Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Word to a New Barefoot Runner About Technique

I've been thinking about what you said about lack of absorption of shock when your ankles are compressed.

I noticed how my feet react to my bent knees that last time I was out running, and I noticed some things:

My old paradigm for running was basically: "Propel the body into the air and wait for it to come crashing down on my fully extended leg so it is all caught by my one foot. Then do it again with the other foot." Hence the perceived need for padded heels in shoes, etc. (Boy, was I proud of my knotted, tight calves, that were used for the launching, springing part!)

My NEW paradigm for running is more like this: "Lean body forward beyond its balance point, swing rear leg forward with knee bent, start to bring fore leg down towards ground before body weight is committed, touch down with forefoot as body passes over, whole foot then engages ground as body weight transfers to down leg and rear leg starts its swing forward, repeat."

Its hard to put in words what is going on, because so much of it is done simultaneously. I actually 'feel' as if my legs are doing a circular peddling motion, as Ken describes, and that my foot and ankles are doing a front to rear, or forefoot to heel, transfer of weight - like they are working in the opposite direction from what my body is moving.

Its like this: In my old running ways, my body was moving forward while at the same time, my weight was caught by my heels and transferred forward to the front of my feet, which then propelled the weight forward again. It was all forward, forward, forward.

But now, even though my body is moving forward, my weight is 'caught' (actually only a portion of it is caught at first!) by the front of my foot, and the weight is transferred in the opposite direction -- from the front of the foot towards the rear. So its: body forward, weight transfer backward! This cannot be done with the leg fully extended, the knees must be bent. The weight transfer is not a one-time crashing down all at once moment, but it is partially caught as the forefoot touches down, then increases across the whole foot -- so it is spread out a little bit. The heel may touch down, but not so much in a load catching way. Its more of a 'set the spring' mechanism within the Achilles tendon, so when you are ready to lift and swing the leg forward, the natural spring effect helps lift the leg. I guess there is a Yin/Yang effect going on: body forward, feet backward (overly simplified).

I don't know if any of this is making sense. I'm trying to describe how it feels for me to run barefoot. Someone else noticed that running barefoot requires "running from the core." To me this means your feet are not the focus of your running; that is, we don't think about 'landing' on the forefoot, etc. We think of moving the core of the body forward, and the arms, legs, feet, hips, shoulders, etc. all engage in satellite activities towards that end.

Enough postulating for now -- I hope this helps!

Vancouver, WA

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


I have a very strong constitution and have only been truly sick a couple of times in my entire life. Last week was one of them. I got a GI bug that really laid me down hard with all the yucky symptoms you'd expect. It even made me pass out at one point. That was different!

So its been about five days of nothing but listen to my insides slosh and boil. I wondered how long I should go without eating or drinking anything. By day 3 my logical side said 'eat!' So I did - a little. Lot of good it did me. I found I really like tonic water with quinine.

Today I'm finally starting to feel like normal, appetite coming back, holding things in a little longer. Wanting to go out for a run! That's the real mark of recovery for me.

Vancouver, WA

Monday, January 05, 2009

Global Environmentalism is a Scam and a Hoax

I had a conversation with a friend about my contention that humans are not and cannot be a major cause of global warming. He asked me if I had any scientific backing for my belief. Ever since then I have noticed more frequent mention in the news of articles and scientists who support my beliefs. Here are some of them: This is from the Dailyexpress in England, written by naturalist David Bellamy. He was a popular lecturer on the environment, wrote over 35 books, and presented over 400 programs. Then about 10 years ago, he was suddenly black
listed and hasn't appeared in public since then. Why? Bellamy says he doesn’t believe in man-made global warming. This is from the Belfast Telegraph, written about Ireland's Environment Minister, Sammy Wilson. The article states that Mr. Wilson believes spending billions on trying to reduce carbon emissions is one giant con. He claims that ongoing climatic shifts are due to nature and not mankind. Thi
s is from Investor's Business Daily, Editorials and Opinions section. It says,

" 2008 has been a year of records for cold and snowfall and may indeed be the coldest year of the 21st century thus far. In the U.S., the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration registered 63 local snowfall records and 115 lowest-ever temperatures for the month of October.

" Global thermometers stopped rising after 1998, and have plummeted in the last two years by more than 0.5 degrees Celsius. The 2007-2008 temperature drop was not predicted by global climate models. But it was predictable by a decline in sunspot activity since 2000.

" When the sun is active, it's not uncommon to see sunspot numbers of 100 or more in a single month. Every 11 years, activity slows, and numbers briefly drop near zero. Normally sunspots return very quickly, as a new cycle begins. But this year, the start of a new cycle, the sun has been eerily quiet.

" The first seven months averaged a sunspot count of only three and in August there were no sunspots at all — zero — something that has not occurred since 1913.

" According to the publication Daily Tech, in the past 1,000 years, three previous such events — what are called the Dalton, Maunder and Sporer Minimums — have all led to rapid cooling. One was large enough to be called the Little Ice Age (1500-1750)."

So, this is a large part of my contention -- that we can only purposefully control the earth's global temperature when we have figured out how to control the sun's activity. Not before then. This is from Daily Tech, written by Michael Asher.

He says,

"Thanks to a rapid rebound in recent months, global sea ice levels now equal those seen 29 years ago, when they first started recording ice levels via satellite."

It also says, "
Earlier this year, predictions were rife that the North Pole could melt entirely in 2008. Instead, the Arctic ice saw a substantial recovery."

and, "
In May, concerns over disappearing sea ice led the U.S. to officially list the polar bear a threatened species, over objections from experts who claimed the animal's numbers were increasing."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This goes to support my belief that proponents of the green movement and environmental protectionism use hysterical, non-scientific approaches to gather support for their theories, including the use of inaccurate or falsified data. In other words, the movement has an agenda of its own, facts be damned!

I lament the fact that our politicians have adopted the same hysteria that the pro-global environmentalists suffer from, and are spending billions of dollars chasing an impossible dream. The problem is, the more they see how badly they are failing to affect the global climate, the more they will be convinced that "the problem" needs more money thrown at it. It is like a dog chasing its tail -- maybe if they do even more, go even faster, they will catch up. Meanwhile, they will tax us beyond our limits to withstand, they will impose unnecessary and silly added-upon expenses to doing business, and they will eliminate perfectly good industries because they don't fit well with the 'green' theories. For example, I read today that the EPA is considering a greenhouse gas tax on cows and hogs, to pay for all the CO2 they breath and fart into the atmosphere! Ever hear of anything so ridiculous?

What's the end of all this? Total economic melt-down, total public inacceptance of inept and blind politicians, and an eventual rebuilding of society based upon sane and sound principals (hopefully). If not, then possibly the complete take-over of freedom by socialist and communist societies. But, most likely, the advent of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Humans will never figure it out by themselves.

Vancouver, WA