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Thursday, May 8, 2014

International Barefoot Running Day 2014

The morning was cool, but not cold. I took a drive out toward the San Francisco Bay Area. There were tentatively 5 of us meeting for the roughly 10K run. I had chosen Redwood Regional Park in Oakland because of the soft single-track trails that are covered with decomposing redwood needles. It is a fantastic surface to run on barefoot. I had run some of the trails in this park during my first ultra, the Skyline 50K. As I approached the park, I quickly recognized that I was indeed in the region that I had raced through a couple of years ago.

I pulled into the parking lot and recognized NorCal Will sitting in his car. I hopped out and noticed that he was already barefoot. Not long after, Barefoot Bone Rod pulled up. And last but not least, while we were chatting it up, JJHenry came running up the road.

We talked for a bit about our backgrounds and quickly determined that the 10K distance would be good for everyone. JJHenry was the only one not experienced on trails, but the distance would not be an issue.

We headed back down the road to one of the trailheads that would allow us to start on single-track trails rather than the paved path leaving the parking lot. The trails in Redwood Regional were every bit as awesome as I had remembered. We all took off down the trail in a loose grouping chatting and joking along the way.

I was actually concerned that my lack of recent training was going to hurt me later, but I've found that, for me, running barefoot is efficient enough that I can handle higher mileage than I've trained for. The only challenge that day would be the hills - and there were more than a few long, steep hills to challenge me that day.

Somewhere near the middle of our run as we peaked one of the hills, Barefoot Bone Rod and JJHenry had stopped to chat with a couple hiking the trail. They were quite intrigued by our "barefootedness" and had the usual list of questions. Bone Rod even offered a foot to be felt by the gentleman. He commented that it "was as smooth as a baby's bottom" - common comment from people touching barefoot runner's feet.

The second half of the run was challenging for a different reason - it was mostly downhill and not as soft and covered with needles as the first half. Instead the trail was a bit drier and rocky. We barreled down the hill and eventually wound our way back onto the original trail we had entered the loop on.

Once back at the cars, we grabbed our snacks and found an empty picnic table to chow down and chat some more. We talked about how little we see fellow barefoot runners, how great it would be to run together more often, and also the awesome the trails were in Redwood Regional Park.

A little after lunch, we wrapped up our little event and headed back to our lives.  Once again, IBRD was a success for our San Francisco Chapter. It may not have been a large gathering this year, but it was definitely one of the most fun!

From Left to Right - NorCal Will, Barefoot Bone Rod, and JJHenry

From L to R - NorCal Will, Barefoot Bone Rod, and ME - BarefootTerry (sporting the IBRD 2014 shirt)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Step Back to See Forward

If you've been reading my blog, you've probably noticed that the past year has been pretty silent. After last year's American River 50 Mile Endurance Run, I inadvertently stepped back from running and racing. I was busy training a nephew (hoping to get him healthy). I coached my son's cross-country team to the championship for boys and girls senior divisions, a 2nd place win for junior division boys and a 3rd place win for junior girls. And oddly enough work stresses got the better of me as well.

I did manage to squeeze in a 5K PR at the local Thanksgiving run (my son bested his PR as well) and ran with some friends and family for 10+ mile runs.

However, for the most part, running and racing took a back seat. This sometimes happens with people who change interests or maybe incur a running injury. Fortunately, this is not the case with me. I think I needed some time to step back and reassess what I wanted to do with barefoot running "career."

In stepping back I have discovered that not only do I miss running but I miss racing. I also miss the relief from stress that comes from running, what I call, crazy miles.

Well, after my long "step back" I am ready to look forward! I have new running goals and projects in the works. I am filling up my spring/summer race schedule and am looking forward to running some "crazy" miles! I hope to share with you soon one of my big projects. It promises to be quite an adventure!

In the meantime, look forward to seeing some posts regarding my new training schedule and upcoming race reports!

Looking ahead to new and exciting adventures!

Monday, April 14, 2014

International Barefoot Running Day 2014 is coming!!!

It's that wonderful time of year again when the Barefoot Runners Society puts on International Barefoot Running Day at events all over the world!!!

This year IBRD will be held on Sunday, May 4, 2014. There are many events taking place all around the world. For a complete list check out the BRS website at:http://www.thebarefootrunners.org/pages/ibrd_local_events_listing/

Events are being added each day! So, check back or create your own event on the site.

For those of you in Northern California - particularly in the San Francisco/Sacramento region - the San Francisco Area Chapter is hosting a trail run at Redwood Regional Park in Oakland, CA. It is truly a gorgeous place to run. The trails are fantastic and the landscape is amazing. We welcome barefoot, minimalist and even shod runners (who are curious or just like to run).

Check out the San Francisco Chapter's event page at one of the following links:

BRS Main Website:
http://www.thebarefootrunners.org/threads/may-4-2014-international-barefoot-running-day-2014-san-francisco-area-chapter-oakland-ca.15875/

BRS - California: San Francisco Area Chapter Facebook Page
https://www.facebook.com/events/757141247630484/

Now get out there and run barefoot!!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Age is just a number...

A couple months ago I turned 40. Yup, officially getting the, "Wow, you're getting old," comments. However, when I look back at my running career to this point, I can honestly say that I'm not feeling "old." I began running/racing when I was 33. But, I am faster now than I was 7 years ago. I am also able to run farther without complaint - in fact, I prefer longer runs now over shorter training runs.

So, in honor of finally being the youngest in my age bracket, I have set the goal to break into the top 5 of my bracket in the 5K, 10K, and half marathon distances. Marathons...well, there are so many great marathoners out there running sub-3 hour marathons. I think I will have to shoot for sub-4 hour in the marathon distance. On that note, I'm also looking to finally check off a barefoot road marathon this year. For some reason I've raced barefoot at all distances from 5K to 50 miles but have skipped the marathon. Perhaps it is my nemesis. I have struggled in all 3 of my shod marathons - blisters, nausea, and dry heaving. This year that ends!

I haven't put any specific races on the calendar just yet. I've been busy coaching CYO Cross Country for my son's school. It's so much fun teaching younger runners about our great sport and the running community! It's even better to have a top notch team and winning meets! More blogs on coaching to come!

40. Well, it may seem old to some, but to me it's just a number. . . see ya on the course, if you can catch me!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Never Listen to the Naysayer

Since running my first 50-mile race, I have been pondering what races and distances I will do next. I have some personal goals to reach in the realm of running. Some of which I will eventually share on this blog.

However, I recently received comments from several people that basically said that running ultra distances barefoot was unrealistic or ridiculous.

It got me to thinking about the "naysayer."

A naysayer is a person who likely hasn't accomplished much, if anything, in their lives. In addition, they try and tell you that your dreams, goals, and aspirations are ridiculous, impossible or just cannot be done. It could be your business idea, a job, a college you wish to attend, or a marathon.

It made me think of all of the great people throughout history who have achieved some momentous goal despite what others told them. Examples can be found with Columbus attempting to sail around the world, Sir Edmund Hillary climbing Mount Everest, or in running with Roger Bannister breaking the 4-minute mile barrier.

People may say that running an ultramarathon is ridiculous, insane, or flat out stupid. I used to think ultra runners were a bit crazy. Perhaps they (we) are. That was before I became curious about how far I could push myself. How far could I run? Oddly, these questions came to me only after I began running barefoot.

It is the same question that is asked of every person who wants to attempt something seemingly unattainable - Why would you want to do that?

To sail around the world - To see if it can be done.
Climb Mount Everest - Because it's there.
Break the 4-minute mile - To push beyond apparent human limits.

There as many answers as there are challenges.

A runner I know, who does a lot of barefoot running, is attempting the SD100 mile race in a week. I don't think he is doing it barefoot, but that is besides the point. He wants to know if he can achieve the seemingly "impossible dream" of running 100 miles in a single day. I believe that he can. Why? Simple. Because HE believes it. Best wishes for a safe and successful race, Andrew!!!

Back to my original premise of the "ridiculousness" of barefoot ultrarunning...

When I was chatting with the guys at Trail Runner Nation, one of my favorite parts of that interview is when Don Freeman says something like "here we are, 3 men sitting in a room saying, 'This man runs with no shoes? How is this possible?'" Followed by Scott Warr's comment that "in all of human history, people running in shoes is like a blip."

Will I stop running barefoot?

No.

Will I attempt longer distances barefoot?

Yes.

Will I find an upper limit to the endurance of the human "bare" foot?

Maybe.

I say to all of you that have a dream, goal, or aspiration (especially all for of you ultrarunners out there, barefoot or shod) - focus, work hard, strive to achieve it! Perhaps you will fail and hopefully you will succeed, but NEVER, EVER LISTEN TO THE NAYSAYER!




Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Trail Runner Nation Podcast

Hey all!

As I mentioned in my AR50 race report, I had the great opportunity to meet Don Freeman of Trail Runner Nation podcast.  A few weeks after the race, I was invited up to do an interview with TRN. If you have never listened to TRN, you really should! Their list of guests is amazing - Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, Warren Pole, Dr. Tim Noakes, Sock Doc and so many more! The podcasts offer many insights into the world of trail running, training, and general health. So, when Don approached me to do an interview I was very honored to be counted among the group of previous guests.

I went up to the Sacramento area after work one day last month to meet with Don Freeman and Scott Warr. Although I was very nervous, they quickly put me at ease with their humor. We sipped on some Tailwind Nutrition sports drink and chatted a little before getting started. I had a blast recording the podcast with them and getting a behind the scenes look at how this great show is produced. Although, I never did find out where they recorded the footfalls for the opening of their shows. A secret that remains to be discovered. . .

So here is the link to the podcast.

Trail Runner Nation - Barefoot 50 Mile Podcast

Perhaps if you're bored at night and need something to put you to sleep... haha...no really... I hope you enjoy my interview as much as I had doing it!

And one last thing. The podcast should be posted through the Podcast App on iTunes soon. For now you can listen to it on their website.

Thanks TRN!!! You guys are awesome...Run Más!!!

ENJOY!!!

Friday, April 26, 2013

IBRD 2013!

Barefoot Runners Society - International Barefoot Running Day 2013 is almost upon us! This 3rd Annual International Event will be held on Sunday, May 5, 2013 all around the world!

If you are in the greater San Francisco/Sacramento/Stockton region, come check out our event in Oakland at the Joaquin Miller Park. It's a gorgeous park in the hills above Oakland, CA. There are lots of great dirt trails to run on and the view can be spectacular.

Where:
Joaquin Miller Park
3600 Joaquin Miller Road
Oakland, CA 94602

When: Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 10:00 a.m.

What to expect: I will be holding a short barefoot running clinic at the beginning of the event. Following the clinic, the group will be able to run various distances from 1K to 5K (or more for the experienced runners).

Bring some food to share if you like and hang out after the run to chat and meet all of the barefooters in the area!

For more information on the BRS San Francisco Area Chapter event, check out the BRS chapter page here. We are also on Facebook here.

 For events around the world check out www.thebarefootrunners.org IBRD page

 If you are interested in purchasing a shirt for the event, see the right column of my blog or click here to purchase a shirt from Zazzle. Proceeds go to support the Barefoot Runners Society.

Hope all of you can join in the fun and festivities here in California or wherever you are around the world!