Invisible Shoes - Barefoot Running Sandals

Sunday, November 30, 2008


I have officially skipped the Recovery Run. I was not in the mood - feeling kind of lazy and worn out, and we have a big running week ahead, with lots of kilometers scheduled.

I gave myself a "bye week", and am counting the unusual amounts of walking, pushing strollers, and carrying kids that I did on shabbos as having been my recovery run...

Friday, November 28, 2008

20km in wet weather

Today's run was back to Dir Rafat. We are cutting down the mileage somewhat, and we were meant to be running 24km today...

The problem is the Dir Rafat run is only something like 18km, so we added a couple of loops around Narkis, to jack up the mileage.

I started off the Narkis loops, and then ran out to the 38 through Victory. Up to Dir Rafat and back. It was a pretty good run, despite all the uphill sections...

I ended up only getting 20km. Not sure why. Maybe I needed to also add another 2 Narkiss loops at the end. I did not do it, because I needed to rush back to go to shul for shacharis.

20km at an average pace of 5:43/km, which is pretty good for me, considering a large percentage of the run was uphill.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

If you thought that run was crazy...

If you thought my last nighttime medium run was crazy, you should have seen last nights! It definitely topped it and was even crazier. The only thing safer about it was the fact that I ran with a running partner, and also he carried a cellphone.

We meet up to run, and I though we were goign to do 10-12km around RB with the extending roads (Road 10, maybe Tzeelim..). when we met up, he told me he has run this route before and likes it, so I said ok. We went down to the Road 10, across to the 375. Then we turned left. That's right, left.

Turning left means running towards Gush Etziyon and Yerushalayim. By defintion that means we are running uphill. And it is gradual, with a lot of steep sections, but completely uphill.

The 375 in that direction is even darker than the other way. Perhaps it is because it is surrounded by mountains, while the other way has open fields. Also, there is a very small shoulder on the side of the road, and the road has a lot of twists and turns, which makes the oncoming cars both blinding and much closer to the runner.

But we did it. It was a great run. The run was slow because of the steepness of the hill, but it was a strong run, and I was not huffing and puffing, stopping to rest, no foot or knee pain, and all the other problems that come with serious uphills.

On the 375 we ran 4 kilometers out, until we got to the sign announcing Churvat Hanot. That was basically the top of the hill, as after that it flattens out and even declines a bit down to Tzur Hadassah, Matte and Beitar.

At that point we turned, and ran back. Back was obviously downhill, but not a slight downhill that can be run fast, but a downhill that was fairly steep, in some places very steep.. Also because of the darkness, the small shoulder, and a bumpy shoulder in many parts, we had to run cautiously.

We made it back safe and sound, and I closed off the run at 14.55km at an average pace of 6:46/km.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The fartlek - what a difference!

Tonight was the run that sounds like a disease. A fartlek.

the fartlek is a workout that means speedplay. Basically it is a workout that builds speed and stabilizes pace.

We were meant to run a 2km warm-up run, which I ran at an average pace of 5:52/km.

After that, we were to run 48 minutes of fartlek, broken into 4 segments of 12 minutes. Each of the 12 minutes was to be broken up with 4 minutes of a slow pace, running at about 45 seconds slower than half marathon pace, 4 minutes at 15 seconds slower than half marathon pace, and 4 minutes at 5-10 seconds faster than half marathon pace. The redo the same pace cycles each of the next 12 segments.

We did the run in RBS on Dolev, which is probably the flattest course in Bet Shemesh, so it is good for pace training.

Last time we did the fartlek, I had no idea what I was doing, and I just ran as much as I could, as fast as I could.

Tonight the fartlek was a great run, and I kept a great and even pace with my running partner. We ran an expected half marathon pace of about 5:20 or so (though I thought 5:30 was more realistic), so our cycles were planned for about 6:15, 5:45 and 5:10.

Overall the 9km over the whole 48 minutes of running was at an average pace of 5:24/km, which is pretty good. The breakdown was pretty close to what we had planned, though just slightly quicker.
We basically ran the slow pace in the 5:50/5:55 range, the medium pace in the 5:18/5:20 range, and the fast pace in the 5:05 range, with the last fast circle of 4 minutes at a pace of 4:50!

So it was a good workout.

Half marathon is in two weeks!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's the little things

I did not have a chance to do my recovery run last night, due to some scheduling issues, so I just did it now.

10km at an average pace of 6:19/km.

It was a good run. I feel that I am getting stronger (even though the last few runs have been at slower paces than previously). I notice that I am paying attention more now to the little things that make the runs better - stance, posture, step, breathing, etc. All the little things I was not paying attention to before - I was just running and building myself up, now I am paying more attention to the little things, and I feel like my runs are getting stronger.

Also, tonight was the first time I ran with my new orthotics. I did not even notice them until near the end of the run. I am not sure I can use them yet in a long run though. Of course, according to the podiatrist I should not even be using them in short runs until next week...

Friday, November 21, 2008

It can't hurt to try something once, right?

Post-run recovery today was an experience. We had the usual relaxation in Rehovot, hobbling around, having drinks at Aroma, and shooting the breeze on the way back.

But when I got home, I decided to follow some advice the podiatrist had given me recently. I recently had orthotics made. When I was chatting with him, he told me that for the recovery after a long run I should get 2 or 3 bags of ice, and take an ice bath after the run. Sit in the ice for about 10 minutes or so, and then take the shower.

He said that would get rid of any swelling, any ankle or knee soreness, and in general make the recovery quicker, as the ice gets the blood flowing and helps the muscles recover quicker.

I decided I would try it. It can't hurt to try something once, and maybe it would even work!

Let me tell you, it hurts. Sinking into that pile of ice in the bathtub is extrenely painful. My feet froze over very quickly and hurt a lot. I thought I would lose a couple of toes to frostbite!

Eventually I adjusted, and instead of giving up I kind of got used to it, a bit, and it became only slightly beyond bearable.

But I must say - I sat in the ice for 10 minutes, and I was just as sore coming out as I was when I went in. Maybe the overall recovery is quicker, but it was definitely not immediate!

I don't know if I will be trying that again!

Broke 30km!

Today's run was tough, and I knew it would be in advance. It was another Rehovot run, and I scheduled to do 31-32km.
I had a rough week with my knees - a lot of soreness, so I decided that I would run it slower than normal. Even the 8km from President's Forest to Tzomet Nachshon (not including the hill up to Harel) where you can effortlessly fly without realizing, I would take it slow. I did not want to strain or pull anything, and I needed the reserves for the late kilometers...

So I started my run from the Paz gas station at the entrance to Bet Shemesh. I ran to Tzomet Shimshon. The whole way there my fuel belt kept slipping, and I decided I would not wear it next time. I have no hips or tush anymore to hold it up. At Tzomet Shimshon I adjusted everything a bit and it got better. I had it over my shirt and it was slipping, but when I put it under my shirt it seemed to stay in place.

I was in a good rhythm, and ran the whole way without stopping. I overran Weizzman Institute, because I hit it at only a bit over 30km, and I wanted to hit at least 31, if not 32. I overran it and ran back, and in the end hit 31.1.

It was agood run, and I broke through the 30km barrier. I felt wiped out in the Tzomet Bilu area, but the Herzl Street 4km stretch in Rehovot to Weizzman was better than in previous runs. I ran most of it this time in the street, and maybe that was the difference...

I was sore after the run, but not too bad. It felt good hitting 31km.

Numbers for this run were 31.1km at an average pace of 5:54/km.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

running blind

Tonight was a good run. The Medium-Long runs are getting long - tonight was 18km.

not really wanting to just run around the neighborhood 4 times, I decided to repeat last Friday's run, with the difference of starting and ending in RBS instead of Aviv. It was really a stupid idea, because running down the 375 to Tzomet ha'Ela and then up the 38 in the pitch black night is really stupid. Even if nothing happened.

Last week was not a good run, but tonight was good. Maybe because it was black out side and I could not see too far in front of me, so even on the big Zachariya hill I ran it with no problem. Maybe not being able to see is beneficial...

I ran the route of exactly 18km at an average pace of 6:07/km. I ran it a little slower than my average pace, because there was no speed tempo in the middle and it was pitch black out, so I had to be cautious.

Friday is a big Rehovot 32km run. I hope it does not get rained out...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

No longer a novice!

Tonight was a recovery run from Friday's Long Run. Blah blah blah. Nothing exciting there. Recovery runs are boring already.

So I have two milestones to announce - (drumroll please)...
  1. This week we are finishing the Lactate Threshold and Endurance phase of our training. I have no idea what that means, but it sounds like a milestone. Lactate sounds like Lactose, which I know has to do with milk, but I doubt there is any such connection, as I have not been drinking any unusual quantities of milk recently... But whatever it means, it sounds like a milestone, as we are getting cloaser and closer to being ready fro the marathon
  2. This one is a bit more exciting... This past week Chaim, a.k.a. Coach, sent out an email with details of the weeks running schedule. In it, he made a very significant change... instead of the usual variety - a schedule for advanced runners, a schedule for novice runners, and a schedule for half-marathoners, he sent a schedule for marathoners and for half-marathoners, and said there are no more novice runners and advanced runners. We are now all marathoners. I emailed him and mentioned that I am not yet even close to being able to follow the advanced runners schedule, and he responded that I am no longer a novice runner (I fall somewhere in between novice and advanced right now), so I should follow the advanced schedule but cut it down some (and we decide each time how to cut it down appropriately..).
So, by doing nothing more than just running (i.e. I did not take any tests or anything like that), I have graduated from novice status!

Friday, November 14, 2008

The run I should not have run

The past few days I had caught a touch of some stomach bug. It gave me "the runs", and I even had to skip the Wednesday Medium-Long run because of it. I thought it had pretty much passed, so I decided to do the 25km run today, despite my having considered skipping it.

Bad idea.

I never got into a good rhythm, and I felt it.

The run was a repeat of one we did a couple weeks ago. 25km from the top of Aviv to Road 10, to Road 375, to Tzomet Ha'Ela, to Bet Shemesh Darom, and back to Aviv.

The last time we did it, we had an 8km speed tempo in the middle. This time we had two 5km speed runs (not tempos, but more slightly faster than marathon pace runs) in the middle.

I ran ok until the 375, though not with any good rhythm. The stretch with the speed run was pretty good. I got into a decent rhythm and ran it at a good speed. Until the end. I then needed to take my first bathroom break.

After that, the next section is "murder hill" passing Zechariya on the 38. I took it slow, and then got a cramp in the middle and started to feel it in my knees. On the way down after the climb, my knees felt better, but I needed another bathroom break.

I ran the rest of the way ok, but without any good rhythm, needing one more bathroom break not far from Bet Shemesh Darom.

I stopped at 23km, as it was very uphill in Bet Shemesh and my knees were starting to feel it again.

I should have just stayed home. Though my numbers were not really so bad. I ran 23km at an average pace of 5:48/km.

But I should have just stayed home.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Cruise Intervals

Tonight we ran a workout called "Cruise Interval Workout".

The cruise interval workout is, after a 2km warm-up run, we run 2km laps at about 10 seconds faster than [expected] marathon pace, with 4 minute recovery runs in between each of the 2km laps.

The goal is to get the body into its pace and rhythm for the marathon. Gotta find the right speed.

I don't know what my expected marathon pace is going to be. Right now I am basing it on my last run, but there is still a long way to go (less than two months!), and by then I should be running faster than I am now. My Friday 28km was at 5:35/km, so that is what I used for setting my speed for tonight.

After the 2km warm-up run, I ran my 2km laps at average paces of 4:50, 5:10, 5:30 and 5:35 consecutively, with 4 minute recovery runs in between each.

It was a good run. The schedule is changing a bit. Our mid-week medium long runs are getting longer now, and our Friday long runs are getting shorter... Wednesday we have 18km scheduled and Friday we have only 24km scheduled...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

runnng to recover

Tonight was the Recovery Run from Friday's Long Run. The Recovery Run is generally a short run, run at a slower pace. It is meant to help the muscles and blood cells recover, as it facilitates blood flow and blah blah blah.

I ran the recovery run of 9km at an average pace of 6:55/km.

I always tend to run local RBS runs slower than the bigger runs. I think because it is local, and because I am not running to somewhere - just running.

I ran the perimeter run of RBS, but in the opposite direction I usually run. Also I added, instead of Tzeelim down to the 38 and back, a run down to the 10 and then across to the 375 and back. That made my full run an exact 9km.

I always find these recovery runs to be a difficult concept. I would think to recover from a long run, you should sit back in a La-Z-Boy with a nice cold drink. A few good hours of that would be really good. To consider the idea that in order to recover you should get out and run some more, is mind boggling. Though I did grow up believing that an injury in sports is best healed when continuing to play, such as playing football with a twisted ankle, and the like, but that was really just a macho kind of thing. To learn that there is really something to it, is strange...

all the difference

I purchased two items this past week that made a big difference in my run. New shoes and a fuel belt.

This Friday's long run was to be a 28km run to Rehovot (for us novice runners). We were meant to start at Tzomet Shimshon, but I found that to be problematic. Starting at Tzomet Shimshon means you are starting to run with a serious uphill. Instead I againstarted at Presidents Forest, which makes the run only 26km. I added 2km in the middle of the route.

From presidents Forest, the run is a slight downhill for the first 8km, with a couple moderate uphills. This allows you to run effortlessly at faster speeds. For the first 8km or so until Tzomet Nachshon, I was averaging a pace of something like 4:55/km.

The run is beautiful and smooth.

I went to pro-Sport during the week and got my feet analyzed for shoes. I bought a pair of Stability running shoes made by Asics. These shoes correct part of my instep which had been causing me a lot of pain on the long runs and causing me to slow down a lot and also limited my ability to go further.. At a certain point I could no longer run.

I ran with my new shoes on Friday and I had no pain, and I pulled in to Weizzman Institute at 28km and felt like I could have gone further. I also ran it at a fast speed than I ran the same run 2 weeks ago that was only 26km.

Another difference was the fuel belt. I did not have to make any stops at all for water breaks because I was carrying the water with me. I have personally found stopping to be difficult for the run. I know it is necessary to stay hydrated, and you need water at certain distances, but I have found that when I stop, my muscles tighten up and it is harder to run after a stop. So not needing to stop made a big difference.

Also, because my gait was [partially] adjusted, my shoulder pain did not happen this week. Though one problem that arose was a bit of chafing in places I did not have prior..

Anyways, the run was great. I have taken a liking to the Rehovot run. My final numbers were 28km at an average pace of 5:35/km.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

back to running

I am way off schedule. The holidays started messing the schedule up, lessening my runs from 4 times a week to 3 times a week. Now, I have missed a couple of runs, some for decent reasons, some not. It is time to get back to a serious running schedule.

I missed the recovery run on Saturday night due to foot pain and political meetings about upcoming elections. I missed Monday nights run because I was in Jerusalem.

So I ran tonight to make up for Monday, and for the Wednesday mid-distance run.

The temperature was perfect outside, but it was too windy. It was blowing like a serious storm is coming in. And no matter which direction I was running, it seemed to almost always be blowing against me, rather than at my back...

I ran down to the 38 and back up, then around RBS. When I got to Dolev-Dolev, I went up to Dolev and ran one loop around. Then I ran back down and completed the perimeter run around RBS. At the end I ran further down Kishon and back, to push my run up to 14km. I ran it at an easy pace, and my numbers were 6:15/km...

I registered for the marathon this morning. This evening I got measured for orthotics. This Friday we have another Rehovot run. And it is time to buckle down and push harder...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It is official!

If I was not committed enough up until this point, I am now! I just registered for the Tiberias Marathon that will be run on January 8, 2009.

I am the 179th person to register...