More and More Running

Well, I set a new standard for myself today, and I'm hoping I can improve on it in the 4 weeks I have until the Half Marathon.  But before we get to that, let me re-cap the week.

Biked to work and back on Sunday.  Rested by taking the bus on Monday.

I had the day off on Tuesday so I got some running in.  12.5km total, 5km of which I ran barefoot, mostly on the monkey trails in Assiniboine Park near the river. It was an incredibly windy day, so I got in some involuntary resistance training every time I ran south!  I did learn that my moving average was way too slow.  7.3km/h sets me up for a 5 hour half marathon!!! Yikes!  Granted, there was a good deal of time walking, and stopping to water the dog in there... Regardless, I needed to improve.

Well, I biked to work and back on Wednesday, which felt good.  And then it was on to today's run...

Ok, so it was a landmark run for me.  22.6km total, which is about the distance of the half marathon itself.  I ran through the trails and along Wellington Crescent all the way to the Maryland Bridge before meeting up with a friend of mine, Keith, who was traveling by bike.  He then paced me all the way back along the same route, until we detoured through the Park and onto a swampy trail through Assiniboine Forrest.  The entire run up until this point (about 15km) has been barefoot!  My moving average over that period increased to just over 10km/h, which is a great improvement.

Over all, my moving average only improved a bit, to 8.5km/h, but that includes some walking... Granted, most of that walking, was done knee deep in swamp water through Assiniboine Forest!  (What was I thinking!!)

So once we'd navigated the swamp (still barefoot) we jogged down Grant and over to my Parent's place for a pit stop and some more water.  From there, we jogged to Quiznos, to pick up a hearty lunch, and then I walked/ran/walked back to my place from there.  The last bit from my parent's place onwards was done in my VFFs, as I'd discovered some rather large blood blisters, and didn't want to risk opening them up in the parking lots on the way home.

The total trip took a dismal 3:51, but with a total moving time of 2:35.  That's about 45-50 minutes slower than I want to be come race day, but when you consider the trails I was running, and walking through a swamp, I think I did OK!  I'm going to have to start bringing a camera along and taking some pictures for the blog!

Until next time, happy barefootting!


Another Update

Well, yesterday felt good and productive.  30km on the bicycle in the morning through Assiniboine Park, Assiniboine Forest, Fort Whyte Alive, and the Trans Canada Trail.  Then, after it cooled down a bit, just shy of 15km of running with the dog through the Park and Forest.  Just about half of that was done barefoot, and the rest in my VFFs!

Good times had by all!


A Quick Update

For anyone following this string of posts, I mentioned earlier that I'd probably done too much too soon the other day when I started out barefoot for the first time and completed 3.8km.  Sure there were a few blisters.  Sure there was plenty of good reason to rest my feet a bit...

Well, today I ran/walked for what my GPS tells me is 17.7km, (approximately 11 miles, and only two shy of my 13mile goal!) and was barefoot for around 14 of those km! (the remaining were done wearing Vibram FiveFinger KSOs).  Are my feet a bit sore... yes.  Do they hurt... not really.  I thinBk they're tired, and the deserve to be.  I am more or less forcing them into performing tasks that, thought they were designed to do, they have been left deprived of.  There are muscles in my foot that were living the easy life until today!  Today, they pull their weight!

The weather was brilliant, although a tad hot nearing the end of our run. (Flash accompanied me dutifully!)  There's something really exhilarating about running barefoot through the trees with a dog.   Fun times!

Now I believe I definitely deserve my nap in the Hammock!  I've got to get that distance up over 20km sooner than later!

A Blister-Poppin' Good Time!

So, how about that bare-foot running, eh?

Well, here's the deal.  I probably over did it a bit on that first day, running about 3.8km barefoot.  There are two reasons for this.  Firstly, I probably ran further than my bare feet were ready for, resulting in some blistering on the bottoms of each of my feet.  Secondly, my form isn't terribly good at all, resulting in some blistering on the bottoms of each of my feet!

What have you learned from all this, Rob?  That barefootting is dangerous and silly?  NO!  I just need to think a bit more before I get out on the road.  (I think we would all do well to think a bit more about everything from time to time!)  So Saturday night I drained my blisters, and Sunday morning I drained them again.  Sure enough, by noon, the blisters were essentially invisible, and the pain had stopped almost entirely.

Knowing that getting back out there for another barefoot run might be a bad idea, I strapped on my Vibram FiveFinger KSOs, and jogged out the door the roughly 2.5km to my parent's place with my dog, Flash!  Once home again, and after a few trips to Canadian Tire to get parts to repair our bikes, and after a very nice nap in the hammock in my front yard, I decided to get out for another BAREFOOT WALK!

It was just a quiet stroll of 2km.  I made sure to walk, concentrating on my form. (Flairing my toes, keeping my knees bent and my torso vertical, etc).  The sun was really beating down on the asphalt by this point, so it was hot going.  But GOOD NEWS! My blisters are practically non-existent, and I might feel safe enough to add a short run to my planned walk today!

All in all the day was a fantastic one. A good run, a good walk, a short bike ride or two, some time lounging in a hammock, a free BBQ (for Free Day! Found it on my first walk!), a home cooked dinner, and a fire in the old fire-pit my parents gave us now that they've "upgraded" their own.  Good times had by all!

Today I plan to bring along my VFFs and put them back on after about 2km, just to make sure I'm not over-doing it on my feet again.  The real advantage to the VFFs is that I continue to strengthen my foot muscles as I go!

In any case, I should probably be off.  I want to get a move on before it gets nice and hot out there!


A new post!

It sure has been a long time since I made a post, so I figured I'd make a quick one now.

I'm interested in creating a bit of a "Running" diary over the next little while. Back in September I got myself a pair of Vibram FiveFingers KSOs. (I got the all black ones)  These are minimalist running shoes designed to replicate the feel and response of barefoot running, while providing a measure of safety for the soles of your feet.  I ran with them when I could, mostly in a gym during the winter, and I've taken them out a bunch of times this spring.  These shoes are EXCELLENT!

But there's only one thing better than simulating barefoot running... and that's actually running barefoot!

There's lots of great literature out there, along with websites, Wikipedia, and other blogs, that advocate the benefits of barefoot running, so I'll leave it to  you to look those things up yourselves.  Suffice it to say, the only real difficulty I'm coming across is that the soles of my feet need a little "breaking in".  They've been babied all their lives, in nice cozy shoes, where they could be perfectly protected, atrophy, and remain nice and un-calloused... Well, all that has got to change!

I ran outside on the streets of Winnipeg (and along a few bike paths) barefoot today.  I feel great! The running was easy... my feet are a little bit blistered.  I've got a few good callouses I'm going to need to develop, but I'm well on my way.  I ran about 3.8km today barefoot before I needed get inside and soak my feet in the tub... but it's a good start!

I'll keep you all posted! (Whether you're interested or not!)




I've been re-exploring the CBC Radio 3 Website lately, if not in part because they've totally relaunched the site!

There's good and bad, of course. Mostly good, but on the bad side, my embedded Radio3 players I had on my Blogger and Facebook no longer work... they're just big empty holes! Boo! (I've already sent e-mails to website managers and will solve this problem ASAP!)

But then there's the good...

I'm finally allowed to upload pictures to a new customizable user profile (And so can YOU)! And I LOVE that you can finally create multiple playlists. It's a really huge development, and it means that I can finally have "mood specific" playlists of sorts. (Granted, I've only got 2 lists so far, but I think there may be more soon enough!)

Now, I've been a fan of Radio 3 for quite some time now. In fact, almost all I listen to on my portable music player (ie, my phone) is CBC stuff. (The exception is the BBC Global News podcast which I listen to almost daily!)

I try never to miss the Track of the Day, and I always catch up on them all when I do. I've become a huge fan of (fictional?) Richard "Sunshine Dick" Johnson, host of The Sunshine Show. And I wholeheartedly enjoy keeping up to date with the R3-30, Radio 3's countdown show of each week's top 30 songs.

There are, of course, many more podcasts and shows on Radio 3, but I think you get the idea.

In any case, why don't you check out my current "Playlist of the Moment"... who knows, maybe you'll hear something you like!

Oh, and here's a little music shout-out. These ones have been totally stuck in my head for days, (in some cases MONTHS!)

Artist - Song Title
Dan Mangan - Robots
Dan Mangan - Sold
Arcade Fire - Wake Up
Greg Macpherson - Bankrobber (yes, a cover of a Clash song)
Hannah Georgas - The Beat Stuff
The Waking Eyes - Wolves at the Door

oh, and this new one!
John K. Samson just released a new track called "Heart of the Continent"
Unfortunately, I cannot find a link for it. Yet.



Shine On You Crazy Diamond!

While waiting for the bus today, some dude on a bicycle passed me. He slowed down, nodded, and then, smiling, shouted, "Shine on you crazy diamond!" Either he thought I looked like a member of Pink Floyd, or he just thought I was crazy... Either way, I was forced to stop, reflect, and then laugh out loud. It made my day.

Do I look like Syd Barrett in this hat? I don't think so...

Maybe I look like Nick Mason in his strange hat from the late 60's? I just need some sweet vintage motorcycle goggles!

Regardless, "Welcome to the Machine," friendly passer by!


So much to say...

Well, as Dave Matthews might say, there's "So much to say, so much to say, so much to say, so much to say"...

Since my last post, I've been out to Alberta once again by TRAIN for FREE, done a LOT of hunting for a new apartment, and discovered that my drummer, Ian, is moving to Toronto, thus leaving Business Casual without a Drummer or a Jam Space. I'll also be heading back out to Alberta AGAIN in early September to help my girlfriend move her stuff to Winnipeg, hopefully landing myself a second part time job, and if all goes well, moving into a house that has a basement large enough to double as a Jam Space...

That IS a lot to say! It's also a lot of work to do!

And I intend to spend my down time watching episodes of MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000! ;)


Help My Band Rock the 204!

This year, Power 97 is once again hosting the Rockin' the 204 contest. If you happen to enjoy the music of my band, Business Casual, then please check it out and vote for us!

Many bands made the cut, and now it's up to YOU to stop in, and rate the bands you like on a scale from 1 to 10. Each band has uploaded 3 songs which you can listen to, and get a feel for the bands sound. In case you haven't already, VOTE BUSINESS CASUAL HERE!

PLEASE stop in and help us win! They'll be announcing the first of the top 4 bands on June 15th at the 6 o'Clock Rock Report, and one more each day on the 16th, 17th, and 18th at the same time.

The votes are taken into consideration, so please, help show the Power 97 Jury that Business Casual deserves to win!

Speaking of winning, here's what's up for grabs:
The top four bands in the 204 will receive:
  1. gift certificate from Quest Musique

  2. airplay all summer on Power 97

  3. performance at the Forks Canada Day celebration July 1 at Scotia Bank Stage (remaining three bands)

  4. other great gigs to be announced

  5. a weeks worth of promotion for a gig of the bands choosing
All of this means a lot to any band that's trying to make a name for themselves in Winnipeg, or anywhere for that matter. And there are a lot of great sounding bands in the running this year! Hopefully some of you think Business Casual is one of the best!

We all know that Business Casual has the coolest fans!


New Music for Business Casual

Well, Business Casual has been hard at work! We've recorded 2 of our songs, and re-recorded another. We've entered Power 97,'s Rockin the 204 contest (barring certain issues regarding kbps...). And we're planning to record more of our ready material in short order!

Also, we've a good bakers dozen tracks or so that we think are album worthy, and DEFINITELY gig worthy. So look for us at a venue near you! Two sets of goodness!



One Artist - 10 Songs

I'm using blogger, so I'm unable to "TAG" anyone on this, but check it out if you're interested. I'll share it with people once Facebook auto-loads it as a note.

The instructions for this thing on Facebook go something like this:

"Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions. Pass it on to 10 people including me. Try not to repeat a song title. It's harder than you think."

So here goes, with a few hyperlinks thrown in for good measure! Check out the links, maybe you'll find a song you like!


Pick Your Artist: The Waking Eyes

The Waking eyes

Are you male or female: "Boyz and Girlz"

Describe yourself: "Holding On To Whatever It Is"

How do you feel about yourself: "Run Through the Fire"

Describe where you currently live: "Trouble on the Patio"

If you could go anywhere, where would you go: "Get Me to the Doctor"

Your favourite form of transportation: "On A Train"

Your best friend is: "Keeps Me Coming Back"

Your favourite colour is: "Sunday Morning Blues"

What's the weather like: "Combs for the Clouds"

Favourite time of day: "Anytime"

If your life was a TV show, what would it be called: "Wolves at the Door"

What is life to you: "Takin’ The Hard Way"

What is the best advice you have to give: "All Empires Fall"

If you could change your name, what would it be: "Tegro Vellum"

Your favourite food is: "More Than What You’re Givin"


Cheers everyone! I'll try to put some more "content" in my next post!


Off to Alberta

Well, I'm taking a trip out to Alberta for a few days, and while I'm there, I have a few to-do's.

1. Find out exactly where in Alberta I can find Half Pint's Beer! As we all know, Half Pints brews some of my favourite beer available ANYWHERE. I know they're in Calgary, I wonder if they've picked up on the trend as far south as Lethbridge, where I'll be staying for the majority of my visit.

2. Well, I had hoped to get out and see another Lethbridge Hurricanes game, but it seems the team went and copulated with the canine in their play-off series against the Calgary Hitmen, so I'll be forced to discover other recreational sports related activates. As such, I will be re-exploring the Geocaching Community of Letbrdige Alberta. Hopefully I can find a few interesting Geocoins or Travel-Bugs, and drop off one I've recently found, like this one!. (This of course reminds me that I absolutely HAVE to drop off Snoopy in a Travel Bug Hotel once I get home to Winnipeg!)

3. RELAX! 5 Days without the usual drama of home or work will be greatly appreciated!


5. Guitar Shopping! I have it on good authority that I may be receiving an Acoustic Guitar for my birthday. I've got some ideas in mind... I want it to have some punch, that's for sure. Perhaps a Resonator Guitar would be fun. It would give me a reason to brush up on some open tunings and Bottleneck Slide styles of playing! I've been somewhat inspired by the work of Rocco DeLuca and the Burden, who plays some mean slide resonator through some crazy layers of distortion and f/x pedals! I was first introduced to his work when I watched the film, I Trust You to Kill Me, featuring Rocco DeLuca and Kiefer Sutherland. (I thoroughly enjoyed this film!)

6. Investigate the possibility of escaping to Calgary or Banff for a Weakerthans show... (25 Sat: Calgary, AB - Macewan Hall; 26 Sun: Banff, AB - Wild Bill's) Sunday is probably not going to work, but Saturday might make for a fun little excape if transportation to Calgary can be arranged... ya never know, really.

In any case, I have some laundry to get doing, and some packing, and I still have a rehearsal with Business Casual tonight. Should be some fun times!


I hope I have a good trip! See "y'all" soon!


New Pictures of Business Casual!

If you're interested, I've got some new pics from the gig at the Cavern back in February. I might post some of the ones of myself on my own profile eventually, but for now they're staying up on the Business Casual website.

Check out the slideshow at the bottom of this post! Or, if you can't because you're viewing this as a note on Facebook, than view the album directly on Picasa.

I'll be sure to everyone know as soon as we get around to booking a second gig.



You can never have enough guitars!

Can you ever have too many guitars? Well, of course not! But can I AFFORD another guitar?

Well, I was looking at all the guitars in my basement, and started to wonder if I should consider adding another full sized acoustic steel string to the collection...

Well, my travel sized acoustic is too small and buzzy for large rooms, live shows, or recording... and I would like to have the option of recording some acoustic tracks, or bring a proper guitar out to campfires and parties. The travel one is a great little beat around guitar. It's perfect for camping or road trips, when you know you're tight for space, and you don't want to really worry about damaging a more expensive guitar... but in the end, that's just what it is: a cheap little guitar. And of course, a full sized guitar would have better tone, resonance, and volume...

At this point, I'm forced to kick myself back into reality, and acknowledge that I spent all my "fun money" for the month on hockey equipment, and should probably put a new guitar on hold for a while.


In the mean time, I've got a lot to work with. ;)



Seeking: Hockey Pads - Help me out!

Hi there everyone!

I'm in need of some assistance, if you please.

I've been playing a little hockey on the Weekends (poorly, granted. regardless...), and I'm in need of some used hockey pads so I can have pucks whizzed at me at high speeds without fear of major injuries... or, as much fear...

In any case, the following items are required, in order of priority:

#1 - Hockey Pants - Needed most of all, I don't have access to any to borrow.

#2 - Shin Guards - I might have access to borrow these, but having my own would be great.

#3 - Shoulder Pads - as per #2

#4 - Elbow Pads - as per #2

Other items, such as the helmet and mouth guard, I will be purchasing new, for obvious reasons. Though if you have a lightly to not used helmet that fits, what the hell, maybe I'll take it off your hands for slightly less than retail.

I already own skates, sticks, gloves, jerseys, and socks.

Bonus given to Jets coloured (70's, 80's or 90's) equipment! Otherwise, black pants will work fine with my Lorette scorpions jersey and socks. lol.

Cheers, and thanks in advance for all the help that I just KNOW is going to rush in!