Tuesday, September 20, 2011

it's only Tuesday?!

I have been buried. Narcissism blogging has totally taken a backseat to everything else in life lately. Just to remind myself that the world isn't missing me, I thought I'd update this thing....

Here's the latest:

1. I ran a race a couple weeks ago. I loved it and will definitely be running more in the future. Like this one for instance.

2. I am no cobbler. Shoe maker. No, I never thought I was a deep dish fruit dessert. I made some homemade running huaraches. They imploded after 500 yards. So I became one of those people and ordered a custom pair from here. I'm pretty psyched about them and should have them in my hot little hand tomorrow.

3. I am in full field experience mode with school. I have been teaching lessons, escorting students to the office, and generally walking the walk of a teacher for three weeks, and will be until December. Then I have a small break before the home stretch of student teaching if...

4. I actually passed the test required for certification. I took it Saturday and either aced it or bombed miserably. There is no middle ground.

I'm sure there's more. I'm still studying, still running, and still dedicated to being the best dad and husband I can be.

Is that enough for you?

Monday, September 12, 2011

A race report? Really?

Have I so become "that guy" that I am now droning on about every running event I enter?

Yes. Yes I have.

Yesterday I competed participated in the Warrior Dash. I ran with a group of teachers from the school my wife teaches in and where I am doing my practicum studies. Hey; can we write off entry fees as "professional development/team building expenses?" Either way, it was an awesome time and I'm about to break it down for you all to enjoy:

As you all know by now, I am one of them "barefoot runners" and prefer to run that way as a general rule. Still, I didn't really think it was a good idea to go full on naked foot so I devised a brilliant plan to go as almost barefoot as I could. Like most of my brilliantly half-baked plans, this one fell apart about 500 yards into the race as my sandal blew apart and wrapped around my ankle. Great! I had to stop and rip off the sandals, then cut some cord to tie my timing chip around my ankle (all tolled, about 6 minutes against my time).  Plus I got caught in traffic and was facing a backlog at every obstacle (boo!).

Now,  I am totally barefoot. One would think I would be all smiles, but truthfully I was a little concerned. I hadn't done any barefoot trail running so my feet weren't really prepared. the scattered gravel forced me to walk a lot more than I planned and to "pick" my steps to avoid the pointy bits. Now, I am not at all fast, but I was moving slow even by my own standards. It was gonna be a long day.

But what about the obstacles??? I know...that's what you all want to hear. First off, the biggest obstacle was the course. I was in no way prepared for the steep (STEEEEEEEP!!!) hills and switchback turns of the race course. I was anticipating a fairly laid back run made tough by virtue of obstacles. Boy was I wrong, wrong, wrong. The man-made obstacles weren't that big a deal, really. OK, so I did get kicked in the face on the floating log-overs, and didn't have great traction in the mud pits; otherwise, though, being barefoot was an advantage in the obstacles. most of them involved climbing cargo nets or ladders made of 2x4's. My naked toes were like a secret superpower! While my competition (competing to not be last place, but competition all the same) were slipping around in mud covered shoes, I had monkey feet that could grab the ropes, boards, etc. and help me make up time. Time I immediately re-lost when the running began again. It was like a muddy game of leapfrog! I basically hung with the same group of runners (big ups to the Waldos, the Warrior Princesses, and the Alaska Airlines T-shirt guy, who still owes me a piggyback ride...). They were like my own personal cheering section.

Speaking of cheering. Dude. I felt like a rock star! Every water station crew, obstacle attendant or person that passed me was all "Barefoot Dude!! rock on! that's hardcore!" It really buoyed me through the last mile of the race. Thanks to all the volunteers, the crew and the super friendly runners I encountered on the course. I may have packed it in if not for you guys.

For the record, I finished in 1:04:20, or about 20 minutes longer than I'd hoped. Oh, well, at least I'm sure I can beat that number next year!

And now, some pictures:
 the whole crew, before the race
 happy, muddy people
be not fooled! Only I ran barefoot (that's me second from left) these poseurs kicked off donated their shoes to a good cause after the race 
 So proud of my sweetie! she is not a mud person, but had a blast!

Will I run the Warrior Dash again? Oh, yeah! and next time I'll be prepared to do it barefoot!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

arts and crafts!

Yeah; I haven't posted in a year. Whatever, it's practicum internship time and I am up to my eyeballs in second grade learnin'.

Anyway, I've been running pretty consistently through it all and have gotten up to a full 5K (3.1 miles for you non kilometric types). This is good, because I have a 5K "race" coming up this weekend in the form of the Warrior Dash. It's one of those crazy obstacle course races (I'm mainly doing this race to watch my dirt-hating wife crawl through a 200 yard mud pit).

I really wanted to do this race barefoot, but in a lot of spots I won't be able to see the ground well enough to ensure safe stepping. To remedy that I've made myself a pair of huarache running sandals. Yep, it's a little dorky, but a.) it's as close to bare as I can get, and b.) i won't utterly ruin a pair of otherwise useful shoes in the process of this run.
I made them all by my self!

They were pretty easy to make. You can buy them for real money, or you can go to the camping store and buy some cord and destroy sacrifice a 20 year-old pair of Birkenstocks (yes,  I have shoes older than you. so what) to get to the nice flat rubber sole piece. Lace 'em up and there you go. Running sandals for a buck twenty-five. They worked well on tonight's run (2.64 miles), so i feel confident theyll last through the dash.

And if they don't, hey, I'm only out $1.25!