Make Your Contribution

I am running to raise money for The Wounded Warrior Project.  This foundation provides direct services to veterans and active military, aiding those wounded in the line of duty.  You can make a contribution here or by clicking the image to the left.  Every little bit helps me reach my fundraising goal.  Please post a note on the Sponsorship Page, letting me know you donated.  Thank you for your contribution.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Prep Day

Tomorrow is the race, and today I have to get everything ready.  I've decided to drive up tonight and sleep in the car.  This way I can sleep in tomorrow, and don't have to get up at 5am for the 3.5 hour drive.  I also soaked my feet in ice water for 20 minutes one last time, fearing the torture they will be subjected to tomorrow.

  • Bananas for breakfast and the night before. I want to load up on potassium to help with the soreness.
  • Yogurt and granola for breakfast
  • Protein powder for breakfast
  • Two sugar free Powerade for after the race
  • Two 20oz jars of green tea for the ride home
  • Trail mix for the ride home
  • Plenty of ibuprofen to reduce swelling and inflammation during the race and after
  • Glucosamine, multivitamin, and fish oil supplements
  • Two gallons of water

Gear for the very cold night
  • Sleeping bag
  • Extra blankets
  • Camping sleeping pads
  • Long underwear
  • Down jacket
  • Fleece gloves
  • Extra change of clothes
  • Toilet Paper
  • Sunblock
  • Bug repellent
  • Plastic bags for my muddy clothes 

Race Gear

Friday, October 08, 2010

Last Strength Training Session

Today I did the following:
  • 20, 25, and 35 reps of push-ups with feet elevated18" 
  • 20, 20, and 30 reps bicep curls with 20lb weights, at a slow pace
  • 15 20 and 25 reps of overhead dumbbell press with 20lb weights instead of lateral dumbbell raises, I alternate between these 
  • 40, 60, and 100 reps of sit-ups 
This is my last strength training session before the race.  I did not push myself further than my last couple sessions, as I don't want to over exert myself before the event in a couple days.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Four Mile Warm Up

I thought I should run tonight, as a warm up for the race on Sunday.  I haven't been running for 1.5 weeks, due to pain in my Achilles tendon.

I also wanted to see what it was like to run with a 1.5L generic Camel Back.  I did a mile in my neighborhood, and stopped to drop off the pack.  It was annoying the way the water was swishing around with each step.  The weight of the bag didn't bother me, but I'm sure it would have halfway through the race.  Of course, by then half the water would have been gone.  I decided to not wear it because there will be water stations, and I don't want it in the way during the obstacles.

I just did a four mile run, and I ditched the Camel Back at a friends house after the first mile.  I will not be bringing it with me for the race.  It flopped around too much and felt constricting.  As for the Achillies tendon, it started to ache a little bit; however, I suspect this was from inactivity, not from damage.  I did another ice water soak for the tendon and my overall foot health.  I also took a dose of ibuprofen to help with any swelling in my feet from the run.  I'm feeling pretty good about the shape I'm in for the event.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Back In The Game

Feeling like I have slacked off in my training, I attacked my strength training workout with greater intensity.  I pushed harder than I have recently, and it felt good to surpass my previous workout level.  This is helping mentally too, which is important as race day approaches.  I need to have the right attitude as I run the race, to keep me moving when my body wants to stop.

I also weighed myself today. 172lbs and 8% body fat.  I'm happy with my current progress, as I only weighed 160lbs when I started training.  I don't want to stay at this weight at all, so I'm going to keep up the training after the race.

Today I did the following:
  • 20, 25, and 30 reps of push-ups with feet elevated18" 
  • 20, 20, and 30 reps bicep curls with 20lb weights, at a slow pace
  • 15 20 and 25 reps of lateral dumbbell raises with 20lb weights instead of overhead dumbbell press, I alternate between these 
  • 40, 60, and 100 reps of sit-ups

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


I really should be doing some strength training with the race coming, but I was preoccupied today.  My grandmother died at the age of 91, so most of the evening was spent assisting my mother for her trip to Nebraska.  Perhaps I'll get back on the horse tomorrow.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Race Info and Therapy

Tough Mudder posted the Sunday start times, and it looks like there are only two slots now.  I originally signed up for 2pm, so I could leave my house around 9 or 10AM.  Now there are only two groups, 10 and 11AM.  I am going to have to start adjusting my sleep now, so I won't be so drained from waking up at 5AM to drive out there.  I may sound like a Nancy boy by complaining about waking up at what doesn't seem so early, but it's due to my sleep apnea.  I don't do well with changes in my already problematic sleep.  I've looked into hotels in the area, and there are a few for $60 - $100, but those prices don't include taxes and fees.  I can barely afford the gas to get out there with the entry fee, so I'm not sure what I'm going to do about this.

With the race coming this Sunday, I'm taking no chances with my left foot and right Achilles tendon.  You may have already noticed that I haven't been running.  I want my feet to be in the best health possible, so I am giving them a rest until race day.
Tonight, I am soaking them in an Epsom salt bath with hot water.  I know some say this is an old wive's tail, but what if it does work.  I bought a huge 1 gallon carton for $3.50 at the local drug store, so this isn't costing me very much money.  I poured about a cup into a few gallons of hot water.  I can't really tell if this is working on the tendon, because it doesn't hurt under normal use.  The foot is feeling a bit better, but i'm not too concerned about the foot.  I continued the soak until the water was lukewarm and added more hot water.  I think the total was around 60 minutes.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Tired All Day

Recovery from last night involved a lot of sleeping in today.  While I came home sober, it was still far too late for me.  Screwing with my sleep has a major impact on me, so I am regretting not getting to bed earlier.  Eventually, I made it to a baby shower, which occupied the rest of my day.  Even if I weren't so busy, today is a day off because I am too exhausted to train.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Running Alternative

No run again today, but I am going to try to get some activity.  I'm going out dancing tonight to get some cardio. Hopefully, my Achilles tendon won't start aching again.  I have very limited alternatives to running, as I lack the equipment or current gym membership.

Friday, October 01, 2010

What to do?

I was a little sore from yesterday's landscaping job, especially in the hands.  I should have trained today, but I'm worried about my ankle. My old bike broke yesterday, and I don't have regular access to a pool.  I'm trying to take it easy, so not to injure myself right before the race.  I'm so used to being very active, that I am not liking all this sitting around.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Broken Spoke

With my Achilles tendon hurting during running, I don't want to go for  run until the race.  I dusted off my old mountain bike and pumped up the tires.  Unfortunately, the chain derailed of the rear tire, and locked up the wheel.  The tire locked up and the chain was wedged between the spokes and the gears.  When I tried to remove it,  few spokes broke.  I don't want to invest more money in this old bike, so biking may not be an option.  It's not an option today, anyway.  I called it quits because the sun is going down earlier.  I did get plenty of activity doing 8.5 hours of landscaping, today, and that will count as my training.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Back to Strength Training

While I can't do much with these ankles, I can get back into building up some muscle.  Although I am working as a day laborer tomorrow, I think I'm strong enough to workout tonight.  I'm gauging this by how I have recently felt the day after working out.

Today I did the following:
  • 25, 25, and 30 reps of push-ups
  • 20, 20, and 25 reps bicep curls with 20lb weights, at a slow pace
  • 15 15 and 20 overhead dumbbell press instead of lateral dumbbell raises, I alternate between these 
  • 30, 40, and 50 reps of sit-ups

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ice Cold, While Overheating

I did four miles tonight.  It was 80°F while I was running, and that was not fun.  I can't imagine how people run in the heat.  I guess it must be something you have to get used to, like running at altitude.  I'm much more accustomed to running in cool and often windy weather.

During the first mile, my Achilles tendon on my right foot was killing me.  I stuck to a very slow jog, out of fear that I was injured and may make it worse.  After the first mile, it started to feel a little better, so I pressed on carefully.  I barely picked up my pace, because it would kill me to have to miss out on the race from injury.  I also noticed the pain in my left foot coming back, but not in a sharp way.  It was more of an aching of the tendons in the top of my foot, between the second and fourth toes.  Because of these pains, and how my feet have felt since last Thursday's big run, I decided I should soak my feet in ice water for 10 minutes.  When I found that I didn't have enough ice, I through some frozen cold packs into the bucket.  Not only did that help the water line come up, it also made the water almost unbearable.  My feet did feel better afterwards, so I think I'm going to start doing this every time I run.  My biggest fear is that consistent running will lead to shot knees and ankles by the time I'm 40.
According to Achilles Tendon, footwear with extra cushioning under the heal can help an injured Achilles tendon, by decreasing the amount the tendon stretches and limiting the calf muscles' range of motion during strides.  This is a temporary fix, and should not be continued after the tendon is healed.  I do have some shoes with a high heel, and I plan to wear them throughout the day, instead of my VFFs, for the next few days.
I also took some glucosamine today.  I'm hoping it will help my joints, although supplements have recently come under fire.  First they were good for you, now they are said to be ineffective.  What if they are wrong in them being ineffective? They are cheap, so I'm going to keep taking them.  If they don't actually do anything for me, I will just urinate them out with no harm done.  Also, I'm going to take a dose ibuprofen to help with any swelling in my joints, and potassium, eaten as bananas, for the soreness.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Joint Issues

My ankles are worse after the short run yesterday, so today is a day off.  I loaded up on potassium for any soreness and bought joint supplements.  I know supplements have come into fire in recent days, but there's no harm done if I just urinate them out of me.  If future evidence show that the recent findings on absorption are incorrect, then I'm helping my joints.  If they hold to be true, and I am not really absorbing the glucosamine and my daily Centrum multivitamin that I take, then I have only pissed away a total of $36.50 a year.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Two Really Hot Miles

After what I thought was sufficient time off, after the big run last Thursday, I did two miles in the heat.  I don't know if it was from being tired, the heat, or a combination of the two, but it was hard today.  I had set out to do four, but had to call it quits after only two miles.  My feet are still sore from the big run, and now I'm getting a little worried.  It's not just that they are sore, there is pain in between my ankles.  I loaded up on ibuprofen, and took it easy the rest of the night.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Twelve Hours on My Feet.....Again

Today was another occasional double shift at work today.  Out of the twelve hours I was at work, about half was spent on my feet.  I'm going to count today as my scheduled day off, which would normally be on Sunday.  That means tomorrow, I will have to train as if it were Saturday.
I feel pretty good as far as recovery from the big run last Thursday, so I'm right on track to do the race in a couple weeks.  I was hurting a bit yesterday, but now I'm not feeling anything more than just some sore feet from being worked so hard.  I'm glad my feet will be strengthened for the race, so I think I will preform slightly better as a result of doing the practice race.  As always, I'm eating tons of bananas, because potassium aids sore muscle recovery.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Well Deserved Day Off

Yesterday's big run killed my feet.  The rest of my body feels okay, so my training is paying off.  My feet are pretty sore, to the point where walking is difficult.  Instead of wearing my Vibram Five Finger shoes all day to help work out the lactic acid, like I usually do, I opted for some very stiff soled indoor soccer shoes.  The idea was to immobilize my feet, so I could actually move around throughout the day.
I ate some bananas and cooked up some sweet potatoes, so the potassium would help with the soreness.  I also took ibuprofen all day, to reduce any inflammation in my ankles and feet.
Aside from that, there was no training today, just pure recovery.  

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Upper Body Weight Training Session

The soreness in my left big toe is starting to feel better, after my chiropractor visit on Monday.  I'm glad this foot pain is starting to go away, because I was starting to get nervous.  I don't want any long-term injuries, or short-term taking me out of the race.

I noticed a Soloflex add on my blog today, provided through Google AdSense.  I remember seeing the commercials for them on TV as a kid.  Apparently, you don't buy a new one, but you can new straps.  I guess so many people had them collecting dust in their garages and basements that they decided it was cheaper to refurbish them.  The price on one of these isn't that bad if you go off of CraigsList, and I'm starting to think of one of these instead of a Bowflex gym.  I don't really know if the Soloflex is a legitimate exercise machine, or if the rubber bands are going to hold up as long as their claimed lifetime.  I would like to talk to someone who owned one, but I don't know enough people in the appropriate age bracket.  I'm sure I could find some answers online, but it's not worth looking into until I have a place large enough for a home gym.

I'm going to do a big run tomorrow, to see if I should actually be entering this race.  I'm going to do 8 miles at Skegg's Point, where I ran the other day.  I decided to skip doing lunges, as I don't want to have tired legs tomorrow.  Today is just an upper body workout.

Today I did the following:
  • 25 push-ups on the ground x3
  • 15, 20, and 25 rep bicep curls with 20lb weights, at a slow pace
  • 15 20 and 25 overhead dumbbell press instead of lateral dumbbell raises, I alternate between these 
  • 25, 35, and 50 reps of sit-ups 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Three Miles, Beating the Pavement

I really wish I was back on the trails in the woods, but I can't make that happen everyday.  I did three miles today in my neighborhood; however, I had set out to do four.  I also had to walk for 0.2 miles and take a couple breaks.  I don't know if this is from being tired from the big run on Sunday, or possibly from the chiropractor appointment yesterday.  I noticed my left big toe knuckle on the ball of my foot and right calf were a little sore after my adjustment.  This is normal, as my muscles and joints are going to work a little differently with my pelvis being properly aligned.  It feels like my left toe knuckle is getting better, with only residual pain.  The right calf is probably just muscles being used differently or stretched out after the adjustment and should calm down in a few days. I also noticed that I was running 10 min miles, which doesn't sound too good to me.  I think I'm still beat from the run on the mountain, and hopefully, I will improve with the next run.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Weights and Chiro

Today was the day for my chiropractor appointment.  I have mentioned before that I was having some problems with my left leg, and my brother noticed that my left foot was turning out when he was running behind me yesterday.  I also had pain on the large knuckle of my big toe from my foot being angled inward, the outside of my left knee had pain when bent with weight on it, and my pelvis was clicking/popping along my back on the left side during sit-ups.  This all pointed towards a problem with my pelvis or possibly lower back, causing me to not stand straight.  My chiropractor confirmed this and fixed me right up.  He did a pelvis alignment, my back between the shoulder blades, and a couple places in my neck.  
What really mad it worth the cost was the tendon and muscle work he did.  I should of got his notes from where he worked on, so I could explain it better.  There were a couple issues, the left knee and my usual problem with the my upper right quadriceps tendons.  My left knee pain was from my left hip not rotating correctly, because of the misaligned pelvis.  So, some sports therapy was done on both, but I was concerned because that caused a popping in my left knee where the pain had been.  The doctor thought this might be from tendons moving differently after the adjustment and exercises.  After a day or so, the popping should stop as everything stretches out and settles.
The second issue is with my right side.  As a teenager, I ripped the bone off my pelvis, where the tendons for the quadriceps attach.  I was playing soccer and hyper-extended my knee kicking the ball.  Rather than having a torn tendon, the bone was  pulled off where it attached.  Instead of screws and staples, surgery was avoided by letting the bone grow out to the fragment that the tendon was attached to.  Once it had healed halfway, I reinjured it again.  This means my body mechanics are slightly screwed up at the pelvis, because of this.  Not only is my motion screwed up by how the tendons attach, but there is a build up of scar tissue preventing the tendons from moving across each other properly.  We do several painful exercises to break up the scar tissue, so the tendons can move and be loosened up enough to allow the hip/pelvis proper movement.  I will be sure to take notes on my next visit, so I can be more descriptive in these exercises.

Now, back to the training.  Sunday was supposed to be a day of weights, but my brother and I went on a big run instead.  Today, I was sure to do my strength training before my appointment, because nothing is more frustrating than paying $55 for the a doctors visit and then immediately screwing up what was done.  I didn't do anything special, just my normal routine.

Today I did the following:
  • 25 push-ups on the ground x3
  • 20, 20, and 25 rep bicep curls with 20lb weights, at a slow pace
  • 10, 15, and 25 rep lunges with 20lb weights in each hand, and one foot on a chair behind me
  • 15 20 and 20 lateral dumbbell raises instead of overhead dumbbell press, I alternate between these 
  • 30, 40, and 50 reps of sit-ups 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Great Outdoors

To get more of a feel for trail running at elevation, I thought it would be a good idea to run in the woods on an actual mountain.  My brother and I went running at Skegg's Point/El Corte de Madera Creek on Kings Mountain today.  While it was clear skies where we live at a few hundred feet above sea level,  we were running in the clouds and rain at an elevation of 2200 feet.  Bear Valley, where the Tough Mudder will be having the NorCal event, is much higher than that, but this is the best I can do near where I live.  The trails run along ridges, canyon walls, and alongside creeks at the lower elevations.  Running through the redwood trees in the moist air was incredible.  

If you are familiar with the trails, we followed the Tafoni Trail 0.9m, to Fir Trail 0.3m with the 0.1m detour to the vista point, Resolution Trail 1.7, to end with El Corte de Madera Creek Trail 1.5m.  That makes it a 4.5m run with many elevation changes withing a 400 foot span.  Here is a pdf of the trail map.  Virtual Parks has an online map and some panoramic views of a few spots on the trail, including the vista point.  
For a good review of the El Corte de Madera Creek trails, check out this writeup on Bay Area Hiker, a great hiking resource if you live in the area and the source of these photos.

Having a running partner was nice.  My brother, who is training for a different endeavor, has a different running style than myself.  I charge uphill, and cool off on the downhill.  I charge up the hills because it is more work, and I want to maximize my workout.  I cool off downhill because I just need to keep my heart rate up, and I'm hardly going to be working my muscles downhill anyway.  Then I'm doing interval training without stopping, but I don't know if this is the most effective way to do that.  It's my method that I have come up with during this training, and I should do some research to see if this is really is a legitimate strategy.  My brother keeps constant pace, no matter what ground is under him.  Uphill, downhill, rocky, loose dirt, or packed dirt, he keeps the same pace.  For the second half of our run, I let him take the lead and followed his pace.  His consistency was really helpful when I was tired, because continuing to charge uphill was killing me. It also helped that he had a watch, so when we were tired at the end, we were able to be sure that we were running at least 10 minutes at a time.  I will probably pick up a fitness timer, or just get a cheap digital watch.

Both of us were running in Vibram Five Finger shoes.  He had the KSO with a smooth soul, and I went with my KSO Trek with beefer kangaroo leather and more tread.  He usually uses his shoes for treadmill running at the gym, and I have been running on concrete with the Bikila.  We were both struggling with the sharp rocky sections of many of the ridge trails.  My brother was also having some issues with the slick sole of his shoes on wet rocks.  We both kept our eyes glued to the trail ahead, to avoid stepping directly on a rock or something we might slip on.  I was very glad to have the extra tread, and the kangaroo leather held up fine when wet.  My two shoe system seems to be working out well.

After the run, we took a dip in the, usually warm, pool at my brother's complex.  The heater must have been off or something, because that water was freezing!  I know it's going to be much colder when I do the Tough Mudder, so this little taste of frigid water has me not looking forward to those obstacles.
Luckily, the hot tub was living up to it's name.  I took a 15 minute soak in there, and did some leg stretches, while I loosened up in the hot water.  Not wanting to dehydrate much more, I thought it would be a good idea not to have a prolonged soak.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Scheduled Day Off

My Saturday was busy with work and a kid's birthday party, so there was no workout today.  Usually Sunday is my day off, but I don't think there is any harm in switching the two.  This is the limit of the flexibility in my workout routine.
Everyone, including the children, were interested in my Vibram Five Finger Bikilia shoes.  When kids said they were silly shoes, I explained that they were my ninja shoes.  Other's said they had seen people with them, and asked every question they had come up with since their first siting.  I even let a friend try them on, as he was talking about getting a pair and had the same size feet.  Another woman wanted to know how they were for walking around all day, because she was about to go on vacation, involving lots of walking tours.  Some of the B-Boys that were at the party thought they would be good for practicing Capoeira, due to the traction and dexterity in the toes.  Wearing these shoes don't just help workout soreness from running in them and building up the strength of your foot, they are great for striking up conversations.  Since I really love these shoes and what they have done for my foot health, I really don't mind telling people about them......even if I do sound like a sales rep for Vibram.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Even with a sore back from yesterday's day laborer work, I pushed through and did four miles after work.  I am quite pleased with myself for this.  Three miles was getting easier, so it was time to jump up a level.  Much like when I first did two or three miles for the first time, the last mile is where it really hurt.  I focused on keeping my stride and breathing steady, and I think that really helped me keep going until the end.  I was running like a machine that couldn't be stopped.
I did notice some pain in the second knuckle of my left big toe.  I have a feeling this is from the hip and knee issue I mentioned previously.  It's as if the toe was being pushed toward my other toes, at the ball of my foot.  This makes sense if you look at the other joint issues I am having.  Looks like my pelvis is out of alignment or tilted, causing my left knee to buckle in, which finally tilts my foot inward and puts pressure on my foot at the ball.  Normal walking around raise any flags that this was happening, and actually went completely unnoticed.  Sit-ups, lunges, and consistent running brought these issues out and showed that they are linked together.  I actually called my chiropractor yesterday, and I have an appointment for next Monday.  It will be nice to be all straightened out for once.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Day Laborer

I spent the day as a day laborer, so that was my workout.  I'm going to count it as a strength training session.  I had to remove rotten wood borders of a concrete driveway, bend over an ivy bead and trim it, dig holes in insanely hard and rocky dirt, and then plant several potted plants.  I'm sure my back is going to be sore tomorrow, so I had plenty of potassium when I got home.  It doesn't sound like much work, but it was six hours of bending over and working my back that made it tough.  By the time I got to the digging, I was already beat.  I know if I did this everyday, it wouldn't be as difficult from being used to doing it.  I don't want to be used to it, because I never want to do this again.  It's hot, dirty, sweaty work, and you are screwed if you run out of water. Even if it were my own home, I would want to pay somebody to do it for me.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Preparin' for a Hurtin'

I decided to skip exercising today, anticipating a lot of pain tomorrow.  I'm spending the day as a hired hand for a local landscaper.  I am basically spending the day as a day laborer, so I'm expecting a lot of physical work.  I don't want to go into the day already fatigued, because I don't know exactly what tomorrow's work entails.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New Strength Training Approach

So far, I have trying something a friend used to do in college with the bicep curls.  Do as many as you can rapidly, until you are tired.  Doing this with the only weights I currently have, 20lb dumbbells, takes forever, and it's not going to help me bulk up.  It would be a better toning exercise after gaining more mass.  After completing three sets I had done hundreds of curls.  I decided to start doing slow extensions and exploding on retraction.  The slow extension helps tire the muscle out faster, so I am only able to do 25 on my right/dominant arm and 20 on my left.  Not only is this faster to do, but it should be better for building strength faster.
I also know that I shouldn't be doing the same workout each time, so I'm going to start making changes for each one.  Last time, I did lateral dumbbell raises for my shoulders, and I did the overhead dumbbell press this time.  Next time, I will go back to the previous exercise for my shoulders.
I also did push-ups on the floor, and then did them on an 18" coffee table.
The lack of a crunch or sit-up exercise was not intentional.  I meant to do it after lifting weights, but I simply forgot because I was so tired.
When doing my lunges with dumbbells, I noticed a popping on the left side of my knee.  No pain, just an annoying half pop, half click.  I think this is related to my left hip not moving right, which happens while doing sit-ups.  I need to get into see the chiropractor, as it is now obvious that my pelvis needs an adjustment.  I try to prolong the time between visits, because I no longer have health insurance and don't make very much money.  I don't want to end up with an injury, so I need to stop being so cheap.

Today I did the following:
  • 25 push-ups on the ground, and 25 with my feet elevated 18"
  • 20, 20, and 25 rep bicep curls with 20lb weights, at a slow pace
  • 10, 15, and 25 rep lunges with 20lb weights in each hand, and one foot on a chair behind me
  • 15 20 and 20 overhead dumbbell press instead of lateral dumbbell raises from the last workout

Monday, September 13, 2010

Short Test Drive

I decided to break out the new shoes I bought a week ago, since I can't return them anymore.  I bought a pair of the Vibram Five Finger Bilkila running shoes, and was wearing them around the house for a week to be sure they were a good fit.  When my feet hit the pavement, I loved these shoes instantly.  My feet feel great when striking, where as the tread on the VFF KSO Trek pair began to annoy and irritate my feet when running on pavement. There is a thick layer of tread, designed for paved surfaces, that adds cushion.  I ran with Injinji socks, so that may have added additional cushion effect as well.  Either way, my feet felt great in these shoes.  I had no foot pain at all.  I am very glad I made this purchase.  I love my KSO Trek pair, but I will keep them for trail running and around town wear.
It was pretty late at night when I did the run, and I could really feel it one mile in.  I cut the run short at two miles, because I was so sleepy.  I need to make sure that I run right when I get home from work at 8:30pm or start running early in the morning, like normal people do.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Scheduled Day Off

I have decided that Sunday should be a day of rest.  I have to have one day a week to make sure my body has fully repaired itself.  Either Saturday or Sunday will be my day to fully recuperate.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Breakfast To Go and Weights

Kashi cereal, vanilla yogurt, and a banana on the counter at work Saturday morning.  I have been eating a banana every morning because potassium helps sore muscles.  I haven't been sore lately, either from getting stronger or these daily bananas are doing the trick.  Just because you aren't home, doesn't mean you can't eat well. I threw this together while standing behind the counter.  I see people eating crappy processed food all the time, and they say it's because they don't have time to eat right.  With barely any effort, you can bring healthy fast food along with you anywhere.

After my shift, I did my usual weight training.  It is getting too easy, so I need to change things up.  I have an old weight set somewhere in my mother's garage, so I will dig that out sometime this week.
I did notice that my left hip is clicking along my back, when doing sit-ups.  I do have issues with my pelvis popping out of alignment, so I will need to see my chiropractor to have them adjusted.  Usually it is on my right side, due to a childhood soccer injury.  A tendon ripped the bone off where it attached, so now there is a bone spur where the pelvis grew out to the bone fragment.  This has resulted in a change in my bio-mechanics, which occasionally requires chiropractic adjustment of the pelvis. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Three Miles.....Slightly Easier

Today is a run day, so I did three miles like I did two days ago.  It was slightly easier this time, which means I'm making progress.  I started out feeling a little muscle fatigue, and I'm not sure if running every day is a good idea.  Yesterday I ran two miles, just to get some cardio in.  I think finding a different exercise on the non-running days would be better.  This is part of the problem of getting in shape, is the fatigue from overdoing it or from shaping up?  What is normal and what is going to lead to injury or worse, permanent damage.  I did notice some foot pain in the middle of my left foot, but it wasn't terribly bad.  I'm hoping it's just from running three days in a row, getting used to consistent running, the Vibram shoes causing weak parts of my foot to be in use, or a combination of these factors.  I'll have to monitor this, as I don't want any long-term injuries.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Running and Weights

I felt pretty good today, after finally hitting the 3-mile mark yesterday.  No soreness to report.  Today I did a shorter run than yesterday for cardio, followed by a strength training workout.  Two miles are what is easy, so I went ahead and did that without being too tired.  I then did my normal workout with weights, without much difficulty either.  I would like to be able to do cardio every day, but I don't know if running everyday is a good idea for the joints.  Perhaps I should look into biking or swimming on my non-running days.  My only concern is that I'm going to be too tired for tomorrow.  We will see.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


Tonight I left the house for my scheduled run, and I wanted to push farther than 2-miles.  The last time I ran that far, the difficulty was significantly less than the first time I did.  Being no different today, I was a little tired two miles into it, but had plenty left in me.  I was just thinking of doing 2.5-miles, but that was before I knew how good I would feel after the first two.  I pushed though it and made it to 3-miles for the first time.  The end of that third mile was pretty tough, so it was an exercise in discipline to keep moving.  I'm going to stay at 3-miles until it's as easy as running 2.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Stepping Up The Strength Training

Feeling a bit stronger while doing my sit-ups, I decided to push until I got tired.  I ended up doing 125 sit-ups, instead of just 100.  This made me think that maybe I should ramp up all of my exercises too.  I am learning the line between overdoing it and pushing it every time do a good hard workout.  I have also noticed each exercise gets easier after warming up the muscles with low reps.  I may just start doing a warm up set and then try pushing higher reps for the other two sets.  I still have to do more research on weight training, but it is also important to pay attention to what works for me while exercising.

Today I did the following:
  • 125 sit-ups
  • 50 push-ups with my feet elevated 18"
  • 30, 40, and 55 rep curls with 20lb weights, at a fast pace
  • 10, 15, and 25 rep lunges with 20lb weights in each hand, and one foot on a chair behind me
  • 10, 15, and 25 reps of lateral dumbbell raises for my shoulders

Monday, September 06, 2010

Piece of Cake

I did two miles today, and it was a piece of cake.  That means the next time I run, I'll have to push harder than just two miles.  The regular exercise, stretching, and proper diet are making this seem much easier.  When you aren't working out regularly, pushing your body really takes a toll on you for several days.  After those miserable first days of soreness, the workout becomes much more bearable, with little recovery time.  I have never really understood the importance of regular exercise until now.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Day Off........Again

I gave my body a day of recovery, but this time it was from the night before.  I went out with the guys and drank a moderate amount of alcohol.  Because I don't drink regularly anymore, it took longer to recover the next day.  I'm going to stick with abstaining from alcohol, as I don't have time to keep taking days off from training.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Back to School Shopping

I went ahead and did my weight training routine today, which went pretty well.  I am feeling a bit stronger, so it wasn't as difficult as last time.  I need to start thinking on where to go from my current workout, once this becomes even easier.  I'll have to do some serious research on free weight training, so not to waste my time and maximize my workout.

I decided to use the rest of the day to take care of another problem.  I don't like the tread of my Vibram Five Finger KSO Trek shoes for running on concrete, so I checked out the Bikila running model today at the Redwood Trading Post.  These shoes fit a little differently than the other VFFs, as there is no ankle strap pushing your feet forward into the separated toes.  This was a problem for me, because all except for my big toe do not fill out the toes. The next size down, 43 EU, fits my foot perfectly, with one exception.  I need a couple more millimeters in the big toe.  Since you can't break in these shoes and hope that it will stretch, I decided not to take a chance on getting the smaller size.  The slight pinch I feel on the big toe will turn into terrible discomfort after just a short run.  The larger size does feel a bit loose, so the clerk suggested wearing Injinji socks.  The socks did help with the fit, and will surely help with having stinky running shoes.  These socks weren't cheap at $15, but I only bought the one pair.  The tread of these shoes is different too, it has additional layers of material under your feet, to provide more cushion when striking.  There is also some light arch support added, instead of the leather arch on the KSO Trek model.  I'm hoping the different tread will help how my feet feel after a couple miles.  I'm not going to run in them just yet, as I'm not to sure about the fit.  The store said I could wear them around the house for 7-days, so I'll test them out at home.

The other change today was deciding to monetize my site, as these shoes don't pay for themselves.  Currently there are Google AdSense adds below the first post on a page.  Hopefully, they will be relevant adds, and someone finds them as useful as any encouragement or information in this blog.

Friday, September 03, 2010


All that stretching and potassium yesterday really did the trick, because I feel a million times better today.  My muscles aren't at 100% just yet, but they are well enough that I don't have any excuses for not working out.
After work I did two miles, in a cold fog.  It was easier today then when I ran it two days ago, either from actually getting in shape or the cold moist air.  My stomach also wasn't completely empty, because I forgot that I had to run tonight.  I did cramp a little bit on my right side, below the rib cage, but I didn't get sick and make cake.  I really felt like I could do another mile, and can't believe how much stronger I feel compared to a week ago.  I think I will push it a little past two miles on my next run, and possibly three by the end of next week.  I do need to be careful, because now that I can push myself past the point where my body says stop, I could end up doing damage.  I also cooled down faster than last time, so there has been definite progress.  After a shower, I didn't even feel fatigued, and had enough energy to go out and do it again.  This was new and empowering feeling that I don't think I have ever felt.  Forcing myself to stay on my scheduled runs really is paying off, and I'm definitely starting to get hooked on fitness.  The only way I have been able to do this is by making this something that I have to do, like brushing my teeth or going to work.  I am committed to training beyond the Tough Mudder, and will continue to push toward higher fitness levels for the rest of my life.
I am starting to really hate my Vibram Five Finger KSO Trek shoes for running on concrete and I'm thinking of checking out the Bikila running model tomorrow at the Redwood Trading Post.  I haven't found any deals online, as the shoe is a newer model.  So if the in store price plus tax is on par with online plus shipping, I just might pick up a pair.  Don't misunderstand me, I love these shoes.  It's just that the tread on the KSO Trek can be painful when running on concrete, especially towards the end of the first mile.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Deserved Day Off

Well the work out on Tuesday, and the two mile run yesterday ruined me for today.  I'm forced to take a day off because I can hardly move.  My form would just be sloppy and I could hurt myself, at least that's what I'm telling myself.  I feel guilty because I have already taken days off that I shouldn't have, but this time I am in bad shape.  I did a lot of long deep stretching twice today, and that helped quite a bit.  I also walked around a lot, to get some kind of activity.  For breakfast and lunch I had mashed sweet potatoes, as well as a banana at dinner for potassium.  Lastly, plenty of water and green tea was consumed throughout the day.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Koolaid Man

Even though I was incredibly sore today, I went for a run.  I was scheduled for one, and didn't want to take another day off.  I was hoping that the run would aid in my recovery from my workout yesterday.  Turns out, it did help, so i kept going after my planned mile.  I finally broke through the wall I feel.....Koolaid Man style.  I did two miles, but more importantly, fatigue wasn't a limiter anymore.  I could have gone another mile too, but I didn't want to over do it.....especially after the previous day's workout.  Between the run and plenty of stretching, I felt much better for how sore I was earlier.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

First Day of Strength Training

Just running every other day isn't going to cut it for the Tough Mudder. So, I decided to start doing some strength training before work today.  My impromptu routine is listed below.  I will change the exercises as I do more research and progress in my training.  It was enough to break a sweat and elevate my heart rate, so I'm going to call it a cardio workout as well.

  1. 100 full sit-ups
  2. 50 push-ups with feet elevated 18"
  3. 3 sets of bicep curls at 25, 35, and 45 reps with 18lb dumbbells 
  4. 3 sets of shoulder at 10, 15, and 25 reps with 18lb dumbbells 
  5. 3 sets of lunges with stabilizing leg elevated on chair and 18lbs dumbbells in each hand at 10, 15, and 25 reps

Monday, August 30, 2010

Better Late Than Never

Went for an evening run today, which is not preferred over morning runs.  I squeezed it in to stay on schedule, because I need to stay consistent.  I waited 3 hours after eating, and made sure not to drink too much water beforehand either.  I wanted to get back to the 1.7 mile run I did the two runs prior to this, but I only made it to 1.2 miles.  I walked until 1.4 miles, and then went back to a good pace for the last 0.3 miles.  I realized something by running like this, I should be running longer distances with breaks.  This is how the competition will work, and it's still good cardio if my heart rate stays high enough during walking breaks.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Another Day Off

Last nights dancing really helped prevent me from getting sore again; however, it may also be that my shorter aided in this.  Today I took it slow again, as I'm looking for a new job.  Most of the day was spent on the couch, staring at a laptop.  In light of this, I made sure to do a full session of stretching. 
I have decided that I need to put together a weight training or yoga routine for my non-running days.  If I don't ramp up this fitness training, I'm never going to be able to do the race in October.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Afternoon run

After work and some auto maintenance, I decided to go for my every other day run.  This time I ran in the late afternoon, while normally my run is the first thing I do in the morning.  I waited several hours after my last meal, so not to make cake because of a full belly.  Still being still from the pushing myself a couple days before, I decided not to repeat the same run.  This time I did just one mile with hills, which turned out to be just right for my legs.  I did notice that I was a little slower, and I am not sure if it's from running later in the day or the sore legs.  I still did my banana, orange juice, and protein shake with milk immediately following my run.

Dinner included some steamed and then grilled sweet potatoes, which are packed with potassium.  This helps sore muscles, so I force myself to eat these disgusting things.  I don't like sugar or sweet tasting things at all, so I try to find ways to change the sweet potato taste.  Steaming them before grilling them with ground turkey, brown rice, and green bell peppers really took the sweet out of them.

After dinner, my brother happened to stop by, and he was wearing Vibram Five Fingers.  He let me try on his one size too small Sprint model, which fit all but my big toe perfectly.  In my KSO Trek VFFs, my big toe fits perfectly, but my smaller toes don't fill in the 'fingers' very well.  I did run around with one of each pair on, so I have decided to buy another pair for running on cement.  I love the Trek sole, but the tred can be a bit painful during running on hard surfaces.  I think I should invest in the Bikila running model that I had tried on before.  The only problem is that I cannot find a sale price online.  I think it may be a newer model, so I may just have to pay the pricey retail price again.

It has also occurred to me that while these shoes help my feet flex more naturally, using them on artificial flat and hard surfaces work against using my feet in a natural way.  There is quite a bit of research on walking barefoot from various indigenous populations, as well as research on barefooted running.  Perhaps someone should do a study on the affect of wearing these shoes, or no shoes at all, while walking on hard, flat, man made surfaces.

Later, I decided to go out dancing for a bit.  I ran into some old friends, and ended up mostly socializing.  My legs weren't sore, but they were definately tired, so I didn't feel much like dancing the night away.  I did get down a little with a bunch of poppers and lockers, and it was just enough to work out any stiffness.  I decided not to push my legs much and to not screw up my sleep schedule too much, so I headed home at a reasonable hour.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Almost Too Far

Wow, pushing harder sure did take a toll on me, but this time it wasn't as bad.  I did stop at the right time, and I would be laid up if I had pushed any farther.  I did my stretching and had some potasium.  Not sure what else I can do. I should do some weight training, but I don't have my gym membership renewed.  I may not even renew it this time, as I may ditch the weights and go the route of P90x instead.  It seems easier with having kids around, and I don't like taking the time to drive to the gym, and also not being able to use my shower right afterwards.  I should probably renew the membership incase I ever do decide to go back, as I only pay $100 per year at 24-Hour Fitness.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pushing Harder

I did my run today, but wanted to double it.  Partway into second mile, I decided to lessen it a bit.  Looks like I did 1.7 miles, and I barely made it back to the house.  I actually feared I was close to making cake or losing control of some bodily functions.  Afterwards I did my stretching and drank my after workout nutrition.  I think I pushed too far, because I was flush in the face and took forever to cool down.  I won't do 2 miles next run, but will try to repeat this run again instead.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Better Recovery

I had a much better day after my run yesterday, in comparison to last time.  I wasn't sore at all, but I was stiff.  I loaded up on potassium and did my stretching.  I was sure to be active all day as well.  I am glad that I had scaled back with the stepping machine, and I think that's why the run was so much easier than last time.  I even feel like maybe doubling the run scheduled for tomorrow, but we will see when it happens.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Touch of Hills

Getting back into my workout again. I did my first run with hills in my mothers neighborhood. Google Maps has determined that I did one mile, which was moderate paced and without stopping.  I'm glad I did the sessions on the stepper, because I was less winded and my calves weren't as tired this time.  I think I'm going to start going everyother day, and gradually push the distance farther.  After the run, I was sure to do some streching, have my after workout nutrition, and took a hot shower.  Later in the day, I did more streches, when I was standing around doing nothing.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Accidental Day Off

I meant to run this afternoon, atter taking care of some things this morning.  I ended up getting called into work right before I planned on running, so there will be no workout today.  My brother emailed me asking if I have been running consistantly, and tommorw I will get back into a routine.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Supper Day Off

Feeling depressed today about some personal matters, I sat around all day and then had dinner with my brother. In hindsite, I should have gone for a run to improve my mood.  Next time I'm feeling like this, I will be sure to do so.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Major Change

I felt pretty good sore muscles.  I did have a major personal change that forced me to relocate to my mother's house.  I don't know if this change is permanent or temporary, so I'm not sure what the future of this training will be.  I may not be doing the Tough Mudder in October.  We will see what happens as the days pass.

Friday, August 20, 2010


I wanted to skip a workout today, but forced myself to keep focus.  I did one hour of cardio on the stepper machine, hoping to be back to running next time.  Pushing it to one hour was difficult, but my legs held up fine.  I did a few minutes of two steps per minute, and then ramped up to do a squating while bending faster paced burst.  Bending over like that is ment to simulate some of the obsticles I will face on the course.  This was pretty tough, but cooling down to my regular pace did help.  I can now see how people are able to do longer workouts, as they aren't going full board the whole time.  Afterward, I did twenty minutes of streching, to be sure that I don't spend two or more days recovering.  Then I had my after workout nutrition, and went on with my day.  I did have a ton of energy and was very active for the rest of the day, so I see why people workout first thing in the morning.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hail Cesar!

Still sore again today, so I did more deep stretching to aid recovery.  I also went out and got a Caesar haircut to help to keep the hair out of my eyes while running.  I also made sure to have more potassium to help my muscles recover faster.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sore Again!

Yesterday's workout made my calves sore again; however, it wasn't as bad as before.  I did some deep and long stretching and ate some bananas.  Hopefully, recovery won't take as long as before.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Fog Is Lifting

Feeling better today, but still took it easy.  I was so sore after my initial run, that I decided to scale my training back a bit.  I did 45-min on a stepping machine, which is like a mini stair climber.  I noticed that it got really difficult at 30 minutes, but became incredibly easy at 35 minutes.
This is the first day that I wasn't working all day in awhile, so I played all morning with my son and spent the afternoon cooking.  I did buy some sweet potatoes, and made mashed potatoes for a dinner side.  Because I have sweet potatoes, I mixed them with an equal amount of red potatoes.  This changed the flavor to taste more like

Monday, August 16, 2010

Under A Holding Weather Pattern

Still under the weather today, and it's a 12-hour work day too.  I am drinking lots of water and green tea.  A couple of Advil do help too.  It is a definate improvement from yesterday, so I should be back to training soon.  Being sick is a routine part of having a child.  Unfortunately, it really hits you hard, as it is usually a strain of something you have never had exposure to in your life.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sick Day

I woke up around 5am, with a sore lump in my throat. Two ibuprofen and a tall glass of water, followed by more sleep. Around 10am I woke up again, but a queasy stomach had replaced most of the pain in my throat. After laying about in bed, I made some chicken broth with rice and whole wheat low-sodium crackers. This was a staple weekly breakfast for those hung over days of when I used to drink heavily at night.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Marco..........Polo..........Fish Out of Water!

Went for a swim in my brother's pool today, for the first time in years. I hate chlorine, so I have only been in a pool a few times this past decade. We did every type of stroke we could remember, and let's just say my form could use some work. I did push myself until I was winded, and that is my main goal with each workout. I need to push my lungs and heart, to develop more stamina.
Later I went dancing to get some more cardio. Unfortunately, where I went kind of sucked, so I didn't do as much dancing as I should have. On the bright side, my calves are feeling much better after the days activities. I also learned that VFF are great for dancing. Every pair of the many shoes I own allow my feet to move differently. Several styles of footwork require a specific soled shoe, but I can do most all of them while wearing VFF. That's one more point in favor for my experimental shoes.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Twelve Hours on My Feet

My calves are still killing me today.  I have been drinking water every hour, and eating like a horse too.  Stretching does help temporarily, and I'm popping two ibuprofen every four hours too.  The main stretch that seems to help was one my chiropractor showed me.  I put my foot up on a curb or step with the ball of my foot on the edge and foot bent, then lean in with the knee slightly bent.  This stretches the muscle deeper inside your calf.  For the outer muscle, I've been doing the standard stretch against a wall or door jam.  I even tried doing the downward dog yoga stretch behind the counter at work, but chose to stop when customers were giving me funny looks.  I decided not to go for a run today for two reasons, I had a 12-hour work day with half spent on my feet, and I can barely walk still.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


What I thought to be a simple run, turned out to be over doing it. I now wish I had properly warmed up and cooled down. My calves are so sore that I can hardly walk, and each step seems to hurt worse. The clerk who sold me the shoes did tell me that they made your calves work overtime, but I can't attribute all this agony to just the shoes. I should have done the run properly or started off easier.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Clean Boot

It had been several hours since my last meal, when I finished work. Before dinner, I suited and booted up my new kicks, and decided to go for a light run. Intending only a light test of my new VFF, I forewent any stretching or warm up. I started off around the block, but just kept going down the main road. I hadn't noticed a discernible difference in the shoes, which was one reason I kept going. I turned the corner at the next main street, and did pick up on my change in running style. I was landing mid-foot and pushing off from the ball of my foot. It was impossible to hammer down my heal, which would create a braking effect. Doing so ends with a painful jolt to the heal, so I had to run as if I were barefoot. I pushed further with ease, until I rounded the corner back towards home. Knowing that I was almost done caused a desire to just give in and walk the last bit. Running away from home was no trouble, even after I started to reach my limit. I suppose knowing I was almost done caused me to hit 'the wall.'
Upon arriving home, I felt as if I were about to lose control of my bodily functions. I flopped on the bed to catch my breath. After a tall drink of water, I decided to finally eat dinner.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tough Mudder???

I opened a huge can of worms by clicking on a Facebook advertisement today.  The Tough Mudder endurance race is having their NorCal event at Bear Valley on Oct. 9th & 10th. That's 60 days away. How much can you train in 60 days? I began reading every bit of information off the site. I looked at the course map and found the official promo video that shows what it really takes for each obstacle to be concurred.  Honestly, most of them look like a cakewalk and a lot of fun; however, I would be doing them back to back and running 7 miles up and down a 2k foot difference in elevation.  I can't even run 7 miles on a treadmill, how would I be able to do that trekking across a mountain?  As I continued to research past events, I found detailed accounts of what it really took for those who had achieved their personal goal of completing the race.  I then decided that completing this race is something I need to do.
I asked my brothers, cousin, and a couple of friends if they would be interested in forming a team.  Only one brother got back to me, and, while interested in participating, will be out of town that weekend.  He has agreed to allow me to come along on his morning runs, but I think I need to practice on my own to narrow the gap in our performance levels.
He extended some helpful advice on how to start off, and some pointed my feet toward their new clothes.  If I’m going to start running, I’m going to need some new running shoes.  Because I work on my feet a lot, I have resorted to using my two pair of running shoes for work.  My old cheap pair of Asics Gels have an internal injury, with all the inner padding coming loose.  The once nice and expensive pair of New Balance are doing the opposite, external structural failure that leaves pieces of the sole everywhere they tread. Road Runner Sports had a local store that will analyze your weight distribution while running, and make a recommendation of what works best for you.  Then they try to sell you really expensive orthotic insoles that you probably don’t need.  I hesitated to make such a significant purchase, as my form will probably change as I progress from novice to proficient, with my weight distribution being altered as well.  My brother also told me about a relatively new alternative, that don’t require testing of running style and weight distribution for matching with the proper type of engineered footwear.

The Vibram Five Fingers (VFF) shoes are basically gloves for your feet. Each toe is separate in the shoe and allowed to move independently, and the shoe fit like a sock.  The idea is that your foot can flex and contour to a surface the way human feet have evolved human history.  It is similar to wearing moccasins, because while your foot is now free to bend and flex, it is also protected from painful rocks and such with a protective layer.  Ten years ago I would have thought these were a gimmick, but now I think they are the way to go, after learning about the evolution of bipedal primate and hominid locomotion in my physical anthropology courses.  After watching and reading an in depth review, which included scientific data supporting the design, I decided to check a pair out.  Just one mile from my house is a mom and pop outdoor store, Redwood Trading Post, and they happen to be an authorized retailer.  I'm glad I went in, because I was using the manufacturer's online usage chart to determine which shoe I needed. 

Originally, I wanted the KSO because it looked like having coverage all the way up to the ankle would help keep the mud and crud out of the shoe, the item description also suggests this.  After I told the clerk what I intended the shoes for, he pointed me toward the models with better traction.
The Bikila has a sole with tread designed for running, and KSO Trek has an even beefier sole for more traction and is mostly more sturdy and durable machine washable kangaroo.  I put one of each kind in my size and ran around the store. I liked them both on concrete and carpet, but I decided to go with the more durable KSO Trek, keeping in mind the extremes Tough Mudder obstacles will put them through.  If I were going to go be running on paved surfaces exclusively, I would have gone with the Bikila.
I wore the shoes around the house for the rest of the day.  If they cause my feet to work too hard from years of conventional shoes, I will wear them while walking and buy a conventional pair of running shoes from the above mentioned store.  They really are comfortable, and they kind of look like ninja shoes.
This gave me the idea to run the Tough Mudder with a team of ninjas.  I think it would be hilarious for us to wear all black running cloths, a ninja hood/mask, and some cheap plastic kids ninja toys.  

I soon learned that ninja is a different pronunciation of the two kanji characters for the word.  The correct pronunciation is shinobi-no-mono, which is often shortened to shinobi.  Even though ninja is more commonly recognized, it bothers me to not call something it's correct name, i.e. it's Deutschland, not Germany. Hence, the title of this blog Tough Mudder Shinobi.