Sunday, February 27, 2011

New Stuff on the Way

So Amy and I went shopping the other day to get her some new clothes and what not.  The trade that I slipped in while at the register was that I could get the new Merrell Trail Gloves now...right?  She responded yes that I could get them.

Yesterday I ordered my new shoes and am eagerly awaiting them to get here to go for a run in them.  I was then asked what ever happened to the North face hoodie that she wanted?  I went to my favorite online dealer of that brand of clothing and after a bit of searching, I found a nice black hooded sweatshirt and thought why not look at some running jackets as well...I did need a nice wind/water proof jacket for clod wet mornings...I found a sweet Torpedo jacket and decided why not, it is on sale.

So next weekend when I am sitting around with nothing to do I will take both the jacket and the shoes out for a run and write my first review of these two products.  I will then try to write a review on y KSOs that have been giving me miles and months of great service.

I will also try to write a bit on the last race I ran and the upcoming races for March that I am participating in.  Austin 1/2 Marathon on February 20th, and several local 5K's and the Red River Run in Alexandria, LA (10K).  Stay Tuned...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Freedom 5k & 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk | Alexandria, Louisiana 71303 | Saturday, March 26, 2011 @ 8:00 AM

Freedom 5k & 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk | Alexandria, Louisiana 71303 | Saturday, March 26, 2011 @ 8:00 AM

"You will never run again..."

“You will never run again.”
This is what the doctors, 3 different ones, told me in August, September and the last one in October of 2010.  On October 9th 2010 I ran my first two, very slow, very painful miles.  It took me just over 23 minutes to do it, I wanted to quit several times and when I got back to my house I thought the doctors were right, maybe I was done with running.
I was a runner, for as far back as I can remember I ran everywhere.  My dad used to tell people that if I went somewhere, even to the fridge for milk, I ran there.  I dabbled in cross country in high school, disliked to competitiveness and dropped out after half a season.  I joined the Army and ran almost every day because you had to.  I fell in love with running when I came back from Iraq and me and a few buddies became fitness freaks.  I worked out in the gym for 45 minutes, ran 4 miles, did our morning fitness with the platoon and ran in the afternoon; I was in the best shape of my life. 
I had my ankle reconstructed ( a brostrom procedure) in May 2010 after too many trips to the medics with rolled and or sprained ankles.  The result of this procedure was “You will never run again”.  After a few weeks of physical therapy in the pool and in the clinic, my therapist recommended I get a pair of Vibrams to help strengthen my feet and the muscles of my lower leg.  This is how it began!
I got a pair of KSO’s and used them in the clinic, walking the dog, going to the store; everything except running.  About 10 days after that first excruciating 2 miles, I attempted to hit the trails with my former running buddy.  We used to rack up about 20 miles together before my surgery and I had got him back into running about 6 months before I went under the knife.  A simple 5 miles on the trails behind our houses, really slow, wearing my KSOs…sounded like fun.  I stopped several times, had to walk about a mile of it but finished with a strained smile on my face and the stupid determination in my head that I was still a runner.
I started to look into barefoot running after an old boss finished a 50 miler and said he had been training with Vibrams and barefoot and I should check out Chi and Pose running.  I started my research and soon became consumed.  I was up to about 10-12 miles a week at this point and was ready to try something new.  I started taking the dog for a 2 mile walk barefoot, running the trails in my KSOs and attempted a 2 mile circuit of the neighborhood without shoes of any kind.  I stayed in the grass and kept it at about 11 minutes per mile, finished and had some sore feet for a week.  I went out again and again and eventually pushed myself up to a 6 mile barefoot run each week with some Vibram trail runs and still using my trusty Asics in the gym on the treadmill.
January 2011, I put up 3 solid weeks in a row of 30 miles.  Long runs of 8-12 miles and I only wear my shoes for about 10 miles a week (I am still in the Army and we must wear running shoes).  I run about 10 in Vibrams and the rest barefoot.  I have competed in several 5Ks and am running the Mardi Gras ½ marathon and the Austin ½ in February.  The doctors were wrong…I am a runner and barefoot running saved my life!
James Buzzell, Fort Polk Louisiana, February 8th 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

Mardi Gras Half Marathon and the training that got me there...

So I just got home from New Orleans.  My wife and I woke up early Saturday morning, packed an overnight bag, fed the dog, packed the car and drove 4 hours to the Crescent City.  I have been to New Orleans several times over the years; for business, partying (Mardi Gras on my 18th birthday-thanks Dad and Kenny), a job interview and the 4th of July with my current wife and girlfriend at the time.  All of those times, except the job interview, were very laid back, fun, exciting trips.  My most recent trip was for my first official 1/2 marathon and I had trained pretty regularly with lots of help from my running club and some advice from my physical therapist.

It all started about 3 months ago when I decided to register for the Austin 1/2 and booked my hotel nice and early, took the time off from work and downloaded a training program on the internet.  About 2 weeks into my plan I saw a link for the Mardi Gras 1/2 and thought it would be a great way to prep myself for Austin, so I decided to register for that one as well.  I followed my training plan about as close as anyone I know has ever followed a training plan.  I hit 90% of my days and substituted several of the speed and hill sessions with easier tempo runs, ran longer and faster on my long slow days that I was supposed too but overall I felt good about my training.

The last few weeks of training I knocked out 2 half's on my own on my normal routes and nailed them both right around 2 hours, which was my goal time for my races.  I trained in my Asics, KSOs, my homemade huaraches and barefoot. The last 2 weeks saw the addition of a shiny new pair of Nike Free's added to the mix and I played with the idea of racing in them for New Orleans in the hopes of preserving my feet for Austin...this was not to happen.  I put about 20-25 miles a week into my training and upped it to 30 for the last month, spreading it all pretty evenly at 1/3 of the miles barefoot, shod and in my Vibrams.  I was very happy with the overall outcome, finishing my first ever 1/2 marathon in 1 hour 51 minutes and 29 seconds, my Garmin said I ran 13.18 miles with an average pace of 8:23 ( ).

I did a nice easy 1 mile at a 10:00 this morning just to shake the cobwebs out and hopefully this week will see about 15 miles of maintenance and one hill workout so I can really nail Austin on Sunday...wish me luck I am going to need it!!!  Next post will be covering my Charity organization...Team Red, White and Blue, a wounded veterans organization that raises awareness, money and support for veterans transitioning from the military into the civilian world.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

It has been a while...

So I'm back and with a bit of persuading from a fellow runner/blogger I may try to re start this whole thing again.  I am almost 9 months past my ankle surgery and well on the way to running again.  I have been told by many doctors along the way that I will never run again, and told them to all pound sand, I am running...

I transitioned into barefoot running back in November/December and now do about 1/3 of my mileage barefoot, 1/3 with my Vibrams and the rest in sneakers.  The transition into running totally barefoot has allowed me to correct my form, get some real feedback from my feet and shown me that the things that others say are crazy, really is just an opinion!

So I guess I will try to make this a weekly thing again and maybe add some mid week updates as I progress.  I have a few races coming up and will be running at least one of them in my Vibrams and maybe both of them.  The first in New Orleans on the 13th of February for the Mardi Gras 1/2 marathon and then the very next week I am running the Austin 1/2 marathon as well.

Goodbye for now, hope to write mare this weekend upon my return from New Orleans.