Third “barefoot” run…

Don’t worry, I know I’ll eventually have to stop mentioning the “barefoot” aspect of my run — just a bit pretentious sounding. Its charm will likely disappear once my body adjusts to the new posture and stride, and work back up to my old running distances. Then it’ll be just running.

Speaking of which, I had a good “barefoot” run tonight. Managed to nearly double my latest distance to 2.4 km with an average pace of 00:05:44/km; not bad given a wee hill I tackled. It’s bizarre. I don’t feel any of the run in my joints or my quads/hamstrings/glutes, just my calves and Achilles tendons. And lungs. 😉

I tried following the proper barefoot running posture (ahem, Bareform™) shown on the Merrell site (video below) but I’m not sure I’m getting it. Or, maybe I am and it’s just going to take a while for my calves to adjust. Regardless, speed and distance are improving which is all I can really hope for.

Fingers crossed on a speedy recovery. Eager to get out again.


My foray into “barefoot” running…

So, last Thursday, I finally picked up my birthday gift that had been on backorder since the middle of September…

…a pair of Merrell Barefoot Running Trail Glove shoes. Yay!

I’ve been working at getting back into running more frequently but both pairs of shoes I already own have little-to-no tread or cushioning left from my Parkour days. I knew I needed a new pair but I had been hearing so much about how good the barefoot running (shoes) were supposed to be for your feet and posture that I wouldn’t even entertain the idea of buying anything else.

FINALLY, I got them last week, and finally I broke them in on Sunday.

The inside of the box cleverly reads “Let your feet lead you”. I like it because its pseudo-spiritual tone appeases my inner treehugger while its instructional value appeases my inner dork. Simply stated, “Don’t be an idiot and try to run your usual distance your first time out. Your feet will hate you. Your body will hate you. Your co-workers will hate you for whining about how much your ‘feet hate you’.”

I decided to keep it low-key and just run 1K and holy smokes! I felt the strain in my Achilles tendons right away then in my calves almost immediately after. It was extremely hard to maintain a casual pace. Without my heels touching I kept propelling myself faster — it’s more of a sprint-like foot position in those shoes — and after 1K, I was spent. Eeeesh!

I loved them. They are incredibly light and I felt like I was flying. However, 1.17 km and two days later, my calves hate me. But my co-workers don’t… they’ve just been laughing.

I can’t wait for the pain to go away. I’ve got 1.18 km in my sights and I’m gettin’ antsy.


MEC’s First Annual Shubie Trail Run [UPDATED]

Yesterday morning I ran in Mountain Equipment Co-op’s (MEC) inaugural Annual Shubie Trail Run. They had mapped out three routes through Shubie Park, in Dartmouth, NS: 5K, 10K and 21K (half-marathon). I ran the 5K and finished with a time of 29:15 (which isn’t possible but I’ll touch on that later).

[UPDATE] I went back and traced the route at and verified that the route was, in fact, 5K. Sorry for doubting you, MEC. Still friends? And WOOHOO on the time! 🙂


MEC has traditionally sold camping and non-urban outdoor adventuring equipment. Recently, however, they’ve expanded to include cycling equipment and are soon going to be carrying road running gear in addition to their more typical trail running stuff. That being said, even though this was a trail running race, from what I understand, part of the drive behind organizing the event was to start linking MEC to running in general.

Well, this was officially my first running race in over 17 years, since my last year of high school so, I was a bit nervous and whole lot of giddy. The race itself started at 09:00 so, I showed up around 08:30 and parking was already scarce. I had originally registered in-store for the 5K with the understanding that I could switch to the 10K at the race if I really wanted to. Unfortunately, the line-ups and sign-in sheets were all organized by registered distance. So, I queued up in the 5K line and just decided to stick with it, and I was quickly handed my race bib, #209. 🙂

Shortly after 9:00 the 21K runners were off.


About five minutes later the 10K runners followed suit.


Then another five minutes after that, we (the 5K runners) were off.

Sometimes, leading up to a run, I question whether or not I really want to torture myself for the next half-hour but once I get moving, I wish I could run forever.

When I did the Run for the Cure last month I started near the front of the pack and was passed by a number of people so, I this time I chose to start at the very back and just work my way up as needed. Of course, being the genius boy that I am, I didn’t take into account how difficult it would be to pass people on a narrow path. Nor did my brain even register the runners with strollers. According to my trusty iPhone and today’s running app of choice, Kinetic GPS, it was a very slow first kilometre at 00:06:44. 😐

[UPDATE] According to the route retrace the time was closer to 00:06:38, which is still not that great of a pace for me.

The weather was beautiful! The sky was clear and the air was crisp — a tad cold on the lungs but it felt great. 🙂

The rest of the run was well paced. I managed to bring my average pace down to 00:06:17/km, which means for kilometres 2-5 my average pace would have improved to 00:05:39/km, with which I would have been very happy. 🙂 Of course now, me finishing a 5 kilometre race in 00:29:19 with an average pace of 00:06:17/km is not possible — 5 km x 00:06:17/km = 00:31:15. Glad it wasn’t and official race because I think the people out at the half-way turn-around point didn’t set themselves up far enough. Oops.

[UPDATE] Heh, heh. The half-way point was fine. The GPS app just didn’t maintain an accurate signal for the whole race. Super-oops.

The Kinetic GPS app tracked my total distance at 4.66 km and, given how slow my start was, that seems to be more realistic with my time. Of course, it’s entirely possible that the tree coverage could have thrown off the GPS signal a bit and the route really was 5 km, and I really am wicked-fast, and all this math would have been for naught.

[UPDATE] So, with a total run time of 00:29:19 my average pace for the whole race was 00:05:52/km which is quite good for me on a normal day. That being said, if we were to *ahem* ignore the 00:06:38 for my first kilometre, that means my average pace for the last 4K was just over 00:05:40/km which is a personal best for me in YEARS. 😀

Regardless, I had a blast. It was my first of what I hope to be many running races in my adult life, and I already can’t wait until next year’s. 🙂



Right… I ran for the Cure

Heh heh, this is a tad embarrassing… I had put together this post the day after I participated in the Run for the Cure but only saved it as a draft.


Well, here it anyway just, please, ignore the fact that it’s being posted almost a month late.

[Originally written Monday, October 3, 2011]
Overall, the run went better than expected. My main goal was to maintain a pace that allowed me to complete the course without walking. Plus, I was trying to run with “quiet feet” to minimize impact and spare my knees unnecessary anguish.

As my pre-run blurb said, I was running for “Aunt Anne”, my mother’s sister, who passed away from breast cancer a few years ago. And so, my mom wanted to support me and came along as my one person cheering squad — mom’s are the best. 🙂

The run itself started at 10:00 yesterday morning but registration started at 8:00. I had never been to one of these runs before and I didn’t want to be late so, I erred on the side of caution and showed up at 8:00 in case registration took a long time. Well, it didn’t. Once we figured where I had to register, I walked right up to two friendly volunteers who signed me in right away and gave me my T-shirt, my paper “I’m running for…” bib, and a few safety pins to bring the whole ensemble together. My mother and I were then directed over to the table of markers where I could write on my bib…

My Runner’s Bib

Well this, I was not ready for… my mother and I both got quite choked up actually seeing my aunt’s name written down. It seemed so… final? Like it was only then that it set in completely that my Aunt Anne had passed away. I mean, I knew it, it’s just the reality of it seemed to hit like a tonne if bricks.


So, then went outside where my mom helped me pin the bib onto my shirt. And then…

…we waited.

Yeah… 8:00 was unnecessarily early. There was barely anyone there. On the bright side, my mom and I got to spend the morning together chatting. It was really nice. 🙂 We walked around for a bit until it started raining, we headed back to the car, chatted some more, and watched as the other runner and walkers finally started showing up — a lot of teams.

I think I’d like to part of a team next year, their energy was incredible.

I stayed in the car to keep warm until when everybody started filing into the street, about fifteen minutes before the start. Okay, it was running time.

It was still raining so, everyone was bouncing around to stay warm. I was repeating my plan over in my head: no walking, quiet feet, no pain; no walking, quiet feet no pain… Then, before I knew it, the countdown started, and we were off and running.

I started off probably a bit quicker that I should have but managed to hold my own. I hadn’t walk around that part of Halifax for a while so, it was really nice. The route started at the South Commons in front of Citadel High, looped up around the North Commons, down Rannie, then Gottingen, Cogswell and Brunswick, before circling around the East and South sides of the Halifax Citadel, then along South Park and the full loop around Public Gardens, then back up to the finish line.

So, I didn’t walk, I avoided pain, it rained a lot, I got soaked and had a blast 🙂

On top of everything, I did quite alright for time — 5K in 00:28:37. I was planning on pacing it safer but the energy from being in the crowd of runners seemed to just pull me along. LOVED it.

Overall, a good run for a great cause.

A HUGE thank-you again to everyone who donated. It felt great to run with a purpose. 🙂


Workout slump…

Well… I haven’t really been able to track much running or cycling lately. Haven’t been to the gym in forever either. I have, however, been playing soccer this summer… first time in a couple of years.

And soccer, let me tell you, is an exhausting activity. An activity that has been taxing my body like a… well, a lot.

(I can’t think a proper way to describe it that doesn’t involve at least one swear word so, we’ll leave it at that.)

The first two weeks back my team played five games in a little over a week and a half. My initial contribution was a whopping two ten-minute shifts in a ninety minute game: serious 22% contribution.

For the next two days I hobbled around like someone had beaten me with pitching wedge. And it only lasted for two days because I had to suit up for my next game and do it all over again.

A few weeks later I am just as exhausted, however, I can play the full ninety minutes before I get there. Feels good.

Gotta find a life rhythm for it all though… one that lets me do everything I want but doesn’t leave me exhausted. Is there any such thing?

Fill me in if anyone knows.


Moving past the 2-day split…

Well, I’ve been working out at Goodlife Fitness following this 2-day split exercise routine from for a little over four weeks now. Though I’m virtually the same weight as when I started, I’ve leaned out some and feel significantly stronger. This 2-day split has been good to me so far but I feel like I’m ready to move on to a 3-day split.

The main reason? I’m really tired.

Doing the 2-day split twice a week — Monday and Tuesday, then a variation of those again on Thursday and Friday — at 5:15 AM, is exhausting and difficult for me to maintain with consistency. The early mornings are a drag but it’s the only real time I can get into the gym.

Beyond that, I’ve read on a number of sites that taking more time to rest muscle groups between workouts is better for their overall growth, and while I’m not looking to get huge, the idea of adding size quicker is a tad appealing. On the 2-day split, I only had a three to four day rest before working the same muscles again. The 3-day split will allow them to rest/heal/grow for a full week. Plus, it will allow me include more exercises per muscle group per workout, which I like.

I have to admit, it feels bizarre, almost counter-intuitive that fewer workouts per week could yield bigger results but I have yet to read an article that contradicts this. So, there must be something to it, eh? ?

Of course, now that I’ve decided to change my workout, I’m going through the same indecisiveness I went through last time when trying to pick my exercises. Thankfully, it’s a bit easier since I can pretty much combine my favourite exercises from the past four weeks to give me a solid workout plan.

I was just going to go on to the next phase in the workout schedule. However, I have no interest in doing specific exercises for my forearms nor do I care to spend the amount of time in the gym required to complete that workout. In fact, one of the things I’m hoping to accomplish with the switch to a 3-day split is a quicker, more efficient plan.

Another bonus to this is that it will allow for more cardio days throughout the run of a week. Or, perhaps more truthfully, it will allow for more opportunities to get at least one dedicated cardio workout in each week.

I’m very much looking forward to Monday. Day one: chest and triceps. ?