My head is a balloon!

I'm floating away!

All photos by Shannon, of course.

In preparation for Umstead, I’ve been working on getting my weight down by taking Helium supplements. I’m currently down to 2.4 pounds, but that’s because I just ate a sweet potato (a food I’ve fallen back in love with recently). Running on an empty stomach I have to be careful not to push off too hard with the ol’ ground tappers, especially if there’s a breeze. There’s also the issue of cadence: I’ve had to slow mine down a bit. Down to like, oh, fifteen, twenty steps per minute. Sometimes less, because, well, you know. The wind. Once I get the hang of it, though, I’m sure I’ll be really fast.

In my propaganda shirt, running with Shannon

Umstead is barefootable, but not barefootfastable, I say with the obligatory “for me.” Well, maybe if I up the Helium dosage… The trails are rockyrooty, and the path has occasional malicious scatterings of gravel. Easy enough to manage slowly, but slowly ain’t my goalie. I’ll be wearing the Moc3, if the weather is dry.

AC wins the Bright Shirt Contest, but my shorts are shorter. What have I become?!?!

I ingested another Helium pill, and had ac tie a rope to his bike rack. He sped off, I hung on, and was air skiing through the pines. Yeah, I’m kinda extreme like that.

Then we all ate at the Turkish Restaurant of Deliciousness.

Oh, and the reason I’m not at work right now is because of this:

The pictures were taken on Saturday, and today is Monday. Insert wacky weather comment __here__.

Aaaaaannnd… we’re TAPERING.

MistleTOE II: Revenge of the Pithy

This is just another pre-race predictions and speculations post. Tomorrow is the MistleTOE Half. Yes, that one. The weather soothsayers say it’s going to be clear and 37 degrees, “feeling like” a freezing 32 at the start, warming to a balmy 41 at the finish. Sounds like a job for…


I’m feeling pretty good, and had a nice eleven miler last Saturday. This is also (most likely) the last race of the year for me, so might as well use up what I’ve got left. Let’s go with oh how about 1:25:22. I’m probably capable of under that, but I’ll start out too fast. I remember some mild hills, but mostly flatness. I also remember being able to keep my pace consistent.

I look forward to attending the after party this time.

This was not a very pithy post. I hope that doesn’t bode ill…

Properly seasoned winter shoes

Well, socks, if you want to be technical about it. These are shots before my pleasant run in mid-thirty degree weather:

Note the high-tech heat-retention uppers.

Strategically placed vents prevent toe sweat and maximizing groundfeel. NOW we're talking barefoot shoe.

A little fringe for that deconstructed look. I'm so hip.

These feel great when it gets below 40. The cold road feels refreshing, while the rest of the foot feels nice and warm. After about a mile and a half, they were too warm for me so I took them off. Don’t want to wear out a perfectly good sock.

Before setting out with my holy socks, Iris said, “you’re a real weirdo, you know that?” I replied, “You’re no Plain Jane yourself there, toots.”

It was a good run. No pain in the left glute at all. This time the right glute complained a bit, though. I think it’s just my body getting itself back together after what I did to it. I’ll continue with the easy runs until things feel close enough to perfect, then I’ll put some speediness back in to get ready for the next 5k on Nov 12.

Speaking of the next 5k, I have a probably foolish gameplan: I’m going to try to hang with Trey (second series points leader (edit – woops!), leaves positive comments on the blog, all-round nice guy) and recent BFJ Interview victim Richard (3rd in series points, has developed so quickly into a fast runner that it confirms my observations of an unfair universe of disorderly chaos) from the start. Most likely I’ll burn out and finish around 19 minutes, but maybe… well, we’ll see. I’ve got a couple more opportunities before the Long Rest to reset my 5k PR, but they’re on hilly courses. Who knows if I really even have anything left in the tank. So might as well go for broke, right?

The last race of the year for me will be…

The Mistletoe Half. That’s right, I’m totally pushing my luck by stepping back in the ring against the course that ate my toe. I hope the weather is good for barefooting, so the revenge will not lack sweetness. Maybe possibly definitely a PR.

And then the Long Rest, during which you my dear friends will receive free, yes, FREE! samples of my Barefoot Couching Services. Is it ok to sleep for three consecutive days straight? What’s the proper candy-to-spinach ratio? Should one feel guilty for becoming a slothful hedonist? The answers to these questions (which are, by the way, yes, 15:1, no) and more await you for the low low price of, well, that’s to be determined. Something reasonable, I suspect.