Sunday, February 28, 2010

Shit Creek

Took Taj for a pleasant Sunday morning amble along the Dandenong Creek this morning, well pleasant except for the smell coming from the creek. It deadset smelt like a sewerage and I noticed that someone has put some of those rubbish collecting pontoons in there. It smelt so bad that it took about 10 minutes before Taj finally made the plunge. He's usually in there straight away.

So the run was 9km with about one third on a nice gravel trail and the rest mainly on paths. The Vibrams felt wonderful when I first headed off. Later I felt a little tightening in the right calf and some minor soreness around the left ankle, otherwise all was good.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sawing planks

"He who plants a forest in the morning cannot expect to saw planks the same evening" - Chinese proverb

Everything takes time, patience, perserverence and determination. Don't give up and don't be too hard on yourself when you make mistakes.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Back on the horse

Went for a light 5k run yesterday afternoon and then MA training later in the night that for some reason went for two hours rather than the normal one. Very nice to be running again and my legs are a bit tight today! Meh, running again after a break and spending half the night in horse riding stance and cat stance - it all adds up after a few weeks of limited action.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

no run nowhere

Well its now been just over two weeks since the last time I have been for a run and that was a very slow 3km on a bike path in Wantirna. Whilst I have been caught up with moving into a new home, it has also served as a timely break to allow my sore feet a rest.

After a chat with a friend who has been studying TCM it looks as though it might be time to give the liver a bit of a cleanout. Over the next couple of weeks I will start changing my diet and some habits to get this moving along.

So far coffee, alcohol, black tea and dairy products have been dropped from the menu. Water intake has been increased and I am drinking herbal tea, green tea, white tea. Last night the wonderful Nic knocked up a massive bowl of fruit salad for breakfast. It was supberb topped with vanilla yoghurt.

Today I will venture out for a light run. I'll be running in runners.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Training with Hanshi

last night we trained with Hanshi Tino. These are the main areas we went through.

The pushup

Hanshi showed us a push up where you stretch your body out straight and use your core to push your body up to your hands and feet. I'm not sure that anyone was able to do it without using their elbows for leverage.

After we all spent some time groaning and straining on the ground, Hanshi dropped down and easily did a few just to let us know that it can be done!

Seiyunchin Kata

We spent some time learning the first quarter of this kata and generally I felt that we picked it up quite well, due mainly to the wonderful instruction :) This is a Goju Ryu kata and not one that we would normally do in our style.

Switch with three punch combo

Jab, then set up a switch on the reverse and then fire into the second jab with a full switch for added power. Most of us mad a complete hash of the switch, I know that this is something for me to do heaps of work on. We did a similar thing with Shihan a couple of weeks ago and I don't think that I am any better at the moment.

Soft blocks and hooks

After some demonstration of the damage you can do with a knife or other small weapon such as a hair brush, we worked on blocking with our hands and arms. The emphasise here was to take a soft approach with smooth movement. This was pretty much the "wax on - wax off" stuff.

It was a fantastic night and a real treat to train with Hanshi. He is a super guy and moves like lightening - simply amazing.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Take it easy

Up early Sunday morning for a light 3km run with Naomi. She hasn't done much running she struggled with her breathing after a couple of km's and refused to run any further after 3km. It was a very easy pace so my achilles were not too bad although the calves still felt like they had a couple of little rocks in them...very tight.

In the afternoon I took the dog for a 10km walk. He went barefoot and I went in the Vibrams. There is one nice little stretch with a grass/dirt track along the creek so I moslty ran that at a very light pace, probably 3-4 km all up. The rest was a walk as the calves were really starting to bother me.

Iced up the calves in the afternoon and that made a fair difference but the left achilles is starting to be a bit of a worry. I'm going to back off and do no running this week with some more ice application to see how things go. I'll see if I can fit in some more long walks barefoot and in the Vibs to see if these help.

I'm sure that the change in running stride is helping, its just that I haven't got the stride right yet and I think I need to give the existing injuries a rest. They were way overdone especially as I had implemented such a dramatic increase to my running volume. So far this year I have run about 25% of my total kilometers for 2010. Yep, there needed to be a gradual build up rather then a blind dive into excess.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

I am Jack's stinging blisters!

That wasn't too smart.

Barefoot for 6km on a very hot day equals soles that feel like they are on fire.


6 minute pace.

Ouch. (did I already mention that?)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Inside the box

Bashed out a steady 6 km on the treadmill for 32 minutes. Just having a bit of fun and then a good stretch and some work on the rollers. Feeling pretty good.

Had an MMA class last night and went home feeling a bit flat, which is unusual as I'm normally pumped after a class. My technique has been a bit average of late, probably due to a lack of practice over the Christmas break.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Monday recovery run............

Did a cruisy 6km down the Yarra today. After the first km or so, I was feeling a bit sore and a bit weird wearing runners, so I kicked them off and did the next 4 km barefoot. Pretty much from St Kilda Rd to Anderson St and back.

All in all it was nice running barefoot although the front pads felt a bit sensitive at times and I think I might have a few blisters.

Put the Mizunos on when I got back to St Kilda Rd and then just flew home over the last kilometer. Running on the toes and feeling incredibly awesome. It is amazing how spongy the runners feel after going barefoot for awhile.

6 km @ 5:50 pace

To shoe or not to shoe...........Part 3

My first run in the Vibrams was a very slow 6 km at around 7:30 / km pace. The next day I had some heal pain and sore toes otherwise everything was ok. Over the next few days I had a couple of short runs in the Mizunos and then a couple of days later had a very interesting session at the Tan running track.

The Tan is a 3.86 km track that consists mostly of a hard sandy surface with about 600 m of sealed bitumen. The first two laps were in the Vibrams and generally felt good although I did start to notice rubbing on the inside arch of the left foot which predictably developed into a small blister. After the second lap I decided to go barefoot to dry my feet out a bit. This lap felt fantastic and straight away I noticed that I was naturally implementing a softer landing. The Vibrams went back on for the fourth and final lap and once again they felt pretty good.

This was my longest continuous run for 2010 and afterwards I felt fantastic. It was the most enjoyable and fun run that I have had for quite some time. Now the big test was going to be how I felt the next morning.

The report card for the next day was pretty good. A bit of tightness in the calves but generally the Achilles and Plantar fascia felt ok on both feet. Early indications are that I am now heading on the right track and I am starting to get excited by the possibility of some pain free running.

There is heaps of info on the web about barefoot and minimalist running, there are the converts who preach like they have just found a new religion and there are the podiatrist naysayers who believe that barfooters are deluded. On top of all that there is questionable research from both sides and creative interpretation to promote certain arguments.

For me the only thing that matters is whether or not I can be rid of tendon pain and continue running. I’m not looking to convert anyone and really couldn’t care less how others choose to run or even don’t run. If it is helpful for someone else to read through my ramblings, that is great, if not, well I’ll still be running anyway.

To shoe or not to shoe.........Part 2

By June 2009 I started to notice a general stiffness about my feet when I woke up in the mornings. By September, the morning pains had started to develop into an acute tenderness of the Achilles tendon that was ever present. By the end of November I was in pain whenever I ran and I became convinced that the Brooks runners were contributing to this condition by encouraging me to heel strike at an over pronated angle.

After some research I started stretching heaps and applying ice packs and anti-inflammatory gel. The ice and gel made no difference whatsoever.

In early December 2009 I ditched the Brooks runners and bought a pair of Mizuno runners that had a neutral heal and what I thought to be a flatter sole and less support. I then started to concentrate on my running technique by attempting more of a mid to front strike with much shorter strides. This helped to a small extent but I think that I was generally heal striking and things were not getting much better any time soon.

By mid January 2010 I had well and truly had enough of all this tendon pain, so I decided to jump into what looked to be the latest fad in running – barefoot and minimalist. I went out and bought a pair of Vibram Sprints.

To shoe or not to shoe............Part 1

In October 2008 I ran the ½ Marathon at the Melbourne Marathon event, this being the first time I had ever entered a fun run or official race. All of my training and eventual running of the race was done in a pair of crappy old runners that I had got from a sports store specials bin a couple of years earlier.

Throughout my first year of running I experienced pain in the front of the left Patella. My self diagnosis of this was that it was due to Iliotibial band syndrome and probably from increasing my mileage to soon. Generally this is no longer a problem although it can sometimes be mildly tender at that spot, nothing to get overly worked up about.

In March 2009 I decided it was time to invest in a decent pair of runners, so I headed down to a sports store that had treadmills and offered a gait analysis to help find the best shoe for me. This chain of stores was apparently started up by podiatrists who marketed their sales gimmick well enough to drag me in. After ‘analysing’ my gait, the sales girl recommended that I buy a pair of Brooks GTS that had a more solid piece on the inner part of the heal.

Initially I found the Brooks runners nice to run in and generally thought that they were contributing towards a lessening of the pain that I was experiencing in my knee due to ITB. I had also seen a chiropractor and homeopathist, both of which I believe helped to relieve the knee soreness.