Randomness from the barefoot pulpit

1. Bob Neinast of the Society For Barefoot Living has a good post about foot sliding, inspired by that Dual Survival show on Discovery. I haven’t seen the show (no reason, just haven’t).

2. I went for a trail run yesterday in the vffs. The recently broken toe was wiggle-able enough to get the thing on. The run was good, although a little sluggish, and I got a blister on the side of the ball of my foot. That’s been my problem with vffs – it’s not just that they give me blisters, it’s that they give me blisters in different places. Or they don’t give me blisters at all. That’s another reason barefooters become purists – shoes are unpredictable.

3. I was limping a bit yesterday evening. Not from my run or from the blister, but it was a barefoot injury. Sunny the dog chewed up one of my mechanical pencils, which I think was the source of the splinter I got on the front pad under the 4th metatarsal. I’m not sure I got it out, and it still smarts a bit. But think about that for a minute: I’ve been running 40ish miles a week, at a faster pace then I’m used to, so if my feet were to be “tough” now would be the time. The pad between my fifth and fourth metatarsals is the first part to touch the ground and the last to leave it. As “tough” as my soles might be, they’re not so tough that they’re impervious to little nicks and such. I was playing tennis on the Wii, on the carpet when I got it. I’ve run about 800 miles since my last splinter. And it hurts. The wound is tiny and near the surface, which means the skin on the toughest part of my feet is still very sensitive to pain.

So remember that – your feet are never going to get tough enough to handle little splinters in the carpet, let alone running marathons on asphalt. forget about toughness. Be gentle instead.

4. I’ll be running the Run for the Rub 10k this weekend. I’m not sure how I’ll do; I’ve been training pretty hard and am feeling it. Today I decided to forget about my faster easy pace and just run an easy pace. I should probably take a day off soon, but then I think, will Ryan Hall take a day off? Anyway, I’ll either be fast from all the speedwork, or slow from overtraining. Or somewhere in between. Right now I think I could pull off 44 minutes.

5. As the wife requested, I gained about five pounds since Grandfather Mtn Marathon. I didn’t change anything with my diet, and I’m still running a lot. Faster, too. The only change? No long runs. Every run has been under 1:30. And I’ve been doing the Jamooshes, but according to my electroshock scale the weight I’ve gained has been fat, not muscle. I’m not concerned or anything, just makes me go “huh.”

That’s all for this installment of pointlessness.

Michael Jordan is a jerk

That’s right, I’m calling out basketball’s greatest.

In every Hanes commercial he’s in, he’s always annoyed with and disdainful of people who are just happy to be near him and wearing his sponsor’s product. He’s been mean to Will Smith Cuba Gooding Jr (woops. Hey, it was three years ago), Charlie Sheen, and that Bacon Neck Guy on the plane. And don’t tell me it’s just a commercial. I can tell he means it.

I promise when I’m all famous I’ll still be nice to you guys. I’ll even be nice to Charlie Sheen.

Speaking of Charlie Sheen, I went to high school with the guy who plays the valet in the MJ/Hanes commercial where he backs into the hotel thingy. You know, the one who says “Charlie Sheen, everybody! Charlie Sheen!” That’s Eric Price. He used to have a Vanilla Ice haircut.

OK, running. The week went well. A little over six hours, with an 8:33/min avg. My body feels stiff and tired from all the Jamooshes I did this week. I had a two-run day on Thursday, and a night run on Friday. I just got my headlamp for the Blue Ridge Relay and had to try it out. I like the blood-tracking feature. Iris made me wear the aqua socks. They gave me a blister next to my big toe toenail.

Speaking of the relay, the starting time is set (8am), and the legs assigned. I will not be doing that crazy downhill section. Instead, I’ll be doing the crazy uphill section. Here are my legs:

a couple of fun-looking hills

I'll be running this around 11pm... hope I won't be too sleepy to be fast

Bring it.

Overall, it’s and easier run than some, but for me it’s all about the last leg. I want to do it in under an hour. The last half mile of the hill is on gravel, so I’ll carry the aquas but might not want them.

I think we’ll be pulling in to Asheville around 2pm. I’ll probably be hungry, sleepy, and cranky. You know, the usual.

Haven’t talked about food in a while

Jamoosh, ring leader of The HardCORE Club, the program that promises A Better Life With Awesome Abs, gives sensible advice on eating sensibly to lose weight. Rick links to another portion control tip – drink water before you eat.

I’m a pretty skinny dude. Now, if I were to pursue a career modeling underwear I would have to tone up some jiggly spots, but I don’t need to lose weight. Since I last expressed concern for my lightness (can’t find the link in my own frakkin blog), I’ve gained about three pounds. I think it’s the lack of long runs. That doesn’t mean I don’t need to change some habits.

Tonight at around seven, it was really nice. Fluffy clouds in the sky, 75 degrees, birds chirping, sun getting all sunset-erific; it was a perfect time to run. The problem: I was stuffed. I pigged out on pizza an hour before. I would like to run in the evenings more often, but by that time my pants don’t fit right at the waist.

Anyway, I thought I would give my advice on how to control your portions: throw food out. Never clean your plate. Not just when you’re full.

Look, if it’s on your plate, it’s not going to do anyone any good. Certainly not the starving child in Ethiopia. And you didn’t pay for the portion, you paid for the meal. You are in charge of your portions. If you really want to be frugal, put it in the fridge. Whatever you do, get used to the idea that just because it’s in front of you, you don’t have to eat it.

Practice this with everything. Every time you eat something, leave a bit for the garbage can. More often than not you’re going to crave a larger portion than you need. It doesn’t make sense to make portion judgments when you’re hungry. You might as well pile the food on, then start evaluating your sustenance needs halfway through, when you’re in a better position to judge. You might end up leaving more on your plate than you think.

So get the hamburger, just don’t eat all of it. Leave a few fries. Train your brain to get over the idea that you have to eat everything because tomorrow you might starve. If you’re reading this, chances are pretty good that food is plentiful and cheap for you. When something is plentiful and cheap, waste is required in order to function properly. If you don’t waste, you become obsessive compulsive (not to mention economically blind) and waste time and energy trying to avoid wasting something that’s readily available.

Here’s a (gross) thought, if you’re still uncomfortable with the idea of throwing food out: from your trashcan, food is transported to a landfill where it decomposes. From your toilet, “food” is transported to a sewage treatment plant, which uses a lot more resources.

The poorest of the poor don’t care about what’s on your plate or in your trash. There are ways to help them, but eating everything dished out to you isn’t one of them.