Brandon's (and his family's)Big Adventures

We, as a family, press on towards the goal

2nd Half Marathon – Grand Rapids

Posted on October 19th, 2011 by Emily

This past Sunday I ran my second in my life half marathon in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  I look back over the past 32 years of my life and am amazed at the depth of change from just this past one year.  Who would have thought I’d run a half marathon?  Who would have thought I’d be a runner at all?? Certainly not myself!! And yet, here I am, a runner, a half marathoner.  It still blows my mind.

Sarah and I signed up for the Grand Rapids Half Marathon on August 14th.  That’s exactly 9 weeks that we had to train for this crazy adventure.  We had run only 3 mile runs ever and no longer.  13.1 miles is a few miles longer than 3 if you weren’t sure about that.  We knew that too, so we searched the internet for a 9 week training program for a 1/2 marathon.  We found one that would *probably* suit our needs and fit into our schedule pretty well.    Sarah was awesome and took the time to create a pretty fun and motivational calendar.

We did the first month of training pretty well.  I proudly crossed of the days that we ran the scheduled amount.  I added the days we walked miles too.  Just for fun.  It felt awesome to see our accomplishment and cross off the days and see just how many miles we had finished every week.  The long runs were difficult and less than fun, but we did them nonetheless.  I dreaded them for nearly the entire week but once they were over I did have a huge sense of awesomeness right along with the quad pain and general leg fatigue.  I remember our first 6 mile training run and how I dreaded it for days before.  Again, who would have thought I’d run a half marathon? ?

I ran the Quiver 10K on September 10th, and then Sarah and I ran the Mercy 8 mile run on September 17th.  After that eight mile run my knee was no longer happy to be a runner.  It was insisting I stop torturing it.  So the long runs were out.  Sarah, her sister-in-law Bridget, and I were planning a 12 mile training run and I set out on it only to turn myself back towards home after a mile and a half or so.  Sarah and Bridget finished the 12 on their own.  The longest I ran between September 17th and this past Sunday’s 13.1 was 3 wimpy miles, if that. Instead there was a lot of walking.  It was just pathetic.  And I was getting extremely worried that this 1/2 marathon was going to end tragically.  I had no idea how I’d make it that far with my knee hurting as much as it was.  I did end up waving the white flag of surrender and going to Hadley Clinic where Scott (the owner) was able to show me how to work out my muscle issues with a rolling pin and a softball.  It helped even though I only had three weeks left before the race.

Race day came, Sarah, Bridget and I lined up in the last 1/4 section of the runners.  It was EXTREMELY chilly out at 7:45 when we lined up in the chute.  Thankfully I was wearing my Zensah arm and leg sleeves.  A jacket would have been way too much once we started running and it would have driven me nuts if I ended up tying it on my waist.  I don’t have a long sleeve technical shirt or else I probably would have chosen to wear that.  (Don’t get me started on how disappointed I am about the Grand Rapids Marathon changing to short sleeve shirts this year….. Their long sleeve shirt was one of the major reasons I was geeked to run this race.) The arm sleeves I ‘borrowed’ from Lily ended up being the best part of my running attire.  Well, those and my sparkly piggy tales.  :)

About 3 miles into the 1/2 my knee started hurting me.  I wasn’t surprised at all but I wasn’t going to let a little knee discomfort (*read extreme knee screaming*) get me down.  Sarah, on the other hand was battling her own demons, which was shocking since she never seemed to have bad days like I frequently had.  We were in desperate need of motivation about 9 miles into the 12 and, thankfully, we got it.  The motivation that helped us the most were the spectators that were ‘different’.  The ones that stood out and were obviously having fun.  The ones with loud, peppy, fun music.  The one with the Rockband air guitar.  The ones with fun signs.  Those ones were the best motivation that we were in desperate need of.  Which made me think of how I’ve spectated in the past and what I’m going to do differently in the future.  In fact, here’s a list of Marathon Posters you’ll see me sporting in the future.

“In our minds, you’re all Kenyans.”

“Your feet hurt because you are kicking so much butt!”

“Your legs will forgive you…eventually.”

“Don’t stop — people are watching.”

“That’s not sweat, it’s your fat cells crying.”

“If it was easy, I would do it.”

“Run like you stole something.”

“This is easier than labor and delivery.”

“You’re not slow. You’re just enjoying the course.”

“Stop reading this and keep running!”

“Puke and rally!”

“Don’t worry, toenails are overrated.”

“Run like someone’s chasing you.”

“It’ll feel better when it stops hurting.”

“Mortuary ahead….look alive!”

“If I ran it, by God, you can, too.”

“Chuck Norris never ran a marathon.”

“Staying up all night making this sign was hard too.”

“You are NOT almost there.” (seen at mile 1)

“The end is near.”

“What path does a crazy runner take through the woods? A Psycho Path!”

“Hurry, we’re cold!”

“Toll booth ahead. Exact change only.”

“What’s your favorite part of Star Wars III?”

“Run Total Stranger, Run”

“Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na (Chariots of Fire).”

“Free Piggyback Rides”

“It’s OK to cry”

“You’re running the wrong way”

“Bus station, —–> That way.”

“Think of how many calories you get to eat today!”

?”I’m a total stranger, but I am SO PROUD of you!”

“Running is a mental sport and we are all INSAINE!”

and my favorite….

“Worst parade EVER.”

Anyhow, back to the run….

At one point, somewhere around mile 11 or 12 we took a minute to walk and rest our leg muscles only to have a very rude awakening when we started up again.  Our quads, calves, shins, feet and especially gluteus maximus’s were in serious pain.  As Sarah perfectly described, it felt like someone was clawing their way out of the back of our pelvic bone or butt bone, tearing our pelvis’ apart.  Yeah,  it was painful.  So we decided that walking was going to be very minimal from here out.  It just hurt way too bad to start running again.  Besides, we only had less than a 5K left to run.  We could totally make it to the end now.

As we rounded the last corner and we had the finish line in sight we started to get a little bit emotional.  Sarah had warned me that she was probably going to cry at the finish line and she warned me of the impending hug there too.  Thinking about our huge accomplishment together had me starting to feel extreme sadness that it was almost over and happiness that we had done something so huge.  I told Sarah that I was getting emotional, she admitted that she was too, but it made it to hard to breathe so we stuffed those feelings down until a later time and pressed on.

We got to about 50 yards before the finish line, and there was only one lady in front of us before the finish line.  Throughout the last half of the run we were deciding who we needed to make sure to pass and beat to the finish.  The one chick in the white who ran weird,  the one guy in the green that had a walk/run form, the foot scuffing old lady, the hard breather, the guy who looked to be in extreme pain, the really big lady in blue, the really tall chick in pink, and the one with 13.1 on her back.   We lost track of a few of those runners along the course and we are sure we conquered all but two people.  But here we were at the finish line and there there was only one lady in front of us right then so Sarah said, “Let’s take her!”  and we took off in a sprint to the finish line to finish our 1/2 just a few seconds in front of her.  That felt awesome to have beat one more runner, one last one at the last possible time.

I didn’t even have the time to look over at the clock and see our time.  I had no idea how long it took us to run the 13.1, I just knew we were finished.  WOOHOO!! Huge smile.  No tears, no hugs, just a humongous sense of accomplishment and excitement.

I must say running my second 1/2 marathon was much more enjoyable because I had someone to run with the entire time.  Someone to push me when I needed pushing and someone for me to push when she needed it back.  I’m so thankful to have Sarah as a friend and as my favorite running partner.

Anyhow, here’s a few pictures of the awesome day because I’m sure you’re super bored from reading my race report.  :)

Here we are keeping warm in the car before the race.  Brandon joked about me writing on the back of my shirt, “I’m here for the 13.1 mile wet t-shirt contest.” It stopped raining, thankfully!

Bridget, Sarah, and I pre-race.  Getting ready to line up and freeze for a few minutes before the start.

Here we are crossing the finish line.  Sarah’s husband, Robert, caught us AT THE EXACT moment we went across the mat.  How awesome is that.  Official finish time 2:46:46.

The Bling!  :) Best Bling EVER!

Brandon and I after he finished.  We rock.  Just sayin’.

Here’s me. All cute.  Wearing my bling, Zensah Sleeves and my favorite SweatyBand.

I have to say, I’m super proud of my bling.  Can you tell?

Here’s my awesome marathon family.

Lily was able to run the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Grand Rapids Kids Marathon on Saturday where she finished the last 1.2 miles with all the other kids.  She was VERY proud of her accomplishment of running the entire way. Many thanks to Jennifer who allowed Lily to join her family to do the marathon while we photographed a wedding. This was her third time doing the kids marathon and she loved every minute of it.  :)

Yup,  we are the Mulnix’s (Mulni) and we’re a running family.

Eight Days till Grand Rapids Marathon

Posted on October 8th, 2011 by Brandon

Eight Days till Grand Rapids Marathon

Its only eight days till the running of the Grand Rapids Marathon and again I am not ready.  Its not that I can’t run the distance, or that I feel I am going to fail.  Its the little things.  I signed up for the race after my wife decided to run the 1/2  with her friend.   I don’t know what it is this year, but I don’t look forward to this race.  Life has been so busy and I have only been able to put in aobut 10 miles of running over the past two weeks.   I just haven’t felt the “Oh boy I am running a marathon Joy”.   Where does that “JOY” come from? 

After running about 7 miles barefoot this week I made the decision to just go for it and run as far as I can barefoot.  I don’t have a time goal other than to run faster than last years 4:30. 

How do I get the Joy back?

Free at last! – Unwired and running…

Posted on October 6th, 2011 by Brandon

Free at last! – Unwired and running…

“Free at last; free at last; thank God Almighty we are free at last.” Martin Luther King

For the past six weeks I have bombarded you with “Wired Shut” articles and stories about me running with it wired shut as if it was a big deal.  At first it was really hard to run with my jaw wired shut and training runs seemed impossible.  By the end, my body had “evolved” and it became considerably normal to run with it wired. 

Every good thing has to come to end eventually, but sometimes better things start because of it.  The wires started popping off on Monday last week and by Tuesday I was free!  What does a person do when their wires break and their jaw drops… No the girl wasn’t that pretty.  I tried brushing the scum of the inside of my teeth and boy was that stupid!!!!!  I almost had tears when the toothbrush touched my gums after being super sensitized over the 6 weeks of liquid diet.  The metal arch bars didn’t fall off so they also started to stretch and hurt. 

My first meal:  Chicken Noodle soup and Pasta.  I went to lunch with my newly promoted supervisor and thought it would be nice to have soft yet solid food.  It was awesome!  It hurt my teeth a little, but assumed the pain would wear off.  I was full sooner than I expected, but then was hungry earlier than expected afterwards.

Running… Not so much.  I have ran one time since being unwired and that was 30 minutes that seemed really easy.  I only know how long I ran, not how far.  I didn’t want to wear a watch because I didn’t really care about how far I ran.  Running seams to take way to much time out of my portrait schedule this time of year.  Now add in the new diet and I am afraid of what my weight will do.  Only losing 6-7 pounds after 6 weeks of being wired I am confident 203 pounds is a good weight for me at 6’3”.  I would rather be under 200, but that is just a number.  I miss the trails and long to run them now that the fall colors are in bloom.  Another huge distraction for me every fall is hunting. 

Sitting in nature and just listening.  Watching for wildlife and being ready to harvest is almost as rewarding as running.  I could sit all day, everyday, and just enjoy nature.  Nature is another reason I run.  Seeing a lot more nature and a variety of it while running is why I run long distances.  When I ran 50K last week I didn’t enjoy it.  I was too distracted by the wires to enjoy the crazy antics the race presented.  I was hoping to find more time to run, but balance of family, photography, and time with God has priority.  Running has been replaced with Soccer, Flying to take Aerial photos, and hanging with the family.  I long to run, but cherish “Making Memories” with the family. 

In hind sight it wasn’t bad being wired for six weeks.  I had warning it would happen so I was mentally prepared.  I used being wired to the fullest, and learned a lot about myself along the way.

If you were wired shut and was freed, what would be your first meal?


Barefoot liability, when the business is liable?

Posted on September 15th, 2011 by Brandon

Barefoot liability, when the business is liable?

 “You can’t be in here without shoes, because we don’t want to be liable if you get hurt” is a statement that I have actually been told by a business not wanting my business because I chose to be barefoot.  Before today my only argument was to try to get them to believe that the business wouldn’t be liable for my choice in footwear or lack there of. 

 Today I have a new response to the same objection or order from the business.  “Okay, I will put on shoes only if you are willing to accept the liability of me getting hurt when wearing shoes because you told me to?”  If a business requires a person to do something that is above any current law written or unwritten on the books they assume liability of the additional requirement.  In my example, requiring me to wear shoes when it is not against any state or federal law or statutes makes the business liable. 

 On “The Barefoot Healthy Lifestyle” blog this topic was discussed and the example they used was a person wearing high heels being told to take them off at a bar do to unlevel floors.  By requiring the shod person to remove their shoes that they wore by choice the business is accepting liability for any injury the person may incur.  So in the opposite any business requiring shoes would accept the liability for any person that by choice would be barefoot.

 In a liability filled world if businesses could be held liable for the choices of their patrons we wouldn’t have any businesses.  Could a business be held liable for injury that occurred to a child if the child ran away from the parent (or the parent wasn’t paying attention) and drank a bottle of cough syrup?  By bringing the child into the store does the store assume all liability of the choices made by the child?  The only way the business would be liable if they caused the child to drink the cough syrup.  Just because the business might get sued doesn’t make them liable. 

 So a business is not liable if a person by choice walks in barefoot, does business, and leaves.  If the person is injured, the business is only liable if they negligently did not have their business up to the standards set for by law for that business.  The business assumes liability when they require you to wear shoes because that is outside the state law or statues that govern businesses. 

 What are your thoughts on this?  Do you agree?  Do you disagree and why?

50 Miles with my jaw wired shut- North Country Run Report

Posted on August 30th, 2011 by Brandon

50 Miles with my jaw wired shut- North Country Run Report

It is possible to run 50 miles with your jaw wired shut.  Before Saturday I could only find one person who was rumored to run the Leadville 100 with his jaw wired shut over 20 years ago.  Going into Saturday’s race knowing that very few people would ever attempt such a challenge I had a lot of anxiousness.  Running 50 miles is tough enough.  Running with your jaw wired shut is very strenuous on the body.  Before Saturday, ten miles is the longest I had ran wired shut and that was in March.  My body had healed well from Burning River 100.  The furthest I had ran in the past month was 3 miles, and that was in a 5K just days after surgery.

Early in the Race- Still Smiling - North Country Trail Run 50 Miler 2011

Early in the race

Normally before an Ultra I like to rest as much as possible, but after driving for 2 ½ hours to the race sight Emily, Roger, and I helped in whatever way we could.  Putting up a tent, starting the generator, and hauling supplies to the aid station kept us busy till after 9:30pm.  The three of us stayed at one of Roger’s friends rentals in Cadillac which made for a quiet nights sleep.  Not sleeping on the ground meant more relaxed sleep.  The six hours of sleep was much better than last years two hours.

Waking up fresh and ready to run we arrived just in time to get a great parking space (still can’t believe no one else thought of parking there) and started to mingle with all the friends who drove in to race.  The Hobby Joggas were there: Mark, Tony, Stuart, Rick, and Ryan all ran the marathon.  There was a bunch of new faces with them that all looked happy and ready to run.  The marathon started about 20 minutes before the marathon and with a course change this year it would be common to pass many of them on the first loop of the 50.  After about a mile the marathon runners paced and it would be the only time I got to see Roger run and he was in the top three.  The small group of ultra runners started to line up.

Lining up towards the back of the pack was the only option for me.  I didn’t want to be passed by a hundred runners who were running for a personal best of the win.  My goal from the start was to finish.  Starting in the back is always better because the people back there are cooler people.  We like to talk, and we could careless what our time is.  We run to have fun.  So without any announcement that I could hear, we were off.  The first little bit was to the end of the parking lot entrance and back on the pavement to spread out the runners a bit.  It was only about a quarter mile total before hitting the trail, but in that short time I was picked out of the crowd by the brother of Kristen Armstrong, one of my brides from two years ago (Got to love Facebook).

Gnarly chilling in my pack

Gnarly chilling in my pack

The only bad/good part of being in the back when starting a trail race is the width of the trail and the pure volume of runners.  With over 150 runners starting together, the trail packed up really fast.  Its good when it does this because it slows you down, but bad because you almost trip over people.  Slowing down also leveled the playing field for all the “Open Mouthed” runners and myself.  I was able to keep the pace with them for the first couple of miles.  I ended up with a group of “Medical Misfits” for a few miles.  One guy ran with a heart that couldn’t get over 130 beats per minute or his oxygen level would drop to under 80 percent.  Another guy was running just months after a valve replacement.  Did you know they don’t use pig valves that often anymore.. who knew?  They felt better after finding out I am a paramedic, but didn’t like my response of who was going to give them mouth to mouth after I passed out myself?

Beautiful Manistee national forest trail- North Country Run 2011

Beautiful Manistee national forest trail- North Country Run 2011

Ultras are a small world.  After surging ahead on the flats I started a conversation with a very nice guy (Tom Coleman) who come to find out was neighbors to Tim Adair, the guy I ran 80 miles with at Burning River.  We ran for a couple more miles together before I told him not to wait up for me.  His goal was sub 10 hours and I was an anchor.  He ended up around 10:45, sorry Tom L.

The wheels started falling off around the 20 mile mark.  I wasn’t dehydrated, but felt like I was hit by a train.  I had been drinking Boost and V8 throughout, but they were not enough.  Leg cramping started around that same point and I learned quickly that if I drank a Boost right after they started the cramps would go away.  I started drinking more Ultra in my water and that didn’t help.  I wasn’t able to level out.  GU Energy wasn’t an option unless I wanted to be a sticky mess.  Something about a syrup dripping down your numb chin doesn’t seem very smart while running.

Now the wheels were locking up, and the mind was starting to give up.  I arrived at the half way point just emotionally drained.  I felt like I had run my first 31 miler in the mountains of California and the 100 miles of Burning River together and it was only 25 miles in.  My wife took the brunt of my frustration when the chair was nicely placed in the shade about 20 feet off the trail.  I didn’t like how far away from the aid station and my bag it was so I took it out on those who only cared about me and getting me through the race.  I quickly relaxed and tried figuring out how my wife did in her first half marathon.  I rather have talked to her and Roger all day then to get back out on the course.  I didn’t want to move.  My legs, feet, chest, and abdomen all hurt.  I don’t know whether I just got out of the chair, or what, but next thing I know I am moving back down the trail and that’s when I lost it.

Just 10 yards past the 25 mile mark I cried like a baby.  I couldn’t control it and didn’t want anyone to see me.  I just kept walking and praying.  The thought of quitting left my mind after I remembered my verse “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:13”.  On I trudged.  Thankfully there were a lot of smooth up hills and longer down hills.  I had to walk more than I liked because my stomach now wanted to slosh around and try to make me throw up.  Puking with my mouth wired shut isn’t an option.  There were not a lot of runners passing me at this point, but one older man (Jose) stood out.  Him and I kept yo-yoing positions all day long.  I couldn’t ever really run with him because when I felt good I ran much faster, but when I felt bad, He would catch up and pass me.  I knew he was on the trail near me and he always had a kind word to say.

My Run Amoc Shoes for the first 38 Miles

My Run Amoc Shoes for the first 38 Miles

Roger ended up being one of my angels on the course.  He traveled from aid station to aid station making sure I was okay.  The sight of a friend at the aid station picked up my deepening spirits and gave me something to look forward to.  I ran much of the middle of this lap alone and it was tough.  From being sick with a stomach cramps to leg locking muscle spasms do to a lack of sodium.  I experience more lows and deep depressions then I ever imagined.  I continued on even though I wanted to quit.   Aid station 5/13 would be the last time I would see Roger leaving me 9 miles to run alone.

Shortly after passing station 5 my legs went into complete muscle spasms in the middle of an uphill.  I could only stand in the middle of the trail and hold a tree, praying for them to let up.  I had just taken a Boost to prevent another low.  I was feeling pretty good going into the hill.  Thankfully Roger remembered a Gatorade G1 Before supplement.  I took it just after my legs looked up and my legs quickly came back.  I started to run again on the downhills and flats.  I did my best to continue on and the distance to Aid station 6/14 went by quickly.  As I arrived I asked if this was the aid station that had new legs.  Lisa Fine a runner who I would spend the rest of the race with laughed and seemed to enjoy a little humor this late in the race.  I did my best to get any sodium in I could and drank fluid to keep hydrated.  I caught up to Lisa on an uphill between 14 and 15 and I decided to run with her instead of running by myself.  She was in bad shape when I caught her.  She didn’t even really want to run the 50 miler, but decided to late to switch to the shorter marathon distance.  The miles went by a little easier while running with her.  Through 15 and 16 we ran just trying to get to the finish.  Somewhere in this trek Ben VanSoose met us coming back from the Start Finish line.  I stopped to talk with him, and decided it would be better to run with Lisa and make sure she made it to the end.  Daylight was quickly leaving deep dark shadows on the trail.  Ben ran back to meet with another runner and pick up trash along the way.  (He is an amazing man, with a huge heart).

Lisa started to run a little bit more towards the end.  I was becoming very proud of a women who I had only known for 7 miles, but had a huge heart to finish a challenge.  My memory of the course from lap one helped keep us positive and I started to see cars and campers parked near the park entrance.  On we ran.  I started to push her to run.  Telling her we were going to run into the finish.  I started to hear the cheers as we rounded the last corner and Lisa started to run harder.  I just continued to push her and she responded.  It was joy to see all the people still there to cheer us on.  As we neared the line I let Lisa go for the finish.  She earned it by being there for me.  If it wasn’t for the new trail friend my last miles would have been a lonely trek of self pity and misery.  Till the very end I hadn’t even seen her face.  She had lead the way down the trail to the finish.

My wife Emily and my friend Roger were there to witness me finish.  The race director stepped in to put the medal around my neck.  I just wanted to cry.  Knowing at that moment I could do anything.  I didn’t do it alone.  My wife supported me more than I could ever repay.  How many wives would allow their husband to run with a wired jaw.  The support of my friends Roger, Chris, Phil, and Tim who were there to see me finish and support me to the car.  My new trail friends Lisa, Tom, and Jim were a huge support along the way.  The aid station volunteers who did a great job supporting me even though there was little they could do.

A very important Thank You to all the people who pledged to donate one item for every mile I completed.  The list has over 60 names from all across the country.  It amazes me the generosity of oters.  The food is now being collected and I hope all come through and at least 3000 non perishable food items can be donated.

Lisa Fine and Brandon Mulnix at finish of North Country Trail Run 2011

Lisa and I after we finished

Thank you for the prayers, and support!

Read about it in the Daily News or Washington Post

Naked Foot 5K – Grand Rapids (I must be crazy)

Posted on August 25th, 2011 by Brandon

Naked Foot 5K -Grand Rapids(I must be crazy)

 Running 50 Miles must not be enough for me, because now I am signed up to run the Naked Foot 5K on Sunday in Grand Rapids.  I am a sucker for peer pressure and I caved when a number of runners who read this blog mentioned they might be running it.  It helped that there was a Groupon offer for $19.  Available to Midnight 08/25/2011

 So less then 11 hours after my anticipated 50 mile finish I will attempt a nice easy soft Barefoot 5K.  Merrell is the hosting sponsor and the race will be well attended by Barefoot runners from acrossMichiganand beyond.  It will be nice to run with like minded people that understand what its like to run “FREE”. 

 Barefoot Ken Bob Saxton will be there and that is worth the $19 in itself.  Ken has been running barefoot for a really long time and has a ton of experience and knowledge for it.  His passion for natural running is contagious.  Anyone who attends will be glad they did.  Jason Robillard author of the “Not Yet Best Seller” book “The Barefoot Running Book” will also be there to help guide the lost soles to the promise land of barefoot running. 

 Shoes are welcome (but it will be like wearing clothing in a nudist camp), and it’s a safe place for the Kids with a Kids fun run and 1 mile run. 

More information is available at:

Kids just being kids- Running Naturally- Warning Adults might not appreciate this

From the awesome people at the Natural Running Center

I dream of a place where kids can just run free.  No restraints from adults who’s science “Knows what is right for them”.  The kids look so natural running barefoot and they should!  I am so glad their are people that still appreciate the simple things in life.

Adults are probably watching this video with horror at the dangers of running in the street, the germs, the dangers of running barefoot.  The kids are just watching say “how cool is that”  I always dreamed of running barefoot in the middle of the road.

Adults, what is stopping you from running like a child again?

The problem with Barefoot Education – As seen on TV

Posted on August 23rd, 2011 by Brandon

The problem with Barefoot Education – As seen on TV

As Seen on TV
When it comes to sharing the benefits of living barefoot in today society there isn’t enough gimmick to it.  We have grown up in the “As seen on TV” generation and our brains are waiting for the next product to save our lives.  Who is going to create that Video that we all have been waiting for?  I have $19.95 waiting in my pocket to spend on it.  I might even spread it out over 3 easy payments, no hassle warranty,  or better yet a 90 day money back guarantee. 

or on the company’s homepage: Barefoot Science
This video shows excitement, passion, and a product that works (according to their marketing department).  Who cares if the product does what its supposed to do?  This video has crazy moving graphics, bright colors, loud noises, music, and they explain it in a way your 90 year old grand mother can understand. 

Come on Barefoot Ted stop running around all tipsy toed, making sadels, speaking at conferences,  and make the video.  Barefoot Jason you have a canny sense of strange humor that might be more Youtube than infomercial, but we need this.   The leaders of the barefoot movement are missing the point. The problem is  not whether each and every one of us can truly understand what is behind being barefoot,  its about Edutainment and Infomercials that sell us a product that you tell us are good for us.

3 Easy Payment LogoWhy would I want to read a book when I can learn how to do it with the video “7 Minute Arches” or why would I want to spend $90 on a pair of barefoot running shoes when they don’t have a 90 day Money back guarantee.  Its time to be a little more creative, the Tarahumara tribe is so last week.  You need to find the next group of people to take this thing to the new level.  How about the tribe of Little Old Grey Hairs that are hanging around right now waiting to call your operators who are standing by?

90 Day Money BackIts amazing it took this long to realize what was wrong with the Barefoot Education system.  Now it is your turn to do something about it.  I would help, but I can’t find my way out of the lazy boy.


Fallsburg “Who Cut the Cheese 5K” Wired Shut and Barefoot Race Report

Three days ago I woke up in the hospital with my jaw wired shut for the second time in 6 months.  Just days later I decided to run a 5K for the heck of it.  Over the past two years I have heard so much talk about the Fallsburg Marathon and 1/2 Marathon that I just wanted to be part of it.  I didn’t pay attention to when it was, so yesterday when I was visiting a local zoo a guy from Pittsburgh mentioned he was running the 1/2 Marathon and it got me thinking.  If I plan on running 50 miles next weekend, how do I know I can even go 3 miles with my jaw wired shut?  So I convinced my studio assistant to meet me at Fallsburg and we signed up to run the 5K this morning.

The Hospital Mile on Wednesday - Just hours after surgery

The Hospital Mile on Wednesday - Just hours after surgery

“I am running it for the T-shirt” I continued to tell myself.  In my mind there are no limitations, only excuses not to do something.  My jaw was not going to be my excuse.  After hanging around for an hour or so talking with Ben VanHoose and other ultra runners from the area I felt like I would be okay.  I know the course inside and out since I have trained here often over the past 2 years and its only a 5K.  It was only 30 minutes before the race started when I decided I wanted to run this trail/road race barefoot.  I hadn’t run any of the trails here barefoot before, but knew it would be less pounding on my jaw.  I was glad I did.

Jaw Wired and Barefoot

Jaw Wired and Barefoot

The race started with about 100-125 people.  Most were running the 1/2 marathon or the marathon, and I couldn’t tell who was in for the 5K.  A group of young guys started up front and took off like a shot out of a gun.  Those must be the 5K runners I told myself, no relieved that I didn’t have to worry about a great place.  I ran hard from the start, testing out how to breath through my nose and whatever parts of my mouth air could get through.  I stayed just behind the top group of all runners through the first mile.  A 7:58 mile, not bad, but I was pushing hard.  Trying to get the body moving with as little oxygen as possible.  The course became rockier and more technical so I slowed down a bit allowing other runners to get by.  A 9:20 mile for a hilly technical second mile.  I was starting to gasp for air.  Running on fumes by now.  The hills continued and the terrain turned to rocks then road.  I ran the center line of the road looking for any relief possible for my feet.  Not having ran much barefoot was starting to stimulate some new nerves.  It didn’t hurt as much as it started to chaff the bottom of my feet.  I didn’t want blisters going into next weeks run.  I finished the last mile in 8:56 which seemed really slow.  I didn’t care until I saw all the runners cut off to the left for the 1/2 and full marathon while I continued straight.  Only one girl in front of me and I was hyperventilating from trying to catch my breath.  I trudged on to finish in 26:21 3rd place overall, 2nd place in the Men’s division.

2nd Place Men- Fallsburg "Who Cut the Cheese 5K" - August 2011

2nd Place Men- Fallsburg "Who Cut the Cheese 5K" - August 2011

I was awarded a funny plaque for my 2nd place finish and a great towel to dry off with.  The T-shirt was cool and well worth the $20!  My assistant Karen came in just over a minute behind me to finish 4th overall and 2nd Women.  She had a PR and did an amazing job on a tough hilly course.  She should not have believed me that it was “an easy” course.

My Studio Assistant Karen- Ran a PR and got 4th overall

My Studio Assistant Karen- Ran a PR and got 4th overall

Overall I have confidence that if I slow down and enjoy the race next week 50 miles is doable.  Nutrition will be the toughest challenge, but I don’t like things that come too easy.  Next race North Country Trail 50 Miler

Do Shoes Hurt People? – Product Safety Standards

Posted on July 11th, 2011 by Brandon

Do Shoes Hurt People? – Product Safety Standards

I get asked questions on a regular basis about what shoes people should wear, and its so hard to answer the question, because I am not a shoe guy.  Its even harder to answer when you start doing the research and find that shoe manufactures don’t believe in their products.  Here is an article that might stem some thought from the Natural Runner Center

Should the FDA Require All Running Shoes Be First Tested for Product Safety?

Posted on 11 July 2011

by Dr. Phil Maffetone.

In 1994, seven CEOs from the nation’s largest tobacco companies declared under oath before a Congressional hearing on Capitol Hill that “nicotine is not addictive.” Their testimony was a brazenly defiant refusal to acknowledge the legitimacy of several decades of research that proved cigarettes and nicotine were health hazards. Now imagine that in a parallel universe it had been seven CEOs from the nation’s largest footwear companies all making the following declaration before that same Congressional Subcommittee on Health and the Environment: “Over-supported running shoes do not cause foot or leg injuries.” Even though a number of published footwear studies already indicated that this was the actual case, the running shoe CEOs were in lock step agreement that it was not.

Disclaimer: This warning label is entirely made up, and does not have the Surgeon General’s approval.

But there’s more. Since their well-padded shoes were marketed as a way to prevent injuries, did these companies need to apply for FDA approval as stipulated by federal regulations for most other consumer products? No, the shoe companies didn’t need a green light from the FDA. The shoes companies did no safety studies on runners, submitted no papers to scientific journals, or got their “devices” approved for public use.  Read the Rest of the article here

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