Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi

I sent Nancy Pelosi the following letter by email:

I just learned about the anti-Bush protesters who sprayed graffiti on the US Capitol steps. The Capitol police were ordered to stand back and allow the anarchists to commit criminal acts in their presence. Since the Capitol police act under your direction, how can you justify giving such an order?

In your new precedent-setting position you are under the strictest public scrutiny. Protesters can certainly voice their opposition to our President but criminals are NOT allowed to deface our nation's capitol building! Allowing criminals to run rampant and intentionally do nothing to stop them when it was in your power to act is tantamount to being in complicity with them. Do you really want your name and office associated with a criminal conspiracy?

This looks very bad for you. Shame on you for preventing the Capitol police from doing their job! They were there and ready to act but their hands were tied by orders from your office. Shame on you for putting your petty political bias before the integrity and respect of the institution of our United States! Shame on you for allowing yourself to be seen as a vacillating woman reluctant to exercise the power she holds to defend the honor of our Nation! I am frankly very surprised that you would so easily allow your name to be tainted by consenting to such a stupid act of violence.

I hope you buck up and improve the position of your office before the nation regrets your abuse of your new position of power.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Reporting In

Funny how I feel the need to "report in" to my blog here. I feel like I'm writing only to myself, but still, just in case...

I went on a long cold run in December and got hit with snow and sleet on the way back, making my feet numb from the cold. That's to be expected, nothing much to worry about. However, I must have stepped on a little baddy and got something in my left big toe. I thought I had just bruised it or gotten a regular blister. So I waited an appropriate length of time for it to heal, kept it bandaged, etc. Only it wasn't healing very well.

Okay, I thought, it must have been deeper than I thought. Give it more time, etc. More time went by and still it remained very sore and tender. It affected the way I walked and I had to severely reduce my running, although I did venture out a couple of time with the toe bandaged up nicely. During one run it actually felt pretty good, but later on I noticed what appeared to be a deep blister that had broken open. So I removed the dead skin around the edges and saw a little piece of glass sitting in there. Ahah! The culprit!

I removed the piece of glass easily and thought it would heal up quickly now. Only it was still very sore and tender despite all the Neosporin and bandaging. One night I lay in bed and it was throbbing. That told me one thing -- infection and pressure. Sure enough, it had partially healed over the top but was still festering inside. Once again I opened it all up, removed the dead skin, and this time got serious about clearing this thing up. I drenched it with tincture of Iodine, bracing for the sting which never came. For the next week, I kept on changing the bandaids and respotting it with Iodine. Finally, it is starting to feel better! I feel like it is healing properly.

On Monday this week I went out for a 4 mile run, but I felt so good it ended up being 7.5 miles! Skipped Tuesday and went out again yesterday (Wednesday) for a longer run of 10 miles. I felt the effects of not running much these past 3 or 4 weeks! Stiffness , muscle fatigue and harder to keep in my proper running form.

Today, Thursday, I'm considering if I want to run again. The ambitious part of me says, Yes! Keep pushing yourself to gain more strength and endurance, gain back what you have lost. The lazy part of me says, No! You must rest after yesterday's run. Maybe I'll compromise and only run a short 4 miler (ha-ha, like I did last time?)

I am going to see if I can be ready to run a marathon on April 14th in SLC. I'll have to get my miles up and my form down to be ready for that!!

That just inspired a cute saying, "To get your miles UP you must get your form DOWN!"

Ryan

Monday, January 01, 2007

Review of my Barefoot Running Career

I began running barefoot in August 2004 as recovery from a very painful and debilitating bout of plantar faciitis. My running developed from a "zero" level and progressed very slowly. I was up to running a couple of miles at a time by March, 2005 when I got a stress fracture in my left foot. So I had to take about 10 weeks off for that to heal. It left me with some toes on my left foot that are no longer straight. I picked up my running again in June, 2005 and have been steadily building since then.

I've had to overcome my brain which kept on imposing its own idea of how running should be. This has taken a long time to overcome. So my running in 2005 was very spotty, lots of foot abrasions, setbacks, and disappointments. My longest runs were about 4 to 5 miles with the need to rest and heal after nearly every one. Despite the difficulties, I have actually enjoyed running barefoot very, very much! I have felt my deeper foot structures strengthening and developing along the way.

In 2006 I was determined to figure it out - to get it right! So I re-examined my running form and really concentrated on practicing pure correctness, so my body could overpower my brain. It has been working. I have focused on key form habits that I needed to develop and each time my running has improved. By the end of 2006 I have finally been able to run with very little to no foot abrasions at all, which means I have been able to start pushing my distances up. This has allowed me to develop my cardio-vascular conditioning as well as strengthen my running muscles -- thighs, calves, hips, back, etc.

My running development took one small downturn one month ago with a piece of glass in a toe that developed a very deep blister around it and then got infected (because I kept running on it). So I finally got to the bottom of it, got the glass out, and have been healing. I have run very little for the past couple of weeks because of it.

This last week I only ran 6 miles, a test run which went very well. But I still felt I should rest and recover some more so I have been taking it easy!

My goal in 2007 is to build steadily upon my current levels, develop more cardio-vascular and muscle strength, then to run more races, including 1/2 marathons and marathons! I want to travel and run with other barefooters, too.

Looking forward to 2007 - a very good year!

Ryan