Mini Distance Widget

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I Need

I need another one of me.

I need another one of me to run with, to talk to, and to watch my form for feedback. I need another one of me to listen to my complaints and thoughts and to tell me that it's clear I should stop running now before the pain gets any worse. (And to argue with me when I say that it'll be ok)

I need another one of me to be my voice of reason.

I'm so good at doing that for other people, being their voice of reason, but I can't seem to do that, or be that, for myself. Starting to sound like a broken record, all this "I ran too much and hurt myself" nonsense. It's not necessarily that I'm running too much - it's that I'm running when I feel slightly off, and I think the mileage is not going to affect it.

I think too much.

Also, I really want to see what my own running form looks like. I keep seeing these pretty videos of barefoot runners and their fantastic form and I want to be that but I have no idea if I'm even close or not. Once I'm healed, I'll have a run with my friend Meredith, who said she would videotape me. (Weeeee!)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Warning: Product Placement

So it's summertime, and because it's summertime I'm never in town. I didn't realize I would be travelling THIS MUCH but I guess I am! I've been to Yosemite (got some monster blisters there), Tahoe for a wedding, Salinas to visit family, Stockton to visit kitty and/or significant other, Sacramento for IKEA trips and games, Moraga to BBQ with friends AND to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 on IMAX 3D! Not to mention I've also been driving all over Sonoma County for various Team In Training Saturday long runs.

Training for the half marathon has been going well. I've been successfully increasing my mileage steadily and building up my endurance. I have nothing that can be called speed right now, but I have time to work on that and will be going to track practices from now on.

I minorly injured myself a couple weeks back (tendon to the inside of the achilles) and decided to take a week and a half off of running to let it heal, and in the meantime I found KT Tape. I gotta tell you, this stuff is amazing! It comes in all sorts of pretty colors, is super fun to play with and it really does wonders with supporting and easing pain most anywhere on your body. I ran with some tape on my ankle today just for a little extra support just in case my tendon still felt weak, but I had no pain at all and it was great!

I've also been experimenting with different GU flavors and products. I know I won't be able to down any solids, so I stuck with the gooey versions of energy packs, and decided that the one I liked best so far was the Strawberry Banana flavor with no caffeine. It was really easy going down and not at all overpowering or lingering like the other flavors were. If I had to go for a second best I would say Espresso Love, especially for before-run fueling. I'm not sure how that one would work out mid-run, but it was tasty in the morning before heading out.

One thing about training with the TEAM is that I'm still afraid I'll be judged for running barefoot. I've been wearing VFFs for all the TEAM trainings (which have all been long runs so far) and they've accepted that I run in them but I feel like if I just started running barefoot at team trainings I would have coaches to answer to. I don't mind running in VFFs but my main concern is blister development.

Two weeks ago (8 mile run) I developed huge blisters (multiple) on my left foot because it was warm outside, thus sweaty feet, and we were running on the side of a road so the pavement was tilted and I was running on a slant most of the time. I think this was the main factor in the blisters as well as the messed up tendon afterwards. I got one minor blister today while running 9.5 miles in my Sprints, but I'm just worried that every Saturday is going to be a new blister. It's tearing up my feet more than barefooting ever did.

Anyway, I'm excited to keep running and to build more endurance for the race. I'm about 20% away from meeting my minimum fundraising requirement, so I've gotta get that finished up too! Here's my fundraising page.

Until next time...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Race Recap Y'all

Kaiser Permanente Women's Fitness Festival 5K RACE RECAP!!!!

Pre-race! From left to right: me, Meredith, Tomiko, Danielle. 

I'm a week late in posting this, so I'm going to do the best I can. I spent the weekend in Sacramento with my best friend Meredith, celebrating the end of our first year as music teachers. Most of the weekend was spent in the apartment relaxing (read: playing Lego Harry Potter, etc) but we did decide to run a 5K together.

Woke up race morning, headed over to Tomiko and Danielle's apartment (they last-minute registered to run the race with us), got ready and headed out to the capitol, hoping that the rain would stop.

At this time I have not made barefoot peace with the rain, so I decided to wear my Five Finger Treksports. Otherwise, I knew I would have bits of asphalt and debris sticking to the soles of my feet and I didn't want that to happen.

We started in the 2nd corral at 8:10. I told Meredith I was going to run at her pace and try to push her to get a PR, and just enjoy the run with her. I'm glad I did, because although I know that I could have done the whole thing faster, it was just so much fun being by her side doing this together (this is the farthest we have run together, EVER).

Various moments in the race were memorable:
1. The guys on their front porch watching the race and telling all of us ladies that we were an inspiration.
2. Meredith thanking the police officer monitoring the race just because he was good-looking.
3. Me telling Meredith she had to earn her booze and the woman next to us confessing that she was going to order a mojito afterwards...
4. The most ADORABLE little boys handing out water at one of the stations. None of the other volunteers were getting any love because these two were so cute.
5. The woman cheering us to the finish saying "I'm old and fat, you HAVE to beat me!"
6. And finally, as I pulled away from Meredith towards the end saying that I was going to make her chase my ass, she magically reappeared at my shoulder saying "Ready? Ready? Go!" and pulled a dead-out sprint towards the end from who knows where!

That last one happened so fast that Tomiko and Danielle, who were waiting for us at the finish, didn't have time to get the camera ready. Thankfully the race photographers were there to capture the gloriousness of our sprint faces (ugh. Why.)
My right hand looks like I'm swimming. What are you trying to pull?!?!
I think Meredith's face looks great here. I'm thinking how the hell is she beating me?? Also, what the heck am I doing with my right foot? And of course, I am oddly intrigued by the respective positions of our *ahem* chests.

Overall this race was really well organized. Packet pickup was easy and convenient, there were a TON of freebies and the whole foods breakfast was delicious. The race t-shirt is amazing and so cute, and there was just so much stuff to see at the expo. I will definitely run this one again next year!

Our final time ended up being 41:37. A PR for me, since this is technically the first timed race I've ever completed! Looking forward to smashing that one out of the water at the next 5K I race. Below are a few more photos, before and after the race. My bedhead looks AWESOME.
We're laughing because I just burped.

JUST after the race... I think Meredith and I were still light-headed from the sprint.

The crew and John, our gentleman chauffeur for the race! Thanks John!

Clearly he's very tall. Also, clearly Meredith is slightly insane after the race.

Butt picture! Slightly disappointed that Meredith's is covered by her jacket. The other ladies just look hot.

Aaaaaand last one from the official photographer. Many people!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

To Be or not To Be

When I am happy, I am productive. I clean when I'm happy. I exercise when I'm happy. The cleaning and exercising both increase my happiness, until I'm just a fit and clean happy ball of sunshine.


But then something tough comes my way and if it hits me just right it'll send me to comfort food... and sweatpants... and sappy television.

The rational and sane part of my brain tells me, "But if you clean and exercise, that will make you more relaxed and help you deal with the tough stuff. So go exercise and clean!" However, I allow myself to fall into the trap, and I just don't do what I know I should do.

When I created this blog and named it Running Unencumbered, I meant it to be about running without shoes, without that extra weight or "burden". It wasn't until last night that I realized it means more than that.

It's not just being barefoot. It's running to BE UNENCUMBERED by everything that's weighing down on your life, no matter how hard.

Next year is going to be a stressful year (if I have any prediction skills whatsoever) and I know I'm going to NEED the running and the exercise in order to make it through. So I have to say NO to the trap, and remain constant, and hope the constancy will bear me through.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Motivational Stickers

We are nearing the end of the school year here in Sonoma, and everyone's lives are crazier than ever. Massive amounts of field trips, events, and other such amazingness happening all at once are turning the campus into a whirlwind of insanity activity.

I myself just led two concerts last week, plus I'm working overtime to help out with the group of 6th graders who didn't go to Outdoor Ed, so I'm part of the crazy whirlwind. (And getting paid for it. Yes!) Actually just getting an extra half-day off available. Whoops.

The great thing is that even though all of this is happening at school, I'm still making time to run and I'm still making time to escape into the things I want to escape into (yes I know, you can stop editing me in your brain now).

This past weekend I visited my friend Meredith in Sacramento. We went for a run in the park where she usually does her training, and it was really fun. There is a fine line between thinking someone is weird and judging them, but thankfully Meredith's thoughts on my barefoot running fall into the "That's weird. Whatever" category.

It may sound stupid but one of the things I look forward to the most (besides the run) is getting to put an awesome motivational sticker on the awesome motivational colorful calendar I made and put on my bedroom door. IT'S SO CHEESY, but I love it! It's also nice being able to see your progress in sticker form rather than electronic form (like dailymile) all the time.

Stickers. Gotta love 'em.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I have a fundraising page! What?

I joined Team In Training on Monday! I'm going to be fundraising and training for the Nike Women's Half Marathon in October, and I need to raise $2,400. (Holy freaking wow)

For those of you who don't know yet, my dad was recently diagnosed with Leukemia (again, holy freaking wow). He was discharged from the Stanford Hospital last Friday and is now at home recovering, but I decided that I still needed to do something to help him with his battle in whatever way I can. Team In Training seamed the perfect way to do that.

So, here's my fundraising page, and I hope that you go check it out and perhaps even make a donation! Every little (or large) bit is going to help me on my way.

For those of you who don't know what Team in Training is, I suggest you go check out their page at It's not too late to join if you're interested in doing this with me!

Monday, May 2, 2011

NWM update and a plan is born

A few weeks ago, I blogged about signing up for the Nike Women's (half) Marathon. I found out last week that my team did not make it in through the random drawing. I was bummed, but my mind refused to let go of the idea that I'm going to do this.

Sometimes it's beneficial to have stubbornness as your subconscious sidekick.

I decided that if I wasn't going to be able to do this the conventional way, that Team in Training is the next best thing (or, even better than plan A!).

I double-checked with my Dad to make sure that he was okay with me asking for money in his name before committing fully to Team in Training. He gave me the "comma duh" and I signed up for an informational meeting a block from my house next Monday. I already have the support of Murphy's Pub (my friend's dad is part-owner) and I might end up doing a fund raiser there.

Trying not to get ahead of myself here.

Barefooting is going well so far. I'm taking it one inch at a time. It would be very easy for me to do too much too fast, because I often think I've already done more than I actually have. For example, I was trying to plan out when to start running, when to up my distance or my time, and I had to look through my dailymile training logs to check how long I've actually been walking barefoot! Not long enough.

So, because I do best when I write things down, I took a bunch of markers and blank paper and made myself calendars and whatnot to post in my room, so I can put stupid motivational stickers on the days when I go out, to help me keep very visual accounts of my exercise.

I'm also marking out chunks of time to designate for certain activities or goals, like for the next two weeks I marked that I should focus on walking and building soles first. The following two weeks I have dedicated to adding only a few minutes of running to my already-established walking schedule. I'm going to let my skin be my guide throughout this, but I'm just trying to surround myself with visual reminders to slow down and take it easy, so that I don't go too far beyond my capabilities.

I think that sounds like a plan. DONE.