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Nike Free Run Plus

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  • Sunday, August 01 2010 @ 07:56 PM EDT
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Running and Fitness

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My Nike Free Run+ shoes have become my primary running shoe. They do well on roads and sidewalks and are very forgiving if my legs are tired. Minimalist shoes like the Vibram FiveFingers are not forgiving at all.

The Nike Free Run+ do a good job on trails, too.

Here they are after 8.6 miles that included lots of sandy trail:



I normally wear them without socks and have not had a problem with blisters. On the 8.6 mile trail run (my longest run this year), the shoes got wet (due to damp grass first thing in the morning) and I got a huge blister on the inside of my arch. Besides the dampness, I think part of the issue was that I did not have them tied tightly enough.

I have since taken out the shoe insole and started running with socks, at least until the blister heals. So far, so good.

almost three months of running

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  • Sunday, August 01 2010 @ 06:50 PM EDT
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Running and Fitness

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I have had a few foot injuries and setbacks, but overall I am pleased with my training progress. I'm now capable of doing around 20 miles per week. I'm actually amazed at how quickly I've been able to increase my mileage. I think that switching from a heel-strike to a fore- or mid-foot strike has made a big difference. I've had no shin splints, no knee pain, and no hamstring issues.

My longest run so far (this decade?) was today where I ran 8.6 miles on the trails of San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park.

Here is a pretty graph of my training, courtesy of dailymile:

New job - Shimberg Center for Housing Studies

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  • Wednesday, July 28 2010 @ 10:00 PM EDT
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Fun Stuff @ Work

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I'm really excited about my new position as a Database Analyst / Programmer with the Shimberg Center for Housing Studies . This was a lateral move within the University of Florida.

I have been wanting to shift into a web and database development role for a while now. I was lucky to find an organization that supports this kind of career transition (my previous positions included system administration and help desk components).

My first big project is to build a Data Warehouse, so I'm reading books and learning all kinds of new terminology. My mentor at the Shimberg Center is a believer in Agile programming and test-driven development, so I'm getting some superb on-the-job training.

Our web stack is FreeBSD, Apache, Perl, and PostgreSQL (FAPP anyone?). I will definitely have new challenges in this position.

Here is a picture of my new office, my new work computer (a Dell Optiplex 780 running Ubuntu Linux), and my nice windows that are pleasant even on a rainy day:

2010 Melon Run in Gainesville, FL

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  • Sunday, July 04 2010 @ 08:52 PM EDT
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Running and Fitness

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I'm still having running soreness and pains (including a new pain in my ankle) so I decided not to run the Melon Run on this humid 4th of July morning. This 3-mile race is apparently a Gainesville tradition. The Melon Run is sponsored by the Florida Track Club.

While spectating the race, I took a bunch of photos which I am sharing on Flickr:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/stonerfa...296302985/

Hope my running friends enjoy the pictures!

I did get a little running in today, moving around the course to try to catch the runners at various points. I used this chance to test running with my new Deuter backpack. I enjoyed wearing my Vibram FiveFingers (I seem to be drawn to wearing these when it is dank and soggy outside). I saw at least three race participants wearing VFF.

Use Cotton Balls to Treat Top of Foot Pain Tendonitis

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  • Friday, June 25 2010 @ 12:59 PM EDT
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Running and Fitness

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Now that I have been running barefoot and in minimalist shoes for a few weeks, I no longer get soreness or pain in my calves. However, I am discouraged because I developed pain in the top of my right foot. Research ensued. This condition is aptly nicknamed TOFP (Top of Foot Pain) and is apparently common among new barefoot runners such as myself. Although this kind of pain may be caused by stress fractures, the more likely candidate is an injury called Extensor Tendinitis (aka Tendonitis).

When the pain first came on, it felt like it was more inside the foot and behind and in front of the ball... but no amount of touching on the bottom of my foot could pinpoint a problem. I was worried it was something serious. Eventually I found that the top of my foot just behind my toes was tender to the touch, and this was the source of all the pain.

Here is an almost magical treatment for top of foot pain caused by this kind of tendonitis:

Vibram FiveFingers Bikila

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  • Sunday, June 13 2010 @ 07:49 PM EDT
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Running and Fitness

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The other day I was running in my Huarache Sandals. Another runner caught up with me and started to chat since he had never seen anyone running in huaraches before. He was wearing Newton running shoes and told me that he owned some Vibram FiveFingers. It seems like FiveFingers (VFF) are everywhere these days (even my parents have heard of them).

I've fixed most of the discomfort with the huaraches, but the lacing is still tricky to get "just right" and comfortable. I'm not sure I want to deal with that on race day. As I mentioned in RunAmoc running moccasins from Soft Star Shoes, I'm still looking for the perfect minimalist running shoe.

I had a rare weekend day of freedom (thanks honey!), so I drove down to Lloyd Clarke Sports here in Gainesville to try on some Newtons. I discovered that Lloyd Clarke has Newtons AND Vibram FiveFingers in stock, so I got to try them both.

Here is what I bought:


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