Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A year without shoes, A weekend spent going nowhere and other Shenanigans

Javelina 100, 2009
The last picture ever taken of my running in shoes.

As of Halloween it's been 1 year since I last ran in shoes.  It began as an experiment and became a lifestyle.  I have worn shoes about 30 times in the last year, only when mandated by work or society pushing the boundaries whenever I can.
Samba De Amigo
Friday afternoon I found myself spinning my legs on the recumbent bike.  For the past month I've been getting on some type bike everyday.  What first started out at 10 to 15 miles a day, escalated to  20 then 25 and is now closer to 30.  Most of the time I spend reading book's and I have read more literature this month than any other time in my life (including college).  Friday I  fired up my Wii and decided test my rhythm with the Wii maraca's and get a little arm workout at the same time while I rocked out to the likes of Ozomatli and Ray Vega while playing Samba De Amigo.  The game is dirt cheap and a precursor to all the modern Guitar hero games (it's pretty damn fun has a good song list and is a perfect accompaniment  to the exercise bike.  My musical ability is pretty sad at best I can't play guitar but I can play a pretty mean maraca. Time flew by and before I knew It I had peddled over 40 miles.  I was feeling good and my dumb ass felt like boasting.  I proclaimed  to my facebook friends (I think I had 7 but maybe 5 now) that I would ride 200 miles by the end of the weekend. (That was Stupid). I am not a cyclist! I think this mileage is pretty mundane to anyone involved with the sport but it's a pain in the butt for me (literally)  I had never rode over 62 miles in a day but what the hell. I decided to hit sauna for a couple hours I came back home and hit the bike for another 20 miles before bed.

I got up early Saturday morning and rode the bike leisurely for about 45 miles before heading to the gym.  I thought to myself that it would be cool to ride a 100 miles the following day on Halloween since I had entered a 100 mile race the previous year on that day. I was already half to my goal and that meant i could take the rest of the day off. When I got home the gym I pigged out on some Avocado taco's, had a couple beers and sat down to watch some sports.  Feeling lazy I found myself back on the bike.  Change of plans  "How bout I do 100 miles today and 100 miles on Sunday as well" That was my new plan and I would stick to it.
This wench wishes she was as hot as my friend. (I won't use names to protect myself from incrimination)

I'd been spinning my legs all day I ended up hitting the 100 mile mark somthime around 7 p.m. Earlier in the week I told a friend mine I would go with her to a Halloween Party Saturday night.  She had promised her friend she would go and didn't want to show up alone.  I knew I wouldn't know anybody but I was game to make some friends and since I suck with names I could just label people by their costume's.  Anyhow I put my kilt on picked up a bottle of  Old Grand Dad (80 proof boo! taste like water) and was ready to go.  Lucky for me my sexy pirate friend had to work the next morning so she would be my designated driver. Since my kilt only has one small pocket I had to choose either camera, phone or flask.  I decided to error on the side of caution and brought my flask

The party was pretty fun I think the crowd was maybe 75% good looking Lesbians.  I may have been the only straight guy there and I was wearing a man skirt. I was in good spirits and had a great time.  The whole night this demon nurse kept flipping my kilt up (She should of been dressed as a cat burglar the way she was after a peek at my family Jewels)  In stark contrast I kept chasing her girlfriend Mini Mouse threatening that a strong breeze may cause exposure. (I was never going to do it, this girl was so afraid of penis's I think she may have fainted)  Anyhow it wall in good fun and it felt as if the three of were part of Benny Hill Halloween skit.  The night went by fast and I could tell my friend wanted to get home.  We left the party and got to bed by 2 A.M.


I was up by 6 A.M.  Halloween morning and surprisingly my legs felt great. I was a little disappointed however, I felt like had pushed myself hard the day before but the only thing that hurt was my back and my butt. From siting on the bike.  I hopped on the bike and went for a nice 25 mile ride.  Knowing I was going to be sitting inside all afternoon watching football I threw my kilt back on as well as the rest of my costume from the night before and headed out to El Dorado for some Disc Golf.

Drive 18 birdie
roller hole 7 par
hole 15 
I threw a nice easy lefty backhand anhyzer, hopped the puddle with a 360 follow through and stuck the landing just in time to regain a visual on my drive as it gently hyzered back to the ground about 340ft  away and 5ft  from the basket for an easy birdie.
Putt hole 2 birdie
I had a good time playing golf, my game wasn't the sharpest but I left the course with more money than I started with.

When I got home It was back on the bike.  I decided to experiment with affects of alcohol on my ride.  During the first hour  I pounded 7 beers on an empty stomach to see what kind of energy vs inhebriation I would get. My legs felt great and my speed actually increased.  My heart rate stayed within normal limits and the pedaling became effortless.  My body is pretty comfortable being fueled on nothing but beer.  I had my laptop set up next to my bike and I was reporting updates to some friends online. My football team won their game and I was having a great start to my Halloween. I had 75 miles to go but time was not on my side. I wanted to go trick or treating with my nephews and that meant I would have to stop riding after 3 and a half hours and finish my miles when I got home.

I headed over to mom's house to meet up with the family just before dark to go trick or treating.  This would be my first Halloween without gorging on Milk Chocolate.  Pillaging candy from kids is a family tradition in my household. Lucky for me I never had to steal from nephews they have always been very generous, but this is not what happened to me as a kid. Let me explain. Every year when I was young I would could come back to my stash each day and somehow It would be smaller than remembered leaving it.  When I was about 10 years old candy was very important to me  (I may have been a little fat kid and definitely did not need the sugar but lets disregard that information for the time being).   I was excited this year because I had obtained a file cabinet with a lock which meant nobody could get to my candy but me. (or so I thought)  I came home from soccer practice one night and my lock was busted (never to work again).  There could only be 2 culprits, my mother or my sister.  Both denied any wrong doings. I believed my sister but felt my mom was still suspect and upon further inspection I found numerous fun sized candy wrappers buried in her bedroom trash can.  I thought about contacting local law enforcement but never followed through with pressing charges.

Pikachu (pokemon) , dude who thinks he looks cool in a kilt, Turtwig (pokemon)
Good enough to score some free candy
Grandma was a good sport.  She stayed home and passed out candy while we canvassed the neighborhood
Where's the dark Chocolate?
Me and my Big sis (yep she loves it when I call her big, That's what little brothers are for)
When we got back we relieved Grandma of her duties.  My nephew enjoys passing out the candy even more  than receiving it (Crazy I know but very sweet).  We sat out in front of the house with fog machine blasting behind us until there was no candy left. If you've read my blog before this will sound redundant.  My family is by far the most important thing in my life and I truly cherish the time I get to spend them and making my nephews happy means the world to me. Spending time with them was by far the highlight of my weekend.

I got back home relatively early by about 9:30p.m. I still had another 25 or so miles left to spin.  My body was spent and I felt more like sleeping than exercising.  This is exactly what I needed!  Pushing past my comfort zone makes me feel like I have accomplished something.  My body had almost nothing left.  I searched my fridge for some fuel.  The best I could come up with was a generic Red Bull (been in my fridge for a year) about 8 ounces of red wine and an avocado.  This bought me about 20 minutes of energy.  I persevered and kept peddling till around midnight.  I had accomplished my goal. I was proud of myself and I was ready for bed.

Final stats for the weekend.

In a 60 hour span I ended peddling over 270 miles which took around 20 hours with an average speed of around 13.5mph I kept my bike on it's hardest setting the whole time which I would equate to the number 9 setting on the nicer bikes at the gym. I also do all my bike riding barefoot (unless I'm at the gym and they ask me to put my flip flops back on) I don't feel that this is the most efficient way to ride but I like to move my feet  up and down the peddles hitting the different nerve endings. My cheap recumbent has help up pretty good I have put around 10,000 miles on it in the last 3 years and it's still going strong.  I bought it at walmart  for $124 it's very compact, only weighs about 60 pounds and is very easy to use.  My gripes are that the seat could by comfier and the adjuster for length should have a pin lock.  Overall I'm been very happy with the bike.  If I was to buy a new bike right now however I'd probably buy this one Stamina 4545

Dia De Los Muertos 

 My favorite religious holiday (says the atheist).  Gotta love all the cool skeletons, and I'm all for taking some time to celebrate and think some good thoughts about the people I cared about that are no longer with us.

Yep I have a special shirt just for Dia De Los Muertos

Finally when I woke up Monday morning I had some sore legs (almost felt like an athlete).  The Santa Ana winds were blowing and the weather at the beach would be around 80 degrees.  No way was I gonna spend a beautiful day like this couped up indoors.  I got all my work done early in the morning and it was time to enjoy the  sunshine
Even the dead couldn't resist going for a ride.
This could surprise you but I ride a "Huffy".  It may be pretentious but everybody knows Huffy's are chick magnets.  It screams "There goes a guy who can afford a $60 bicycle that most people were to embarrassed to ride in public by the time they were 8." I also drive a Hyundai and own a moped, pretty amazing that I am not hounded by women non-stop. :)  I bought my bike on whim about 2 months and for some reason or another never got around to riding it.  
I should have bought the girl's version (that way I could ride it in my kilt)

  Never had I wanted a helmet more in my life than the day I first rode this bike.  The beach is only about a mile (mostly down hill) from my mom's house where my bike was parked. No way do I trust the craftsmanship of the guy who put this bike together (it was me). It felt like my bike would rattle apart by the time I got to the bike path.  On this day the fate's were on my side and the bike held together.  In honor of Dia De Los Muertos I loaded up my MP3 player with music by the Grateful Dead and had a really nice 20 mile ride along the beach.  My legs felt great but unlike my recumbent bike I was sitting on a seat that had to be designed by a vindictive woman or a unic.  By the end of the ride I felt like I could probably sing a pretty good falsetto.

Election Day

2016 will be the first Presidential election I'll be old enough to run in. I figure I got a few years to sow some wild oats (whatever that means) before it's time to get down to business and take this country under my wings. Sneak preview of reforms : Universal health care payed for by a national sales tax.  Defense budget cut in half, money diverted to schools especially to fund physical education to combat childhood obesity and Diabetes. Tax credits for those living a healthy lifestyle.  Gas tax of around $3 a gallon (maybe more)  the only way to get rid of our dependence on foreign oil is not to use it.  Revoke tax exempt status for all churches. Most importantly I will grant equality to women!  No longer shall they suffer from clasps and knots of repression on a hot day.  Even more often than I go without shoe's I go without a shirt.  It's very important to me and women deserve that right as well.  In my opinion boobs provide nothing but happiness, and health to babies.  It's ridiculous that women must obey different laws than men in how the attire their bodies.

Voting Day is the most dangerous of year to drive.  Beware of the countless amount of old people in their Cadillacs trying to see over their steering wheels as they run over puppies and small children while they look for the local polling station.
This graph shows the direct correlation between the amount of accidents that occur from old people driving on voting day compared to every other day of the year  (why would graph ever lie?)
 "welcome united states 2145"

Once again the weather outside was spectacular. I've  kept my voter registration at my Moms house in Manhattan Beach.  My polling station  was at the Belemar Hotel I thought about walking there but figured I'd be safer from the once a year driving octogenarians if I had my car to protect me.  When I got there they had free valet parking (are you kidding me) I couldn't help but laugh, the beach community where I grew up is getting a little to carried away with it's affluence.  That's where I come in the last bastion of hope (or the last of the white trash, call it what you want)  Most of the people that moved to Manhattan Beach building multi million dollar homes either work nonstop to pay the mortgage or are so filthy rich this is their second or third home. (I should know I enumerated this them)  What this means is that the beach is nearly empty during the work week  and I am free to claim it as my own private playground. I put more steps on the sand than anyone else. (sorry about that tangent ) 

Back to the Belemar, after getting my car valet parked I meandered my way through the hotel to the polling station and was met with my 8th grade English teacher (a longtime Manhattan Beach Volleyball player/Bum) He was working the polls and we shot the shit for a little bit about running before it was time to vote.  I am registered as an independent.  I am not a democrat but under our current 2 party system I almost always vote that way because I feel it's the lesser of 2 evils.  I believe Equality should always trump personal liberty.
After voting is was time to hit the beach once again.  I got the socket wrench out and  gave my bike a tune up.  I also found my original bike lock from when I was kid (combo the last 4 digits of my first phone number)

 I added a new bike horn.  I had forgotten my MP3 Player so I rigged a small radio with some magnets and rubber bands.  The weather about 85 degrees when I headed to the beach.
Looks like I'm riding one of Barefoot Ted's Victorian's
The bike felt a lot more sturdy on this day. I hope I can get at least 5,000 miles out of it before it falls apart. When I listen to music on a crappy radio I really appreciate more.  I found myself continuously scanning the dial for any station that had reception.  Half the time I found myself listening to the Mexican stations that dominate the Southern California airwaves (good thing I dig  accordions) the highlight was when out of the blue came Marvin Gaye's rendition of "Ooh Child" one of my all time favorite songs (although I prefer Beth Orton's version).   I rode  about 20 miles before stopping to enjoy a tall can of champagne (Miller High Life) on the beach with a buddy of mine.  I kicked back for about an hour talking philosophy and watching the dolphins ride the waves (tried to get a pic but my camera phone was too slow). By the time I got back on my bike it was about a hour and half before sunset. 

 When the Santa Ana winds blow through Los Angeles they take all our pollution out over the Pacific. It makes for crappy air quality, warm weather, and awesome sunsets. I decided to keep riding until dark and enjoy the view.  The weather is supposed to get even nicer as the week progresses.  Can you guess where I'll be?

No matter how good or bad my day may have gone, I am a sucker for a beautiful sunset, they never cease bring me happiness and I remain optimistic that tomorrow's sunset will be even better.


  1. How did you manage to walk/run without shoes for aver a year, great man, want to know about your secret.

  2. It's easier to keep shoes's off my feet than tput them on. After awhile the nerve endings on the bottom of your feet start to crave sensory experiences. Nothing I like more than going for a barefoot run at the beach and then off to the park for some barefoot disc golf where I can massage my feet on the roots of tree's and feel the different textures the world has to offer.

  3. Hey Patrick, inspiring stuff... I've been slowly transitioning to five-fingers this year and read your blog for inspiration! Anyhow, I heard a nasty rumor that you developed a stress fracture and will be out for a few months. Is that true?