Here is the link to an article I published last fall in Backpacking Light on the subject of “Natural Navigation.” It’s based on my experiences in the Catskills, where several of the peaks have no trails, requiring you to “bushwhack” through the forest
On May 27, 2019 I completed a slow-paced trail run in the Catskills, which incidentally marked my 4,000th mile of barefoot training. I reported previously on the 3,000th, 2,000th, and 1,000th miles, and this post is my latest update on what has turned out to be a fascinating journey.
The story of the last thousand miles is a return to running, after a series of injuries in 2016-2017 that limited me mostly to hiking, and then a gradual recovery in 2018. But the main theme is getting better, and slightly faster, especially on rocky trails. And what fun it is to get better!
A beautiful late spring morning for a 20-miler along the Hudson River, and here are some of the sights and sounds….
I’m still a relative newcomer to barefoot running, having started the practice four years ago, a short period of time when compared to forty years running in shoes.
Over the last twelve months I’ve started racing barefoot at distances ranging from 5k to 1/2 marathon, almost ten events, and each one a memorable experience not only on account of the variety of surfaces, but also because of the reactions of my fellow participants.
On March 17th, I woke up at 5:38 AM, a few minutes before the alarm was set to ring…
Apologies to anyone who might be following this blog, I haven’t had time to post in a few months, having started a new job recently. The work is interesting, my new colleagues friendly, and it’s exciting to have the chance to make a difference. As an aside, the job requires frequent travel to Dallas, which is a change of pace from the Hudson Valley and a nice place to spend some time in the winter. True, there have been a few cold days with rainy gray skies and temperatures in the 30s (perfect hypothermia conditions if you were wandering around outside), and sometimes the northern wind comes howling across the flat open prairie so hard it might knock you over. But a few days later, the sun’s back out, the winds have calmed, and the temperature’s soaring into the 70s. And the next morning I’m surprised when the car thermometer reads 24 F…
On November 22, 2018 I completed the Art Van Turkey Trot Chicago 5-mile race, coming in 3rd out of 70 in my age group and 119 out of 2180 overall. My son Philip finished #8 in his age group and my wife Sue, who ran the 5k, finished #6 in her age group.
Two small successes: a decent performance on my part, and seeing family members running too. Successes so small as to be practically meaningless. Each of our runs accounting for little more than 30 minutes of effort. Yet it occurs to me if a person could achieve small successes on a regular basis — a successful race, or contributing something small to a big project at work, or making some little observation that helped a friend or family member, or spending time on a community project — such tiny little successes could add up over time to a productive life and a permanent positive impact on the world. . . .
With twenty-nine ascents remaining in the Grid, it’s time to bring this aircraft in for landing…