Saturday, May 8, 2010

Barefoot run, day 2

I did Day 3 of the 100 push ups workout today. I'm am all the way up to 5 push ups! Woot! Even last year I was doing way more than that, and I'm surprised I can lose that much power/endurance so easily. Maybe it's more mental than physical. Anyway, I'm up to 5 in a set.

My whole legs have been pretty sore since Wednesday. But by yesterday (Friday) afternoon, they were feeling pretty good. I prefer being comfortable rather than doing difficult exercise, and I never got around to going running today. However, I did go outside with the kids to supervise YoungestSon's bike riding. I figured I might as well run around instead of walk right by him. So I decided to take off my shoes and go for it. It was in the parking lot (asphalt) and on the sidewalk. I was easily able to avoid gravel/rocks.

I was going along, and thinking "hmm, I seem to be wasting a lot of energy on really short strides and up and down movements rather than forward movements. I bet I can push off and move forward more fairly easily." So I tried it. And it seemed to work very well. However, as I was pushing off, my toes were kind of gripping and twisting against the ground. I then noticed a stinging, squishy, slimy feeling on one toe. I thought "oh, I'll just ignore that." Yeah, that wasn't such a good idea. When I finally looked at it, a layer of skin was gone on that toe. It was kind of like a popped blister.

The ultimate rule of learning to run barefoot is to pay attention to your skin. Your skin will tell you to slow down, so that you protect your feet, which need time to strengthen after being in shoes for so long. So yeah, I totally ignored that rule. I only ran around the building a couple of times, about 0.4 miles total. But now my bones in my lower legs ache a little, my feet ache a tiny bit, and obviously the skin on that toe hurts.

I confess that I'm doubting barefoot running a little bit. However, when I look at running in shoes with a heel strike, it just doesn't look right. I think that it's totally reasonable to expect that my body will need some time to catch up after exercising in shoes. And it makes sense to run truly barefoot rather than in Vibram Five Fingers to start out. But I'm not sure what to do in the meantime. Running 0.4 miles a few times a week isn't much of a workout. Maybe I can run barefoot for a while, and then switch to shoes.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

5/5 - Sore

Wednesday, 5/5 - Day 2 of hundred pushups workout. I have already doubled the number of pushups I can do in a set. I am amazed.

Calves still pretty sore. Mid-upper back is sore. As I was running to chase YoungestSon this morning, I had a little jolt of pain/soreness in my lower back too. I assume both are from the push ups.

After the first day of the Push Up Challenge, I realized why I don't exercise. Well, it's really a Catch-22 sort of thing. When I get muscle soreness, I associate that with being REALLY sick, like when your body aches from the flu. So when I exercise, the next day I feel sick. Mentally I take an inventory and realize that everything actually feels fine, except the muscle soreness. But my brain has experienced muscle soreness along with the flu, so it apparently associates the two. Perhaps if I get sore often enough, my body will associate it with good workouts instead of illness.

Is being sore always a desired result? Or is that only when you're starting out? I'm not talking about pain. I consider pain and muscle soreness to be two completely different things. But they say that to build muscle, you need to tear it down and then let it recover. So is this an on-going process? Or do you get to a level where you've built up a decent amount of muscle and then it doesn't happen any more?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Tuesday, 5/4 - No foot soreness/tenderness at all. However, my calves were sore. Stretching them out does not help, so I think they might actually be overstretched, which would make sense, given the mechanics of running barefoot (with no heel) versus running in a running shoe (relatively high heel).
My chest and arms were pretty sore from the push ups, and I ended up skipping the entire day for push ups.

Monday, May 3, 2010


This blog is about to get even more boring. I'm planning on logging my information here, so that I can keep it all in one place.

Monday, 5/3 - 1 mile barefoot run
Day 1 of hundred pushups workout

Push Up Challenge

I saw a link on Facebook to a Push Up Challenge. The goal is to do 3000 push ups in May. They can be any style - full, knees, wall, whatever. I thought this sounded like a great idea and signed up.

I am really embarrassed to admit how many real push ups I was able to do on May 1. I think it was something like 10. Split into two sets. With poor form. I don't look like Jabba the Hutt, but I sure feel like a slothful slug-like blob. I did about 30 knee push ups, and filled in the rest with 60 wall push ups.

On May 2, I was so sore! That is so pathetic! Oh well, I'll press on anyway. I found a website that gives you a training schedule to get up to 100 push ups in 6 weeks. They recommend doing your push ups three times a week with rest days in between, just like if you were a new runner. I thought that sounded like a good idea, so yesterday I did a light day of 100 wall push ups. I am still a little sore today, but it's not too bad. I forgot to do any push ups before work, so I'll have to fit them all in after work, which probably means I'll end up doing most of them wall style again. I'll get there eventually though!