2012...and there you are! What tha? How quick 2011 went! In saying that, I welcome 2012 with much expectation and excitement. As promised, in follow up from my last blog, I have some figures you may or may not be interested in.
2011 was a big leap upward and onward in my ultra running. To check out my races for the year see my last post but the hard numbers are as such...
First half of the year – 1973.14km
Second half of the year - 2282.19km
Total yearly km's - 4255.33km
As you would know, last year saw the introduction and continuation of barefoot and sandal running in my program. I started this on the 19th of September, 2011 after my 100mile race (and EIGHT toenails less!!!) and I haven't been in shoes since (unless forced! ha!) During that time I completed:
207km completely barefoot, and
985.5km in my sandals
This progression has been a life changer for me. Upon starting, I decided to give it a 100% go until my next race, Hares and Hounds (this weekend) and race this race in my sandals (VERY excited for this weekend!). When I started this plan, I really thought my high mileage would go to the dogs...how wrong I was! I have done much reading and research, built slowly and now have NO intention of going back to the way I used to run...UGLY and in SHOES!
Let me give you some insight as to how my world has changed since ditching the foot coffins!
Firstly, I have turned into a hippy! I have found a connection with nature and the earth that I have never had before! By releasing my feet as it were, I have been able to re-connect to the real essence of the simple, beautiful, primal thing that is running! A peaceful, amazing experience. I now feel free on my runs and they no longer feel a chore as they sometimes did. This has created a real calmness in and new found joy in my running.
Technically, my gait has completely changed. I once used to be a very heavy heel striker with a slow cadence and constant niggling injury. Even though it a constant work in progress, I am now a healthy, light, mid/forefoot lander with a high cadence and very limited injury. Every time I go for a run, I can feel my body thanking me for essentially saving it!
Because of my change in gait and 'footwear' choice, I now suffer very little to no leg soreness. I used to nearly live in my Skins after long runs and always found it hard backing up after long k's. I always used to live in my calf socks on long jaunts too. Now, since transitioning, I haven't worn my calf socks (except maybe one day) and no longer need to wear Skins for recovery. My legs seem to repair so quickly and even when doing back to back long days feel very little soreness/tiredness in my legs! Amazing! I can put this down to three things. 1. My ditching the shoes. 2. My new gait and 3. My vegetarian diet (I'm back baby, for good!)
Have I become a running evangelist as well as a Christian one...FOR SURE! (Most would say I already was, but hay, even more so now!) Wanna hang out...we will probably be talking running! Wanna ditch your injuries and feet problems...come chat!
So after all that, in 2012, whats to come? I am going to continue to run barefoot and in my sandals. I am also trialing something new up until the Cooks Tour (50miles) and going without a program for the first time in my running life. I have always done up my own programs, however I am now just going with the flow, logging big k's and loving the pure joy of running. More on this as I progress. I have a number of races planned for this year, however want to adapt the Anton Krupicka (and most trail/ultra runner) mentality in that I am going to run for running's sake and the races come just as a result of my training. Just enjoying every day of getting out and doing some high mileage...good times! I am also considering doing my first completely barefoot ultra in July...stand by for more details.
2012 is a massive year with me turning 30 (just hitting my form) and Tegan and I celebrating 10years of being married. Along with these two milestones, I look forward to an exciting, free, blessed, amazing year with my beautiful family, wonderful friends and God's beautiful creation!
Smile friends, live life, enjoy every day and Ill catch ya soon...