Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Busted Foot

Man!? Just as the weather was getting good, I went and injured myself. I took a fun run at Dillon State Park this last Sunday with my buddy, Dan. This was my first real long run in my VFFs, and I think I may have overdone it just a bit.

I woke at 7am and got my famous egg sandwiches made before Dan showed up. When he arrived, we got our water bottles filled and headed out the door around 7:45. We arrived at the park right around 8am and were ready to get wet.

It was very cold and drizzling rain. The trails were extremely muddy and filled with freezing brown rain water. Perfect conditions for a trail run. For the first 6 miles I felt like Superman and I was dodging all the slippery rocks that were looking to break my ankles. My toe strikes felt very natural and I felt like I was Born To Run (great book by the way, almost done with it) in my bare feet (ie. VFF's).

Around mile 7 or mile 8 I was starting to notice a slight discomfort on the bridge of my right foot. It was my first metatarsal (big toe bone). It wasn't so bad that I couldn't run on it, so I continued to run when I could and power walk up the hills. Unfortunately, I had developed a slight limp by this point, but I kept pushing.

After the run, I knew my foot was in bad shape. It didn't hurt too bad at first, but a few hours after my run it was killing. Jennifer and I were working around the house and I was hobbling on my right foot very badly. Around 3pm I had to sit down and elevate it to get some of the throbbing out of it. It helped, but the moment I put it back down on the floor I was in pain again.

In two weeks, my buddy Rob is having his Forget the PR 50k race for the volunteers. I was really wanting to run it, and may still do so. My plan is to just take it easy until then and see how my foot does. Who knows I may do it just to spite my foot... :)

After all these minimalist pains, I'm still barefoot.

Friday, March 26, 2010

I Broke My Tailbone

On Tuesday, I went in for my very first Chiropractor visit ever. Actually, my Mom says I went when I was a kid, but I don't remember it. I do know that it has been at least 20 years since I've stepped foot in a chiropractic office though.

While I was getting adjusted, the doctor took my neck and cracked it about 5 pops in each direction. She knew I was a runner and she says that we're usually pretty fun to work with (ie. we = runners) and know our bodies pretty well. I don't know if she was buttering me up and filling me full of pride, or if she really meant it. I'll assume the latter...

She then did a lot of things with my legs to see how my leg muscles felt. She concluded that my right leg is weaker than my left leg. She even showed me by having me bend my leg inward (ie. hacky sack style) while she tried to straiten it out. My left leg was rock solid, but my right leg had some strain to it and she was able to move it with a bit of pressure. I would have NEVER guessed that there was any difference in either of my legs, but sure enough, there it was. She got some medieval looking tool and applied it to the right side of my belly button (!? I know, right !?), then put another medieval looking tool to my right hip for some time to "stimulate the nerves", and sure enough it was fixed! :)

The most interesting part of my visit was that she told me I had a broken tail bone. I was floored! I had no idea! When could this have happened!? She told me that it had healed, but it healed wrong. After she told me about it, I got to thinking, and I realized that it probably happened when I was at the Ice Castle in Novosibirsk, Russia two years ago.
...I actually busted my butt today. As we were making our way up the steps to this this slide, there was a very slick area and I went running up to it and slid and really dinged up my butt. So much so that the back of my hamstring hurts too. I think I bruised the muscle all the way down my leg. Between my feet, my left knee, and now my right butt cheek, I'm ready to go home. :) I thought about changing my blog title to "Luc's Online Pity Party"... Anyway, it's now my newest pain and it hurts worse than my knee right now (which still hurts).
That's really the only time I can think that I broke it. Best of all, it was documented for the world to see. :)

Oh and my doctor also gave me nice kudos for my new minimalist life style. While some people think I'm crazy or just plain weird, she actually commended me on it... And she's a back doctor!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Homemade Sandals

Tonight, I have officially made the switch to: Barefoot Luc

I've been looking around for some minimalist shoes, and the solutions are either very expensive, or very cheap. There is a site that sells "normal looking" shoes with very thin soles, but the prices are through the roof, since it's such a niche market. The alternative is to just go to your local Target or Walmart (like I did) and buy a pair of aqua shoes. The only problem with aqua shoes is that your wife (or husband) could make fun of you (like mine did).

Honestly, I haven't worn a real pair of shoes for almost 2 full months now. When I'm in the house, I'm barefoot. When I'm running, I'm in my VFF's, and when I'm "in public", I typically wear my aqua shoes. Although lately Jennifer claims that my VFF's are better suited for public than my aqua shoes. Perhaps it's better to look extreme than it is to look like I just don't have a clue. :)

At first my legs and feet hurt quite a bit, especially after running. However all the pain has gone and I'm excited to be au-naturelle from the ankles down until winter sets back in. Up until today, I didn't really have a solution for sandals, and refuse to limit my options to just flip flops. I put on my Chaco's the other day and gave them about 10 minutes before they really started to hurt my arches. Chaco's are known for having (almost too much) arch support. They are officially Ebay bait. Anybody interested? I have black ones and orange ones, both are fairly new...

Anyway, I've been reading up on many barefoot runners who run in these things called "huaraches". They're nothing more than a piece of shoe sole and string. Some people have been known to make them out of old racing tires. It was time for me to try and see if I could make them. I've watched the video on how to make them a few times and decided to give it a try. They looked simple enough to make...

For lunch today, I drove to a local shoe repair store (Newark Cleaners and Shoe Repair) in Heath, Ohio, and got a scrap sheet of some very thin Vibram material along with two long leather shoe laces. The total for everything so far was $4.28. I took it home and decided not to mess with it until sometime later in the week...

Well the more and more I thought about it, the more I was dying to try and make them. It was going to drive me crazy til I did it. So I took off my VFF's and got started:
  1. Took a piece of paper and a pen and loosely traced my foot, putting marks for where all the holes would go (one for the toe, and one on each side of my ankle).
  2. Traced the pattern on the Vibram sheet and cut it out with a utility knive
  3. Drilled holes for the toe, and each side of the ankle
  4. Laced my leather string through them and tied them up.

These are my new running sandals when I need to run on the road. I will probably only use my VFF's for trail running from now on, as they're much better for floating over jagged rocks and snapping little sticks than these will be.

Once I'd finished my pair, Lizzie said she wanted a pair, so I made her a pair too. She is going to wear her's to school tomorrow. :) Of course, once she had hers, the other two wanted a pair as well. Looks like I'm going back to the shoe repair store pretty soon. :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

These are the times...

I was at my mom's house the other day and she told me about something on the news that got us talking. The story was regarding an inmate on death row (Lawrence Reynolds) swallowed a bunch of pills in an attempt to commit suicide. While I find it unfortunate for him to be so down on himself, I don't understand a lot of things logic that took place when they brought him back to life. They saved his life so that they could put him back into a cell and kill him another way at a later date... Best yet, I just saw on the news tonight that there is now an extensive (and expensive) investigation going on to determine how he got access to the pills, and who should be held responsible.

The whole story struck me as being "rather funny" at first, but it has pushed over into "just crazy" now. :)

Especially this:
Reynolds' execution has been rescheduled for...