Vibram Five Fingers & Half Marathons

run_start

I hopped on the barefoot running bandwagon almost an year ago, starting with the Vibram FiveFingers KSOs. Since I wasn’t a long-time runner, switching away from the heel strike was an easy transition and I didn’t have any issues running 5Ks in them.

Enter the Chicago Half Marathon. I followed Hal Higdon’s awesome 12 week intermediate training program wearing the KSOs and God, the longer runs hurt. The thin soles weren’t providing very much protection at all and even Chicago’s lakeshore path doesn’t provide much of an exodus from running on pavement. Race day itself was rough – you can only pay so much attention to the road for that perfect landing while keeping an eye out for aid stations, other runners, fans, etc. By mile 10, even though my legs weren’t tired, my feet were beyond numb.

It’s hard to transition from barefoot running back to regular sneakers as your feet are used to the lighter, more agile shoes (not to mention the reversal in running style). Besides, that would be a step backward! To prepare myself better for the upcoming Chi Town Half Marathon, I bought myself a new pair of Vibrams – more protection, better fit, MOAR BETTER!

new_vibrams

I’m really hoping the compartmentalized areas on the sole do a good job of softening the impact. It’s a significant difference from my old pair.

comparison

The salesman at the store also shared some cool barefoot running resources – The popular Born to Run book, a barefoot running guide that I hadn’t heard of and an aptly named barefoot running blog – BirthdayShoes.com.

Here’s to hoping this half is easier on the feet!

Happiness before death

Meaning

It’s great that many young hackers are giving a lot of thought to being happy throughout their lives instead of focusing on a specific work related task that ends up being irrelevant in the long run.

Having already come across the Top five regrets of the dying, I found Majd Taby’s article on a moment of clarity following the same thought process I went through not too long ago.

There seems to be a wide range of advice within the hacker community, where superstar VCs such as PG (Paul Graham) of YCombinator urge folks to spend their youth working insane hours so that they can retire early and enjoy the rest of their lives. On the other end, hackers such as Jamie Zawinski, early engineer at Netscape, have written great accounts of how getting rich or making somebody else rich may not be the best way to spend your youth.

It ultimately boils down to everybody finding their own path to happiness but the plethora of accounts on the web make it easier to understand the maturity in the thought process for people who may have taken a similar path as yourself. It is also fascinating to walk in the shoes of those who were on death row for capital punishment. For example, take a look at the last statements of 500 executed offenders in Texas. If it wasn’t limited to 500 people, I’d find it to be a bigger time-sink than Reddit.

Quality Sleep

Sleepy dude

Since our generation does not sleep, except for those lucky elites, the deprivation leaves us exhausted.

Not wanting to sacrifice the sacred early hours of trolling our favorite forums (or of watching cat videos), we have been cornered into figuring out a way to get the most from the few hours we sleep.

Apparently, you can time yourself to wake up at the top of a sleep cycle, which leaves you feeling (relatively) refreshed. You go through multiple cycles a night so there are a whole bunch of time slots you can go to bed at.

The catch is that the calculation will require you to count backwards from the time you want to wake up, counting which sleep cycle you want to get up at. Even though it is a simple calculation, it can tempt you to keep counting backwards for the rest of the night and not get any sleep at all.

Luckily for us, Sleepyti.me is a simple website that gives you the time slots you should be gunning for. These are the times that should be falling asleep so make sure to add in some buffer time for your bedtime rituals. Whatever they may be.

Thank you but it’s quite alright. There is no need to share your ritual.

Personally, I haven’t felt much of a difference but I don’t end up falling asleep at the required time either. Perhaps there needs to be a variation of the website that plays mind games with you and tells you the wrong time to fall asleep by, knowing that you’ll end up sleeping at the correct time. ConspiringSleepyti.me!

Sleep Tight!