Saturday, June 11, 2011

Beer Run with Christopher McDougall

I drove in to NYC yesterday afternoon to join Chris McDougall to run from Columbus Circle to 4th Avenue in Brooklyn. (Route below, I hope).

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A couple of observations: we had a pretty decent turnout for what was basically a last-minute event.  McDougall has a book-signing scheduled today, which is part of his Naked Tour, and this was an add-on to that.  It was organized in conjunction with John Durant, whose sister Maggie wound up taking the lead, as John is trying to finish his book.

Folks were wearing a variety of shoes for the run, including Vibrams, VivoBarefoot Evos, Merrell Trail Gloves, and regular sneakers.  A number of very accomplished barefooters turned up.  I wore my Ultras, which I took off for about 2.5 miles of the run down the West Side.  My feet are not as well-adapted as they would be if I'd been getting more running in...  The Ultras did terrific.  Sweating was not a problem, they're a touch over-cushioned for my taste, but well within the bounds of barefoot-style, and switching back and forth from barefoot to Ultra-shod was effortless.  Literally.  With the elastic lacing, you just pull them off and pull them on.  These may be the perfect minimalist triathalon shoe...  I wore them sockless until the end, and did not use the liner or the tongue.  They kept my feet well exposed to the breezes.

Lots of folks brought packs, as did I, as the forecast was hot and humid.  It turned out to be quite pleasant, however, with a nice breeze off the river.  But I was glad for the extra water in the pack.

We wound up running 8.8 very flat miles.  Despite my complete lack of training, this was probably the easiest run I've ever done.  Part of it, to be sure, was being able to chat with a very nice bunch of folks, and part of it was a neat route through Manhattan.

As we arrived at the bar, one of the guys mentioned to me that he was starting to get hypoglycemic.  I laughed.  I had eaten a 3-egg omelet with peppers and onions cooked in butter with bacon on the side for breakfast that morning.  I bought lunch, a salad, and then forgot to eat it.  I had coffee with some grass-fed cream in the afternoon before leaving work, but basically ran the run in a fasted, no-carb state.  It hadn't occurred to me that I hadn't eating since the morning until this fellow mentioned food.  And I still wasn't hungry, had a hard cider and a tequila, and some milk when I got home, and never did eat anything for dinner.  Felt great the whole time.  Still do feel great writing this the morning after, and still haven't eaten anything.  Although I'm due for some coffee. ;)

I'm beginning to think fasted training and running is definitely the way to go.

Unfortunately McDougall's Naked Tour ends today, but he's a terrific, generous, funny individual, so if you have the chance to run with him or attend one of his events, do it.  It will be well worth your time.  And it's pretty remarkable that he makes the effort to remember everyone's name.  Is he running for office?

(No pictures, hopefully I'll get the group shot from the Durants and post it here later.)

P.S.  Forgot to mention that Tyler, a podiatry student, was along running barefoot.  Looks like we may have a changing of the guard in that business, as he mentioned that a number of the students are into the barefoot movement, while the professors tend to be skeptical.  Kudos to Tyler.

P.P.S.  Here's a video of the event.