Monthly Archives: August 2011

Getting The Kids Involved

Babies are wonderful but let’s not forget the benefits of a tween. They are so eager to experience the world and grow up but still want you around. Not to mention that these kids don’t know their way around town, yet.

After a lazy morning and Eggs Bendict, I figured it would be a great time to go run. I invited the boys to come along on their bikes and gave them permission to choose the route.

Mik took the lead turning here and there and ending up a bit turned around. (Not all of our streets are straight) I have to admit that it was fun for me to watch him take charge and make decisions. The run became sort of a spontaneous event. I didn’t know the course nor the distance. Usually, I like to know my routes. I have found that in races, I will run into a mental “can’t do it” wall if the course turns (or doesn’t turn) in a way I wasn’t expecting. The distance of the race doesn’t matter. This has happened as often in 5k-s as in half marathons. So, it came as a surprise to me that I enjoyed being clueless about my Sunday route. Or maybe it was a relief to let someone else make a decision for a change.


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Filed under Barefoot, running

Reinstating Thesaurus Thursday

Since joining the Run Smiley Collective, I quit training.   Let me back up, I quit competing in races so there was no need to cultivate my body for precision running.  Gone are the days when I would wake early in the morning to fret that the run wouldn’t be sufficient to inure my body for long distances, steep hills and oppressive heat. 

Now, I ponder, can a person continue to run without a mission other than just for zest?        

Yes, I believe they can.  The Run Smiley theory is probably one of the most effective methods to habituate an athlete. 

When I run I for as long as I enjoy it; I run as fast as I can enjoy it.  When I am done running, I count the minutes until I can run again. 

Now tell me, does it sound like I have acclimated to run?

Thanks to Barefoot Angie Bee for supplying today’s Thesaurusized word.

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Gravel Challenge

A short while ago, I was surfing through the barefoot blogosphere. Someone mentioned running short sections of gravel for training. (I’d love to give this someone credit and a link but I found it on one of those days that I was all over the barefoot map. It didn’t occur to me to write about it until a week or two later. If that was you or you or you or you please let me know) Now, back to the gravel… Well, it got me to thinking. I’ve run across every rough road in town. I can run 5 + miles of asphalt no problem. Maybe it was time to take it up a notch.

Our town installed a fantastic foot bridge so that visitors going to the island wouldn’t have to bike or walk the high traffic bridge at the center of town. I was pretty excited about the bridge until….

Departing the foot bridge

As a barefooter, I originally decided the rocks were too much for me so I would stick to the tight turns of the Route 66 bridge. Until, I came across that post by what’s-name and I was looking for a way to shake up my runs a bit. It was time that I answer the challenge. So I did.

Actually, I didn’t.

I took the new bridge but I didn’t run through the rocks. I mean, did you SEE them?!! It’s a long stretch of rocks.  I walk/slightly hopped until I got to where the rocks gave away to a bit of grass. Totally tough spot to go bare on. I think I’ll leave it to the shod and bikes.

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I Can Brainwash

I mean, I can expose my children to new experiences and encourage them to keep an open mind.

It went something like this.

I was sitting at the computer with the barefoot Merrell web page up.  I said authoritatively, “These are the shoes you are wearing to school.  What color do you want?”

K-man took to them right away, although still wears socks. (Some things a mom can’t control)  Still, he says they are very comfortable.  This is Mik’s first day in them.  He hates wearing socks.  I’m looking forward to his shoes not stinking as bad as last year.  I’m very glad that they will be getting used to a foot free feeling.

I was hoping someone would choose the Cheddar color.

This was the first day of school.   Already we are doing homework.  Ugh.

I only have one person in the house left to “convince”.

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Filed under Barefoot, minimalist shoes

What About Dog Poop

C’mon barefooters, we all know the question.

Shortly after revealing that you are a barefoot runner, people, if they are still talking to you, what to know what you do about dog poop.

First of all, if you are a responsible dog owner, I’ll never have to worry about it.  Second, I’ve never actually seen a pile of dog poop while I’ve been running.  Apparently, my first point is valid.

No, it’s not the dog poop.  Goose poop is a different story.

North Island Geese

I was enjoying a delightful run through the grass of the North Island park until I entered an area covered with white feathers.  The sign of the geese.  Let it be known that I don’t like geese and am a declining fan of birds altogether.

I was fine at first running through the grass but then became nervous as the number of feathers increased.  I recalled the reason I don’t like geese.  They poop everywhere.  Plus, its difficult to detect in the grass.  In haste, I made a bee-line for the road to get out of goose poopville.

I didn’t step in any that I know of but it put a bit of a damper on my grassy run.

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1991 – 2011

Things I learned at a reunion:

  1. You should start the reunion by standing on the outer edges of the room (with a group of friends) facing the crowd so that you can scan the faces of those arriving.  This will give you time to file through your facial recognition memories until to realize who that person is.  You will then have the upper hand when you go to say hello.
  2. You will be shocked at how much someone has changed.  This change may or may not be physical. The Mormon girl who is no longer a Mormon.  Need I say more?  It was a major shock.
  3. When you say hello to people you haven’t seen in 18 – 20 years, the first thing they will mention is last embarrassing story about you.  “We were just talking about the time you ran naked through the cemetery.”  The person next to you (unless they were there too) will say, “You didn’t, did you?”  You should deflect by remembering so-and-so was there, indicating that person did it and how is that person, by the way?
  4. The girls won’t seem to have changed much but the guys seem to have gotten better looking.  Picture Patrick Dempsey twenty years ago versus now.  This becomes unnerving when the Patrick Dempsey of your class brings up that you were his first kiss in the 7th grade.   
  5. Quite a few people don’t bring their spouses putting you in the awkward situation of inquiring how so-and-so is only to find out they are divorced or not asking how so-and-so is making you look rude.  On the other hand, it allows you to have conversations with the opposite sex without having to worry that someone thinks you are trying to hone in on their territory especially since you didn’t bring your own husband.
  6. People you were intimidated by were intimidated by you. 
  7. You will be unable to hide your barefoot/running nature and kick off your shoes as soon as possible.  You will also try to recruit Run Smiley participants.  People will note and essentially comment that you are still a little crazy. 
  8. Some people will come right out and call a spade a spade. You have to admire their moxy.  At the end of the night, Kirk very apologetically leaned forward to admit his ignorance and introduce himself to a cute, curly haired, red-head named Jill.  Jill, on the other hand, remembered Kirk clearly and stated “Oh, I know who you are; you were a jack-ass in high school.”  Those that didn’t laugh struggled to keep the smirk off their faces. 
  9. Your emotions will match a high thrills roller-coaster.  You will dread the idea of being old enough to attend your 20 year reunion.  You will be ecstatic to catch up with all your old friends.  You will be disappointed that several friends didn’t go.  You will look around and be happy that you choose the exact right outfit that is neither too casual nor too dressy.  You will be saddened that you didn’t make any concrete plans to continue the reunification of friendship prior to the next reunion, whenever that may be.  You will happily pig-out on whatever food you lay your hands on because you don’t have to worry about how you’ll look at the reunion anymore.  You’ll be sorry that it was over so quickly.  You will happily rejoin your husband and children and whatever time consuming activities you have for the next day.

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Filed under Barefoot, Lessons learned, Michigan, personality flaws, running, wonderland

Something New

For someone who complained terribly all summer long about not getting to go running, I turned into a bored runner too quickly.

I suppose it is time as I have been running the same basic route into town and back for over a year now.  This is partly because I have to cross a bridge to get anywhere in town.  As a result, the first 1/2 mile of any run going into town will always be the same.  The houses never change, the trees haven’t changed yet, and it’s the same ol’ streets.

I give big thanks to the Run Smiley Collective (and my blog) for this morning’s run.  Oh, I would have run anyway but I might not have enjoyed it as well as I did.  I reached back into my collective memory for ways to run smiley.  I thought about really looking at the homes and buildings in town that I so happily bragged about and included pictures in earlier posts.  I was also milling about a topic for my blog.   Not having anything new to say about running can be a bit of a downer.


A new landmark popped into my head.  It is famous (sort of) and I never run past it.  I still had to cover the same 1/2 mile going into town but afterward I would move into untested asphalt.   My goal location would provide me with a unique and historic landmark to appreciate and capture.   

Suddenly, the run became fun again. 

Meet the Gemini Giant along Route 66.  On of the last remaining “Muffler Man” of the 1960’s.  Funny that it took me this long to take a picture and post it since this is the most photographed landmark in the area courtesy of tourists travelling the historic Route 66. 

Gemini Giant at the Launching Pad on Route 66

This is not trick photography.  He is bigger than that house. 


2.5 miles barefoot on very rough asphalt, oops… forgot to do the push ups!

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Filed under Barefoot, running, travel