Saturday, July 10, 2010

Blog<Random> Writing, Weight Loss, and Running Barefoot

Just some stuff I've been thinking about.


I'm a little embarrassed by the story I posted yesterday. There's a kind of self-conscious debilitation that usually prevents me from writing as soon as the idea pops into my head. Like I'm a hack, trying to keep my secret from everyone. It's part of the reason for this post, to push the story down a little, off the front page. At least now people will have to click a link or scroll down to find it.

But, I liked the idea, and if I didn't write it down, it would be rotting in my brain. And if I didn't post it here, it would be rotting on my hard drive. Now it can rot on the internet.

Your welcome, the internet.

Personal embarrassment aside, please fire away with your critiques. I'd like to get better, so don't hold back. After writing this one, I've got a few ideas along the same lines (immortality, fear of dying, existence, etc...), and I'd like to not feel quite as embarrassed the next time.

Weight Loss

I'm a week or two away from my goal. If it weren't for the 4th of July weekend (gained about 3 lbs!), I'd probably be there already. But I knew I'd have to work off all the food before I ate it, so it wasn't really a surprise. Once you get comfortable with your diet and exercise plan, the only thing that really surprises you is when you lose more than you thought you would. There's always an explanation for weight gain.

On the motivation front, the past couple of weeks have been difficult to keep a schedule. The week before the 4th of July, I only got 3 workouts in. Then, we got back from the vacation on Tuesday, so I only had 3 days this past week. On Thursday, I almost skipped my resistance training (I hate weight lifting.) I was halfway to my car before I made myself turn around and go back to the gym.

Hopefully this week I'll get a solid 5 days in (plus a run on Saturday), because I'll be going on vacation again the following week. It would be nice to put this goal to bed by then.

Running Barefoot

Last week, I went for a run in my Vibrams. I could feel some slight shin splints pain almost immediately. I ran for about 1/4 of a mile and decided to start changing up my form to see if it would make a difference.

I bent my knees more (kind of like sitting in a high chair, with your feet hanging down to touch the ground.) I also focused on moving forward instead of springing up and down. I noticed an improvement right away. The shin pain didn't go away, but I could tell that I wasn't making it any worse. I kept up this new form for about another half mile before it started slipping. The remaining 1/4 mile back to the house was a battle of concentration.

The experience of changing my form and feeling relief was pretty exciting. I opened my favorite web browser and found a pretty awesome site about barefoot running. The founder of that site, a caveman-looking dude called Barefoot Ken Bob, has run over 75(!) marathons completely barefoot. He recommends not wearing minimal shoes (like the Vibrams) when you are just starting out because, even though they're thin, the sole keeps your foot from feeling the ground and still allows you to pound a little.

He was right! This morning, I decided to do half of my mile run completely barefoot. I could tell immediately that my form in the Vibrams wasn't as smooth or low-impact as I thought. I know that I've gushed about the feeling you get in the Vibrams before, but it really doesn't compare to actually going barefoot.

I'll probably write more about it next week, but if you are thinking about taking up running in minimal footwear, I highly recommend trying it completely barefoot. Just remember that the goal is not to push through any pain you feel, it's to avoid pain. And you can only avoid pain by improving your form and by slowly building up your endurance. So, don't go further than your feet are ready for. 1/2 a mile was my limit today.


  1. Don't be embarrassed! (Trust me, I've read stuff that people should be embarrassed about, and your story isn't it.) Of course, the uncertainty never goes away, at least for me. I think that's a sign that you have a good grasp on reality and aren't an ego-maniac. Every writer I know doubts that he or she has what it takes, and every writer I know has written great stories/poems/sentences.

  2. Kyle, I have been walking on the beach a few days a week, barefoot. It is definitely a workout, as the sand moves under my feet and I have to adjust to stay upright. And then, there's the whole wave crashing ashore thing. Last week we had a southern swell and REALLY BIG waves! I was walking along and suddenly a wave crashed ashore with water up to my thighs! But I feel I work my legs in a different way walking barefoot. It takes less time and distance to get my heart going.

    Your story is good and I really believe Melanie is right. Keep writing!