Very important disclaimer

Please be advised that the contents of this blog are opinions only (my opinion, the opinions of my family and the opinions of anyone else directly or indirectly involed in this blog). This is not an accredited training blog, nor is it an accredited anything blog. If you (and you) do anything that this blog says, or don't do anything that this site says not to do, and you get injured, sick or killed, you cannot blame me or my family or blame anyone else directly or indirectly involved in this blog. By reading anything on this blog (including this message) you are saying that you are a person who makes thier own choices in life and does not hold the writer of this blog, the writers family or any one else that may be directly or indirectly involved in the production or writing of this blog, responsible for your stupid and irresponsible behaviors, injuries, sicknesses or deaths. With that said, please enjoy my fun blog.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Preview to the report

Just thought I’d give you a little taste of Martins Run today. I’ll have a full report and a full length motion picture in the next couple days.

It was inspiring, to say the least.

Crisp day with windchills approaching –25c. Brrr.

 IMG_8946 IMG_8947

Here is Martin finishing his penultimate lap. 2.5k to go and his very long year of running is over… I joked that he should stop, turn to the crowd and say:

I’m pretty tired, I think I’ll go home now…


At the finish. the charity is Right to Play and it’s for kids all around the world. Martin in his ever so coolness, invited all the kids running today to cross the finish line with him.


Do you see it below? The little green camera!!! *WoOt* Made our National Newspaper! HAh!

Little Green Camera 1

And I posted the interview. You can get a pretty good idea at the persona of this guy from the video. Just cool.

Yep, just cool! HAHA!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Just stuff

First of all. If you don’t blog for a while, don’t make your first blog back one about how it’s been so long since you blogged. Just let us know what’s up and pick up where you left off. And don’t feel bad if you miss some blogging time. I like reading your blogs, like you like reading mine (I assume/hope/think), and if you can’t get to the computer for a while, then that’s ok. Obviously something else in your life has taken priority. Good.

Second. I am running with Martin tomorrow! Yeah! Go back a post and read all about it!

Third. We made these tonight. Yaaaaaah-UM


IMG_8933IMG_8937  IMG_8934 IMG_8935 IMG_8936

And this. There should be a song written for how good my first real shot at Vietnamese cooking turned out!


Fourth. please check here to see if you won a prize, I think only 2 have been claimed so far…

Fifth. I plowed snow last night. I downloaded a pile of podcasts to listen to, including Adam’s from the Boring Runner. They were quite good! Check ‘em out at Itunes. (search The Boring Runner).


Seventh. Goodnight.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

250 Marathons in 1 Calendar Year

Sound crazy? Yeah, it sure is!

Martin is 3 Marathons away from completing this crazy task. He has battled bad weather, angry dogs, and injuries, as well as his own thoughts of “maybe I am crazy”, but he is right now 3 days away from completing his quest.

Here is Martin and his DW Sue at the Last Chance Half on Nov 14th. Marathon 216. He ran 7k before the race, then ran the race, then came in and ate a HUGE plate of pancakes and all the sides, then went back out and ran another 14kms…


The quest is actually called Marathon Quest 250. He ran all these runs for the kids. It’s true. Right to Play is the benefactor of all Martins Craziness. Every $50.00 he raises allows a kid somewhere in the world to be involved in organized sports programs for 1 year.

What’s Martin like you ask? Maybe he is a crazy ‘A’ type guy that is looking for the spotlight, or he is actually crazy and can’t help himself, but neither describe him very well. Here is my take on the guy:

  • He is a family man. (in August, he had to schedule 5 marathons while on the road to his Daughters Wedding in Ontario).
  • He is an Athlete (He has an impressive resume of running and endurance achievement prior to embarking on this quest and he re-qualified for Boston in the 2010 Victoria Marathon back on October 10th, his 188th Marathon run of the year).
  • He is a philanthropist (he took off an entire year of work for this quest).
  • He is a comedian (spend some time going back through his daily blog and you’ll see what I mean).
  • He is a down to earth nice guy (I can personally vouch for this. I have enjoyed meeting him, and the fact that he always has a smile and a compliment for every person you meet just goes to prove that he is one of those people you want to chat with whenever he is in the same room with you).
  • He is perseverant. (He ran at one school this year where the route that he had to use was a 100 meter strip of pavement. Imagine 422 trips up and down the same 100meter track for 5-6 hours).

Martin ran Marathon 84 with our group back in May. I was very lucky to be able to run 18 awesome Kms with him on this day. 

Martin SikomeIMG_1023  CIMG0155

On Friday December 31st he is running his final marathon in Cochrane Alberta Canada. I am going to be there! I will run some loops with him, as he has selected a 3.2km loop so that anyone can join in at anytime and witness history being made. I have no idea how much I will run but there is one thing for sure: I will have my little green camera with me.

Here are all the details you need to know about the event on Friday…

Here is Martin’s Facebook page …

Here is the link to my blog post from marathon #84 that he ran with us back in May.

Here is the link to Right to Play, the incredible organization that is the benefactor of Martins Quest.

Retweet this:

RT @MQ250 Martin Parnell Runs His FINAL Marathon of 2010 - Number 250 -

And most importantly here is where to donate. If you don’t have the means, please forward this on to your friends, families, colleagues', your HR and Executives of your employers and bosses…


Now, you wanna hear something cool?

Martin has granted me an ‘On the run’ interview. I get to quiz him about all things running, endurance and whatever else comes up, and I get to produce a video so you can find out more of this crazy and amazing man! You may get to play too! Please go look around Martin’s site, then come back here and submit a question that you would like Martin to answer. I may use your question in the interview.

Just to whet your appetite and peak your curiosity: He has ran 10,423.4km (6,471.4ml) and has ate 2,172,000 calories to sustain himself during this quest. (avg 6000/day). He has used up 25 pairs of shoes. He qualified for Boston in one of his ‘official’ races. He tested all 60 flavours of Ice Cream in his Quest within a Quest at Famous McKays Ice Cream in Cochrane. He ran at 60 Schools to raise awareness for the Kids that benefit from Right to Play, to the kids of Calgary and area.

What do you think? It sounds like he’ll be on CNN on Friday, and all sorts of other media, so keep your eyes and ears open for the guy named Martin the Marathon Man. Kinda makes Dean Karnazes seem like a regular runner, doesn’t it? (No offense Dean, I am a fan)

Seeyou on Friday in Cochrane!

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Good News! I have Heel Spurs or something very similar… Yay!

Heel Spurs

A common side effect and potential cause of heel pain is the heel spur, a bony growth on the underside of the heel where the Achilles and/or the Plantar tendons connect. The spur, which is most often found in X-rays taken for other symptoms (my case), appears as a bony protrusion that can extend forward as much as half an inch. This calcium deposit is the result of the body attemption to cope with the load and stress that the site is subjected too. When there is no indication of bone enlargement, the condition is sometimes referred to as "heel spur syndrome."

Heel spurs result from strain on the muscles and ligaments of the foot, by stretching of the long band of tissue that connects the heel and the ball of the foot, and by repeated tearing away of the lining or membrane that covers the heel bone. These conditions may be the result of:

  • biomechanical imbalance
  • running or jogging
  • improperly fitted or worn-out shoes
  • obesity
There is a 'chicken or the egg' situation regarding heel spurs. Heel spurs appear to the result of the body attempting to adapt to the stress of the foot. Simultaneously, they may also be the source of additional pain in the heel.

Historically, some doctors attempted to treat the heel pain by removing the heel spur. Some surgeon's believe that theis is only treating the symptom of the injury. Some patients to receive positive results.

I have that, Heel spur I mean. It’s actually not a heel spur in the common sense, as it’s right on the very bottom of the heel, not at the front or back/top of the heel, but for the purposes of this explanation, it’s close enough.

The reason I have the spurs is because I was obese and then when I first started running, I ran with a wicked heel strike. There were points in my training when I couldn’t actually walk down a set of stairs, and I chalked the whole deal up to Plantar Fasciitis. I was wrong.

Did you know the Achilles tendon connects almost all the way on the very bottom of your heel? I didn’t. Now I do. Right at that point where this awesome tendon connects is where I have developed these spurs. Over a LONG time of being overweight and undertall I had been wrecking my heels. THEN when I started running I sped the whole process up. 

What does this mean? Well, I will have a heel spur forever, or until it needs to be surgically removed. I hope it doesn’t get so bad that I need surgery (I am a LONG way away from that). It also means I will have some level of discomfort no matter what I do. This isn’t something you can roll out or stretch. It is there. Even when I work my foot on my little rolly pokey ball, I can feel the bumps in each heel, and I have always tried hard to get it to release, never understanding why it wouldn’t budge.

I blamed the whole painful deal, after I started running ,on my shoes/ Orthotics/ different shoes. They weren’t the culprit. I was. More specifically my running style was. I was misinformed/made assumptions about a long stride that only led to the very quick and very painful inflammation of the area directly affected by the Spur. The Achilles/ Plantar and the bottom of the heel.

I went to the Doctor a couple weeks ago for a completely different injury that has healed now due to just resting (Yay). On the X-ray was this heel spur. After explaining everything to me he said to keep running. He also said that if I want to ‘run around like a monkey’ –his words- that is fine too, and that it will probably slow the growth of this spur being I am not running on my heels.

Cool huh?

What it comes down to is: The day I took my shoes off and went for a run was a vey good day for me. This decision has allowed me to run relatively pain free (I will always have some pain, the condition is not reversible, and I walk on my heels like most people, even barefooters tend to walk on their heels). I chose to go running barefoot for lots of reasons, the least of not which is the promise of less pain and injuries. What I didn’t know was happening while barefoot running was ever step I took I was extending my running career, not shortening it.

The key piece for me in the whole discovery process is it’s not about barefooting, but it’s about health and running style. Health, because If I wasn’t so obese for so long, I never would have the problem (most likely cause) and Running style, because if I had been taught, or adopted a forefoot strike, I may have avoided the whole mess to begin with, and only had mild pain from time to time (more stretching has helped for sure too!)

Truthfully I am happy my path has led me to barefoot running. There is a LOT of coolness in my my life because of it and it is a big part of my motivation (Can I really do this barefoot?) I have stated that it is just running now, not barefoot running. As far as the basic act of running, this is true, but for the whole Idea of barefoot running, it has changed my entire outlook on running and, really, life in general. I have simplified my running, my thinking and my whole world. This practice of simplifying has a long way to go in my life and I am looking forward to exploring it more.

Thanks Barefoot Running!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

As the boy says: “A nice day”

Started by taking my Dad’s German Sheppard to the Kennel as they left on an Epic 4 day 2600km journey to BC to visit family. Got back from that and decided to head out for some Geocaching.

We pointed the Geo-mobile toward the mountains with no agenda or purpose. We found the first one in Priddis. I was able to finally dump off the Travel Bug that Gene sent me. Sorry it took so long Gene, life you know. Let me know what the bug deets are so I can log it properly.

 IMG_8782 IMG_8783

We were planning on heading toward Cochrane, just because we haven’t been out there in a while, but with the amazingly nice day (+5c) we went to Elbow Falls instead. Good Choice. It was beautiful out there. (never been in the winter)

I’ll let the pics speak for me…

IMG_8787 IMG_8799 IMG_8803 IMG_8812 IMG_8815 IMG_8838 IMG_8846

After the falls, we went followed a cache right into Bragg Creek and on the way we passed this vista that I had to stop and photog… Cool hey. That is someones house.


We found the Cache right in town. See it there?


Smallest chache I have ever seen. Cool. see it in my left hand? You gotta keep your eyes open for these things…


After that is was time for a coffee at a local establishment. Yum!


We decided to shut it down after that and head home, but Andrew wanted to try another, and we ended up in the Costco parking lot in south Calgary for an unsuccseful locate. We thought Costco was closed because there were no cars in the lot, but we did see a couple people going in and out, so we went in.

Surreal is what I would call this.

costco empty

Isn’t that weird? Costco! Empty…

We got home, ate, then i got a 4k easy with run with Run Buddy Dan. Thanks Dan, I needed that!  Oh yeah, check out the Run Real shirt from Skora! Very exclusive as these were the shirts they featured at the New York Barefoot Run back in Oct . Notice the Vibrams WITHOUT Injinjis today. It was windy, but warm out (above freezing by a degree or two)


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day

Hey, make sure you look back at the last post to see if you are a winner… there are 7 of them!

Marry Christmas to you and yours! Take the day off, and spend it with your family.Because the team here at Barefoot Neil Z said so!

IMG_8742IMG_8762 IMG_8723  IMG_8744 IMG_8755 IMG_8757

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas! And winners!

We drove around and looked at Christmas lights tonight. This is the winner.


See right in the middle. A countdown clock for Christmas….

Ok, I have a number of things to give away.

First is the Canadian only GU Sample pack. 27 entries total

image image Jen!

Second is the Everyone GU Sample Pack. 74 entries total

image image Stacie!

Third is a Cool Kids Run Club Tech Shirt. 74 entries total

image image Jesse!

Now I am going give away the stuff I promised for helping me choose my Marathon Training plan!

I had 20 people leave me really good advice.


Since I never took anyones advice, but went with Scott’s program instead, I will random draw all the items.

So, 6 pack of Island Nectar GU Roctane goes to:

image Andrew O

A Cool Kids Run Club Shirt goes to:

A 6 pack of Pinapple Roctane GU goes to:

image Susan W

A 6 pack of Island Nectar GU Roctane goes to:


And finally a Cool Kids Run Club Tech shirt goes to:

 imageMama Runs Barefoot!

Congrats to the winners, please get back to me with your mailing addresses and I’ll get all this stuff out asap!

Merry Christmas to everyone!