Tuesday, May 31, 2011

into the "woods"

all of the beautiful little videos that circle the interwebs highlighting remote mountain vistas, canyons and picture perfect meadows got me thinking. i sort of started to feel bad about my little boring piece of nature right in my own neighborhood - like it wasn't good enough to run there and enjoy! and then i got mad and wrote a little blog about being happy with what's outside the front door - free and accessible to each of us! it can be found here. the one bit i forgot to add was that all of this dirt hunting is to be completed with a SMILE!

Buddhist Running: Theories of Relativity

A few years ago, when I was training for my first marathon, I went for a run around the reservoir in Central Park. I had been steadily increasing my speed and endurance for months, and I felt great that day, as if I was flying around the cinder loop in the heart of New York City. As I was nearing the end of my run, I spotted a runner a ways in front of me, a tall, super-athletic looking woman, the type of serious runner who looks like she could be a professional athlete. She was fit, she was fast, and I decided I was going to put everything I had left in to passing her before I quit for the day. I reached down into myself for the a last reserve of energy and pushed into a high sprint, legs kicking furiously, the balls of my feet barely brushing the ground. I gained on her, slowly, but surely, then drew next to her, then past. I felt I had proven something to myself by catching and passing an athlete who looked like the paragon of running, and glanced over at her just before I left the loop to collapse in victory. She was easily running a six-minute mile, without a sign of strain or stress on her face, as if it were the easiest thing in the world. And she was at least 7 months pregnant. I had thrown my best effort into that sprint, and I’d barely passed a pregnant woman.


One of the best books on Buddhism I've read recently is What Makes You Not a Buddhist, by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse. It doesn't say anything particularly new or profoundly complex, but Khyentse does a great job of putting the essential tenets of Buddhism in simple, elegant terms, while holding a very hard line when it comes to doctrine in order to challenge the fuzzy, comfortable ideas that many Westerners have about Buddhism.

All of these various [negative] emotions and their consequences come from misunderstanding, and this misunderstanding comes from one source, which is the root of all ignorance -- clinging to the self. We assume that each of us is a self, that there is an entity called "me." The self is just another misunderstanding, however . . . At the moment that Siddhartha found no self, he also found no inherently existing evil -- only ignorance. Specifically, he contemplated the ignorance of creating a label of "self," pasting it on a totally baseless assembled phenomenon, imputing its importance, and agonizing to protect it. This ignorance, he found, leads directly to suffering and pain. Ignorance is simply not knowing the facts, having the facts wrong, or having incomplete knowledge . . . Anything we do that emerges from this ignorance that is speculative. When we act with no understanding or incomplete understanding, there is no ground for confidence, [and suffering arises].


One of the things running has taught me is that it is impossible to judge anyone else. That sweating, slow moving guy you just blew past might be on mile 20 of a 30 mile training run for an ultramarathon; the woman who whipped past you like you were standing still might just be doing an 200 meter sprint. When you head out to do a loop in Prospect Park or Central Park, there are always dozens, if not hundreds, of other runners, and you never know where any of them are coming from or going to. Have they been running for 15 years, or did they just start last week? Recovering from a knee surgery, tapering before an Ironman, suffering from a head-cold, training for the Olympics, starting mile one or mile 23? As Khyentse says “When we act with no understanding or incomplete understanding, there is no ground for confidence.” Unless you know every factor behind another’s running – so that you have that complete understanding – you cannot evaluate them, either for better or worse. And since you can never know every factor, you can never evaluate anyone.

Just as importantly, once one realizes it is impossible to judge others, it becomes impossible to judge oneself, as there is no longer a basis for comparison. At first, it was easy to let ego become intertwined with my running, in terms both positive and negative. I would train and work and try, yet I was still fatter or slower than many of the other runners lining up to start the race with me. Conversely, I’d pass some seemingly in-shape jock panting up Harlem Hill and feel like I was an amazing athlete. Both these evaluations – the self-defeating depression and the self-aggrandizing confidence – were not rooted in any inherently existent reality but in a perception based on ignorance, ignorance of the facts behind the phenomena, and an ignorant assumption that the phenomena has some sort of objective, external existence: that I was “slow” or “fast,” that the runners I observed were either “slow” or “fast.” We were each running at a given pace, that was all.

Once I stopped judging others positively or negatively, there was no basis to judge myself against them. Being in New York, where there are so many other runners and the races are so well attended, made this realization even more obvious. In any race of 3,000 people, I will be slower than many of them, faster than many others. I will never be even close to being the fastest person in any race I run, since nearly every race attracts a number of world-class athletes, and I will never be the slowest, as each race also has a number of walkers. I’ve run in a marathon with Dena Kastor, who finished in just over 2 hours, as well as Al Roker, who finished in over 6. I finished behind 30,000 other runners, meaning I was beaten by the population of a small mid-western city, but I also finished ahead of 33,000 others. What I did do was run a race that I was proud of, with a finish that I felt good about.

Now that I’m hoping to run an ultramarathon, I have an entirely new set of examples to help me set aside any sense of ego. On one hand, I was exceptionally proud of running 42 miles this week, and if you ask most of my friends, they think that is an inhumanly impressive accomplishment . . . but then Anton Krupicka runs 142 miles most weeks. That doesn’t diminish what I did, merely put it in perspective. I am proud of what I have done in terms of who I am; when I run, it is against my past and against my future, not another person or what they’ve done. I am proud of a 42 mile week because I’ve pushed myself, not because it is objectively impressive. I run for myself and against myself, to learn what I am capable of and then to push that limit a bit further – because that limit is also not an objective reality, merely a perception as well. Sometimes I run fast, sometimes I run far, but I always run happy.

Originally posted on my blog, . . . when I talk about running.

Marathons can be fun! (Med City Marathon Race Report)

By: The Maple Grove Barefoot Guy
Let's be honest folks. Marathons can be downright dreadful. Unless you're an ultra runner, an elite, or a crazy person they are generally long, hard, and exceptionally painful for everyone involved. They are like getting your ass kicked along with several thousand of your closest friends. That kind of communal ass whooping isn't your local neighborhood fun run. I'm actually surprised sometimes that folks pay up to several hundred dollars for that kind of pain.

Marathons are serious business. They are about (among other things) how many 20 milers to run beforehand, sports drinks named after body parts, ideal heart rate calculations, dudes that run while holding cardboard signs with finishing times on them, sugary goop in packets that I wouldn't feed my dog, GPS watches that beep every 15 minutes, lubing up body parts so they don't chafe and bleed, and finisher t-shirts that they refuse to give you until you actually finish. But one thing that they are not, or at least that they are not supposed to be, is fun.

I've never had fun while racing a marathon. Up until this weekend I can't recall a since step that I took in a marathon that I would call enjoyable. My previous marathon experiences have been portraits of pain and suffering. They were three-way battles between the forces of pain, stubbornness, and stupidity where I completely bonked at around mile 12 and willed one foot in front of the other for another two hours until I crossed the finish line and collapsed in a completely un-local superhero-like fashion. They were incredible experiences to have, they gave me a ton of confidence, and they taught me a lot about myself. But they were not by any means fun.

Even dogs learn through repetition. Apparently I don't, because I keep signing up for these things hoping this time will be different. Not only that, but I think up new ways to pile on and possibly bonk sooner. So as I got ready for the Med City Marathon over Memorial Day weekend, I had a battle plan that would make Saddam Hussein look like a military genius. I was about to attempt a barefoot marathon on a course that I knew from experience was very rough for majority of the distance. I was going to do it having never run more than 20 miles barefoot on all asphalt (I've done more on a trail). And I was going to do it without consuming a single calorie before or during the race. Yes, I'm an idiot. But I'm a very brave idiot.

Pre-race Tomfoolery

Luckily I have friends who do a good job of talking me out of stupid ideas. For this race, that bug in my ear was my good buddy and Barefoot Runners Society-Minnesota co-president Katie Button-Swenson, and Iowa Chapter member Evelia Hauck. My plan was to stick with them, and hopefully follow the 4:30-pacer for most of the race and come out with a time that would be at least a little better than my previous marathon PR of 4:37.

Of course, it wasn't that hard to talk me out of all of that posturing at the beginning of the race. I start out every one of my races with a list of goals that range from ridiculous to weird with all manner of dumbassery in between. I figure if I have a lot of goals that I'm not particularly attached to, the laws of probability say I should at least hit one and not feel too bad about being a complete failure at the rest. So I'm like the Boyscouts of daredevil idiots, I come prepared for all possible fuck-ups. In this case, that meant I packed enough food to get me through the race, and several different footwear options in case my feet turned into bloody stumps.

With every possible screw-up scenario covered, I headed down to Rochester with my mom. Not wanting to witness the carnage first-hand, my wife and daughter did the smart thing and headed up to the cabin for the Memorial Day holiday for a few cocktails. After she left for the lake, I started to doubt I had made the right weekend plans. A weekend of kicking back was starting to sound a lot better than a 4-hour death march. But it was Katie's first marathon, and all of our first barefoot marathon, so I wanted to cheer my friends to the finish line.

We got to Rochester at around 3:00pm, but hadn't planned on meeting up with Katie and Evelia until around 5:00pm. So we headed down to the Rochester Civic Center to hang out at the marathon expo. Now I'm used to marathons where the field is several thousand people. For those events, the expo looks like a running store combined with a carnival. Only 270 folks had signed up for this marathon. So the expo looked more like a craft sale. I did have a couple of cool celebrity sightings though. First, I saw Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak finish the 5K race that was finishing up just as we got to the Civic Center.

I pretended to be having trouble seeing my phone in all the sunshine and took a covert picture. Then I ran away when he looked at me. I'm such a tool.

I also caught a glimpse of the keynote speaker, Carrie Tollefson. I think she's the only athlete from Minnesota to ever make it to the Olympics in any sport. So she's quite a local celebrity. She's also kind of a hottie.

I'm not sure what she was speaking about. Guys have trouble listening to hot girls while they're talking. That's why I can never remember a damn thing that my wife says to me. See honey? It's not that I"m not listening to you! I'm distracted by your hotness! BTW, I guarantee my wife is shaking her head right now in a combination of shame and disbelief. That's kind of part of our relationship dynamic. If she's even reading this post that is. She kind of lost interest after the um-tenth joke about porn.

Anyway, we met up with Evelia and her husband Chuck as well as Katie and her family (husband Ian and kids Olivia, Max, and Nyla) at around 5:30pm for dinner. I had insisted that we get a pre-race dinner of Mexican food. I always run better with a few tacos in my belly. So we headed out for a night of laughs and good food at a local Mexican joint called Fiesta Cafe.

Here's a picture of the whole gang outside the restaurant. Pictured from left to right is Evelia, Nyla, Katie, Max, Ian, yours truly, my mom Susan, and Olivia. Chuck did all the photo taking for the weekend, so we don't have a picture of him. And yes, I really am that tall.

This is one of my favorite pictures from the weekend. There's me doing my best skyscraper imitation. The three amigos about to go boldy forth! After the meal we turned in early to get ready for the next day's events.

Byron to Rochester (Start to Mile 8)
Since our hotel was only a block from the shuttle to the start line, my race day morning was pretty relaxed. I was up at 5am and out the door by 5:25a.m. I was on the bus and off to the nearby town of Byron by 5:30a.m. with Katie and Evelia. The race course started in Byron and took us down the highway into Rochester for approximately 8 miles.

As we got ready for the race, Katie was something of a local celebrity. The day before the local paper had run a story on her plans to run the race barefoot. Lots of folks came up to her to wish her luck and ask her questions. Everyone was very positive. Then they realized that there were three lunatics with bare feet among them and were a little taken aback. I think they worried we were in a cult or something. I tried not to make any sudden movements until we started.

There were actually four races going on at the same time that morning, so the marathoners lined up with folks running a half marathon, marathon relay, and 20-mile race. It was a decent field of around 2,000 or so people. Regardless, the pack wasn't very thick as we got going. The road out of Byron was the silky smooth pavement you'd expect on a major road. The weather was a perfect 60 degrees with a good wind, and the route was nothing but gentile country roads with nothing but cornfields as far as the eye could see.

During this first portion I felt as good as I've ever felt during a race, and I think it's because of the company. We cracked jokes, did a little Zumba dancing, chatted up the other runners, and generally had way more fun than we probably should have during a marathon. A couple of runners even commented about how we were having too much fun, and should save our energy for later on. It was hard not to be so happy though. It was a perfect day for a race, and I had the perfect company.

There's my barefoot harem at around mile 8 running into the outskirts of Rochester. I'm further back in the orange t-shirt having a disagreement with my water bottle holder. I told them that this was because I preferred looking at them from the back, but it's really because they were trying to leave me in the dust. This picture is the result of a series of traded insults between Evelia and I over our chosen race pace. I accused her of hot-rodding and burning us out early, and she accused me of being a wuss. I guess I don't take crap well from short people, because I eventually relented to her pace. I was also having such a blast that I didn't want to get left behind.

Rochester Trail Loops i.e. the Bane of My Existence (Miles 8 to 16)

From the main roads we turned onto the city trails, and the race got a lot smaller and more intimate. The turn-off for the half marathon happened at about the same time, and the number of runners on the course dropped to almost nothing. I looked around several times and couldn't see another runner besides our group in either direction. It made the course a little harder to navigate, but also meant that the race volunteers and spectators cheered just for you. We got a lot of comments about how crazy we were for running barefoot. But folks were also very excited for us because they could see we were doing so well. You get special treatment in a race when you're doing something different. And we definitely got our fair share of special treatment.

At about mile 12 was also the point where the trails turned ugly. The butter-smooth blacktop turned into well-worn chipseal. This was the kind of stuff that I don't usually go on for more than a couple of miles because it usually does a number on my feet. We made the best of it by running on the painted lines, curbs, or in the grass when it was available.

Despite the rough terrain, when we saw Katie's mom shortly after mile 12 I gave her the huaraches I had been carrying in case my feet got sensitive. For some reason, the entire race I just knew I'd be able to finish barefoot. I never doubted myself for an instant, and I don't think Katie and Evelia did either.

There's Katie telling her mom to come get my gear. I was by far the gear junkie of the group with my calf sleeves, sunglasses, visor, tech t-shirt, water pack, huaraches, tape, and carbs. Katie showed up with an '80s rock t-shirt and some safety pins for her number.

The trail never did get better, it actually got worse. There were spots that were so rough that we were forced to start walking, and skittered over to the grass as fast as we could. The girls made the best of it and hopped over to the grass. For the most part, I stayed on the paths and just took it. That lead to many jokes about how I was the most hardcore barefoot runner in the group.

The day got more ridiculous as we wound through the Rochester neighborhoods with nothing to mark the race route except a few cones every mile. The ridiculousness reached a peak when the course took a loop around a parking lot that couldn't have been much bigger than 1000 square feet and was littered with rocks and glass.

Still, for as bad as things got sometimes, we never let our spirits get down. When the trail got tough, we cracked each other up by swearing like sailors. When we had to do a loop around a parking lot smaller than my first apartment, we trotted around the grass along the edges and laughed at how we were doing the race day equivalent of running back and forth in front of your house until you make your distance for that day's run.

Katie doing her lap around the parking lot.

River Run i.e. Digging Deep (Miles 16 to Finish)
After looping around the outskirts of Rochester we headed back to the downtown using the backroads. This didn't provide any relief for the feet though. If anything, it was worse. The three of us got a little quieter and buckled down. But our spirits were still pretty high. I was usually a wreck by this point in the race, and I was actually feeling pretty strong. We had been maintaining pretty consistent 10:00 minute miles up until that point, and were still charging hard.

As we hit around the 19 mile point, my legs started to fatigue. So I used a trick that my ultra friends taught me, and sped up. What I really wanted was to say that I had been in the lead for at least some portion of the race. Regardless, it worked like a charm, and I was back running strong. I was surprised at how well my feet were doing despite all of the abuse I'd been giving them for the past three hours. They felt very beat up, but I wasn't feeling discomfort and overstimulation like usual. I think my determination to finish took over, and prevented any pain from getting the best of me.

Look! I'm winning! For at least another couple yards anyway. I continued to sprint ahead of Evelia and Katie until around mile 25. I am totally doing that sprint thing in the future! It really works!

We reached the Zumbro River at about mile 21 and I could tell Katie was starting to feel the miles. We slowed down to around a 10:30 min/mile pace. I tried to motivate her by staying close and telling her to run her race and focus on all she had accomplished so far. There was no way we weren't going to finish now! We were blessed with a little bit of rain and a fantastic stretch of concrete as we ran along the river. It calmed our feet down and helped us power on to the finish.

We came out of the river trails and out onto Rochester's main drag at mile 25 for the final stretch towards the finish line. Then we all held hands and started towards the finish line together. We were all smiling from ear to ear and beaming with pride at our accomplishment. I was so fricken proud of everybody at that point I could have hugged them right there!

Right before we crossed the finish line we were joined by Katie's kids, and we ran the last couple hundred feet next to them. It was very sweet, and reminded me of when my family ran me in during my first marathon.

We crossed the finish line with a time of 4:31. That's a PR for me of six minutes. The time didn't really matter much to me though. I was proud that we all finished our first marathon barefoot and stayed together. Katie and I didn't end up walking much more than a few tenths of a mile, which is completely unheard of for me. And I didn't bonk at any point, despite the fact that I paid little to no attention to my hydration or nutrition. I did consume some calories during the race because I felt like I needed to, but I was only doing it as necessary and was really listening to my body. I felt incredible, and so happy and proud of my friends.

I think this race showed me that marathons don't have to all be about hard work and serious business. You can work hard and go through a lot and still have fun. And it's a lot more fun when you have good company. The training for and running of this marathon showed me the importance of having friends along with you to motivate you, share the burden, and keep you smiling. Now that I've run with a group of friends, I'm not sure how I got through a race before that. It was an absolute delight to run with them. I hope to do it with them, or any of you fine folks again very soon!

Hail the conquering heros! We all finished our first barefoot marathon with smiles on our faces. What an incredible day! Cheers and beers citizens!

Just got done reading this post and are left wanting more awesomeness.  What you're feeling is completely natural.  I'm like a bag of Doritos, you can't eat just one chip...and you can't read just one post.  Catch more of my rants and antics at The Maple Grove Barefoot Guy.  Your source for awesomeness since sometime in 2010. 

First Run Smiley Race!

This weekend I had the opportunity to run my very first official Run Smiley race! I thought of The Collective for most of the run and I realized how lucky I am to know such freaking amazing people. Thanks for all you do!

HERE is my race report. Enjoy!


Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Feet

About  a year ago I decided to start a blog.  I never really wanted the moniker of barefoot something or  another. My first idea  for a name was
"Happy Feet"
But there's a lot of happy feet out there and the name was already taken.
Thus I became

I am stoked to become part of this collective and look forward to sharing good vibes and positive energy with all you fine people.

Run with joy in your heart, a smile of your face
you will make the world a more beautiful place.

Run Smiley Everyone

Sunday, May 29, 2011

My Honey Badger Marathon

 It was May 15 (my birthday) and I had decided to celebrate it by running my first marathon.  The pouring rain had eased up to a drizzle by the start, but there were some 60km/h wind gusts and the thermometer was reading 8°C. That was ok because I decided that my mantra for this race would be “Honey badger don’t give a shit!”

I was cold and shaky but that all went away as the race started at 9am. I forced myself to start out slow for the first 12k. I was waving at the crowd and smiling for the cameras until at 12k after I passed by a few cameras I noticed I was on a steep wet hill. I didn’t want to try to hold back my speed and have that friction on my wet feet so I relaxed my legs and tore down the hill. I slowed at the bottom and tried to fall into a pace I could hold for a long time. I kept reminding myself to constantly sip at the energy drink and to take an energy chew every 8 to 10k. The scenery on Rosedale valley road (from 14 to 17k) was very calming. It wasn’t until Lake Shore Blvd. (26 to 30k) that the wet rough asphalt was starting to make my feet sore. After 30k I was just trying to maintain my pace and get away from the wind gusts blowing drizzly rain in my face. I was noticing at this point that there were more people walking and even some that looked like they had given up. After 37k I was in uncharted territory as far as my running distance goes. I was starting to push a little harder with the thought that I only had a 5k race to run.

Once I got to 40k on University Ave. I was feeling good and wanted to finish strong. I was getting a lot of support from onlookers and it was getting harder to hold back the urge to sprint for the finish. I held off the sprint until 42k, when I knew I wouldn’t burn out before the end, but I had already increased my pace to sub 5min/k by 41k. After I crossed the finish line I took a couple of sips of my energy drink and thought “Wow! I feel a lot better than I did at the Around the Bay finish.”

Looking at my stats I see I finished with a time of 4:17 and that I was able to negatively split this race by 1:09. I ran the first half in 2:09 and the last half I 2:08. I thought it was interesting that my time at 30k in the marathon was exactly the same time I finished the Around the Bay 30k race. One of my favorite stats is that in the last 12k of the race I passed 114 people and nobody passed me. I was very happy with this race overall. Run :)

Who Are "The Run Smiley Collective"?

The Run Smiley Collective are a  group of bloggers (mainly from the barefoot/minimalist running community).   Our aim is to enlighten the running community that the new "cool" in running is not numbers but enjoying the journey our legs can take us. Our current members/authors are as follows:

  • Krista Cavender, a.k.a zapmamak
  • Robin Robinson, a.k.a Norm Deplume
  • Katie Kift, a.k.a. KittyK (Barefoot Runners Society)
  • Angela Holtz, a.k.a. Angie Bee (Barefoot Runners Society)
  • Vanessa Rodriguez, a.k.a VanessaRuns
  • Patrick Sweeney, a.k.a. Bourbonfeet
  • Christian Peterson, a.k.a The Maple Grove Barefoot Guy (Barefoot Runners Society)
  • Doug Robertson, a.k.a Dirtbag (Barefoot Runners Society)
  • Jesse Scott, a.k.a Jesse (Hobby Jogga's)
  • Ryan Hansard, a.k.a Fun Running Ryan (Hobby Jogga's)
  • Swami Kahn
  • Robert Shackelford, a.k.a. shacky
  • Nora Mancuso, a.k.a Ti-living… together WAS Mammarunsbarefoot
  • Lou Rantin
  • Shelly Robillard, a.k.a. ShellBel (Hobby Jogga's)
  • Jason Robillard a.k.a. Last Place Jason (Barefoot Running University) (Barefoot Runners Society)(Hobby Jogga's)
  • Shelley Viggiano, a.k.a ShelleyV (Mind the Ducks 12 hour Ultra RD)
  • Chris Van dyke, a.k.a The Urban Trail Runner
  • TJ Gerken, a.k.a. Barefoot TJ, (President of the Barefoot Runners Society)
  • Neil Zeller, a.k.a Barefoot Neil
  • Bob Redding, a.k.a. the Downtown runner
  • Dave Robertson, a.k.a. Dave the Naked runner.
  • jennifer packer, a.k.a Jen
  • Larry Gibbons, a.k.a Barefoot Larry (Barefoot Runners Society)
  • Katie Button-Swenson (Barefoot Runners Society)
  • Stephanie Rose, a.k.a. 1972Roses
  • Lava Runner, a.k.a Scott Scooter Schneider

So as NOT to cheese them off.  These are people who we are hoping to be part of the collective but they haven't accepted their blogger invite yet!   *points fingers in a "don't blame me" kind of way*
N.B If those below HAVEN'T received their invites OR, the invite doesn't work, please contact runsmiley@gmail.com.  Blogger seems to be a little temperamental.
  • Nat Wolfe (Barefoot Runners Society)
  • Janine Schwab (Barefoot Runners Society)

    Saturday, May 28, 2011

    First a History lesson

    Krista wrote a post about how "The Run Smiley Collective" came about and what we stand for.  Pretty much sums up the last week or two.  Yep, that's how long we have been about, frightening huh? - seems longer I know.  Also gives you an insight into the kind of people we are. Please don't run away, we aren't that scary honest!

    Don't worry, there won't be a spot quiz, although there maybe random references in later posts.  Treat it like the first book in a trilogy; without it, not much will make sense.

    The Run Smiley Collective - Come Join the Fun!

    A few more logo's to spread around.

    So for all of those who wanted a Run Smiley "button" to place on their blog/website, Krista has created this for us.

    Feel free to use and place on your site to promote us.  The tag is perfect and represents us perfectly, however it doesn't mention fortress, bee's, beer, organic veg and foot crushed wine.  No mention of 7-of-9 or the finger fairies.  Where are the purple/pink/sparkly haired "My little Ponies"?

    Lost?  Yeah, that was just SOME of the topics the "Run Smiley" collective have discussing over the last 4 days.  I think you are getting the idea of what we get up to when we aren't running.

    Friday, May 27, 2011

    Fellow Smileys Video

    Hello peeps! Another Smiley sighting video.

    Memorable quotes:

    "I don't think it matters what you wear or don't wear on your feet. It's all about form and having fun and running in joy. If you're running in joy with nothing on your feet, great. If you're wearing army boots, that's great." - Caballo Blanco

    "Whatever makes people happy." - Patrick Sweeney

    (Direct link HERE)

    Enjoy! Run :)


    Thursday, May 26, 2011

    Laughter Yoga & Running

    Good morning fellow Smileys! I've got a great video I wanted to share.

    Caity McCardell is the woman behind Run Barefoot Girl, a site dedicated to celebrating women who run barefoot. She's also a laughter yoga instructor and in this video she demonstrates how she uses laughter yoga while running. I dare you to WATCH THIS without laughing.

    You can read a little more about Caity and Run Smiley on my post HERE.

    Happy Trails! Run :)


    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    Our new Logo

    So this isn't QUITE about running and smiling, however, I have had a huge grin on my face since seeing the artwork Krista Cavender (or Zapmamak) made for us.

    This blog is a collective -a collaboration- which essentially means there is no-one in charge. In setting up this blog I have only made 2 editorial decisions.

    The first was to invite bloggers I knew who share the "Run Smiley" ideology to come and post.  (The list will be growing so watch this space).

    The second was to chose the logo.  Initially, I was going to put the logo out for a vote, but after seeing Krista's logo, I had a dream.  Literally, I DID have a dream.  I dreamt of her logo and something to do with Eggs.  I wish I could remember more, because that sounds like a kick-ass dream, however I do remember I was laughing so much I woke up.  After that, I knew, that Krista's logo had to stay.  If it made me laugh and smile whilst I was unconscious, then I knew it was right for this blog.

    Some of the logo's are below.  I hope you agree. I also hope to see them dotted on various interweb pages in the near future.

    I hope you indulge my whims.  If you don't, then please take it up with management.  Oh wait, there isn't any.. Hehehehe; how sweet is my plan?

    Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    My quick trail run with Jo.

    Consisted of the following:

    Talking about her surprise trip over the border to the US to buy a Bra
    The benefits of Bra's
    The curse of underwire
    Wondering why guys with fancy cameras were taking pictures of a tree.
    Sprinting up the very short inclines
    Skipping through the tree roots
    Commenting on Bouncy Bridges - I think this had something to do with Bra's.
    Looking for slugs
    Learning that slugs are male and female.  When mating the "Male" get's his penis gnawed off to "complete the job" and then becomes female.
    Realising Jo knows WAY TO MUCH about slugs
    Almost taking a photo of Dog Poo because it looked like a slug (see below)
    Taking a picture of the wrong tree (see below)
    Taking a picture of the right tree
    Meeting a Principal who was on one of our Autism courses (who was taking an educational walk). Is that code-speak for "getting out of  the office so she could gossip"?
    Meeting Gudyip (so badly spelt) who I hadn't seen in a while (He works with Salmon Dave)
    Managing not to get too wet until the end (it was raining)

    Not bad for a 3 mile (ish) run.  Jo claimed she was timing, (I am still working on getting her to leave her watch behind), but we still don't know how long it really took us. 

    Picture evidence below!
    Yep, in my Minimus, jury still out on those..

    Apparently this is a Banana Slug.  I was going to take a picture of another one, but then realised it was just Dog Poo.

    The Wrong Tree....

    The Right Tree... Can you tell the difference?  Apparently the "men with cameras" were trying to take photo's of the "Largest Woodpecker in the world".  The heard about it on "Twitter", which is kind of ironic as in the UK, "Twitter" means "Bird Watcher"

    Monday, May 23, 2011

    Post by Zap - Let's Kick This Thing Off!

    Barefoot jumps with style! Who needs a bike?

    Here's a recent post of mine that I thought I would share in the spirit of beginning the Run Smiley campaign...

    Originally posted by Zap, April 10th, 2011
    Running Naked on Sharp Pointy Stuff

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    Got my barefoot trail running fiyah fix on today! My husband and I dropped off the kids at our local KidsPark and went for a barefoot trail run. I laughed so hard on this run. This was a chill run. No pushing it. Just having fun. We explored and goofed off. I had the best time ever.

    We've had an unusual amount of rain lately. It left these trails washed out and obscenely muddy in some places. So in addition to the regular horse poop hazards and poison oak, there were also post holes, decomposed granite washouts, and water ponds. Yeah. Lots of water ponds. I probably should have wore my swimsuit. There were lots of fun muddy spots to squish through as well. And the best part? The secret jumps the fringe mountain bikers left behind. I couldn't resist. I had to run a woop. Oh yeah. BMXers watch out. This girl's got some serious style!

    Did I mention we had fun? We totally did.

    We weren't even a half a mile into our run when the trail turned into this:

    After conquering the pond I practiced my ninja moves on some unsuspecting poison oak...

    Karate chop the poison oak!
    And so began our morning run. My favorite bit? The sand. Like ecstacy. So soft and lovely.


    So my husband was a serious trooper for this run. Dude bucked up and ran barefoot again. It was harder on his feet this time. The decomposed granite was painful in spots and then this happened...

    I know I should have been a little more empathetic. Milkweed is some serious thornage, but I'm a total sucker for slapstick and that was just funny! I nearly peed my pants laughing. He was a really good sport about it.

    So I nabbed the address....

    So here we are on the "Run Smiley" campaign. We have completed steps 1-3. Step 1, was to come up with the idea - thanks well everyone who likes running and being happy. Step 2, was to come up with a name, Thanks AngieB. I managed to nab a blog address, that was Step 3.

    So now this is where I need you guys. One person Blogging about running and having fun is going to get a little boring after a while. So I need you guys to help me. Send me a write-up of a run where you had fun, or pictures of you running with a smile. Send me a blog-post address.

    In fact anything I can post here to keep the cause going. Remember that we can't guarantee the age of the people who read this, (their legal ages AND their mental age), so keep it fairly clean. Use of alcohol and general goofiness IS allowed (if not encouraged).

    You can wear anything you like on your feet and you don't have to be an ultra-marathoner to take part. We want to hear from all ages, all distances, all species (I eagerly await a post from a tree-sloth).

    I've started it... so let's see how long we can keep this going..