Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Severe foot Damage? Making Cash hitting the sticks & throwing Discs Plus a Barefoot Mile.

The week started inauspiciously enough. 10 mile barefoot run on a beautiful Monday morning.I had a acquired a parking pass for a lot I had never parking in before.  As I walked barefoot to my car a young lady caught my eye .
"Ooh La La"
I thought to myself .
I was unaware of the impending doom ahead of me. I wasn't paying one iota (how much is an iota I have no idea?) where I was about to step.   All of sudden blood was coming out of my foot and I had just gashed up the area between my two smallest toes on my left foot.  The girl gave me one of those what an idiot looks (yes indeed) and some kid walking by told me "you better watch where you going."  "No shit Sherlock!" I muttered out under my breathe as I cringed in pain.

I was six days from the USTAF Road mile Championships Which, I had planned to run barefoot in! I was also playing in Disc Golf/ Ball golf tournament the day prior.

How bad did I actually hurt myself.  Initially I was hoping there was no blood, the gashes weren't that deep, barely enough to make it drip off my foot but they were such an awkward place a band aid would be pointless.  
In an effort to prove my toughness (or stupidity) I went to go play paddle tennis "barefoot" a few hours later. The foot didn't feel great but the ego boost I got from beating my buddy who is stud of tennis player in straight sets gave me high that blocked out the pain. 
Later that evening I headed over to the disc golf course to work on my putting. Since I was gonna playing in my first tournament in well over 2 years I figured it would be best to try and build some confidence in my short game.  I threw over a 1,000 puts and then played a few rounds of golf.  I did however wear my Luna's to keep dirt out of my wounds.

For the next few days running on the beach was out of the question also my plan of getting in some fast track workouts now did not seem like such a good idea.  

Instead I decided to focus on golf game.  I normally play barefoot or in sandals (at the ball golf course) But because this was a tournament I didn't know how formal things were gonna be. I went to the harbor golf course in San Pedro and played a practice round in my Skechers Go-runs.  Wearing shoes at the golf course made my clubs feel like they were made for a little kid.  I played horribly on any hole over 150 yards but luckily I played well on the 2 par 3's and my tournament coming up was on a Executive course.

By the time the weekend rolled around my foot was feeling a lot better and was maybe 70% healed.

Welcome to the De Bell Disc/Ball Golf Course
This Video is pretty cheesy but it's better than the crappy pics I took.

I arrived a the course an hour early and was able to get 8 holes of ball and disc golf in  "For Free" before the event ( Free ball golf I was stoked)

The tournament started with a 9 round of Ball golf. It's a really strange pitch and putt course. A lot of low ceiling shots and we were required to hit off an artificial tee that for some strange reason seemed to be in perfect shape for righties while but for lefties like myself  it was a mess.  On three of three on the nine holes I would stand off the mat below my ball and tee off from the right-handers side.  Today was gonna be all about managing my game by playing shots that may not look pretty but get the job done.

Lets Get on to the tournament

9 holes ball golf
9 holes disc golf

Top five players  play an additional 9 hole ball/and disc golf at the same time and all of them receive a cash payout.

About 30 people showed  up to play and I even ran into about 5 familiar faces from yesteryear.

I was put in a threesome with a course pro fro another Disc/Golf slash Ball golf course (Verdugo Hills)  and some chick who was pretty good a ball game but had never thrown a disc.  My goal was simple, play conservative and hopefully get less double bogies than I did pars at golf and go bogie free throwing discs collecting  as many birdies as I could without taking any risks.

First hole of ball golf, decent drive next to the green then a poor chip leaving me about 20 feet away.  I putted  about 3 feet short (thanks to these shag carpet like greens) Then preceded to miss the putt scoring a double bogie
"This is gonna be along day I thought".
I managed settle down shooting shooting plus 4 over the next 8 holes and was rather pleased.

Time for disc golf
 If I said I brought my A-Game I'd be lying.  If I said I brought my B-Game I'd  still be lying!   Instead I dug deep into my bag of tricks  to scramble for par and 3 chances at birdie capitalizing on 2 of them  shooting a -2 for the round and winning my card by 1 stroke.
Right to Left
Local ball golfer, Verdugo Course Pro, Robert Cox , Myself and Denny-B

It turns out my score was good enough to put me in third meaning I was guaranteed cash but for better or worse the scores were reset and we all started out tied for the second round.

Instead of eating lunch I decided to play another of golf.  I was there to have fun and the more golf I got in the better.

It's been along time since I played in tournament and my mental game was a little off during the second round.  Dealing with Robert Cox (an old friend ) who was drunk off his ass and taking it out on the other golfers took its toll on my game.  When you play a lot of events you get use to that kind of thing but my days on the tour have long since gone by.  I was hanging around in third or fourth place before running into some bad luck late in the round sealing my fate as the 5th place finisher. 
Oh Well, I still got paid. and had enough time to play one more round after the event.
It was a really cool event, I will be back.

That's right Ladies and gentlemen 63,360" non-stop no water, no aid stations and no pacers.
One mile seems a lot longer when you got to do it in straight line. The race is held at El Toro Airfield on and old Landing strip.

To qualify for the elite race you must be capable of sub 5 minute mile.  This should be easy!  But of late I haven't shown too much speed. I think there was around $4,000 prize money so what the hell might as well give it shot plus since I'm a member of the USTAF the event cost less than $20.

The Elite race was the final heat of the day.  After sitting standing around watching about 10 other races it was finally my turn. About 20 of lined up and there were some pretty fast looking dudes and one dumb ass without any shoes.
 I went out fast and was leading through the quarter mile it made for good photo's but I petered out pretty quick.

This year I decided to take it slow at that start.  Did it work?
Not really within  no time I was left in the dust.  My body was a little tweaked from the golf tournament the day before and perhaps a little speed work at the track would of helped my cause.
It was taking forever to cover the 160,000+ centimeter  of a race

While this dude broke the four minute mark collecting a fat paycheck.  I think Michael Jackson could have moon walked the race faster than I ran it.
(I know Michael Jackson deference really current, Huh?)
Doing my best to pretend that I am fast.
(Check out the cool barbie hands which I usually reserve to my beach volleyball playing)

Deffinetly not a heel strike at that speed .

On the plus side I did get first place in the barefoot division 2 years in a row? ( I bet you can guess how many of those there were)
Life goes on.
My foot was fine. I played a few rounds of barefoot Disc Golf on the way home and was back running on the soft sand the next day.

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