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Showing posts from 2011

The Seattle Marathon +

The Seattle Marathon is a crappy crappy marathon. I've held this opinion ever since I ran the marathon three or four years ago. Besides having two out and backs (I detest out and backs) a good portion of the course is on concrete which just plain hurts. Add to that I'm used to running against traffic with my right leg slightly upslope from my left. This course ran a good portion on the right side of the road...which was fatiguing. Finally I would like to say that the course has a couple rather inexplicable route selections that are extremely steep. The first is a sudden uphill in Madison Park and the second is a steep downhill by the REI near the end of the course. I call these inexplicable because both are unnecessary and easily corrected. But of course what made this race epic was the heavy rain runners experienced for nearly the whole duration. (Also why can't the finish line be inside the Key Arena instead of outside in the crumbling ruins that are the Memoria…

the 100-up

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More barefoot running tips from Christopher McDougall. Check this out: The Once and Future Way to Run.

Also check his video.


Epistemology, Evolution, God, and Barefoot Running.

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This whole experiment in barefoot running has for me been a revelation. Before two years ago I'd never heard of the concept save for a few vague references to those crazy Kenyans winning marathons. Nor had I heard of ultras or super-athletes or anything like it before this "new fad" started to hit locally. My first knowledge of barefoot running came with the advent of vibram five fingers in my local REI store and then with my own first experimentation with running barefoot with the Vibrams. For me it was a novel experience, although as I'm learning and increasingly believing there is nothing novel about it.

I am a child of this so-called post-modern age but I grew up with modern beliefs and technology and learned and tried to live using both. And as enlightened as I'd like to believe I am now most of what I was taught and learned however tainted still affects much of my life. I am who I am, and most of who I am grew up Modernist. But what is the nature of …

The Seattle Ultra 48

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I'm going to name this race after the 48 bus route. It would basically run from one end of the route to the other. The run itself would not follow the route it would just start and end at either end of the 48. I ran about half of it yesterday as shown below on the map (19.3 miles). The Ultra 48 would reverse this course and continue on via the burke gilman all the way to Golden Gardens. The course would begin with a loop at Seward Park and run north along Lake Washington, running through the Arboretum, across the Foster Island Trail through UW's Union Bay Trail and Natural Area, up to the Burke Gilman out to the Fremont bridge and across, then hitting the trail and walking path through SPU, then across 15th St W to the locks, across the locks and then hitting the last section of the Burke to Golden Gardens. Or something like that.


Born to Run 50k (60k)

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Pictures to follow hopefully. As you can see below the race took place at Soaring Eagle Regional Park. Here is one version of one lap in the park (for the 50k I had to do this lap 3 times plus a couple other minor loops added in): Garmin Map

And word on the street is that I was the only one to likely finish all 50k. The course was confusing...so we all tried to run a little extra just in case. I estimate running an extra 5k-10k as when running much of the final lap with the race organizer, a man by the name of Porter, we figured out that I'd run quite a bit extra on the final half of the course..and had done so all three laps. Porter also admitted to having flagged this section of the course in the dark. Race results here.






Scottish Lakes High Camp

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Did several trail runs in the Chiwaukum Sept 30th - Oct 2nd. On the map featured below is a nice 8 miler all downhill and all rock and roll. Other great runs included one to Lake Chiwakum and one to Loch Eileen, both featured on the map below.


Some of the sights:



Shown below is the cabin we stayed in at Scottish Lakes High Camp. High Camp is open Fall season through Spring and I can't say enough about how great my first experience was there. Friendly people and beautiful hikes...I can't wait to go back and ski it. For more info visit scottishlakes.com.


how padding can be evil

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I swear I'm going to fork the 30 bucks for the online article from Nature that discusses this but for now I will just cite the book Born to Run and my own experience in this matter. In the book McDougall describes research detailing how the padding in our running shows doesn't actually absorb any of the force of the impact with the ground, that all such force is transferred through the heel and into/across the rest of the body just as if the padding wasn't there. In actual fact the only thing cushioning does is deaden our sensitivity to impact the force of impact and in some cases padding has even been shown to augment the transfer of these mechanical energies. In essence the padding keeps us from feeling what is happening and as far as the forces at work padding does nothing to diminish them.

One of the things I'm finding true lately of the barefoot style is that it is actually more efficient. Now that I've rebuilt my arches my feet and legs are doing the wo…

top five barefoot running shoes

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1. Luna Sandals 2. Merrell Trial Gloves 3. Vibram Five Fingers 4. Brooks Green Silence 5. New Balance Minimus

eating raw and running raw

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I am still in the midst of reading the book Born to Run and continue to find I am discovering things on my own that a decade of revolution has also discovered: That with healthy running also comes healthy living. Over my almost two years of barefoot-style running I have dropped some 30 pounds and have done so without dieting. Having seen my parents yo-yo 40-50 pounds a year crucifying their bodies with Weight Watchers I vowed that while I wanted to shed some pounds I only wanted to do it in a sustainable fashion. I would rather weigh 205 and stay there the rest of my life than yo-yo. Actually over the last 4 years I've lost about 40 pounds. But it began with a class on Spirituality at a graduate program at The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology. The class was called Christian Spirituality and the lesson that began my long journey of healthier eating was the lesson on Sabbath. Based on some of the ideas of Abraham Heschel in his book titled The Sabbath our class …

barefoot and religious

Running in cushy modern running shoes is like joining up with a mega-church. It's new, stylish, involves lots of money and modern ideas but may in the end be bad for us. Maybe it's time to ditch emergent evangelicalism and learn to run and worship as the caveman did. Maybe the new cutting edge coffee sippin Mars Hill Church isn't what we need. Maybe it's time to get down and dirty. Maybe it's time to drink lots of beer and experience the sensual pleasures of this good earth. Maybe it's time to tread lightly and with grace, to conserve energy and not waste it. Maybe the custom orthotics and preacher man are hurting us with their rigid dogmatic ways. Maybe the pain we tried to avoid and bury with layers of EVA foam was trying to tell us something we needed to hear: Stop. Heal. Grow. Love.

Spray Park

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Reading Born to Run is the spiritual journey I never expected to encounter. It has come to me nonetheless and the result is both surprising and life-giving. I’ve never been this happy before and I wouldn’t have expected that running would play such a big part in that happiness.

Some more thoughts on barefoot running.

Even the first time running on my toes was amazing and transformative. The first thing I noticed was that it seemed to require more effort and concentration than I’d been used to. To do it I needed to use muscles that I hadn’t much used before. I also needed to pay more attention to the ground, its slopes and its variable surfaces. I was running the Queen Anne loop in a new pair of Brooks Green Silence shoes, the first such shoes I’d run in devoid of support. My girl-friend at the time had already begun experimenting with Five-Fingers shoes and encouraged me to give the whole toe-running thing a try. I wasn’t expecting transformation, I wasn’t expecting anything.…

My Introduction to Barefoot Running

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The first experience was amazing. I was running around Green Lake in my already well worn Luna sandals when a voice from somewhere deep simply made a request, “take them off.” I did. And what followed was a life-altering 3.2 miles of overwhelming bliss. And if this sounds like a bit of an odd thing to say about running around a rather mundane urban lake smack dab in the middle of metropolitan Seattle I shall take no offense. Little old Green Lake thrives with a host of known and unknown diseases and the path around it is littered with a small forest of signs warning local fishermen not to eat anything they catch out of it. It is an urban lake with no outlet and has been crapped in by water foul and human foul for hundreds of years. On warm summers it gets a smell that you don’t want to be downwind of and if you swim in it your skin starts to peel off.

Barefoot running is something I’ve been doing for over a year now. I’m finding that it has intersected my life at one of those…