Caballo Blanco Is Gone

They found him Saturday, March 31st, 2012 in the evening.

He went out for a short run on Wednesday and didn’t come back.

He was in New Mexico, the Gila National Forest.

I miss him with a very heavy heart, though I never knew him personally. But I feel I know him both philosophically and spiritually. And I mean “know” in the present tense. That doesn’t change with death.

It’s weird that way with us human beings.

He died running. Perfect.

There is nothing more to say, only be.

Mark

http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/running_dialogue/2012/04/runners-remember-ultrarunner-michah-true-known-as-caballo-blanco-found-dead

 

Sprinting in My Original Lunas

Okay so I put on the Lunas this time really tight and went outside for a test run. (For me a run is all of a few hundred feet folks, I’m not a runner.) A lot of things were running through my mind, and none at all. They call you to run. It’s weird. It’s like walking isn’t walking anymore, but running is walking.

I came up with this idea yesterday, that the walking of lore was really running. That is to say that human beings would run when traveling, they wouldn’t walk as we know it today. So I’m guessing, kind of imagining that the word for “walking” back in the distant past really meant “running” as in we humans didn’t “walk” anywhere, we simply ran.

How do I know? I don’t, but there is something to this notion, Born To Run. Off subject but on subject I know (my friend Chauncey always says that “off subject but on subject” and then launches in to something completely different only not completely).

Back to the Lunas.

First impressions out in them mostly on bare ground:

  • You are very careful walking, on pavement, dirt, gravel, any ground
  • You want to run, not walk
  • They feel really good on your feet
  • They can cover any terrain, I hit dirt, asphalt, 3/4 crushed rock, heavy meadow grass and all were not a problem
  • Wear them tight, you don’t want them flopping around

So me, the not a runner dude, took off running. I don’t jog I don’t think, I mean, what is jogging anyway? So I ran a short distance, and then did what I love best, broke into a full sprint. Incredible. Up on my toes, wind ripping through my hair, sandals glued to my feet like a part of me.

I also find an efficiency factor. Because of less weight in part I’m sure, and because our blood music kicks in and we move naturally the way the foot is optimized to do, we move more efficiently. I just might stop calling it running and call it moving. All of it, walk, jog, run, it’s just moving.

I’ll say it again. I’m not a “runner”. I get winded really easy. I’m over thirty pounds over a pretty chunky medium build 5 10. I’m mid forties. I have the bad fat tire from adrenal too much beer and floury crappy carbs, and I still felt really light footed and efficient. I’m pretty light footed anyway I guess, but these things were positively freeing.

Bottom line, I could go further more efficiently having more fun and get less winded. Maybe I’ll become a runner.

I should mention I live in Cascadel, the old Cascadel Ranch that was chopped up into a high density highly forested subdivision back in the fifties.

Cascadel is at 3800 feet elevation in North Fork California in the Sierra Nevadas about ten minutes from Bass Lake and an hour from the 41 south entrance to Yosemite National Park. I live right on an awesome creek with massive granite terrain just minutes from my door.

The landscape is mixed conifer, big pines, black oaks, meadow. So I have some pretty rugged and beautiful ground handy to test these on nearby.

Let me digress before I lose this thought about running versus walking and there really being no distinction between them and that making that distinction has been a major loss to humans. I’m trying to articulate the “makes you want to run” thing.

Wearing these sandals you are really careful in how you walk. It sensitizes your feet, just like being barefoot. The vibram soles feel really good on your feet. You are aware of your locomotion and not just bigger hammer pounding your way through terrain. They are amazing on gravel or whatever, that vibram is remarkable, as I imagine the original tires would be as well.

I gently tried to bruise my foot with a rock (I imagine it can be done with enough pressure) and was really amazed how those soles surround the rock and make the rocks feel soft and insignificant. I’ve bruised my feet in my Merrill around town boots before, easier than these I bet.

Anyway, walking is just sort of like your feet and body are saying “yeah, okay, so what’s the hold up? get moving!”. Seriously, you really want to run. And that brings me back to my imagining that people never used to differentiate between walking and running because there was only moving, what we call running.

I like to imagine there weren’t “runners”, we were all runners. You didn’t “walk” to get anywhere, you simply moved and that meant running. Walking around camp or whatever was probably known as being still, and when you were on the move, you ran.

I have to admit, as I told Judy, that I really loved Born To Run in a lot of ways and this could all be projection, that I’m projecting these thoughts and feelings as I would expect to do, auto suggestion. And maybe I am.

But in this life, so far, I’ve learned, to the point of pain, that what one believes to be so is what you’ll experience, whether it is real or not.

If I’m paranoid, I may or may not have someone out to get me, but I still feel paranoid. And just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you. So ignorance is bliss, delusion is, well not delusion to the deluded. So when you know the facts, and others don’t, you can’t be making them know them too, but I digress, again.

Point being is that what I’m sharing here is real to me, and these sandals are badass.

More to come,

Mark

I Got a Pair of Original Lunas

I got my original Lunas with Hemp laces and minimal foot bed, no suede on top, and was pretty excited. I did the measure your foot thing to size them, and though my foot calced out to be an 11 1/2 Luna I went with a 12 anyway. I wear a 13 shoe.

As I said, I hate shoes and always get bigger ones so my feet have a fighting chance to breath a bit, and not get completely squished, plus I can wear fatter socks and torque down the laces if I need to.

With sandals this does not apply I know, but I wanted to have the option of sliding my foot around the sandal bed a bit, and maybe even trim them if I wanted, so I sized a half a centimeter larger than recommended on the site.

So I put my size 12 Lunas on and cinched them down not too tight and walked around the house. Nice, very nice. Amazingly so actually, quite the shocker in a way.

Very light, very barefoot. Makes you walk aware of walking, and moves your center of gravity to your toes and ball of your foot, as expected. The pesky toe string was really evident to me, and a bit bothersome.

Now of course the string between the toes would be noticeable having spent a lifetime in shoes, or without shoes when I can, but I figured that cinching them down tighter might make a difference.

So I did, cinch down the Lunas pretty tight. Now my whole foot feels strapped in and the toe string becomes a lot less irritating since the lace come over the top of your foot and you can feel the pressure. They feel like your foot is ready to rock, the bottom protected and firmly fixed to your foot.

But unlike Tevas, these bad boys don’t impair your ankle or rub your arch or ankle, they are in fact minimal. Yeah, they call it minimalist footwear, kind of a relevant but not too smooth sounding name to me. I prefer calling them, you guessed it, Tarahumara Sandals. There’s a certain poetic justice to that, yes they are Huaraches technically, but they aren’t just Huaraches.

Still I didn’t run in them yet, I’m not a runner anyway, put them away after my feet got cold and waited for another day to try them in a sprint.

Later,

Mark

Tarahumara Sandals Launches

I recently read the book “Born To Run” by Christopher McDougall and realized some things, one of which was why I always hated shoes and would take them off as much as possible. Or maybe a plausible explanation for why I always hated shoes was presented int he book.

Yeah, over years and years I avoided shoes, maybe not as much as possible, but still, always hated them. Years and years? Indeed, I’m 46 now as I write this, but I still feel like I’m sixteen. I guess that never changes they say.

I always loved sprinting too. Why sprinting? Don’t know, but the wind in my face and the sheer movement was always a blast. Am I a sprinter? No. A runner. No. A philosopher? Why yes. So there was some resonance with the book.

Anyway, to make a short story long (my recently deceased great friend Max Richie used to say that) I read the book and got jacked up about a lot of things, some or most of which I hope to share here.

But the primary goal of this site is to share what I learn and experience about Tarahumara Sandals. I’m not necessarily speaking of the actual literal sandals, and do hope to one day make some, but rather the sandals inspired by, and owed to, the Tarahumara sandal made famous, regrettably to a certain extent, by Christopher’s book. So in my case, Luna Sandals because they are named after Manuel, and brought to us by Barefoot Ted who stars in the book, among plenty of others.

I say that the fame of the Tarahumara brought by the book is regrettable to a certain extent, but then, what I would have missed if McDougall hadn’t written it. What I would have missed if my friend Topher’s wife hadn’t been reading it on a cruise, then got inspired to go barefoot on the cruise, and told Judy about it, loans it to Judy and Judy buys me a copy while she’s reading hers she thinks I’ll love it so much.

And Judy was right. I finished before she did. Then I went online and low and behold Barefoot Ted is involved in bringing Tarahumara sandals to market, or rather, sandals inspired by the Tarahumara sandals that Manuel Luna had made for him in 2006. In fact, I’m guessing Ted’s minimalist sandal company’s name, Luna Sandals, may be related to that fact.

So here is my site about Tarahumara Sandals. I hope you find it useful and that it helps you.

Thanks,

Mark