Beginning to Increase my Distance

I was going to run earlier in the week last week like I had wanted to, but I didn’t want to take any chances feeling soreness during Identity Festival last Friday. My legs were completely dead by the end of it and I was a little sore the next day.

My run today felt great. I ended up running shirtless because it was a little hot and I just felt like it. It felt really cool to only be wearing a short pair of running shorts and nothing else. I might start doing it more often.

I ran one of the same courses I had been in the past (this time in the opposite direction), but this time I ran past my house and down the street a bit before I turned around to head back home. I wasn’t necessarily planning on running any more than usual, but I was feeling really good so I decided to go for it.

Got home and felt great. No blisters or anything.

Distance: 0.84 miles

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/204562974

Running after eating dinner isn’t the greatest idea

Once again, I’m posting this a day after the actual date the run took place because of uploading issues. Hopefully I don’t run into them again.

I’m slowly decreasing the number of days I take between my runs. This run was 6 days after the last. And before that one, 7 days.

I had eaten Beef Pad Thai from Thai Tanium about an hour or so before my run. I thought I’d waited long enough to go for a run comfortably; I was wrong. I started to get some stomach cramps a third of the way into the run. It wasn’t too bad, but it was bad enough where it forced me to slow down and take the run really easy. Nothing major, but just something to note for the future.

Despite that, my run went fairly well. The weather was cool and my feet felt great. Granted, I only ran for (mainly because of the cramps). No blisters or anything. I think I may be past that; until I start ramping up my mileage that is.

Today (one day after this run) I feel really good. No foot or leg/calf pain or soreness. I think I’m quickly getting back into shape. I honestly feel like I could have gone out for a run today, though I’m trying not to be overly ambitious. Plus I had some stuff to do around the house. I’ll try to make it out tomorrow and increase my mileage and see how that goes.

Oh also, a little note about the above map. The little sharp turn you see at the end of my run is there because I accidentally started my watch again once I got inside my house. I ended my run about half way up my driveway.

Distance: 0.70 miles

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/202462101

Short distance again; slowly getting into a routine

Even though I’m writing this post on the 23rd of July, this run took place on the 16th of July. I was having some issues uploading the activity to Garmin Connect and didn’t want to post till I had it all sorted out.

It’s a little hard to recall my thoughts about this run since it took place a week ago. I remember it being warm and humid at around 7:30pm when I ran. I also remember the soles of my feet feeling somewhat sensitive and warm against the pavement during the run. This had only been my second run after a 2 month break, so I expected them to still be getting used to barefoot running again. Once again, another short run to get my feet and legs used to running again.

Distance: 0.72

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/202462108

Getting back into the swings of things

First run after about 2 months. I have more to say, but I’m really tired. I’ll come back.

One Week Later

Okay, time to add a bit more to this post.

Once again, I got demotivated to go running. Although, I do have some reasons (probably more like excuses, but whatever). The run before this one took place the first week I moved into my new residence for the Summer to take a course (nearly 2 months ago). After the run, I felt great and wanted to go back out as soon as possible. A couple of things got in my way of doing that.

  1. I had really gotten into slacklining during pretty much all my free time. I started back in late March and with only taking one class during the Summer I had loads of time to hang out by the line. I didn’t feel like getting blisters and having my legs/feet be sore because I didn’t want to stop slacklining (I was so into it).
  2. It was hot as balls out. Last Summer I ran one of my first barefoot runs with my dad (he decided he’d give it a shot just for the hell of it) in blazing heat. And with blazing heat comes pavement hot enough to brand your feet. Well, we decided to go out anyway and had to stop after less than half a mile. We walked the rest home, but I could tell by the pain that I had gotten numerous big blisters. When I got home I had confirmed my guess. In fact, I still have the pictures I took of them:So, I really didn’t want that to happen again because 1) it takes longer for your feet to heal, and 2) I wouldn’t be able to slackline during that period.
  3. I had also gotten back into longboarding then and was out riding a lot of the time.
  4. I was going out all the time Thursday through Saturday and was drained for a couple days afterwards.
So, when you combine all those points together with the exponentially-decreasing motivation I experience as I procrastinate running, this is what happens. I end up not running for long periods of time.
But, this Summer I really am going to strive to go out running more and more and actually get into some consistent routine that I can stick to. I know I’ve said that in the past, but this time I am sticking true to my word.

Distance: 0.70 miles

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/197653950

EDIT: Forgot to mention that I moved back home in Maryland for the Summer on June 30th. The name of the blog will remain the same for the time I’m down here.

First run after almost 4 weeks…

I really don’t know what happened to me, but I just lost a lot of motivation to go running. It happens a lot to me. After a run I feel so motivated and want to go back out as soon as possible. But if I wait for, say, 3 or so days I start to lose a ton of motivation. And the longer I wait, the worse it gets.

Anyway that aside, I woke up at around 10am which is highly unusual for when I have nothing to do. I guess it was my body telling me to get up and go be productive. It worked didn’t it?

I had a really nice and slow run to ease me back into everything. My feet felt great and I had no real issues at all. I wanted to take it easy so I only went out for a mile. Came back, stretched a bit, and was glad to see that I had no blisters :). Thinking about going out again on either Tuesday or Wednesday. Who knows? Maybe I’ll be feeling really ambitious and get out to run tomorrow. That’d be great.

Weather: Cloudy with some sun here and there. High 50s (so sick of this weather).

Distance: 1.01 miles

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/175566868

Great run; virtually pain free

Once again I took another week break before running again yesterday, Monday, April 9. I started a little further down my usual route because I didn’t feel like sitting around waiting for my watch to pick up the GPS signal. As soon as I started running I remember feeling great. I had no pain at all and everything just felt good. This was the first run where it actually felt like my feet had began to adjust to running barefoot. I just felt very comfortable during the entire run.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/166455854

Total distance: 1.31 miles

After the run I looked at my feet and noticed that there was dead skin in the places where I had gotten several blisters from 2 runs ago. I went ahead and took it all off and the skin underneath was nearly completely healed.

Painful run

I took another week break before going out to run again. It rained a little earlier in the day before I went out to run. This run took place on Monday, April 2. I start around the same place on the sidewalk around the fens. As I start running, I notice that the sidewalks are a little damp. Because of this the soles of my feet became slightly wet and began picking up small pebbles and whatnot from the sidewalk. This made it incredibly painful every time my foot hit the ground. I ended up cutting through the fens and stopping early because of this.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/166455865

Total distance: 0.85 miles

Surprisingly, my feet held up pretty well and I didn’t really notice any damage or blisters on them.

Blisters; lots of blisters

I took a week-long break after my first barefoot run just to ensure I had healed and everything. I went out for my second run on Monday, March 26. I did the same route as my last run except I stopped before crossing over to Hemenway. All I really remember from the run is that I couldn’t tell if the ground was really cold or my feet were actually in pain. I told myself that it was just the ground being really cold and kept going. I think I stopped early because the soles of my feet were in a lot of pain.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/162269129

Total running distance: 1.60 miles

When I got back to Smith and got ready to take a shower, I noticed several blisters on my feet. Probably around 3+ on each foot. There was one that was right under the skin on the ball of my foot and made it really hard to walk on. I ended up popping all of them for that reason. Took a couple days for me to stop noticing and feeling them and about 5-ish days for them to heal.

First Barefoot Run in Boston

So, tonight I’m going to create individual posts for all 4 of my barefoot runs so far.

Here is the link to the Garmin Connect activity page for this run: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/162269131

This is going to be a little hard trying to recall the details of this run, but I’ll try my best.

So began my run on the other side of The Milky Way on the sidewalk surrounding The Fens. I ran all the way along the perimeter of The Fens and cut over to Hemenway at the part that connects to the crosswalk I usually cross by Stetson West. From there I ran on the sidewalk all the way back to Smith. Total distance traveled was .

I don’t really recall any pain worth remembering. I just remember feeling pretty good while running. I may have gotten some small blisters, but they healed very quickly.

Also, the more I post the more organized my posts will get. This one is kind of a mess but whatever.

Intro Post

Hey everyone. My name is Jake Ascher. I’m 18 years old and am currently studying Computer Science and Biology at Northeastern University. I have recently taken on barefoot running and decided I wanted to blog about it. I’m at work at the moment so I may come back and edit this post a bit more when I’m off.

The thought first entered my head Summer of 2011. I honestly don’t know or remember what sparked the desire to try it out. I went out and purchased a pair of the KSO model of Vibram Five Fingers. I read that before you go running in them you should do a few barefoot runs just to make sure your form is decent and you have a nice feel for what you’re getting into.

So I did that. If I remember correctly I went for about a mile and a half (which wasn’t good but my friend, Alex Moores, convinced me to keep going). And, my god, did my calves hurt. Oh, and I got several blisters as well. Soon after, I read that you should start with no more than a half mile and slowly increase mileage after that. It took me about a week for the soreness to finally subside and a little more for the blisters to completely heal.

I think I ran barefoot one more time with Alex after that but this time I made sure to be very careful with how far I ran. I think I went for about a mile. Not sure about the aftermath (soreness, blisters, etc.) as it was quite some time ago.

I remember taking a longer break after that last run. Eventually I decided to go out again and run one more time barefoot before throwing on the VFFs. It was a VERY hot and sunny day (bad idea) and I convinced my dad to try running barefoot with me. So we head outside and as soon as we stepped on the driveway we could both feel how incredibly hot the surface was. Stupidly, we decided to tough it out and went for a run. About 2 - 3 minutes into the run, I could literally feel blisters beginning to form from the hot surface of sidewalk and asphalt. I ran for a couple more minutes before stopping because of pain due to the blisters and running on hot surfaces. I stop for a second to look at my feet and am shocked when I see lots and lots of blisters. One of which was on my big toe and is probably the biggest blister I have ever gotten. I’m not sure about my dad’s feet, but I’m sure they hurt him as well. I don’t think he got as many blisters as I did.

So after that painful run, I spent weeks recovering from the massive amount of blisters I received on that run. I’m not sure about how my calves were, but they sure as hell weren’t as painful as the soles of my feet. From that moment onward I didn’t run barefoot, but instead ran with my VFFs. I think I only went for 3 or so runs for the rest of the Summer. I guess I was just feeling very lazy.

I moved into college at the end of August/beginning of September. And boy did I get lazy when it came to running. I think I only ran about 3 or 4 times at most. All of which were in my VFFs. I think I gained a bit of weight too. Probably 5 - 10 lbs.

Over Winter break I decided I wanted to get back into shape and start running consistently again. When I came back to school, I began running almost every other day in my VFFs mostly on the suspended indoor track in the Marino Center on campus. My body had still not completely adjusted to running barefoot so I was limited to running at most 1.5 - 2 miles before my calves couldn’t take the fatigue. Calves were still somewhat sore, but they weren’t too bad and felt better after a day usually. I did this for a few weeks and was starting to get my body and legs in shape.

Then one day I decided I wanted to run completely barefoot outside. I had been very reluctant in the past couple months leading up to this day because of what had happened in the Summer with the blisters and whatnot. It was also pretty cold outside which didn’t help my decision. But I decided to just suck it up and do it. I had been planning on switching completely to only running barefoot and decided that today (well, today back then) was the day.

This post is pretty long mainly due to me explaining where I’m coming from and giving some background info about me and barefoot running. In the future, posts will probably be much shorter and will just be describing my runs and posting some of my thoughts about running barefoot. Like I said before, I’ll probably come back and edit this a bit to make it look better. I’m looking forward to seeing this blog grow and gain popularity … hopefully :).