Friday, July 28, 2006

Garden Update

My Mittleider Grow Box garden is doing exceptionally well (once again!)

We harvested five cauliflower heads,
each as large or larger than a dinner plate.

We had a lot of edible pea pods that we have
been giving away. The plants grew to about 7
feet high and are still producing!

My corn is growing nicely, about 8 feet tall and tassling now.

I have an English cucumber plant (foreground, left) that is completely filled with blossoms and a few cucumbers already.

My tomato plants are doing really well, lots and lots of blossoms and growing tomatoes. This year I am not letting them grow completely out of control, but have been pinching off the growth tips when they get to a certain height, and I've been pinching off the "side runners" that always seem to develope. So my plants look and act very well behaved this year!

A friend of ours wanted to do a small grow box, so I went over this week and helped them mix the artificial soil and gave them some of my fertilizer to use for a couple of months.

Happily gardening (barefoot, of course!)

Comments Heard

Oh, today during my run I passed two bicyclists who had stopped and were sitting on a ledge. When I approached them, one said "Now THAT'S what I'm talking about! Like THAT!" The other guy said, "Hey, dude, you're our hero!" I wish I knew what they had been talking about
before I came along. It was so nice getting positive cheers as I ran that I started to go around my 3-mile loop a third time just for the encouragement, but they had moved on by then. On my run a different bicyclist passed me going the opposite direction and said, "Barefoot! That's awesome!"

Just to balance things out, two walking ladies saw me, looked down at my feet, and had looks of pure disgust on their faces seeing my bare feet.

Taking a look at my own feet, I guess I can't really blame them. They aren't the prettiest of feet - but I won't trade them away!

Running Update

I went on a 6 mile run a week ago and got pretty sharp pains in my left foot (always the left foot!) I felt like I might be getting bone spurs or something that were pushing from the inside-out. But I completed my run without anything catastrophic happening.

Beginning of this week I went on an easy 3 mile run and my left foot was still hurting pretty badly. Same issue. Hmmmm. Still feels like my bones are poking me from the inside out. In retrospect, I suspect I was not really using very good form, too much putting my feet in front of me instead of beneath me. That makes it so my feet and body weight are not coming down towards the ground at a 90 degree angle, but at a sharper angle, which makes the force of my body weight move up the length of my foot. Hard to describe but easy to notice. It has to do with lateral force versus vertical force. I believe my feet get hurt really quickly when I expose them to much lateral force. Good form means not much lateral force and more vertical force, from which my feet do just fine.

So today I decided to just go very slowly and really follow good form on the same 3 mile course. I eased into it gradually, keeping myself strictly to form. Feet placed directly beneath me. Body poised forward, hovering over my thighs. Shins vertical to the ground. Ankles bent, landing on front of feet. It got easier and easier as I went along and pretty soon I was running along at a nice pace, even passing quite a few other runners. Still focusing on form and easy foot-falls.

I got done with the 3 mile loop and decided I was feeling pretty good, so I ran it again. I stopped at one point to work on ankle flexes, which made finishing the rest of the run easier.

Nice thing... left foot came out just fine! Just a slight achiness on the old problem spots, but a whole lot better than my last two runs were!

Bottom line: Form, form, form! You can't take a vacation from good form.

Happy again,


Monday, July 17, 2006

Not Much to Say

My goodness! A whole month flew past and I haven't posted anything! I have been doing lots of little fun running, no races, nothing major. I went on vacation to Glacier National Park and hiked a few trails, partially barefoot, and got to stick my feet in numerous cold lakes and streams!

A chat-buddy, Brett Williams from Salt Lake City, ran a marathon recently, his first. I had to post this pic of him - its just a great shot! Now those are feet to be proud of!

I went to Lincoln City, Oregon this past week and ran about 5 miles on the flat sandy beach. The movement of the sand under my feet gave me a blister! That surprised me because I thought the sand would be more forgiving than the cement and pavement I usually run on. Not a bad blister, just something unexpected. Today I ran 3 miles on sidewalks and noticed a hot spot on my left foot - an old blister still healing. I didn't even know that one was there! Oh the joys and surprises of running barefoot!