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Posts Tagged ‘Long Slow Jogging’

Over the weekend I saw a bit of the Bourne Identity on TV.  It made me want to re-watch the trilogy.  It’s hard to squeeze in the time, but I made the effort last night to watch one.  I chose the Bourne Ultimatum.  It’s the final movie of the series (so far).  All three are very good, but I would rate them Identity, Ultimatum and then Supremacy if I were asked.  In Identity, the character is new and gets well developed.  There is loads of action and it’s mostly believable.  Each sequel has more action and is a little (okay, a lot) less believable.  The final, Ultimatum is the least believable, but it wraps up the story nicely so I give it extra credit for that.  Again, for me, it’s the action AND the character development which makes the movie (and series).
 

Matt Damon is terrific in all three.  I believe he will end up being a historic actor before his career is done.  He’s already done some excellent work.  I would rank Good Will Hunting, right up there with his best work and that’s another film I can watch repeatedly.  Anyway, I highly recommend the Bourne Ultimatum.
 

I went out for my first jog since Saturday.  I haven’t really felt “right” and I don’t want to push it.  I also don’t want to constantly use that (my heart) as an excuse, so I’ll just have to monitor myself.  I totaled my January times and distance and was pleased to see I did over 14 hours and almost 44 miles.  That’s including both walking and jogging and not quite the 30 minute per day goal I set for my New Year’s resolution.  Of course, I had loads of missed days, but I’m making progress…  My first goal for February is to be more consistent (like every day, if possible).  We’ll see.  Slowly, slowly…

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Abort! Abort! Abort!
Seriously, the first time I test wore the Speedo “Men’s Seaside Water Shoe”, I got a blister on the top of my foot. I wasn’t wearing socks, so I gave that a skip as down to my bad…
I’ve worn the shoes pretty consistently on short runs – 2 miles to 10K and they’ve been ok. Today, I wore them on a long, slow run (my second such in them) – two hours plus, and for the second time (on a two-hour plus jog) my right foot has blistered underneath! Maybe, I can blame the socks. Maybe, but I just don’t feel like it. The review is over for these puppies!
I’m only at 55-60 miles on them, but stick the fork in – it’s done. I’m attaching a photo of the bottoms so anyone who cares can see the wear pattern.

Wear pattern on bottom of shoes.

Wear pattern on bottom of shoes.

As you can see, the wear is on the outside of each mid-sole, rolling through the center of the ball, and then over the toe of both shoes. Fairly classic wear pattern for POSE/Chi running. Given the wear at just 50-ish miles, I doubt they would have lasted 125 to 150 miles. Still, they were only $20; half the price of the Ahnu’s.
Final recommendation: I don’t recommend them for “almost” barefoot running. They are NOT close to almost barefoot. They are very comfortable for wearing around the office – VERY breathable shoes. They are also comfortable for moderate walks – the crepe feel is different enough from regular shoes that they give your feet a different experience. They are “supposed” to be water shoes. Given you MUST wear socks with them, and wet socks are not comfortable for long days of wear – I can’t recommend them for their stated purpose. Finally, my first thought was the top draw string was a great idea. In fact, it does little to hold the shoe on. Mud or current would easily suck the shoe off. What it does do is make the shoe “feel” more snug across the arch of your foot while still easy to put on. VFFs tend to be either too snug or too loose to put on. This kind of draw string would make a reasonable addition.
By the way, today’s jog was in the morning, 2 Hrs 20 Min and about 8 miles. Like I said – long and slow. Depending on how my time goes this week, I’m going to try for another 55 mile week. It’s six months since my birthday and that was the week I last went that far. I will try to get a chunk of it done at the gym, but I will have to cut back on reading, blogging and hunch.com to get even close. I’m hoping today’s blister doesn’t end my effort before it’s started.
The two best things about mourning runs are the sky brightening and the birds singing. The worst thing is the progressive increase in heat.
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Today I went a bit crazy… I’ve been experiencing a mad desire to get new running shoes (VFF’s, of course), so today I went out and bought two pairs! Yikes!!
Fortunately, my significant other (the love of my life) remained calm and just let it pass. I’m sure I’ll have to pay the piper some other day, but for now, no Mt. Etna. Phew!!
Anyhooo, I got a pair of brown KSO Treks and a pair of grey/green Bikila’s.
I was so jazzed, I broke my shoe review rules and wore the Bikila’s out for an evening jog – 70 Min, about 4 miles.   Slow and easy.  My initial reactions were quite varied.  To start off, the shoes are very difficult to get on.  The are completely different from my black-grey camo’s (normal KSO’s).  Those are soft and extremely flexible.  The Bikila’s are neither.  They are stiff like normal jogging shoes.  They bend thru the sole easily, but the tops are quite firm.  They have a heel-back which goes up much farther than the KSO.  I have to really pull them to get them on.  They are size M47, which is the largest they come.  Once on, there is much less play in the heel than with my KSOs.  The Bikila’s have the “pad” effect on the bottom of the soles (see the photos).  This makes them feel much more safe (and probably durable), but it also makes it seem like you’re further away from the ground.  Oh, yeah.  One last observation – the Bikila’s reek coming out of the box.  They smell of man-made, petrochemical, funk.  I can already tell these are going to stink to high-heaven with a little sweat in them (if they stink this bad already).  The KSO-Treks, on the other hand, have a sensual swede / leather smell and touch.  They tickle your nose and your fingertips.
Out for the spin…
When moving the front of the shoe feels like a second skin.  As I started going, my heel seemed to drift away from the shoe-heel and almost felt as if there wasn’t any shoe heel.  I’m not sure if that’s good or bad.  I take it as good for now as it means no heel blisters while I’m breaking them in (and while they’re breaking me in).
After a few minutes, the pod/pads really started to annoy me.  I guess everyone’s feet are different and there’s no perfect place to put the pads.  They don’t seem to quite match up with my toes.  The ball of the foot feels fine, but my second toe feels like it’s going to blister.  I shift around a bit as I move and although I’m vaguely aware of the pads, they stop irritating.
I’m going very slow (only on my mid-foot and the balls of my feet).  After about 15 minutes, my calves start playing up.  Again, just relax and change the stride for a while and this too passes.  I’m reminded this is my first go in the shoes and I have to take it easy.  When I first started the POSE/Chi running style, I about crippled myself by trying to run through calve pain.
At just about the 1 Hr mark, the balls of my feet really start to hurt.  This is very unusual.  It’s very much like the next day foot soreness after a real long run, but it’s intense and it’s NOW!!  I’ve only got 2 more laps to go to 4 miles, so I decide to push through it.  At the end, I feel like if I go much farther I’m going to be limping for a week.
I stop.  Stretch my calves a bit and by the time I cross the street and walk in the house the pain is completely gone.  With ANY normal shoes, I would expect some residual pain and soreness – but there is none.  I sit on the floor and do a bit of leg stretching.  My feet have NO soreness at all when I stand up.  In fact, it feels like I haven’t jogged at all.
The only thing I can imagine is the pads/pods must be lying on some pressure points in my foot which were telling me “enough for one day but otherwise, we like these shoes.”
I’ve been up and down on my feet for a couple of hours now and I’m ready to go to bed and the feet still feel good to go.
Now that I’ve broken my rules for my sticking to the test shoe during the whole test period, I guess I’ll have to decide if I should continue to mix shoes and track the distance separately.  I’m only about 40 miles in on the 2nd pair.  I’m not terribly happy with them for jogging, but they are quite comfortable for just wearing around.  Still, I don’t want to wear them walking much as this will influence my end review of the shoe wear.
Oh, well, I’ll try to be fair, but will be, will be…
In case you’re wondering, we’ve been going through an operating system upgrade at work so I’ve had a good chunk of OT, which I splurged with to get these two pairs of VFFs.  Once again, I thank God to be working and able to afford these personal items, (when I should be paying down the credit card bill).  I guess someone’s got to keep the economy ticking over – might as well be me.
One final note, the images are from Vibram’s site (or from one of the various retailers that sell VFFs) and I make no claim to them.  I’m just a proud owner of their products.
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This week’s book was “The Last Pick” by David J. McGillivray (with Linda Glass Fechter) and was published in 2006. It’s the autobiographical story of Mr. McGillivray who grew up to be the race director of the Boston Marathon.  He was also the “technical director” from 1988-2001.  Basically, he grew up to be short (5ft 3 in) and this profoundly affected his life and his attitude about his life.  Because he was so short, few believed in his atheletic ability and hence he was always “the last pick”.
 

As a young man, he goes on to become an accoplished runner in high school and college and then he becomes one the first hand-full of people to run across the continental U.S. (roughly 3,400 miles).  His story is an interesting one, but I got tired of hearing about his being short.  He seems to have to mention it every 10 pages.    Aside from this (minor) shortcoming (pun intended), the story is a good, heartwarming tale and the author comes across as a very good man.
 

One thing I found interesting was there was no mention of the WS100.  Considering it’s supposed to be one the oldest and most prestigeous ultra runs, I thought it would at least rate a reference.  I guess when you’ve run 3,400 miles in 80 days, 100 in 24 Hrs is no big deal. 
 

I did my own little “ultra” last night – my third 4 hour run.  This one seemed about as hard as the second.  I’m trying my new jogging technique – kind of like the “POSE” method, but not quite.  I was not able to stay on my mid-to-front foot for the whole jog.  I got two in, and then had to alternate between my traditional flat-footed double-time and the new “on your toes” method.  I’m also trying to pay extra attention to my hydration.  I’m trying to force myself to drink ten full swallows of water after each hour.  I’m not sure it it’s making any difference, but I’ll have to drink when I’m out on the WS100, so I’m trying to get used to it.
 

This was my third 4 hour jog, and I’m estimating I’m going about 14 miles for each so I’ve done the equivalent of one and a half marathons.  When you throw in my other days, it means I’m able to do about one full marathon each week.
 

The jogging on my toes is really making a big difference in my recovery time.  I feel like I’m hardly hurting at all after the jog or the next day.  I was quite sore after most of my long sessions doing my regular style.  Hopefully, as my calves get stronger, I’ll be able to ween myself off of the old method.
 

I still haven’t got the “running” part of the new method down yet.  I know, the POSE falling forward / lean method doesn’t work for me, so I’m playing with various things when I’m doing my intervals.
 

I got an email from Bec saying she’s now on Skype.  I’ve set it up on my own Netbook but I was not able to reach her.  I was able to chat with my brother, Sean.
 

Work has eased a little this week.  I didn’t feel like I had to work today (Saturday) to keep up.  I was able to get the car serviced and go treat myself to a new pair of running shoes.
 

The diet is still going – about 110 days now.  I was down to 298 as of last Tuesday.  I’m not on target to get to 270 by my birthday, but I’ll be in the ball park.  The main thing is that I feel great.
 

No changes on the library front.  I met a guy who seems like an ideal student for me, but they tell me there are others who’ve been in the queue longer and I still need to train on the Wilson Reading method before I would be able to handle someone.  Anyway, the computer lab is still fun and interesting.  We’ll see…
 

 

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This weekend I jogged my second four hour jog.  That makes two half marathons in less than seven days.  I estimate I’m doing about 3.5 mph, so, times 4 makes about 14 miles.  This time seemed a bit harder.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe the novelty has worn off now that I know I can last that long.
 

It does make the WS100 seem a little more possible now!
 

I finished my second book on running during the week.  This one is titled: Running Past 50 and is written by Richard Benyo.  It’s an old book.  The copyright is 1998, but it still had some interesting information.  One of them was the name of the Mexican/Indian tribe that does all the long distance running: the Tarahumara of the Copper Canyon region of Mexico. 
 

I looked them up and found they supposedly have a “unique” running style.  I looked that up and read various descriptions of it.  I tried it over the weekend and it seems to be fantastic!  I tried it for about 20 minutes during my 4 hour run on Friday.  I then did a full hour yesterday and again two hours tonight.  To tell the truth, except for a little tenderness in my calves, I don’t feel like I’ve been out jogging at all.  I’m going to keep trying it and see if is the “miracle” it seems to be.  Usually, when I’m done, my feet hurt and the following day, they are very tender to walk on until I get the blood going.  There has been NO foot pain at all – so far.
 

I’ve started a third book about running.  This one is by a guy who’s run across the US.  So far, he’s not mentioned the WS100, but I guess when you’ve run 3,400 miles in 80 days, 100 miles in 24 hours doesn’t seem like such a big deal.
 

Not much change at work.  I had overtime again this Saturday.  It’s nice to have some quiet time to get caught up, but it was also nice to have two days off (today is Martin Luther King Jr. holiday).
 

The diet still seems to be going well.  I weighed in on the scale at work (without a 3lbs clothes allowance) and I was under 300!!  I came in at 299.5.  Hopefully, I’m still there (or less) tomorrow at my “official” weigh-in.
 

Rebecca came home for a quick weekend visit.  She flew in on Thursday and took off today.  Her return flight was delayed multiple times and she didn’t get back to UCLA until evening.

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As mentioned previously, I just finished reading a book about the Western States 100 Endurance Run (WS100).  Part of the book describes the start of the race to the first checkpoint.  I guess it’s about four miles (as the crow flies) distance.  The book goes on to explain that it’s also about 4,000 thousand feet higher than the starting point and the starting line is over 5,000 feet in elevation.  Basically, you’re starting a mile in the sky and going another mile before you reach the first checkpoint! 
 

Anyway, I was curious what this would feel like – the climbing (not the actual altitute), so today I went to the gym at work and started “climbing”.  At 30 minutes, I had reached about 650 feet.  At the end of 1 hour, I had covered 3 miles distance, but only 1522 feet in elevation.  (Remember, this is without the altitute.)  I was covered in sweat and really puffing – and I’d done only about 1/3 of the elevation, with none of the altitute.  It seems as if this is COMPLETELY insane.  All the more reason to try to do it.
 

This evening I did another 2 hour jog (really a double-time) – about 7 miles.  My second consecutive day of a two hour jog.  It’s definitely not something I can keep up for consecutive days, but it’s nice to feel strong enough to get thru a couple.  I have a feeling, I’ll be doing more shorter jogs and then one long one a week until I can build up enough strength and stamina to do a couple of long runs a week.
 

 

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