An admitted shoe geek waxes philosophical about running, triathlon, and life in general.
Comments welcome!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Attention all you calf-dominant runners: Frieberg’s Infraction

Sounds like some one broke a law or something, doesn’t it? Well, it’s almost like that, but also much like a foot rebelling against itself. Insidious, slowly painful, destructive… AKA: avascular necrosis of the metatarsal head.

Essentially, what happens is that the metatarsal head is destroyed from the top down, either by trauma from some outside source, or repetitively through the joint itself, and it’s slow to heal. Vascular supply in this area is sparse, so healing takes longer. MUCH longer. Longer than any typical runner takes between workouts.

Here’s the interesting part – this condition usually occurs in young women. Most medical literature says that the causes aren’t clear, but from what I’ve seen of my own issues (after I started paying attention due to having it surgically corrected in my left foot and starting to see the same symptoms in my right), I think some of the causes could be linked to high-heel shoes. Not that I’ve been walking around in pumps or anything…

Here’s a picture of me from my last tri in 2007 (the last one I did
before the surgery in 2008, photo by Image Arts Photography, September 2007), and you can see that I’m VERY calf-dominant. Pushing off the ball of my foot hard. I did this no matter what shoes I was in. Racing flats, training shoes, whatever. The pain started just at he base of my 2nd toe, but it wasn’t bad, wasn’t constant, and went away by my next run. It took about 4 months, but eventually it wasn’t going away, and then became constant. Funny thing is, it didn’t hurt WHILE I was running. Well, not for quite a while anyway. Once it started to hurt while I ran, I knew it was time to seek medical help.

So I went to see a local podiatrist. He poked, prodded, took x-rays, sent me for MRIs, and put me in a boot to immobilize my foot. After 6 weeks, he took more x-rays, poked and prodded more, with the pain still there… He admitted he had no clue, suggested another podiatrist, and said I should consult with him and come back (yeah, like I was interested in coming back).

Trip to the guy who knows something, and in 5 minutes I have my options, and the only one that has a good long-term outlook is surgery. At least this guy said that it really doesn’t matter if I wear the boot or not – I can’t do any more damage, basically. Here’s what it looked like, and was the “clincher”:

See that notch on the upper side of the metatarsal? That’s the bone getting eaten away by my toe bones. That huge white thing above my foot is an almond taped to the top of my foot so they knew they were in the right area.

Surgery consisted of taking a wedge out of the top of the joint and then rotating the articular surface backwards, and screwing it in place (I have hardware now!). Rehab felt like it took forever. Finally trying to start running again, my ankles were blowing up on me. My 2nd toe now doesn’t sit all the way on the floor…

So anyway, back to the symptoms happening on my right foot – I’d finally gotten to running at a slow pace early this year, built up some distance, did a sprint tri on Memorial Day… I was balancing my training, building up the strength in my ankles, but I also had to moderate my pace so that my right foot didn’t start feeling the same symptoms as my left did before surgery. I went for a couple months thinking that my running days would be numbered, even with just the limited run training I was doing.

I did another tri, an Olympic distance this time, in September, and then went towards a more minimal shoe after that race. But the thing that was different about them was that the heel height was much lower, and the upper was flexible enough to allow my forefoot to spread out. What was the difference to my foot? Less toe flex, meaning my joint was staying straighter. My foot was landing flatter. And I was re-making my stride into something more hip- and hamstring-dominant, instead of calf-dominant. This went even further when I switched to Sacony Kinvaras. Since those changes, I haven’t had any symptoms in my right foot at all (where’s the wood to knock on?).

It comes down to not having the toes flex so much, landing the foot as close to flat as possible, and keeping it that way.

Will I get back down below 6 minute pace again? I don’t know. And really I don’t care. I’m glad to be running again at all. I’ve dropped from 10’s in January to between 7:45-8:15’s in training now. No idea what I’d do in a race now, but my Oly tri I averaged 7:45’s.

That warning at the top? Yeah, I’d just say to the calf-dominant runners out there, maybe you’d want to rethink that stride, especially if you start feeling any pain at the base of your 2nd toe.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Might as well be a 5 lb booger...

Okay, I pilfered that line from an old (about 1990) ad for bike lights, maybe "Nightsun"... It talked about how light systems are heavy and ineffective.

Well, today was that day. Rain, from heavy to drizzle, through the whole run. I wore some pants that are really some old weight lifting "baggies", though not a baggy as was the rage in the early 90's. Anyway, they're a non-stretchy jersey knit. Okay, with the rain, I had water splashing up the back of my legs through the whole run as well. Didn't take long for the pants to be clinging to the backs of my legs, holding a whole lot of water. "Might as well be a 5 lb booger" came to mind. Not the most fun of runs.

So anyway, this is the 3rd run this week. Missed yesterday due to having a group lunch (instead of going out for my run), and the after-work time not permitting. I went out this morning kind of thinking I'd be getting close to 5 miles, but it toruned out to be 5.5 instead. Hit a good pace, but I felt like I was laboring -- not fast, just like I didn't have it today. It didn't feel like I was pushing a faster pace at all. Tomorrow will be another run, Saturday off, then run on Sunday and Monday.

Next time, discussion of Frieberg's Infraction.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Fewer miles, more often -- more mileage overall

I think I'm going to take my training in another direction for a little while. Run more often, but shorter. After last week, with a 7.3 miler that turned out to be 40% of my weekly total... Well, that's not good, and it's no wonder that I felt pretty beat up afterwards. Not that it side-lined me or anything, but I didn't feel really ready to run again on Saturday, that's for sure, and even though yesterday's schedule turned out to not allow a run, I really didn't miss it.

So what I'll be doing this week is 3-4 days in a row of less mileage. 4.5 today, probable the same or a little less tomorrow and Wednesday, and Thursday is up in the air. Friday will be no problem, so that might even be 5 days in a row. Then Christmas day off, and back at it on Sunday.

I'm also going to start a series of posts on "What would a shoe look like if I were designing it?" Addressing everything from the sole up, with examples of existing shoes, what I like and don't like... Who knows, maybe I'll end up with some composite shoe by the end of it all.

And maybe some shoe company out there will think they've got exactly what I'm looking for.

Willing shoe tester here, with an honest opinion to share!!! :^)

Friday, December 17, 2010

A good week...

I took today off work to get some other things done with Lisa. Ran with her last night -- she made 1.5 miles non-stop!

This morning, I decided to run "long". Not a huge jump in miles, only about a mile longer than my recent long-ish runs. Which is good. I'll keep the long runs about this length (7.3 this morning) or so until into January, then start extending.

We're going to get Christmas shopping done. And we're going to see Tron tonight in Imax 3D. Should be fun.

Right now, though, my legs are kinda tired. Duh! I felt my form dipping a bit in the last mile or so, which is reasonable. I think the road surface took a little more out of me than I thought it would. My pace was spot-on, even though I was getting tired, so that's a good sign. I'll need to start incorporating some speed work when spring rolls around.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Another 6 miler...

I hadn't planned initially on doing another 6, it just turned out to be the right thing... Almost the same pace as Friday, the same route. Temp was 54 when I started, and I ran in a short-sleeved T-shirt. In December. Yesterday's constant rain had left the ground sopping went, so I had a nearly constant spray on the backs of my legs, but I felt great. I really miss warm runs...

Lisa (my girlfriend) said one more time that she wants to do a half-marathon next year. She'd mentioned it a few weeks ago, then put it out of her mind when she saw how much entry fees were (she was looking at the Seattle Rock 'n Roll half). She wants it around that time of year (June). Anyway, she mentioned it again last night, and even has one in mind in Chicago (flat). Looks like we'll be doing that one together!!! :^)

I was looking at other halfs to do, to see what I could do on my own... There's the Tacoma City half on May 1st, but that's also the same day as the Mt Rainier Duathlon (a BuDu Racing event), and I imagine we'll be helping out with that one. But... there's the Tacoma Narrows half on August 6th... Tougher course (winning time last year was 1:09 and change), but I'm not really gunning for the win (my worst time ever in a half was 1:06 or so, and that was when I was in college, but my best isn't much faster). I'd like to make it under 8:00 pace though. It's a smaller event, so it may be one of those things where I'd be alone through a lot of the run. And it has the potential to be... warm. But I like the heat. We'll see. Registration for that one doesn't open 'til April 29th.

Happy things happening...

Saturday, December 11, 2010


So I was looking through the Born to Run forum site, and there was a link to a "new" blog "Zero Drop". And near the bottom of the page is an entry on Nike history ( ). In that post is a picture of the Nike line from 1977... And front-center in that picture is the Nike Daybreak, the first real running shoe I ever wore. Actually, I went through two pair of those shoes, and put THOUSANDS of miles on them (far more than I should have, I'm sure). Wore them out completely.

These shoes were built on a straight last, so straight, in fact, that you had to look at the insole to tell which shoe went on which foot until it was well worn-in.
I moved on from the Daybreaks to wear Columbias, Terra TCs (in both incarnations), some motion control shoe (the only time I ever had ITB issues), Vortex (three pair of these), Pegasus (forst generation), Air Maxs (in 1989 and a couple years ago), American Eagles, Waffle Trainers and Waffle Racers, and... several other models I've long forgotten about. Along the way I tred several other
manufacturers with varied success: Reebok (London TC racers and one pair of training shoes), Saucony (Jazz, which lasted just two days, a model that was designed by Scott Tinley, and the current Kinvaras), and... Surprisingly I think that's about it. Never anything by Adidias. Just the wrong fit.

So anyway, it was funny and interesting to see this post with the picture. Took me back to my young and indestructible days. I don't think I'd survive in those shoes today. But in some ways I'm more returning to my early running roots by running mostly off-road. Cross Country at my high school, starting in fall 1980.

I ran a 6 miler yesterday. The weather gods were smiling on me (they have all week). Afterwards, my lower legs (shins) were feeling it a bit. Not painful, more like a tightness. Still here this morning a little bit, but I'll be taking it easier today, and be back at it tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My thoughts on the Merrell Barefoot line (without having so much as tried any on)

There's a whole slough of new shoes coming out in the spring for the minimalist set. Altra in April, NB Minimus in March, and the earliest, the Merrell Barefoot line in February.

Some early press releases have come out on these lines, and so far I'm liking the NB Minimus Road and the Altras the most.

The Merrell's... Well, there's a thin midsole (not bad), a rugged looking outsole, a wide toe box, light... But why, oh WHY, did they make that huge cutout under the 5 metatarsal? I mean, for the place where we're supposed to be landing our foot, why take sole material away from there?
Of course, the other part of it is the price. $110. Seems the entire market is shooting for the $100 plus range. Altra's are at that point, NB Minimus are at $100. At least they're not shooting for the Evo II price of $160 (for what amounts to a rubber-soled slipper).
So yeah, I'm not a true minimalist. I don't want "the next thing to barefoot" (or even to run barefoot, for that matter). I like that these companies are doing SOMETHING with low- to zero-drop shoes that are minimalIST without being minimal. We'll see what's most comfortable when the time comes.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Felt good to take it easy today

After three days in a row of running it felt good to take an easier day MTB riding. Did a normal route, just cruising along.

Yesterday I was looking at the BuDu site, and checking out the early spring (can it even be called spring?) MTB races. They have a single-speed category, too! With one at Stielacoom, and one at Lake Sawyer, I may jump into one of those. Sounds like fun. Though who knows -- we may still be in money-saving mode, and I'd rather have the new running shoes than to do a bike race. Other things to save for as well...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I need more long-ish routes...

Typing this again... ended up deleting it before posting.

So I did a long-ish route this morning at 7:30... 27 degrees out. I took Jake with me, as he needed the energy drain. So I ran 5.73 up through Pierce College and around Bradley Lake Park (but not around the lake). And it was one of the worse runs. Not because of how I did physically, or the cold, or anything like that. It was Jake. Shying away from EVERYTHING! Cars, traffic cones, sign posts, fences, balloons... Add in about a dozen people walking their dogs on the campus, Jake dragging me through mud and soaking one foot (with over 2 miles to go), and I was just NOT a happy runner.

So I'm contemplating whether I want to take Jake with me on my runs any more. Or at least maybe not on these routes. I don't know...

Also, I guess I'm realizing that, a week after the Seattle Marathon, I'm kind of leaning towards doing a half marathin myself. So if that's true, then I'll need some more routes in the 5-10 mile and beyond range. If I'm going to do a 13.1 mile event, I'm going to want to run longer than that before the day...

Friday, December 3, 2010

3 days, 2 days, 3 days...

Okay, so I made it three days in a row running, with no ill effects. Now I've finished two days off, and will do another three in a row running, and see what happens.

I mapped out another "long run" route that is simpler -- around Sunset. Just over 8 miles, with almost no hills. I think that'll be a better route for a first long run. Where is this going? Not sure.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Two days in a row...

It's been a while since I ran two days in a row. Not necessarily by design, but I've been trading off running and riding (MTB single speed) for a while. Today, the others begged off the ride, and when I went outside at lunch time, it wasn't raining, so I decided to run outside... Well, by the time I got out there, it was raining again, but I was committed, so off I went.

Today's focus was on form, relaxing, and not pushing the pace at all. But the run turned out to be 4 plus miles at just under 8:00 pace anyway (seems my pace doesn't vary much from that at all). I wore the old Nike Zoom... whatever they are... and they felt "okay", but not "good". I was concentrating on not pushing off with my toes so as to not bend them much.

After I got home I did some upper body weight work... Pullups, standing flyes Been a while for that.

Tomorrow will be another run, but I'll take that one easier (yeah -- it'll probably still be 8:00 pace).

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Seattle Marathon day

Got up early this morning to cheer on the BegginerTriathlete members and BuDu Racing RD's in the Seattle Marathon today (most doing the half). Saw a couple of them at the start, and saw one come in at the finish (and met up with the BuDu folks after their finish as well). 3 PR's for the day that I know of so far.

Was a cold morning, especially for standing around. Don't know how it would have been for running (I prefer warmer, but that's just me).

Would I want to do it next year? Not really. Just too cold/wet, and being RIGHT after Thanksgiving... I think I'll stick with something more "in season" if I decide to do a half. I think I'll leave that decision for later, in the spring.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Le Brrrr....

Yeah, that's French for "it's cold". That was the joke last night. It actually did snow a bit, at least where we were at the time. Temps were in the upper 2o's, and the lower 20's this morning.

Thankful... I could start listing, but then I'd leave something off the list that shouldn't be, and if there's any one reading this drivel besides me, I don't want any one to feel like I'm NOT thankful for them just because it didn't enter my mind at the moment I'm typing. But I'm thankful for my life as it is, the people in it, and that I've made it this far relatively healthy.

Today is travel day again, losing 2 hours. Jet lag? If it does happen, at least I'll have a couple days to recover before going back to work. It'll be nice to sleep in my own bed again. We'll see just how much the dog misses us. The cats? Probably couldn't care less. So it's off to the airport in about 45 minutes, check in a couple bags, and then wait to board. A 4 hour flight, then a drive home. Looking forward to being back in a land with hills and evergreens, temperate weather, and my own bed (did I mention I'm missing my own bed?).

And being able to do "more" in the way of running and other exercise modes. I'm seeing a need to get back into a weight routine. Set the bike up on the trainer so I can do a little more riding than 2 days offroad during the week. And some more yoga as well.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving in a different part of the country

Spending the week in Chicago (okay, actually the small towns west of Chicago), and it's been a weather roller coaster. On Sunday, I ran in shorts and a T-shirt, and it was in the 60's. Yesterday, it was clear and cold, and I ran/walked with Lisa before going out on my own. Windy and in the low 30's... I had to go in the house for a few minutes before I could go back out and run myself (which kept me a little warmer). I'm getting very comfortable with the 4-4.5 mile runs, so maybe it's time to start extending them, or even adding to the frequency. We'll see.

It's different here in the plains farm country. (1) Hills are a totally different concept. As in they don't exist. 2% gradient is "steep". It's interesting to come around a corner (one street to another) and see elevation gain, but then have to remind myself that it's spread over a half-mile or more (usually more), because that's how far you can see. Which leads me to the next point: (2) Sight distance... Wow. I've driven through the deserts of Utah, and it's kind of like that -- seeing a road arrow-straight to the horizon. Which isn't a bad thing necessarily. You can see cars long before they get to you, and they can see you long before then as well and have a lot of time to take aim... Not really. I don't know what the speed limit is on these unmarked back country roads, but I'm sure the locals are exceeding it liberally. Which is about the only "liberal" thing out here. And (3) the wind... I've been to the Tri-Cities in eastern Washington, and it's ALWAYS blown there. But here? It's howling. Horizontal rain. Hopefully that clears up for tomorrow's scheduled run.

The shoes? The Kinvara's are doing great. Starting to see some wear already, not excessive, just noticeable. The relacing was the ticket to make these shoes near perfect.

With the Merrel's barefoots, New Balance Minimus', Alta's, and GoLites (which I know are already out), next spring looks to be a good time to add to the shoe stable. If I can swing the cash.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Three runs of about the same distance in the Kinvara's, and everything is going well. I redid the lacing, so that the lowest two "eyelets" are loose, and only the top two cinch up. Gave my toes a little more breathing room. I am already seeing what will be the wear pattern on these shoes -- no wear at all in the heel area, and the outside edge along the 5th metatarsal will take 90% of the wear.

I'm seeing a lot of good press on the coming New Balance Minimus shoes, so those will be given a serious look when they finally make it to market (I'm not well-enough connected to score the free pre-market shoes for testing). Given the sole configuration on these, and the wear pattern that I'm seeing already on the Kinvara's, I think they'll be even better-suited to my particular running gait.

Saturday we fly to Chicago for a week, to spend time with my girlfriend's family. Will definitely take running gear with me... Will most likely be running all on pavement there.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Okay, so Thursday turned out to be the day... New shoes. SHOOOOOOOZ! After spending much of the day on my feet (Seattle Pacific Science Center and the Harry Potter Exhibition), went to the Renton Landing, where The Balanced Athlete resides. They had the Saucony Kinvara and the Hoka... Well, my impressions of the Hoka weren't good at all. Sure, they were soft and stiff (felt like wearing the Boot, almost), but too tall (felt like I was unstable) and the rocker in the toe area made it feel like the group was falling away from me at toe off. So back to the Kinvara's... Ran in them, and there wasn't the crowding feeling at the little toe. At least nowhere near as much as my Air Max's.

I ran in them yesterday for the first time. Did my "usual" 4.5 mile route, and they felt fine. Pace was right on target, didn't feel like my toes were giving me any problems, and I think they're (more) stiff enough that I shouldn't have problems with the Frieberg's.

Saw a post on Runblogger this morning on the new Minimus Road shoe from New Balance. Looks promising to me, though I wonder about the forefoot flexibility. Would love to see a comparison between that one, the Altra road and the GoLite.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

13.1? Maybe...

Lisa dropped a bomb on me last night... She asked what I'd think if she registered for an event. And then said the Seattle Rock and Roll Marathon is on June 30th next year... I raised my eyebrows, and she quickly added "I'd only do the half."

Still... But she seems serious about wanting to do something significant around her birthday. I said I'd run with her.

My feet today were complaining a lot. Met heads feeling beat up. I think it was from trying on shoes last night -- raised heels putting me up on the balls of my feet. My run today went well, relaxed but not fast by any means.

I found some other possible shoes recommended by The Balanced Athlete in Renton -- Hoka... Never heard of that company before. French, I think. Look kind of like what you'd get if you took moon boots and made running shoes out of them. We'll see. At least they have the Kinvara in stock...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Shoe search

Okay, this is getting ridiculous.

After doing a lot of research on Runblogger, Science of running, the Born To Run site (and accompanying forum), various online blogs, stores, manufactureres... And touring all the local shoe stores, I've come to the conclusion they're all clueless.

The latest was South Sound Running, which I visited this afternoon. Not one low-drop shoe in the place, and the guy that helped me (a "biomechanics graduate") basically had me try on a lot of shoes and didn't listen at all to the low-drop and forefoot strike, though he did listen to the need for cushioning and a stiffer forefoot (due to past injuries).

Looks like the ones that might be best for me (assuming they fit) are the Newtons (ouch on the price -- no way I'm paying full retail on those) or the GoLite Flash Lite (or Amp Lite). I may be stuck ordering online and then returning if they don't fit. Still have a couple more places I can try somewhat locally -- Super Jock and Jill in Seattle, and Balanced Athlete in Kent.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I ran one more time in the Air Max's... They're officially retired now. Never to be run in again. By the time I was finished with the short run, my shins were hurting, my toes were cramped, and I couldn't wait to take them off. So now the search begins for another pair of shoes. I have the two pair of Zooms, and I have one each at work and home. They work pretty well, but I get some metatarsal pain from them -- too flexible? not enough padding?

So I'm looking for some of the shoes that are reviewed on Runblogger as having low heel drop, and I'm not finding them anywhere around Puke-it-up. About my only chances of having them to try on are to go into Seattle to Super Jock 'n Jill, or maybe South Sound Running in Tacoma. That or try to find them online and take my chances if they'll fit.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ran today in my old Air Max's. These are the shoes I ran in all year up to just a few weeks ago, and really didn't have issues. So a few weeks of using the Zoom.... whatever they are, and a few runs in my XC flats, and I decide to try the Air Max's to give my metatarsals a break. Well, that they did...

But running in them made EVERY little flaw apparent in them.

(1) Heel drop. The built-up heel was immediately apparent, and changed my foot landing to more of a heel strike, or even a full-foot landing. Wasn't painful, but I could feel... less efficient. My pace wasn't off by much, but I felt like I was having to put a lot more effort into it. Okay, so maybe it was the flu shot this morning... but I doubt it. Throughout the whole run I was toying with the idea sanding off all the lugs in the heel area.

(2) No material under the 5th metatarsal. I could feel it. Like my foot was falling over the edge of the shoe. That cutaway on the outside of the shoe, sure, makes the shoe a little lighter, but it needs to be re-shaped.

(3) The toe box... By the time I hit 3 miles, my little toes (especially on my left foot) were feeling like I was running on top of them. I have this sharp callous on the bottom of my toe, and I know where it comes from -- that narrow toe box that's just not the right shape.

So, yeah, if I'm going to be getting new shoes with more sole, they'll need to have a lot less heel build-up, be a lot wider at the toes, and have material under the 5th metatarsal. Unfortunately that won't be happening any time soon.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I ran on Friday, Sunday, and Monday... Metatarsals on my left foot are not happy. I have a run scheduled for tomorrow, so I think I'm going to go back to the Air Max's for that one and see how/if that helps.

So it feels like the 2nd and 3rd metatarsals, and it kind of hurts to toe off. I know... not supposed to do that so much. I'm also going to back off the speed again. We'll see. May have to swear off the XC flats for a while.

Friday, October 22, 2010

So, today's run had a bit of an epiphany to it. Started off innocent enough. An easy lunchtime run in my normal shoes, on the normal route, no real reason to hurry, just go along... I had my shoes tied a little looser than normal, which turned out to be a good thing. I was having some issues with the metatarsals in my left foot (the one I had surgery on in mid-2008), and consciously spreading my toes on that foot seemed to relieve it. Maybe the shoes ARE too narrow? Or maybe the configuration of the midsole is causing them to crowd up a bit? Anyway, that's not the epiphany.

About 3.5 miles into the 4.5, I just felt like upping the pace. And what happened is that my cadence jumped up a LOT. And the midfoot landing felt absolutely natural. Effortless. Didn't have to think about it at all. It was like those days back in high school running in spikes on the cinder track.

So what is the epiphany? Cadence. I've been reading a lot about changing to midfoot strike (even though I initially made this change in 2005), but this particular run just drove it home. More important than concentrating on landing the foot properly, more important than relaxing the foot, more important even than pace... Cadence.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I'm amazed at the pace I've been able to keep on my runs, especially when I've been purposely holding back, relaxing. I've been kind of relearning things I learned back in high school and not long after, about relaxing the upper body, the hands and neck.

Tomorrow morning I'm going to start adding another morning run, short, not more than 15 minutes. Adding frequency without adding much volume. It'll be in the dark, and cold...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

It's been a while since I've posted anything here. I pulled my posts as a protective measure, but now it seems a good time to open it up again.

I've made it through a season of traithlon, finishing a sprint on Memorial Day, and an Olympic in early September. Also did a 5K Open Water Swim in August.

It took almost 3 years to get back to this point, after foot surgery to correct Frieberg's Infraction in my left foot. I'd made several attempts to start back into running, but stabbing pains in my ankles within a couple hundred yards held me up. It took some work with my girlfriend to get me slowed down enough that I could jog without pain, using ankle braces along with the Air Max's I'd been wearing. That was at the beginning of this year.

By May I was starting to run without the ankle braces. And now I'm transitioning back to more minimal shoes. No, I'm not going to go out and buy Vibram Five Fingers. But I'll be doing a lot of my training in XC flats and road racing shoes soon. But I do like the look of the Altra line and the New Balance Minimus line.

As well, I've been working with the folks that own BuDu Racing all season, and my girlfriend and I have been helping out with the timing and running of several events throughout the season. Well, we've been approved to do our first "solo" event on November 6th. Looking forward to it.

Things I'm thinking of... Next season? Well, we timed an interesting sounding event this year called the Tri and Tri again. Essentially it's a back-to-back tri (swim-bike-run-swim-bike-run). I'd talked with the Budu folks a couple years ago about a "burrito" event, which is still a potential, but this is the same idea. I may do it next year. Also thinking of some offroad running races (trail races). We'll see.