Monthly Archives: May 2011

A Time Out for the Toes

Well, I guess I have some rather disappointing news. Yesterday, the 15th of the month of May, I tripped over a power cable in my home and when I landed it put me straight down on the tip of my left foot’s big toe. So I did what your are supposed to do in these situations. I took a motrin and iced it. For about an hour. But, in that amount of time, irregardless of the ice, my toe swelled up to twice it’s normal size. I couldn’t move it along with the other toes, so I decided to have my friends take me to the hospital ER. In the barefoot lifestyle, you come to expect an injury or two….every once in a while. But this was hilarious, in it’s execution, as I attempted to explain how I had tried to walk down the hallway and ended up tripping over a power cable to the bemused physician’s assistant. It was not hilarious, however, when they gave me two shots in the webbing of my toes for the pain. I believe the phrase is, “I screamed like a lil girl” Yeah well ….I have big lungs, so I’m sure you can imagine. I think I hurt the poor woman’s ear drums. They did a set of 3 different X-Rays and came back to tell me that, indeed, I had a bone fracture of the big toe. I’ve heard of people stubbing their toes and breaking them, but this was a first for me. And a very, very, very unwelcome bit of news, as I have finally been getting my running regimen off the ground. Now, I have two pieces of advice for my readers…. First, DO NOT Stub your toe. It hurts. (Go figure, right?) Two, (ok, here’s the real advice) Follow your doctor’s advice…at whatever cost. Regardless of the circumstances, if you follow your doctor’s advice and keep it elevated, and rested, and iced, you’re generally going to feel better and your injury will heal faster and correctly. The ER put me in a walking shoe after wrapping my foot, and sent me on home. I got home and immediately followed my doctor’s advice. While rested and upraised, my foot changed a startlingly varied amount of colors. It was with rather ghoulish humor, that I observed my big toe going from white to black and blue to a solid black. Very freaky, let me tell ya! Now I am appropriately upset that my goals for running are to be put off for a lil while, but I figure this will give me time to read up on technique, foot placement, and theory. If you guys have any advice on how to handle a broken big toe feel free to leave a comment and let me know. I’ll be in touch with further updates.

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Take Your Vitamins

Well, Good morning all!

I am happy to report that (so far) my thorn-riddled foot is no longer hurting. Yippee!  Now, on to more exciting things… today the weather is looking grand and I just might be able to go on a run. So, in preparation for said run, I am making sure I eat a nice breakfast, and am downing all my vitamins.

The interesting thing is, vitamins come in all shapes and sizes and people are often times confused as far as what to get for a comprehensive pill that does everything they want. First off, I highly doubt your going to find very many “high-quality” pharmaceutical grade “one a day” type of pills. There are many (In this author’s opinion) that are the basic cheap vitamins you could pick up at your nearest “pick-up-anything-n-go store” that are not appropriate for use, most especially in budding athletes. For one, your body can only metabolize so much of a vitamin at one time. Two, the vitamin you pick should be from a reputable source with high-quality ingredients.

In my efforts to find what works best for me (And this will be an individual experience), I have started comparing two different types of multivitamin regimens. The first is the GNC brand Women’s Ultra Mega Active. The other product is the Animal Pak. Though two very different types of multivitamins, I wanted to compare them because I had wanted to get a comprehensive type of multivitamin that would benefit me for purposes of:

1. provide me a full list of nutrients

Many multivitamins only give you the basic list of A, B, C, D etc… they don’t go all out in an attempt to accomplish a goal like say for instance ” weight loss” or “bodybuilding”  Or if they claim to, they often only give partial support ….and not every other extra nutrient that you could possibly use. Here are the webpages for these two products I’m currently using. I’m comparing days in which I do use one over days I use the other. Just trying to see how it makes me feel and what, in the long term, would be best for me. You’ll notice on their pages that they each have an ingredients list. I like this. It tells me exactly what I can expect from each product.

Animal Pak

GNC Women’s Ultra Mega Active (30 Packs)

2. have a good reputation

Though both companies have a solid reputation for delivering excellent products I’m still rather leery and am taking the time to find out where their sources are for research and sources for their products ingredients. Hopefully, I’ll be able to find something out. I highly recommend everyone do this when choosing a multivitamin.

3. have high quality sources

4. be convenient to take.

So far, I like that the pills come segmented in daily allotments, but I’m not liking that there is no pamphlet or brochure to guide you as to which color of pill to take and when. And daaaaang some of these pills are horse pills!!! I do add the caveat that there are guides on the internet on the manufacturer’s website that somewhat help in this regard, it would just be more convenient if it came with the box.

Well, now that I’ve taken my vitamins and had a hearty breakfast, I’m about to head off to explore that trail that is nearby…it’s calling my name. 😉

Rain, Rain, Rain!

Well, it seems I must wait another day to go out running. The weather has taken a decided down turn from the 80s down to the 50s and started to rain. Now, normally, I love rain. It’s cleansing, and soothing, and it brings something fresh to the nose, but I don’t want it to rain for the next lil while because if it rains and I try to run, or walk, I’m going to lose the progress I’ve made in conditioning my feet to go barefoot….at least if I’m not careful I will. And call me over paranoid, but I figure if I keep trying to run in shoes, well my feet just won’t know what to think, will they? It’s one thing to run in the Vibrams after your feet are totally ready for it, but my feet are not. You see the progression of learning how to run barefoot begins with…Going barefoot! Not minimalist, because you need to develop the sensory perceptions with your feet and develop the pads of your feet to respond as you encounter a variety of surfaces. In turn, what your feet encounter will feed to your brain and tell you how to naturally land to avoid obstacles, to land your feet properly, and to align your body. On days like this I would suggest spending your exercise time (if your not ready for the Vibrams/ Minimalist shoe yet) doing foot and leg stretches that will keep your toes, soles, ankles, and foot limber and ready to go. Or, you can work on your form. I know it sounds silly… standing in your house or your patio or balcony and working on landing one foot at a time while not necessarily running, probably sounds a bit weird. But, it’s worth it if it can help you learn better ways to run imho. If you have room you could even do jumping jacks and jump rope!

Another great activity for the days of inclement weather…Reading! I am currently reading “Living Low Carb” by Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS. It’s an excellent resources for all things low-carb. It covers all the major ways of doing low-carb, and even some more exotic methods, and gives a detailed analysis of each. It also covers all the biggest myths about low-carb living, and has a great FAQ section.

In an update, I am currently still hampered with two tiny lil thorns in my left foot. I’ve tried epsom soak, baking soda paste/soak, tweezers, and just letting it sit in overnight. If anyone has any suggestions for more exotic methods to try feel free to let me know in the comment box, please! Thanks! In the meantime, I’ll be out sniffing the smell of rain, *sigh*

Tripped by a Thorn

So, I was all excited because today I was going to go explore a new trail. Only thing being, I had gone on a hike with some friends on Sunday and gone barefoot part of the way. I didn’t even realize it but the reason I was so unnaturally sore on Monday was because I had apparently picked up two thorns into the sole of my left foot during that lil jaunt! FYI everyone, this is going to happen to you ….sometimes alot, sometimes not, just depends on the terrain of where you plan to run barefoot. In one of those “duh!” like moment’s I found those two tiny lil black dots on my foot and went &^*^(%&*%%! There goes today’s run most likely. Soooo, I am now sitting here in a Baking Soda foot bath, attempting to get the thorns to come out on their own and reading “Barefoot Running: Step by Step” by Barefoot Ken Bob Saxton. A very fine read if I do say so. I highly recommend that book.

In other news, I just picked up my third pair of Vibrams. I bought the new KomodoSport Vibrams pictured below. Sometime tells me I should have been wearing those on Sunday’s lil jaunt. 😛

The Barefoot Experience

Here is a video I found youtube.com by Dr. Daniel Lieberman, The Barefoot Professor. This is an excellent introduction to Barefoot Running and how it works.

And, this video is of the Movnat creator running barefoot and performing moves from his natural method of exercise.

Both of these gentleman have their links on my links list, for a good reason….they have excellent information to offer up to those of us in the masses who are ready for something different!

And finally, you have to see this video! This video discusses The Tarahumara Indians and how they run superhuman distances!

Tootsies Are Not a Candy

I want to thank everyone for coming to my new blog and showing their support. Now all of you….take off your shoes! Just kidding…. but really, if you’re interested in starting a barefoot lifestyle I highly recommend many of the links I’ve connected to my blog for your ease of access. The whole point of going barefoot for some people (we all have different reasons!) is to attempt to regain that youthful, vital feel you had as a child, or to connect to the Earth and truly absorb your way as you run or walk. The joys you experience while going barefoot are incomparable….except to cheese cake of course 😉

I would caution all, however, that it is best to undertake this endeavor very slowly and progressively. You can and will injure yourself if you’re not careful! The one thing you have to remember is that regardless of how much mileage you’ve put on in shoes, it does NOT translate to approximate mileage in bare feet. 

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