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First Impressions: Screw Shoes

Yesterday it snowed.  It snowed about 20cm and when I went out the snow was fresh and deep.  "Yes!  This is my chance to try out my new screw shoes" I thought. I put them on and took them out for a test.  I ran 8 km through the fresh snow and this is what I found.  They didn't help much.  When running on that much fresh snow, the snow compacts under your foot and the screws never reach the packed snow and ice underneath.  So if you are over the ice you still slip because the screws can't reach the ice to get a grip.  Also, I found that I could really feel the screws that were placed around where the inside ball of my foot is in the shoe.

Today I ran 8km over rough frozen chunky ground and really FELT the screws in my shoes on several occasions! Ouch!  I had some other words too that came involuntarily out of my mouth.  Words that I'm too shy to put here. Psychologically, it was not good to run with the worry of being stuck!  Whenever I stepped on a chunk of ice, the chunk would push that screw and the shoe would compress enough right there to give me a little prick.  I will have to rethink the placement of the screws around the ball of my foot or take them out right there.  I might also take all the screws out and put them in a pair of shoes with a thicker front.

Diet wise I am holding at around 73 kg I think. I still want to get down to 70 kg but I realize that will be difficult this time of year.  I am happy that I am holding.   We have been staying at my in-laws for two weeks now and I haven't been able to get on my scale at home but my mother in-law's scale said I was at 72.5 yesterday.  My goal for December is to run 200 km for the month and 160 km by Christmas.  I think I will need to do some longer runs to reach my goal.  I am at 95.77 km for the month right now and I have 9 days left till Christmas.  If I run at least 8 km a day I'll reach my goal but I can imagine that there will be a day or two when I can't run.  If it was easier to take care of laundry then I could sneak in some runs here and there but.... no... actually I probably should use that time to get what needs to be done, done.

Oh well, if you want to try to make some screw shoes yourself, check out Matt Carpenter's skyrunner.com page on the subject and as he says "happy screwing and running:-)"

The Screw Shoe: the best way to run on packed snow and ice.

Thought for the day:
The conscious brain can only hold one thought at a time. Choose a positive thought.


Winter Running Ready

I thought about this all winter last year but didn't do anything about it. However this year I decided to get my old shoes winter ready. Actually, until last year, I had never slipped and fallen during a run. Living out in the country the roads really don't get that bad. However, since I had an old pair of shoes at the end of their life anyway, I thought I try it out this year. What am I talking about? Making a pair of screw shoes.

I first came across the idea when searching about winter running and was eventually led to Mat Carpenter's page, The Screw Shoe: the best way to run on packed snow and ice! on the topic.

It looked simple enough. I didn't have an electric drill but I was sure I could borrow one from someone. And the screws I could just pick up down at the hardware store, right? Wrong! I'm living in Japan and I don't know if this is a Japan wide thing but the type of screws that would work best for this project are not very popular here. Almost all the screws here are flat headed plus or minus (philips or flathead) type screws. Some stores had none and some had just a few that were too big. The big stores though, had screw shoe sets for sale! They had 9 mm sheet metal type screws being sold in packets of 6 for about 300 yen! This was clearly too expensive considering the high possibility that they will fall out of the shoe and end up flattening someone's bicycle tire somewhere.

I was finally able to get one store to order me some screws of the size that I wanted, 10 mm. So I ordered 50 and they sold them to me for 500 yen. Still a little expensive but a whole lot cheaper than the screw shoe sets.

I borrowed my father in law's electric drill and Aspen and I set to work on making my first pair of screw shoes. For starters we put 10 in each shoe.

With the power drill it was really easy.  If you would also like to try and make your own and get more details on the whys and hows check out Matt Carpenter's site  at http://www.skyrunner.com.

I also bought an Asics Reflective Tasuki.  It is a band that you wear like a sash.  I got this to make sure that no one hits me on my runs in the dark.  If you buy running gear that was made for running, especially by the bigger brand names, it will probably have some reflective materials on it.  Most running shoes do too.  However, if you buy the cheapest stuff that you can find, then they might not have much if any.  So, just to be extra visible to sleepy motorists I got this reflective band to wear.  I brought it home and proudly showed it to my mother in law.  She then told me that she got one at the 100 yen store!  100 yen?  I paid almost 800 yen for mine!  Oh well. 

My motivation for running this winter is high.  Now if only I can get rid of the sniffles! 


This Year's Schedule

  • 3月21日 白糠ロードレース(10km) -完走
  • 4月18日 ほんべつ公園クロスカントリー大会(8km)ー完走
  • 5月23日 洞爺湖マラソン (42.195km)ー完走
  • 7月04日 ピンネシリ登山マラソン大会(42km)-完走
  • 7月18日 狩勝サマーロードレース(10.5km)-完走
  • 7月25日 釧路湿原マラソン大会 (30k)-完走
  • 8月22日  納沙布岬ハーフマラソン(ハーフ)ー完走
  • 10月3日  別海パイロットマラソン(42.195km)ー完走
  • 10月11日 サホロリバーサイド駅伝ー完走&PB!
  • 10月24日 日産カップ陸別こがらしマラソン(ハーフ)ー完走
  • 11月03日 しかおいトレイルラン (11.4km)ー完走
  • 11月07日 白糠釧勝峠駅伝大会ー完走&PB!


Bibs and Bells

Bibs and Bells
Originally uploaded by mr_caffeine74
Shikaoi Trail Run
Taken just before the first Shikaoi Trail Run held at the Nishikami Kanko Noen in Shikaoi.
The picture is of my race bib and my "bear bell". The race organizers required every entrant to wear a bell or they wouldn't let you run the race.


Black Soy beans covered in white chocolate mixed with roasted soy bean powder.

Participants in the 2010 Shikaoi Trail Run were allowed to choose from these chocolates or a free hot spring bath as a finisher's prize. I got the chocolates! They were yummy.  They didn't last long.  They are roasted soy beans covered with white chocolate that has soy bean powder (kinako) mixed in. They are from a local confectionary called Ryugetsu.  If you want to find them they are called Kinachoko Kurodaizu. (きなチョコ黒大豆).


New personal best!

At the Sahoro Riverside Ekiden in Shintoku on Monday I ran my fastest 5k ever! During my leg of the event I ran 5.1km in 20:28 which was the second fastest time on my team behind our anchor by 3 seconds! I am very happy with my performance. That is all I can write now. I just had to get that up!
サホロリバーサイド駅伝で5kmのPBが出来ました。ところで、PBはPeanut Butterではなくて、Private Bestでもなく、Personal Bestの略だと思います。10月11日体育の日に行われた新得町での駅伝でした。自分のチーム「帯広楽走会 A」は13チーム中の8位でした。5kmはどれぐらい早く走れるかはまだわからないけど、もうちょっと出せると思います。練習次第ですね。ichanさんから写真を頂いきました。

Receiving the Sash

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Still Getting Sick After Your Run?

This is an update to my ongoing battle with running induced nausea.  I got sick again! And again!

Yes, I STILL haven't solved my nausea problems.  *sigh* What could it be? Is it just that I'm not drinking enough?  That's what everybody tells me. BUT my stomach seems to stop working during the race.  Everything that I drank during the race came back up after the race.



Chaos Theory
Recently life seems to be complete chaos at home.  Oh how crazy things are. We are not extremely busy with projects, events, sports or education. But with a very energetic, active, independent, dependent, stubborn, and many other applicable descriptors that we can use to describe our five year old, a terrible three year old, and a soon to be two year old, things can get a bit crazy.  Just getting these three cleaned, dressed, fed, entertained and put to bed takes all of the energy, concentration, creativity and patience that Mommy and Daddy can muster.  Recently we have agreed on another quality that we will need to survive:tenacity. It's like a marathon where we are contenders for the prize and we have to make calculated surges and attacks all the while keeping in mind that we have to keep enough in reserve to make it to the finish.  And they say the course is getting longer these days and the finish line farther away.  But that is a different topic.


Getting Sick After Your Run?

Getting Sick After Your Run?
It may be your stomach.

Here is something that you can try to help prevent that debilitating feeling of nausea that inflicts some runners after their runs.  Do not eat or drink anything immediately after your run. Give your body plenty of time to cool down and for your heart rate to come down and get back to "normal" before you try to hydrate or refuel. 

Waiting Apps

Have you ever had this problem? I've noticed that a lot of people have because I found their pleas for help in various forums when I was trying to find a solution. Some people said to reboot. Some people said to use iTunes to remove the apps. Some people said to tap on the waiting apps. None of these suggestions worked for me and I see that I'm not the only one with this problem.


「自分が無意識に習得した言葉がその言語での発声を促すし、流暢さの原でもあります。一方意識的に覚えた言葉は、考える時間がある場合、自分が編集者となり、形 (つまり、文の構造)に焦点を置き、例え、教室での文法テストの場合や丁寧に文章を書いている場合は、ルールに従います。」*1


Buggy Lost

Originally uploaded by mr_caffeine74
We lost our buggy in Obihiro!
I left it in the parking lot at Midori ga Oka Koen and we haven't found it since.  You have been a great baby buggy and a great running partner .  You have carried our three children over rough terrain, sidewalks, through the snow and through 4 runnings of the Shintoku Karikachi Road Race quarter marathon! I miss you dearly.

Sayonara, my friend, Sayonara!






ピ ンネシリ に決めってからトレーニングに火がついた気がします。




Winter Running

故郷のワイオミング州に行って来ました。出来るだけ走ろうと決心していたけど、実はそれほど走らなかったです。帰っている間は結構寒かったけど、マスクさえしていれば問題なく走れます。普段は雪のあまり降らない故郷ですが、今年は10センチほど降りましたね。本当にうれしかったです。だってWhite Christmasじゃなきゃ面白くない。でも雪が余り降らないといっても、寒いのは寒いです。ある日は朝10時半でも氷点下36度でした!さすがにその日は走らなかったね。
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