saxe, Cliffiord and I planned the route the previous weekend.
I walked to my car to head out to A runners Crircle which was the start point of the run (great store BTW..) and my car was dead! What the hell am I gonna do?It's 12:18 and the run starts at 1pm and I am 20 miles from the start point. I was freaked! I had no ride so I called my buddy Barefoot Bob Saxe, who was going to be attending but lives on the opposite side of the start. He says "i can pick you up, we might be a bit late but we'll get there". Bob, you rule man. So we got there just in time for the run and we shared some running stories on the ride over and Bob tells me he used to run marathons and he's hoping to do another one, this time barefoot.
Upon arrival one of the first people I see is Patrick Sweeney (aka Bourbonfeet)! I have been wanting to meet Pat ever since he first started posting on the RunnersWorld forums. Pat is really fast, he's got a 2:27 marathon PR and. He is a fun loving guy who's trainign methods are very unorthodox but are really effective. He trains solely barefoot (pardon the pun) and runs almost all of his mileage in dep sand by the ocean.I think he ran 133miles the previous week barefoot. I am pysched to finally meet the man, he is taller in real life and looks younger too!
I continue to take in the sights, there must be almost a hundred runners but only a handul of us barefooters, maybe 10.
Bang...Ken Bob heads out and we are off running. I start off with Pat and a few others life is good. The course seems much harder this time around, the uphill seems never ending. I haven't been running much after the marathon. so I am huffing a little bit. Up from behind I am about to be passed and it's Chris McDougall! I introduce myself and tell him " great book man" and he responds "well thank you very much"a totally cool, genuine character I can tell. He passes me by he is running in Vibrams and the tough technical mountain trail in Griffith Park is Challenging me. Pat is gone at this point I don't know what or where he went but this freakn hill is killing me! We reach the summit and Chris Mcdougall is standing on top and givs me a high five and says everybody remember to give Ken Bob the finger for picking this course! Now the fun part! The downhill section. Downhills on rough trails barefoot are one of my favorite new challenges! I flew past everybody except one other speedy barefooter up ahead and then out of nowhere Clifford pulls along side o me! Cool! Clifford is darn good on thr trails barefoot so we scream cannonball and float and fly down the hill. When running barefoot on downhills( trails escpecially ) you can't fight gravity or you destroy your feet. You have to just lift your feet and freefall, pick your feet up very quickly! It's great practice for the understanding the perception of freefalling. Ran pretty hard to the finish. I think it was about 5 or 6 miles I didn't have a gps on.
Now everybody is milling about and getting their copy of "Born To Run" signed, myself included. Scott Jurek is aslo there and I got to meet him get his John Hancock as well. We all hung and talked, heck, Pat and I were there until everybody had gone. What a great day. Well done.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Barefoot Ken Bob, Bob Saxe, Clifford Childers and myself set out on a barefoot trail run on some challenging terrain to practice our technique and map the course for the Naked Tour Fun Run with Ken Bob, Chris McDougall and Scott Jurek and the rest of us fruitcakes! There is some video or our goofing right here!
Monday, March 21, 2011
Part one: Lessons
A bit of a backstory,
I have had many strange setbacks since my last update. Mostly All non-BF running related stuff. I blew out my back moving a recording studio etc. soon after the thanksgiving ½ mary. I came back from that and after doing a 16 miler barefoot in the rain with no problems I talked with some folks about running barefoot in the rain and I became nervous about the soles of my feet. So I broke my cardinal rule and pulled out the only shoes left and during a single run in Ascis stability shoes during massive non-stop rains in late Dec. I blew my Achilles. This incident could have been easily avoided but my desperate attempt to maintain high mileage instead of just waiting until the weather changed got the best of me. It hurt bad. I decided I would punish myself some more and followed that up with a shit-ton of abusive drinking as I was so pissed at myself.. Dumb. Yes. After almost three weeks of sulking around and limping around I concluded I had to get my gimpy body and mind in order! That meant no booze (which is not a normal part of my life anyway) and eating healthy. I went vegetarian as directed by my Yoga teacher Guru Singh. Bang. I had been doing Kundalini yoga for almost two years but I wasn’t living the lifestyle. I decided to change that….I gave up caffeine, Alchol, meat, warm showers. Felt great.
(I did later learn that running barefoot in rain presents no real problems as long as you run proper. I should have trusted my experieince with the rainy 16 miler. This lesson would prove to be a very valuable lesson for this impending marathon).
So due to all these strange setbacks I had to modify my training. This meant I could no longer do my obsessive mile counting shit. No more running twice a day/ 7 days a week. This was a blessing. I figured I’d do only some long runs to get me through the marathon but stupidly the night before my first long run after my layoff I went to the gym. I hadn’t been there in eight months but I proceeded to knock out a pretty intense workout including deep back squats. The next morning I went for the long run and my quads felt like they had been beat with a seal club. The next week I am afraid to admit I did the same exact thing except I increased both the run and the weights! This resulted in my quads to imploding and inflaming my tendon in the quad, This was bad. This prevented me from doing any cross training as even swimming aggravated it! The marathon was starting to look like a pipe dream.
I now am left with only running Long once every 7 to 10 days all at a very easy pace and that’s it. My marathon training consisted of only a handful of runs, two of which were 20 milers. I said” hell with It I am doing this” and I registered.
Anxiety had begun to set in due to only running once in a blue moon, knowing that my cardio is crap and my quad still hurting leading up to the race. I barely slept the days leading up to the Marathon. The night before the race I slept like 40 mins. at best and heard that he forecast was for massive RAIN and boy they were right! Ok, no problem ,right? I did numerous long runs in the rain and I am not worried. My alarm going off at 5:30 almost gave me a heart attack causing my entire face to pulsate in rhythm to my heart. I was really tired and felt like throwing up. Not kidding. I grabbed some toast and Amy and I were out the door headed for Dodger Stadium, which was the starting point. When we arrived and it was really cold, the wind is whipping me in the face and I am already exhausted from lack of sleep. I am starting to think I should just call it a day and go home. I decide to stay and wait for the start with my teeth chattering away.
I was supposed to meet up with Julian Romero, Ken Bob and the Gang but I couldn’t find them and I didn’t have a phone. So after standing around freezing for an hour we are off! I am glad to be moving and I begin to feel ok! Before I reach the first mile I hear somebody yell “hey barefoot”! Next thing I knew a fellow barefooter is beside me. I am stoked! His name was John and it turned out we had about the same time goal although had run a few Ultras and a marathon within the last year while my cardio was crap due to running so little. I was determined to gut it out and post a respectable time anyhow. In the first few miles Legs feel a little crappy but as we continued on they warmed up and started to feel pretty good. John and I were joking and running together having a good ole time. We got lots of love from fellow shod runners and the crow for barefootn it. It was nice! The rain was really coming down, the wind was whipping us in the face and we joked that it’s amazing that at mile 13 we are still cold! You just couldn’t get warm, I was dressed in a singlet, a pair of racing shorts, compression calf sleeves and a ball cap with a skullcap underneath. All the way to mile 16 we hung together and at that point John took off and I couldn’t hang on to him. I was now on my own., quiet and in my own mind, running a nice steady pace. I focused on my breath and movement and mediated. As I approach mile19, I see my buddy walking! I come upon him and yell “hey barefoot”! I asked him if he was ok as I ran past and he responded “my legs feel like 100lbs” I had to run on as I didn’t want to stop but he didn’t look good. I’m pretty happy at this point and I am thankful to my body for cooperating.
I hit mile 20 and I am feeling fine and my pace has been very smart and even. I pretty much just go into a void for the last 10 k and I think I slowed between mile 21 and 24 but at 24 I hammered to make up for it and mile 25 I was running all out and I as I turned on to Ocean ave. in Santa Monica. Now the Ocean is in view and the wind was howling and the rain was slapping me but I ripped the last mile with all I had and bang I made it! My time was 4:19! Not bad for only running 4 times leading up to the race and in sever thunderstorms barefoot on trashed ass streets. Joy! I almost felt like hypothermia as we were forced into a standstill in the rain and wind after the marathon. There were almost 20.000 finishers. I eventually borrowed someone’s phone to find Amy, I had to walk in the rain barefoot for another freakn mile. This seemed harder than the race itself! Ha. All in all it was an experience I would not trade and the difficult weather made it special. I can’t wait for next year. I think I’ll run more than once a week for that one.
I wanted to give special thanks to a few important folks.
Thank you to Julian Romero whose tutelage has been invaluable and he remains a massive inspiration. He finished the day in 2:45 barefoot. Mind Blowing.
Also to Ken Bob for helping us barefooters find our way and for teaching us how to run. And being the host with the most!
And to Mom and Amy for standing behind me!
Much Love, Barefoot Burt