Welcome to the Maple Grove Barefoot Guy!

For the latest in barefoot and minimalist running advice, news, and product reviews, subscribe or follow me at one of the links below! Cheers citizens!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

February Randomness

Well as you can probably tell from my last few posts, I've been busy molding my blog into a pillar of awesomeness slash cash cow.  I've been pleasantly surprised with the reaction.  The blog world has given me a medium-low to medium reception.  Apparently, I am not the last source people rely on to get their information.  I assume that the last source is Fox News.  Now, normally I would point out that they are probably more accurate and unbiased than me.  But hey...I like the attention.

With all of the reviewing, and guest posting, and resource writing, there hasn't been enough other stuff going on in my life to consume a whole blog post.  But there has been several little things going on in the background.  And since my stats are low right now, I thought I would share them with you.  Enjoy!

Writing Style

A little blog business up front.  I've been informed by my readership about a couple of trends in my writing style.  First, I've been accused of having facial hair envy, because I make at least one facial hair joke per post.  A couple points.  For one, I'm Swedish.  We have a proud tradition of wicked awesome facial hair.

I feel that this picture illustrates my point.  We also have a rich heritage of cool pointy hats and disappointing football teams (that was a Minnesota Vikings joke for my more dense readership).  Could we draft a freaking quarterback this year?!?! 

I want to be clear that I don't make jokes about facial hair in general.  I make jokes about Jason Robillard's facial hair.  There's a difference.  Facial hair is not inherently funny.  Well, mustaches are.  But anyway...Jason has seemingly wild, uncontrollable facial hair growth.  Dude has an 8am shadow.  But secretly I do admire how he can go from looking like Joe Mauer to 70s porn star in only a few days.  Maybe my jokes are my way of showing envy. 


After.  Okay...maybe not that dramatic.  I doubt Jason's hair has that much body.

AFTER POST EDIT: A day after this post, Jason "The Beard" Robillard posted this picture of me on his blog.  I guess this picture is aspirational.  With respect to facial hair, not booze.  I can totally handle that much booze.

I admire Jason's commitment to this beard joke thing, and glad he's a good sport.  Although I wasn't aware that Photoshop had a "hobo beard" feature. 


Second, I've been told that I use the word "awesome" a lot.  I was also informed that according to Urban Dictionary, "awesome" means, "something Americans use to describe everything."  To that criticism, I will answer in my normal way, by ignoring his logic and attacking him personally.  Who cites to Urban Dictionary as a source in an argument?  Do you quote episodes of TMZ to make your point as well?

I am confident that my readership enjoy and support my heavy use of the word.  Let it be known that I will continue to use it until "radical" comes back into popularity.  Amen...

Upcoming Reviews and Giveaways:

Alright, on to actual blog business.  I've been a busy little bee these past few weeks contacting companies about reviewing their product.  The result has been frequent trips by the UPS guy to my front door.  By now I assume that he thinks I have an online shopping addiction.  Little does he know it's actually a free stuff addiction.

In the next few weeks I will be reviewing the following running products: the Merrell Trail Glove running shoe, and the Zensah Compression Shirt (short-sleeved).  I will be doing a giveaway of the Zensah Compression Shirt. 

I'm also talking to the folks at Altra about possibly reviewing their Adam model.  I am especially excited about this one.  Not only would I be one of the only kids on the block with a pair of these bad boys, but I think their product has the potential to eclipse the Trail Glove as the big new minimalist shoe of 2011.  Maybe I can become the face of Altra as Jason Robillard is for Merrell.  Except you won't catch me making any barefoot education videos.  The only videos I want to be a part of would be a spoof on those videos.  Hopefully involving lots of overly dramatic movements and speeches, possible interpretive dance, and goofy hats.  Or maybe my own take on something like this.

Here's a sneak peek at the Altra Adam for those not familiar. 

Now picture a much more attractive ankle in the shoe, and a screen shot from The Bachelor finale in the background and you already have about 80% of any potential review.  But tune in anyway!

I've also been in contact with ZEM about their 2011 line, but the company "isn't ready for my jelly".  That's not what they said to me in their email mind you.  That would be funny, but not very professional.  Rather, so far they are just giving me the old corporation-speak brush off.  The company "isn't ready for public testing" or some such nonsense.  My response: I'm not the public...I'm a local superhero.  Do you think the public could pull off wearing a cape with huarache sandals?  I don't think so!  Give me some damn free shoes!

Actually, I contacted my "inside source" from ZEM about my inquiry, and he confirmed that the shoes aren't far enough along in production for me to score a pair.  Anything I just said in the prior paragraph was just me being obnoxious.  I'll get my hands on a pair of these shoes one way or another. 

Finally, I've been in the market for a good paleo snack food for quite some time that is easy to pack on long runs.  That search has born fruit recently.  Possible free fruit (literally)!  As a result, I'll also be doing reviews of Primal Pacs, which is a paleo jerky and trail mix snack pack.  Also look for a review of Honey Stinger products, which are honey-based energy foods made with organic (and mostly paleo) ingredients.

My legs hurt:

I've been doing two-a-day workouts since the end of January in order to train for my ultra marathon in September.  So I've been getting up at 5am almost every morning to do a Crossfit Endurance workout, and then running my normal mileage at night.  Normally, my legs don't have anything to say about 30-40 miles per week, which is what I'm up to right now.  If anything, they ask me for more punishment.  But from day one of my strength training they have had some strong objections. 

Right now, these objections are coming in the form of tight muscles.  I've never had so many knotted muscles in my life.  I feel like my legs aged 20 years in a month.  The biggest problems are coming from my IT band and my calves.  Since the first week of training, my IT band has tightened back up and started giving me problems.  The last time I had IT problems was after my first marathon.  I don't have any pain associated with it so much as it is just weak and annoyingly tight.  I also have ridiculously tight hamstrings and calves.

The soreness has gotten better in the last couple of days thanks to this little guy:

No, it's not Michelangelo's weapon in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (turtle power!).  It's "The Stick".  I won't spend a lot of time reviewing this sucker because I didn't get it for free.  But let's just say it's the best $30 I ever spent outside of a strip club, doughnut shop, or liquor store (and if you spend $30 in all three, it's called "A Good Night").

Side note: I'm not sure how I feel about my ability to remember the weapons of the TMNT characters.  Maybe it's time to get rid of my Underoo pajamas. 

Can you name them all?  Don't be ashamed if you can.  You're not the first gigantic nerd to read my blog, and you won't be the last.

To remedy my problem, I've cut back my strength training from 4 times to 2-3 times a week.  I've also added a few light yoga exercises after my workouts to loosen things up.  Hopefully this tightness will get better as time goes on.  Otherwise I might drop the strength training altogether.  That's not a recipe for ultra marathon success...

The Naked Foot 5K

I recently signed up to be a race director for the Naked Foot 5K, which is a barefoot race series in several cities throughout the US this summer. 

The race in Minneapolis will be held at Lake Nokomis on August 20, 2011.  This is the second year of the event, and the first year that the race will have multiple locations.  Click on the picture above to get more information.  I think this will be a truely unique event.  We're hoping to have 200 people at each race.

Anyway, right now we're just in the preliminary stages of race organization.  We've planned the course around Nokomis to include paved as well as dirt and grass sections (for more variety).  We're now looking for local sponsors as well as volunteers for the event.  If you are interested, contact me through this blog or go to the website.  I'll be bringing you updates on the event as the race gets closer.

MovNat training:

Those who have read my MovNat post know that I've been on the fence about paying what seems to be a hefty sum to attend one of these functional fitness seminars.  For those unfamiliar, the local one-day seminars I was considering come in at a slim $300.

Well I bit the financial bullet on this one and signed up for a seminar the first week of May.  I did so after looking around and realizing that this seems to be the going rate for one-day seminars for most modern workout regimes.  For example, one-day certification for Crossfit is also $300.  I don't need to attend a Crossfit seminar to learn that stuff since it's all online for free.  But I do need to attend a seminar in order to learn MovNat.

Anyway, look for a blog post detailing the seminar in May-ish.  I've also contacted the company about possible certification courses.  They are planning to start those up in mid-2011 as well.  Maybe I'll be climbing trees and throwing rocks like a monkey by the end of 2011 after all!

Home renovation

I usually don't talk much about my home life on this blog.  For one, because I'm an attention whore, and that would take the spotlight away from me.  For two, since my wife is already embarrassed to be associated with me, not mentioning her cuts down on the number of times she has to bow her head in shame.

Anyway, we redid our main floor bathroom this weekend.  Well actually, my wife and her family did the renovation.  I sat on the couch with my sick kid and watched "Finding Nemo" 800 times.  I'm really impressed with how it came out.  My wife put together the whole thing, and it's great.  Like a whole new pooping experience.  Here's a pic:


We went from ugly sky blue walks and a pedestal sink to dark grey walls and a black granite vanity with matching mirror and floating shelves.  Now I know what you're thinking...and yes, the blue Kleenex box really does tie the room together.  She's added some matching flowers and one of those reed diffusers since this picture.  Now instead of smelling like toilet, our room smells like cinnamon toilet!

I'm sure for an excessive fee, she's available to design your room too.  Good work honey!

Winter is starting to suck

The same weekend that my wife renovated our bathroom, the Twin Cities area got 15 inches of new snow.  This is after a week with an average high of 50 degrees.  The snow on the trails was melted, and I was starting to venture out for barefoot runs where I could actually feel the ground!  I even broke out the kilt for a run or two.

Now it's winter all over again.  Normally I'm pretty gung-ho for winter.  I've enjoyed the winter running season.  But if there's one thing I can't stand, it's when Mother Nature can't make up her mind.  Dear Mother Nature, seconds are for clocks and Old Country Buffet. 

Second winters are just plain annoying.  It's actually given me a little bit of the winter blues.  Just when you see the winter finish line, you get sent back into nature's equivalent to January.  Even though the same thing pretty much happens every year, that doesn't make it suck any less.

I'm hoping having some new products to try will keep my spirits up for the remainder of the winter.  I'm having enough trouble staying motivated to train with my legs screaming at me.  Here's to an early spring!

That's my rant.  Thanks for reading.


  1. Leonard- Leader/katans/blue
    Donatello- smart one/bo staff/purple
    Michelangelo- funny one/nunchucks/orange
    Raphael- moody one/sai/red

  2. Not bad Dirtbag. Now if you have the TMNT 2 soundtrack on cassette I'll be really impressed. And if you don't, you can borrow my copy.

  3. I love this blog and your writing style. Sooo funny!

  4. You crack me up! I too have a love affair with the word awesome. When you find something good why mess with it? I'm also an over exclamation point user. I know it and I still can't stop myself from doing it. I figure it's better than being an all caps kind of person.

    On a side note: I steal your law stories because one of the classes I teach is Personal Law. Of course, only the ones I can repeat to high schoolers! (see, exclamation point!)

  5. Steal away. I will have to do another one of those work posts sometime soon. Good to know that they are useful for something. Right now I only use them when I play wingman to my single friends.

  6. You wrote: " The company "isn't ready for public testing" or some such nonsense. My response: I'm not the public...I'm a local superhero. Do you think the public could pull off wearing a cape with huarache sandals? I don't think so! Give me some damn free shoes!..."

    Seriously, man, you never fail to make me laugh. Glad your dreams of free stuff are coming true.

    And that stick?? It doesn't even compare to my badass wooden rolling pin. Now THAT's a serious stick. :-)

  7. LOL! Just read your after-post edit: This beard thing is getting a little out of hand, don't you think? Internet facial hair gang wars. Ha! Love it!

  8. You read my posts more than once? Stalker! Hehe...kidding.

    You must be really bored at home zap. Maybe you need to do some more burpees or one-legged squats or something.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...