Tuesday, 26 February 2013

New toys!

Hey everyone hope your all doing well!

I got home tonight to find my new toys courtesy of the peeps at Xero Shoe! Thanks guys! :)

There will be a full review to come once I have put some miles on them. In the meantime lets have a look at some of the hundreds of ways you could tie one of these bad boys up!

Simply typing "How to tie Huaraches" into Google will give you a great start and coincidentally will bring you to some great videos from Invisible shoe who just happen to be the same guys at Xero!

If you are worried about messing up your new sandals make some out of cardboard to practice!

Getting you sandals "just right" takes a little bit of practice. Tie, untie, tie again and experiment with which tying technique works for you.

One of the easiest has to be the slip on slip off method. Now I could try to explain how to do this in writing but your head my burst, so with that in mind, take it away dude!.....

Ah that was easier wasn't it?! Have a go and see how you get one while I do the same with my new toys!

Catch you guys soon for a full report on my new Xero Shoe!

Remember to smile! ;)

Saturday, 16 February 2013

The Gandalf effect

Today I tackled my first 20 mile run since my first marathon back in November!

It felt great to be pushing the miles up again, well that is until mile 10.
Mile 10 decided things were going along a little too smoothly and felt maybe I wasn't paying enough attention to it.

Some call it "the wall", some call it "bonking" though in the UK this mean something different all together! Me? I call it "The Gandalf effect"

Total blindness to the task at hand, an overwhelming urge to just sit down and "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!" reverberating all around your brain.

It was a strange moment for me as it doesn't happen very often, I am usually pretty careful about watching my electrolytes, water and food but there he was.

20 feet high, staff raised above his head, beard and cloak blowing in the wind, bellowing "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!" into my unsuspecting face. The ground felt unstable and my eyes were tired (presumably from the light of the staff) I truly thought this was game over as I started walking very slowly in what I hoped to be the direction of my house.

Now in times of great running need I turn to the only thing I know....food.

When in doubt, stuff your face! :)
So there I was stumbling slowly with a mouthful of my home made clif bars and I could see Gandalf getting a little agitated.
"food is his weakness!" shot through my fuzzy cortex "nom nom nom these are actually really good!" Gandalf shrank by 5 feet. "mmmm next ones shouldn't be quite this sweet" another 5. Clearly shaken by the power I now possessed Gandalf fought hard over the next mile to bring me to my knees.

Bite after bite I reduced him down to the size of an ant and then simply walked over him. I toasted this victory with the remains of my plastic goblet and instantly started running again!

Just before 14 miles I met up with my future brother in law who had run 12 miles to meet me, just in time too as I was ready to call it a day and maybe have a nap instead.
We chatted and bopped along for the next 6 miles, said our goodbyes and off he went to finish up his 31 mile run!! All in a days work eh?!
It was strange and wonderful to run with someone else for a bit as I have got so used to being on my own on a long run.

So there you have it, tonight's tale of battles, journeys, beards and food!
Maybe I shall put these tales too song so that Bards may take them on their own journeys a far! Yes! Tales of suffering and pain, joy and rapture!
I shall bind it all with a golden shoelace and it shall be called "Lord of the R(unn)ings"!

WOW! OK! That run may have done a little to much to my mind right now!
One final word from Gandalf and then rest......



Friday, 8 February 2013

Busy like a little bee!

Hey everyone, apologies for the lack of posting of late but I have been busy running!

Trying to up my mileage now getting ready for my first Ultra in May! *GULP!*

The Ultra that I speak of is the North Downs Way 50 or NDW50 for short and as you may have guessed by the title, its a 50 mile.
50 miles, 80% trail with a cut off time of 13.5 hours......again....*GULP*

Now the bit that may sound even more bonkers is that I also intend to take this on in my sandals.
This I may regret later but its all part of the experience right?

Now everyone knows the disadvantages of sandals, exposed feet is the main one. Lets instead look at the advantages.
Ever finished a long run and taken off your shoe to the horror of black toe nails? Your poor little toes being constantly squished into the ends of your shoe causing bruising and a lot of discomfort.
That doesn't happen in sandals. There is nothing there to do the squishing!
Wet, stinky socks with what used to be your foot inside have been replaced with a prune!
With sandals (presuming you are not wearing socks!) you don't have this problem! The water just bounces off of your foot and gets flicked away. Ok so if you run in the rain your feet do get softer, but given the option of having a soggy sock keeping everything close to your skin or a bare foot? I choose the bare foot!

One problem I have found with rain running in sandals is that when the foot bed gets very wet you end up with a kind of aquaplane situation.
The water forms a layer on the foot bed, your foot contacts the floor and the water is momentarily trapped underneath causing a bit of a slip.
I am going to experiment with different foot bed toppers as my sandals are just "naked" ones. Hopefully this will solve the aquaplane issue and also cut down on a few blisters that I tend to get.
The guys and girls at Luna Sandals have already come out with some great solutions for the new foot beds but I don't wont to buy new ones, I want to modify my ones! :)

Right! Back to the point and back to the trails!
I am starting to get both excited and nervous at the thought of running 50 miles.

50 miles.

Just typing it makes my belly jump around! :)

Oh well at the end of the day it can all be boiled down to this simple line....

Just keep putting one foot in front of the other!

Happy trails!


Here is a link to the NDW50 for you guys to have a look at.