Tuesday, March 22, 2011

International Barefoot Running Day

A plug for International Barefoot Running Day on May 1, 2011 as well as my little plug for fundraising.

For those who are not familiar, International Barefoot Running Day events will be held all around the country and the world.  Check out the Barefoot Runners Society website and click on the IBRD tab at the top to find an event near you! 

On May 1, 2011, I will be running as part of team "Barefoot Runners Society" in the Workday Devil Mountain Run in Danville, CA.  I will be running the 10K barefoot.  Our team is participating as part of our International Barefoot Running Day as well as raising funds for a great cause - Children's Hospital Oakland.  Our team goal is to raise $5000.  I'd like to see our team surpass that goal.  With your help we can do that!  Any amount is appreciated no matter how big or small.  It all goes to a great cause.  Please consider a donation in support of our team's efforts to help the Children's Hospital. 

Thank you.

"Barefoot Terry"

Go to the link below and click on "Support Terry"


(NOTE:  If you're in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area/Sacramento or Central Valley, consider joining our Chapter and maybe even join us at our race.  More info can be found at the BRS site.  See the California - San Francisco Area Chapter.  Thanks!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

BRS Group Run (Consumnes River Preserve)

On the morning of March 6th, I headed out to meet with fellow barefoot runners from the SF Area Chapter of the Barefoot Runners Society at the Consumnes River Preserve for a group run.  The no-show rain that had been forecast earlier in the week finally made its appearance.  During the 20-minute drive out to the preserve there was a steady rain.  Upon arriving at the preserve, I noted only one vehicle and it was parked on the roadside not in the visitor parking area.  As I pulled up I noticed why - the gate was still locked.  I hopped out of my truck and walked over to the other car.  It turned out to be Running Romeo.

Since we were both a little early for the run, we decided to take shelter and chat to get to know one another - not to mention, the rain was still a steady drizzle.  We chatted about our paths toward barefoot running and stories about barefoot races we had run.  After talking awhile, we noticed the rain had let up.  We decided to leave our cars parked alongside the road and head over to the trail.

A short hike across the locked parking lot and a bridge and the trail began.  The trail started out very slick.  The dirt here was likely hard pack.  The surface was glistening wet and slick as ice.  We managed to get moving down the trail with one or both of us slipping and sliding at any given moment trying not to eat the trail.  The prediction - at least one of us would kiss the ground before the run was over.

As we headed down the trail, things got better - the mud got deeper!  The trail was fantastically barefoot friendly.  Even if there had been no mud the trail would have been all dirt and grass.  There were virtually no rocks to speak of the entire run. 

The preserve trails were undergoing some maintenance due to flooding and other maintenance repairs, so the plans for a 4-mile, figure-8 loop run that I had envisioned were shot.  However, the mud was so AWESOME that it really didn't matter where we were running!  We ran south about a mile to a gate across the trail, backtracked our way to a levee path, then east toward the railroad tracks and then south again.  Another closed trail.  No worries.  Why?  We had to backtrack through a fantastically flooded mud "pond" - EVEN BETTER!  We continued north to the wheelchair accessible paved path and ran that out and back.  Back to the mud!  We reached the levee path again, we had put on about 3 miles or so and we decided it would be about time to head back - then it happened.  Someone kissed the mud!  (The identity of the mud kissing runner shall remain nameless to protect the innocent.) ;)

No problem, up and running again all the way back to the bridge.  We rinsed our feet in various puddles as we trekked our way across the parking lot.  Just as we reached our cars, two other cars arrived to unlock the gate!  Oh well!

Thanks, Running Romeo for a great run!  Hope to catch you again soon on the road or trail!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mercedes Barefoot Runner Commercial

Mercedes Barefoot Runner Commercial

Hey all!  Enjoy this new commercial from Mercedes featuring a barefoot runner!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Call of the Wild

This past week I took a small group of students up to science camp for 3 days of fun in the coastal mountains north of San Francisco.  It was supposed to be raining the entire time we were there, but instead we were pleasantly surprised with sunny, warm days.  Now, it has been six and a half weeks without running due to a bad cough and pulled intercostal muscles.  My body has been screaming to go for a run for a while now.  On day 2 of the camp, we went for a hike through the gorgeous redwood forest.  Almost the entire time I was scanning the trail imagining how great it would feel on my feet - all the soft needles, the mud, the leaves.  In my hometown, there are basically NO trails to run.  I could hardly stand it.  I could have stripped off my hiking boots and just walked the trail barefoot, but I'm not sure if that would have been the best role-model for my students (considering I'm responsible for their health and well-being while they are away from their parents). 

By the time we got back from the hike my body was dying to go for a run.  I asked our naturalist if there was any "camp rules" about running the trails.  She said no.  That was pretty much all I needed to hear.  I decided that an early morning trail run was going to happen.  I informed the other chaperone that of my plans for the next morning.

Our first morning at the camp was very quiet, but that second morning the natives in the cabin were quite restless.  I laid in my bunk contemplating the chill of the morning and whether it was light enough yet.  Finally, I just committed and got up, threw on some sweat pants, my beanie hat and headed out the door. 

The first quarter mile or so was easy, nice smooth asphalt.  The water streaming across the roadway in a few places was quite cold, but refreshing.  Then I hit the trailhead - FANTASTIC!  Up the hillside I ran.  There was a spot just up the trail where we had experimented in making animal tracks in the deep mud.  Well, I smiled as I planted my 10 toes right up the middle of the mud and standing water wondering if the next group of kids would notice that there were footprints that did not belong to a four-legged creature.

Then, just beyond the wonderfully soft mud it got tough!  This trail is actually more of an access road - nice and wide - but covered in some serious gravel in places.  I had noticed the gravel the day before, but thought it was more manageable than it turned out to be.  I hobbled along trying to find the best places to put my feet.  Not terrible, just hmm more technical than I had planned. 

Beyond this point, it was better.  I mixed my running between the center of the path and along the edge.  The edge had nice cool, wet leaves from fall and grass.  The one problem was that the grass and leaves tended to hide larger rocks.  I made it down to the creek access and decided it was best to start heading back - the natives would be waking soon. 

As I reached our cabin, I came across a couple of people who gave me a bit of an odd look.  I just smiled and headed in.

When I entered the cabin, one of my students was awake and began to question me.  The conversation went something like this:

Student:  "Where did you go?"
Me:  "I went for a run."
Student:  "But you don't have shoes."
Me:  "I know."
Student:  "Where?"
Me:  "Remember the place where we went to the creek yesterday.  There."
Student:  "Why'd you go there?"
Me:  "Because I don't know anywhere else to run."
Student:  "But you're not wearing any shoes."
Me:  "I know, that's how I run."
Student:  shrugs and his face says 'whatever'
I just laughed.

It was only a quick run.  Just a chance to experience a trail that I might not get to try again.  A mile to mile and a half at best, but I could not resist the temptation of the Call of the Wild.