Running to not Grow Old

January 2009

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Member Since:

Nov 13, 2009



Goal Type:


Running Accomplishments:

St George Marathon 2008 = 3:05

Boston Marathon 2009 = 3:07

Seattle Rock and Roll Marathon 2010 = 3:07 (in Five Fingers Bikilas)

1500 meters this summer = 4:36

Ran 30 miles on my 30th birthday (Feb 7 2010)

Short-Term Running Goals:

Break 3 hours in the marathon

Run a trail ultra

 Find a way to run high mileage without injuring myself. My current theory is that transitioning out of my super-cushioned shoes into more minimalist shoes or bare feet will help improve my form and make this possible.

Long-Term Running Goals:

Run a 100 mile race.


I am happily married to Jenni. We have three energetic little boys who also enjoy to run. Jenni and I are both going to try learning how to run without shoes this year.

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Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 0.00 Year: 0.00
Barefoot Lifetime Miles: 11.00
FiveFingers Lifetime Miles: 118.00
New Balance 790 Lifetime Miles: 128.00
Inov 8 Roclite 295 Lifetime Miles: 3.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Barefoot Miles: 2.00FiveFingers Miles: 53.50
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ran 5 miles on my standard waterfront route with group from work. Unfortunately I had to wear shoes because my five fingers won't arrive until tomorrow (REI here was sold out - very popular in Seattle right now)

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

5.0 miles: Ran my usual waterfront route at lunchtime. Nice easy pace. Felt great except for pain in my right arch which has been bothering me on and off for a ling time.

 2.0 miles: When I got home from work my Vibram Five Fingers had arrived so I went on another run to test them out (I didn't have time to go out until about 10:00 pm). It felt great. I felt like a ninja.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

I took off this morning in my five fingers with the goal of doing a 5 mile out and back, but then chickened out when my calves started burning a little, and cut it short. The rest of the day they weren't that sore, so I think I could have done the full five. I love the new shoes, I feel like I run a lot smoother.

From Aaron on Sun, Nov 15, 2009 at 00:22:25 from

Word up Amigo! I like your short-term goal so much that I'm adopting it as my own! Except that my birthday is 16 days later.

If it weren't for that and the fact that we live 20 hours apart I'd say we should run it together.

I agree with you on how smooth it feels. My knees and back are loving me for making the switch.

From Kelli on Sun, Nov 15, 2009 at 10:25:13 from

Okay, you must live somewhere warm to be out in those things this time of year! Good luck with the barefoot running, I will be curious to see how it goes!

Your short term goals are awesome! I am sure you can break that 3 hour mark very soon. Enjoy the 30 miles on your birthday! I am going to wait until I am 50 to run my age.

From Nan Kennard on Sun, Nov 15, 2009 at 11:16:55 from

Hey Danny welcome to the blog! I love your goals and you have some great accomplishments too! Did you train specifically for that fast 1500 M this summer, or you just went out and did it? You have some serious leg speed!

You've gotta get Jenni logging her miles on here too.

From Danny on Sun, Nov 15, 2009 at 23:03:42 from

Thanks Nan. I didn't train too seriously for the 1500, but I did throw a few evening speed workouts into my usual routine. I decided to do the shorter track races because Boston spanked me pretty good in April and I decided to take a break from the long runs. I'm sure it won't spank you, though. Good luck!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Monday's run was an easy two miles on my usual waterfront route downtown Seattle. I ran with a friend who also ran in FiveFingers. It felt great, but my calves were still pretty tight, so we held it to two miles. Man, I learned that people are very passionate about the fact that your feet need supportive shoes. I got several comments as I ran through downtown, and the best was in the elevator on the way up to the showers. One guy asked if I really was running in those weird shoes, and when I said yes, he went off on why that's not a smart thing to do. Something about feet not designed to run on pavement. Anyway, it definitely makes the lunchtime runs more interesting.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Another easy run on the waterfront. I went four miles in FiveFingers at about a 7:30 pace, and it felt great. My calves loosened up and I focused a lot on using good form and fast cadence. I think it made a difference and I enjoyed the whole run. My calves are still pretty tight tonight, though, so I might give them a day off. I'm not sure if that will mean resting or running in shoes to take the pressure off the calves. The only problem is that running in my big-heel shoes sounds so clunky after the ninja-like experience I've been having in FiveFingers.

From Aaron Kennard on Wed, Nov 18, 2009 at 17:19:26 from

Glad to hear the cadence helped your calves. When I started I had a hard time knowing how far I should let my heel down, but when I changed to a cadence of 200+ steps per minute, my steps just flattened out naturally on their own and it relieved the pressure off my calves and feet.

Don't be surprised if your next sore spot is your ham's and inner thighs from increasing the cadence. That's where I was feeling it yesterday. I think its a good thing though, because it says that the form is using a greater balance of the legs muscles, rather than too much pressure on just one part. Also, if the bigger upper muscles are doing more work, it seems like that would lead to more efficiency in the long run.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

I didn't have time to go running until after the kids were in bed, so I headed out around 9:00 pm. Some kind of warm weather front had blown in, so it was 56 degrees. Ahh, coastal living. I wanted to work on my form, so I ran down the hill to an outdoor synthetic track, took off my FiveFingers (ff's from now on), and ran around the track barefoot. I did 5 laps and it felt really good. I think I learned a lot. I went to put my ff's back on, put my foot was still sore from where they rubbed me the other day. So I just ran the mile home barefoot. It felt really good and I noticed the subtle differences in my form. I think spending some time barefoot will definitely help the transition.

Barefoot Miles: 2.00FiveFingers Miles: 1.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

I ran the whole waterfront 5 mile route in my FiveFingers! This was the furthest I've gone yet in them, but I'm gaining a lot of confidence. My calves were not nearly as sore, I think that focusing on adjusting my form really helped. I still have some issues with rubbing under my right arch, but a band-aid helped. Also, my right arch is a little sore after the run, but I don't attribute that to barefooting. It has bothered me for a long time, and my diagnosis is plantar fascia stress probably caused by those darn shoes I used to wear! Barefooting isn't making the pain magically go away, but it isn't any worse, and I have hope that in the long run my arches will be healthier for it. 

FiveFingers Miles: 5.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Today I decided to do some trail time. I only had an hour available this morning, so I met a friend at the entrance to Discovery Park near our house, which has quite an awesome network of dirt trails to run. I didn't time it and the four miles is a rough estimate of how far we went, but what I do know for sure is that it was great fun. I really liked doing the dirt trails in FiveFingers, it was a nice change from the paved trails. Makes me want to do a trail race soon...

FiveFingers Miles: 4.00
From Aaron Kennard on Sat, Nov 21, 2009 at 23:04:37 from

Nice! I thought you had quit running after your last discouraged sounding email and no posts for a few days. Just kidding. I'm glad you're breaking through though. Today I experienced some mild chaffing in the arch of my right foot with the ff's. Nothing major, but a small blister formed which was annoying. I think it was because I was doing fast repeats and turning a lot on the dinky indoor track. Outdoors (and on trails) is the best way to go. I really like crusing on dirt trails in the ff's.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Ouch! I think I just sustained my first barefoot running injury. I felt a little twinge in my right foot when I ran on Saturday, but didn't think too much of it. I attributed it to altering my step slightly to take stress off a blister on my arch. Today I ran 5 miles on the waterfront and I started off with some tightness in the tendons near the front of that foot. I did the run at a semi-brisk pace, 7:20 per mile, and by the end I was feeling pain in the foot everytime it hit the ground. Now I can barely walk on it. I will ice it and take a couple days off, and then ease back onto it. Hopefully it's just a minor setback.

FiveFingers Miles: 5.00
From Aaron Kennard on Tue, Nov 24, 2009 at 01:14:57 from

Bummer. I have experienced some tendon/muscle pains in both of my feet in the last few weeks. Taking a day off of running has helped them go away quickly. Also, focusing on lifting my whole foot and not pushing off my feet and running lighter I noticed less pain in my feet. Even still though, I've noticed in the mornings my forefeet have been kind of stiff and they take a few minutes to feel comfortable. I think it will pass as the muscles and tendons get conditioned.

From Aaron Kennard on Tue, Dec 01, 2009 at 14:03:55 from

So how's your foot doing, are you able to run again without pain?

From Danny on Tue, Dec 01, 2009 at 22:06:44 from

I'm getting back on it after resting over the Thanksgiving break. My foot is still a little tender, so I'm doing my main mileage in shoes, and planning to slowly ease the barefooting back in.

From Aaron Kennard on Wed, Dec 02, 2009 at 18:39:35 from

That's a bummer that its not going away that fast. You'll break through it I'm sure. I've been doing longer runs lately, and then usually taking a day off to recover and it has been going well so far. I've also been seeing a massage therapist once per week who specializes in something called push therapy, and I think that has definitely helped my feet and legs adjust faster than they would have without it. I was going to her for some back pain I was having but that was resolved and the focus shifted to my feet and legs during the transition.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Easy trail run in shoes. My foot feels fine as long as I'm back in my old running shoes, but still feels tender when I barefoot.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

5 miles on waterfront route wearing shoes. 7:20 average pace. I don't feel the tendon pain when wearing my shoes, but the arch pain that I had previously returns. My plan is to ease back out of my shoes slowly so that my foot can continue to heal/strengthen.


Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

2 miles today on waterfront trail. This was my first attempt out of shoes since the injury, and it still was kind of tender. I think that I really pounded too hard on the Seattle pavement with weak feet. So, I'm planning to take a step back and run in shoes until there is no more pain in that foot. 

FiveFingers Miles: 2.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

8 miles at 7:30 average pace on the waterfront path today. I started out to do 5, but it was a beautiful sunny 48 degree days, and so I just kept going. My shoes seem to keep my forefoot from moving much while I run, because my injured foot was not a problem. Hey, if I can run while my foot recovers, great!

From Aaron Kennard on Sat, Dec 05, 2009 at 10:03:21 from

That's cool that you could get a longer run in. Have you noticed your form changed (for the better) when running in shoes?

From Danny on Sat, Dec 05, 2009 at 23:19:55 from

Yes, I definitely feel like my form has improved due to my barefooting exercises. One problem though is that it's easy to slip back into sloppy form when wearing shoes. Unfortunately I'm feeling like I will have to do my "30 miles for 30 years run" with shoes, since I don't think I can ramp up my mileage and transition to barefooting at the same time. I think I need to slowly work my weak feet out of the shoes. (At least that's how I'm feeling about it today.)

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

I decided today to do some running in my five fingers on a dirt track near my house. My hope was that by running on a softer surface in a more controlled environment, and without the pressure of my shoe-wearing peers I usually run with during the week, that I could control my form enough to run without pain in my right foot. I went slower than I usually do, about 8:30 mile pace, for four miles around the track, with about a half mile run from my house to the track. I loved it, and it felt pretty good in general at the time, but my foot has been sore again all day since the run.

This is pretty frustrating. Is it possible that my right foot is just whacked and needs the support of shoes to run successfully? I kind of doubt that. But I am planning to run most of the time in shoes for a while, as I ramp my mileage up in preparation for my 30 mile run on my birthday. If I back off the barefooting and then slowly ease back into it, maybe I can strengthen my feet enough to avoid a similar injury and make a full transition. 

FiveFingers Miles: 5.00
From Kelli on Sun, Dec 06, 2009 at 00:43:08 from

What is your foot injury?? Those can be buggers to get rid of, sorry you are still dealing with it!

So did you feel every rock and pebble or are those things pretty well cushioned?

From Danny on Sun, Dec 06, 2009 at 11:07:38 from

Hi Kelli. The injury is near the front of my right foot, and the pain extends out into the second and third toes. I'm self-diagnosing it as some strained tendons from pushing too hard too soon on hard ground. The five fingers aren't that cushioned, but the little rocks don't bother me. It's actually really comfortable.

From Kelli on Sun, Dec 06, 2009 at 17:43:15 from

I am sorry about the foot. I had a foot injury all summer and it was a pain in the butt! Some pains you can run through, but the foot is too important for running!

HEAL soon!!!

From Aaron Kennard on Mon, Dec 07, 2009 at 22:32:17 from

I can't tell if your pain is the same as what I have and continue to experience, but I bet it is. I think you should keep running barefoot or in VFFs and just add to it little by little. For example, do a couple days in shoes, then run a day in the FiveFingers. Here is a trick I learned from my massage therapist that continues to work wonders for me, but its going to be hard to explain in writing. I find the tender spots in my foot, and almost invariably I notice little bumps as I find the tender spots on top and the the side of my feet with my fingers. I put pressure with my finger on the spots where I can feel the bumps (which are adhesions). Then I move my toes and feet around. It causes me pain. But by breaking up the adhesions, my overall foot pain has gone away almost immediately in some cases. In other cases it has taken a couple days for my feet to recover. But once they recover they feel great and I feel like they are stronger. After my saturday run, my feet felt fine, but the last two mornings they were really stiff. I could tell I needed to give them rest so I didn't run sunday or today either. For me I am constantly paying attention to little pains and trying to listen to what my body is telling me. But working out the adhesions through pressure pointing them I believe has aided recovery quite a bit. (sorry for the novel length comment...hope it helps)

From Danny on Wed, Dec 09, 2009 at 23:59:25 from

Thanks for the advice Aaron. My feet are actually starting to feel a lot better, so I'm going to try slowly working in my five fingers again. I'll just go slower and less mileage for a while in them.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

5 miles easy on my downtown waterfront route during lunch. I got really busy at work the last couple of days and missed my runs. I think was actually a victory however as my foot is feeling much better, and probably needed the days off. The run felt great today despite the frigid (27 degree) temperature.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Another 5 miles during lunch. Beautiful sunny day. Not much else interesting to write about.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

Today I put a theory to the test: my foot injury occurred because I ran too fast with a crowd of shoe-wearers, which caused my form to get sloppy. If I ran slowly and focused on using good form, then doing a long run in my fivefingers would be ok, even though I'm kind of still recovering.

 I decided this was sound logic, and against Jenni's urgings not to, I took off for a long run in my fivefingers. I started off with 3.5 miles around the top of Queen Anne hill. My foot was a little stiff to start out, but it loosened up and actually felt better after a few miles. I stayed right at an 8:00 pace, which allowed me to focus on using good form. I was feeling great at this point, but I didn't want to push it, so I ran down to a dirt track and did 4 miles on the track. I figured this would be a little easier on the feet than the pavement. I still felt great after that, so I kept going and did another 3 miles around the hill.

This run really felt like a breakthrough for me. Lessons learned: don't try to go too fast before you've learned good form, and sometimes running can work the kinks out of a sore foot. I am actually writing this entry the day after, and my foot feels better than it has in weeks. So, needless to say I am very excited once again about my fivefingers.

FiveFingers Miles: 10.00
From Aaron Kennard on Sun, Dec 13, 2009 at 20:01:45 from

Nice!! That's awesome Danny. I'm glad to hear about the breakthrough, that has to be motivating. And 8 min pace is great for the time being, especially for 10 miles. I noticed that I have had to keep my pace overall slower since starting to run barefoot and in ff's in order to stay feeling good. The past couple days I have had slight stiffness in the feet like that and it felt good to warm up for a couple miles really slow, like 9 min pace. Good job breaking through!

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

I ran 5 miles easy today during lunch. This was my first run since my foot injury on my downtown route. I was super cautious because when I run with my friends at work it's hard to run slowly. But I managed to convince two guys to run at about an 8:20 pace with me, and it felt pretty good. I can't wait until I strengthen my feet and learn the form enough to run fast, confidently, in the ff's. 


FiveFingers Miles: 5.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

So, GREAT run on Wednesday! First some background. I watched video on You-Tube the night before of Abebe Bikila winning the 1960 Rome marathon barefoot for inspiration. I've been trying to figure out if running in minimalist shoes will limit me to running slowly, because if so then it might not be worth the hard work for me. So I watched Bikila run because he was running sub-5 minute miles barefoot, so it must be possible to go fast with barefeet. I noticed that he looked super smooth, and not at all like he was shuffling or running with form that was dramatically different than the other runners. 

I headed out during lunch at work to do 5 miles. I tried to relax and run at a more natural pace for me. I felt like I was able to maintain the key points of my good form, fast cadence and engaging the whole foot, while loosening up my form and running a little more naturally at the same time.  It felt really good and I ended up doing the 5 miles at 7:38 pace. My feet felt great, in fact I think better than any previous run. To add to the fun it was raining and windy on the way back, and me and my friends were drafting off each other to break the wind. That added a fun element of excitement to it. I was on a high the rest of the day, and couldn't believe that my feet felt so good!


FiveFingers Miles: 5.00
From Aaron Kennard on Fri, Dec 18, 2009 at 14:42:39 from

Nice job! That's great to hear your feet are feeling better.

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance

So, this run really hurt. I ran with a friend, and for some reason this always seems to throw my form off. It was also rainy, so my feet got wet, and this led to several blisters that bled through the ff's (I'll attach photo when I figure out how :). I was planning on going 14, but cut it short. Man, tough learning curve, I guess.


FiveFingers Miles: 11.50
From Aaron Kennard on Mon, Dec 21, 2009 at 20:10:11 from

Ouch. Blisters suck. That's weird that the water would give them to you. I have run with wet FF's a few different times, last saturday was wet and muddy the whole time, and I never got blisters from it. I wonder what the difference is? The times I have had issues are on treadmills or around a track with them.

You can use to host images and then its just posting the url in the insert image link in the blog posting. (although I'm not sure that I really want to see them!)

Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
Barefoot Miles: 2.00FiveFingers Miles: 53.50
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