Very important disclaimer

Please be advised that the contents of this blog are opinions only (my opinion, the opinions of my family and the opinions of anyone else directly or indirectly involed in this blog). This is not an accredited training blog, nor is it an accredited anything blog. If you (and you) do anything that this blog says, or don't do anything that this site says not to do, and you get injured, sick or killed, you cannot blame me or my family or blame anyone else directly or indirectly involved in this blog. By reading anything on this blog (including this message) you are saying that you are a person who makes thier own choices in life and does not hold the writer of this blog, the writers family or any one else that may be directly or indirectly involved in the production or writing of this blog, responsible for your stupid and irresponsible behaviors, injuries, sicknesses or deaths. With that said, please enjoy my fun blog.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Gords! and Other S#!t Thursday

I drove up to Gord’s Running Store today to pick up my GU sample pack that the fine folks at GU sent me and I got talking to Gord about a bunch of stuff. One pretty significant item that I found out was the fact that he is now a Vibram dealer. His first shipment sold out in 3 weeks and he is waiting for his next one that should arrive any day! Yay! my Favourite running store now carries my favourite minimalist shoe! He is setting a pair of size 45 mens Bikilas aside for me when they come in. I can’t wait! I will buy either those or the KSO treks for the winter. Stoked!

Gord also was so kind as to give me a prize for the 2010 *10-10* Virtual Race. This is a pretty cool item. it’s a brand new running product called the ‘RunCuf’ It fits over your wrist and has pockets for all the stuff you need to carry! No belt required! Gord will have these in stock in various colors and sizes shortly!


Another thing I was wondering, and I had a chance to ask Gord was, “Why do you advertise in an international magazine like Runners World, when you are local independent store?” He replied that he has many people from out of town, that look up his store when travelling to Calgary and attending local races, because they saw his Ad in RW. Good idea. Gord will also ship anything you are looking for, to wherever you want!

Back to the GU. The GU Canada people were are super nice and sent me a sample pack of all their goodness. I will have a hard time deciding what to run with on Saturday, but that is a really good problem to have isn’t it. Once I go through all the different GU’s, I’ll have a review of all the flavours and a Canadian only giveaway for a sample pack as shown for a lucky reader!


I sent in a naked photo to Get Out There magazine a while back. 

Get out awesome!

They posted it on their Facebook and asked me for my address as they wanted to send me something. A set of Lebert Stretch Straps showed up a few days later! Man are these things great for stretching! Like having my own ART guy at the house!


I visited the Dinosaur Half and Family 5k Website and they have a promotional video up for the race. Check me out at 0:40! and my foot at 0:43! He said I was going to be in the video! And there I am! Cool!

That’s it for now! Goodnight!

Harvest Half Bib Auction

Here is your chance to get into the Sold Out Harvest Half this Saturday.

A ‘Cool Kid’ Run Club member has unfortunately sustained an injury and can’t run. He has graciously donated his race bib back to the race committee to be auctioned off, where the proceeds will be donated to the Race Charity,


If you would like to bid, here are the ground rules.

Bidding is open until 7pm Friday Oct 1st. Bidders will submit their bids in the comment section over at the Cool Kids Run Club Site. The winning bidder will be required to immediately donate the total of their winning bid directly to the Alberta Cancer Foundation Here. The winner will then email a copy of the donation receipt to for confirmation. The Winner will then come to the race package pickup prior to 6:45 on Race Morning to claim their bib.

Good Luck to all All and thank you to Cool Kid Darren S. for your generous donation.

Bidding is open now!

DO NOT BID IN THESE COMMENTS, go to the Cool Kids Run Club website.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hey, let’s have a giveaway during the race!!!

CSN, you rock!

I am a preferred blogger now. Cool huh? CSN approached me and asked me to either do a review of something that I order from CSN Stores, or hold a contest so one of my super awesome readers could go buy something themselves! What did I choose? hmmmm? Well for starters here is a little teaser if you don’t know who CSN Stores is.

‘CSN Stores has over 200 online stores where you can find anything you need whether it be a stylish handbag, a chic bar stool or even cute cookware!’

Decision made! Of course I’m going to give the certificate away!!!! Here is the rules for entry into this contest.

A $65.00 CSN Stores certificate will go to a reader, residing in Canada or USA who does the following:

First thing! This one is mandatory, for 1 entry, you have to follow, or already be a follower of this blog, and tell me that you are, in the comments below this post.

Now, for additional entries, do any of the following (each one in a separate comment please, I’m not that good at math, and you do want to be counted for each entry, right?)

  1. Like Barefoot Neil Z on Facebook – 1 entry, If you already follow, just tell me in the comment
  2. Follow me of Twittah!! NeilZee , Comment you followed – 1 entry
  3. Post a favourite running photo in Barefoot Neil Z on Facebook on the wall, tell me in comments that you did this.  - 1 entry
  4. Go to, look around and tell me in a comment, something that you would re-gift if it was given to you as a present – 1 entry
  5. Like CSN Stores on Facebook, tell me in comments you did this. – 1 entry
  6. And since it was such a blast learning about other bloggers last time, tell who your favourite blogger is right now, in comments – 1 entry
  7. Enter my 2010 *10-10* Virtual race, or already be entered. If you are entered in the race and don’t follow this blog over on the left side, make sure and follow so you are eligible for this entry and all the others – 1 entry.
  8. Link this contest on your blog/facebook/twitter, and for each comment confirming each one, –1 entry

So there are 11 ways to enter! Just remember to Follow first! <<------ over there. This contest will run until Tuesday Oct 5th and we will draw the winner on Wed the 6th!

If you don’t know about the 1 comment per entry, here is what it looks like! 3 comments shown , 3 entries given!


Katherine over at Forward Foot Strides enjoyed winning my first CSN Stores Contest, who’ll it be next!! Good Luck to everyone!

Here are a couple photos taken by Reader Tammy S  (not her hubby as reported earlier, apparently he’s not allowed near the camera or the kitchen, i don’t know why). I loved them! So enjoy!

ts scenery2 ts scenery

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

VR Update!

Jamoosh posted his race report. The first one! *woot*.  Remember to send in your reports to the comments section here. It can be as simple as: DONE. Or as creative and amazing (can’t believe I didn’t win a prize, I still don’t think Razz read the whole thing) as this one!

We have runners from all over the world! Netherlands, England, Australia, South Africa, Merca, Kanada, Ontario, Kamloops. 30 something runners so far and 12 fabuloso prizes and counting! Fun fun! Oh, I have decided that I will do my 10k VR race run, on the morning of my B-day. 10-10-10. Anyone local who want to come along is welcome. It will be a secret location that will be sent to whoever comments and wants to join. (I don’t want a mob scene).

Now here is some Photo fun for fabulous fans! (see what I did there?)

IMG_1311 IMG_1296

  • Barefoot mileage since June 29th : 186km
  • VFF mileage since July 7th : 45.2km (12 on trails)
  • Shoe mileage since SOBF (start of barefoot): 5km (25:30 5k race PR on July 1st)
  • Monday, September 27, 2010

    My Half Marathon Routine

    I start to think about the Half a week ahead. It starts to really get to me 4 days before and by the night before I am kind of a mental case.

    This will be my 5th one. All of them have been very different in prep, style and result.

    • 2009 Calgary Half Marathon, May 31
      • First one
      • Really nervous
      • Really injured
      • Keener for:
        • food
        • hydration
        • preparation
      • I had no Idea how hard it was going to be, I thought I was dying from about 17k on.
      • Didn’t enjoy the race, was too tight and unreasonably focussed.
    • 2009 Harvest Hal Marathon, Oct 3
      • Registered late, as a replacement for Okanogan Half
      • Woefully undertrained, with no speed or technical runs of any kind
      • Only 4 long runs
      • Went in with the idea to just enjoy
      • Took my camera on the run for the first time
      • Was hard, but taking the time to soak up the atmosphere made a huge difference
      • 10 minutes slower than may half, 4 times more fun!
    • 2010 Hypothermic Half, Feb 14
      • Goal race for the clinic I paced for
      • Ran with group for first 16k
      • Ran with Liz for final 5
      • Was team cheerleader
      • Most rewarding race, had all runners cross the line happy!
      • Ate my way out of any beneficial results from the race
      • longest run (in time) ever.
    • 2010 Calgary Half Marathon May 30th
      • Was fairly well trained
      • Made critical error in fuelling, didn’t gel, relied on HEED. Big mistake
      • 4 minutes slower than 1 year ago, but the effort was 2.8 times more.
      • I realized I wasn’t going to die and have figured out how to suffer better and did.
      • Finished the last uphill km without walking at all.
      • Felt amazing to complete race on sheer will, forcing my mind to keep me running when I desperately wanted to stop.

    So, what will this Saturday Bring?

    Joy, I say. I think no matter the result, I am feeling really grateful for my ability to run. This will translate into a terrific run. Barring a major collapse in our spectacular forecast, I will be running the entire event barefoot. I will carry my 5’s, but will not use them short of catastrophe. I’d like to do better that my 2:08 from last year, but am not putting any time commitments on myself. I will put an effort commitment on myself, I will bust my ass to complete the race in the fastest time possible.

    So with 5 days to go, I am already getting wound up. Did I ever tell you I love race day? The energy at the start is one of my favourite moments in life. I get goose bumps thinking about the last 5 minutes before the start and the first half hour or so of the race. I enjoy the company of strangers and friends alike. I can imagine their training to get to this point, and the struggles, injuries, and the high points as well. Running is such an honest activity, the start of a race is just so full of possibilities and hopes and giddiness!

    I don’t really alter my regular living routine until 2 days before. I’ll start drinking more water and really considering my food choices with regard to GI issues I've experienced in the past. I will sleep well the 2nd night before the race as I am not wound up too bad yet.

    The Night before I will spend an hour just getting my stuff together and placed where I won’t forget it in the morning. I get my race clothes ready and I pile them up in the living room (the family is always still asleep when I leave for races, so I get ready in the living room). I make my Electrolyte drink (I have been using NUUN in training and liking it) and put it in the fridge, I plug in my Garmin, make sure the camera battery is charged and there is a SD card in it. I pin my bib on my shirt. I also pack a bag with a change of clothes for after the race as I really sweat and really stink at the end of a race, so everyone appreciates this step. Hat (or Bondi Band) and Sunglasses are readied and then I check everything over again.

    I then go to bed and toss and turn until the alarm goes off. I don’t sleep much the night before a race.

    I get up at LEAST 2 hours before the start time. I make coffee, eat a PBJ toasted sandwich, have a biggish glass of water, get dressed, double check all my gear, put my NUUN in the backpack (I race half’s with a hydration backpack now, and love it) then drink 1/2 a cup of black coffee.

    I then sit, stand, walk around, sit again, walk around waiting for the coffee to work. Most of the time it does.

    I head to the race location with enough time so I arrive at least 45 minutes prior to start. When I arrive I check the weather, and make wardrobe adjustments as necessary. I have to be coldat the start of a race otherwise I will be overheated within 2km and I'll be hating the extra gear I have to manage/carry for the next 19k.

    I mill around and be social for about 20 minutes. with 20 minutes to the start I'll go for a jog just to loosen up. I find on training runs that It takes me a couple km to get into an easy cadence and easy breathing. In training that's ok. I do this pre-race jog for 5-10 minutes as it gets that initial tough stuff out of the way and warms/loosens me up nicely. It works and I always feel great shortly after the start. I then go to the bathroom, whether I have to or not. Pay attention noobs! This is the best advice I can give you:  just go and sit for a couple minutes, I promise you, you will be able to ‘make’.

    After my run and my pOp visit, I stand around near the start. I am one of those mid-packer guys who likes to start as close to the front as possible without embarrassing myself. I enjoy the mindless chatter at the start.

    I find once the gun goes off I become a people watcher. I like to see how people manage the crowd, see who is really serious, and who are there for to catch up on the gossip with their BFF. (I secretly hate the people who race and chatter with each other the whole time).

    After the race, it all depends on who is there with me and what else I have to do that day. After last years Harvest Half, I went and installed 5,000sq ft of sod. Yeah, it was a tough day… LOL.

    I always reflect on the accomplishment. 21.1kms or WHATEVER you accomplish on any given day is worth celebrating. The photo below shows a road to the horizon. I would bet that 21.1kms is probably OVER that horizon. It’s significant, I rock, you rock. Let’s high five and tell each other how awesome we are! *WOoT*


    When’s the next race!!!!?

    Sunday, September 26, 2010


    *wOoT* longest Barefoot run yet, 16k. The run itself was amazing, I feel a bit stiff, but really great at the same time! Thanks to Kelly and Adam for the run, I am now incredibly stoked for the Half next Saturday. here are the photo highlights.

    DSCF2482 DSCF2485 DSCF2487 DSCF2488 

    I received my Ryder Sunglasses. These are the ‘Hex’ model. My short review is “They are amazing. Hardly know they are there. $40.00 bucks and I like them better than my $150.00 Oakleys. There is another pair of these up for grabs in the 2010 *10-10* Virtual race.

    DSCF2459 DSCF2462 DSCF2465 DSCF2467 DSCF2478 DSCF2492

    If you want to see where we went for the rest of the day (Incredible scenery again), click here. Here is a teaser from there. This shot was taken through the side window of the car while driving down the freeway. Castle Mountain, Banff National Park. It’s kind of unreal isn’t it?


  • Barefoot mileage since June 29th : 181km
  • VFF mileage since July 7th : 45.2km (12 on trails)
  • Shoe mileage since SOBF (start of barefoot): 5km (25:30 5k race PR on July 1st)

    I Can’t help it, I have to post a couple more pics from the other blog. The first one I played with a bit. The second is as it was taken… The sun and rain and clouds and water, make for a pretty amazing shot.

  •  IMG_6966a IMG_6992

    Saturday, September 25, 2010

    What is this Facebook thing?

    I set up a Barefoot Neil Z facebook account. Like me! down on the left, way down there.

    I may have too much stuff going on in the interwebs.

    So whatya think? too much? I am considering Twitter. funny enough Twitter scares me.

    Fun fact for the day. In Oct 1995 I was the first person in Saskatchewan on the internet, I paid $1 per hour for a 14.4 connection. The first thing I did online was look up naked pictures of Teri Hatcher. 2 months later I started a website where I would come home from the bar and journal what happened that night. Boy did we laugh the next morning afternoon. I have more typos in my blogs now than I did when I blogged drunk. The second place I found online was a chat room.

    I met my wife in Alamak Chat in Feb 1996, and were married in June 1997. The Chat room had a DOS based entry screen and a maximum of 10 users at a time chatting. After 20 minutes of chatting, you would get punted off so others could enjoy the massive lags in the text based black chat screen. And if anyone called the apartment, I’d get bunted offline. Don’t call me.

    Here is my run for tomorrow. I love this run, the scenery is incredible, at the 10k mark is an expansive view of Fish Creek Park from the high point of our run. Photos tomorrow evening.


    Friday, September 24, 2010

    Stuff on a Friday.

    Doesn’t feel like a Friday, for 2 reasons. 1:I golfed yesterday. Any day I golf feels like Sunday. 2: I work tomorrow, so it really doesn’t matter that it’s Friday. The only thing that tells me it’s the weekend these days is that football is on. Thank goodness for football.

    Onward! I have been incredibly remiss in my reporting on my favourite marathoner Martin Parnell. For those who haven’t been with this here blogger for too long, you may not know who he is. We hosted Martin back in May for one of his Marathons.

    Marathon Quest 250

    Martin Parnell will attempt to run 250 marathons in 2010. His goal is to raise $250,000 for Right To Play.

    Right To Play is an humanitarian organization that uses sport and play programs to improve health, develop life skills, and foster peace with children and communities in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world.

    Right To Play also works in Canadian communities to inspire children and support their right to grow and learn through physical activity. More than 4,500 schools in Canada use the Right To Play program.

    To raise $250,000, Martin will run all 250 marathons between January 1st and December 31st 2010. He'll cover a distance of 10,550km or 6550miles, which is approximately the same distance as a run from Cochrane to Boston then west through the US to Vancouver and back to Cochrane.

    So far so good. Today he ran his 176th Marathon since Jan 1st. Martins Story is a good one and worth the read. He is a very good man, with a wonderful wife. He has had his challenges with regard to his physical health, but he is approaching the homestretch, so if can, send him a note over at Marathon Quest 250. I’m sure he’d appreciate the support.

    Here is Martins stats from today's Marathon. Today he was at an elementary school. He spreads the word about Right to Play at area schools at least one a week.

    • Marathon: #176
    • Date: Friday Sept 24th 2010
    • Donations to date: $72,922.09
    • Course: Rosedale School
    • Run time: 5hr 49min 59sec (See Garmin Connect)
    • Aver. Heart Rate: 158 BPM (?)
    • Temperature C: 10C
    • Distance covered to date: 7,427.2km (4,611.2mi)
    • Total number of runners: 187

    If you are so moved to help out his effort, you can donate money here.

    Other Virtual Races for 10-10

    I am having a blast watching the entries for the 2010 *10-10* Virtual Race. Thanks to everyone for playing, I can’t wait to here how everyone did!

    We aren’t the only game in town. I guess 10-10-10 is significant in it’s own right, let alone my Birthday. Or maybe they are celebrating my Birthday? Actually, one is just for fun like mine is ( runningdivamom is way better at math than me, as proved by the metrics she uses to show how cool the number 10 is), but the other is for a great cause and it humbles me a bit to think about the challenges that others are facing and I am at a loss to come up with a good reason complain about my petty issues when strong people are dealing with real tough stuff.

    Go on over to Jog for Joubert and sign up for their 10-10 race too. They don’t require a donation, just taking part is good as it raises awareness for these little angels afflicted with Jouberts Syndrome.

    Make sure you take some time to look up from whatever you are doing. Look around for some perspective. It’s easy to find. Hug your kids. Appreciate what you have.

    It’s HOT

    We are expecting a really nice week of weather!! Finally! Summer! We only had 3 days over 85 this summer, so 75 is a HUGE deal at this time of the year!


    Awesome photo from the past….


    Really cool race shirt.

    Andrew Opala from Ontario is running his first 5k race this weekend. He has turned into the Run Blogger that everyone loves to love.

    This shirt he made to race in, is a pretty good reason why he is a very popular blogger.

    Here is a close-up of the section I’m on. That is pretty cool. This dude graduated Dale Carnegie at the top of his class, I’m sure.



    Thursday, September 23, 2010

    Golf, Race pack pickup and the green camera… LOTs of pics!

    We have been off work for 2 full weeks waiting for the rain and freeze to quit and the sun finally comes out today, and do we go to work? nope. We go golfing. Our Advocate association had a tournament and we got asked to go by one of our vendors, so how could we not?


    I picked up Dad at 7:15 and made the pleasant 40 minute drive across town to the course. If you look at W of West in the Glenmore sign and go down from there to the tree tops. The moon. It was very neat to watch it go down as the sun came up. Did YOU see that this morning?


    We had a 40 minute frost delay to start, so there was lots of lies amongst landscapers told in that time. That’s my Daddy-o on the Patio, on the right.


    The golf was amazing, it was a texas scramble, so no pressure or frustrations, just good fun. The scenery and wildlife was really cool too!

    Here is Downtown Calgary and the Olympic Ski Jump to the right=center, top of hill. from the 88 Olympics. Remember Eddie the Eagle?


    Our starting hole. 200 yd par 3.


    Vendor sponsored trail mix hole. yum.


    Super awesome weasel.




    View with cart in foreground.


    View with reflection in lake.


    View with Tee box


    View with golfers


    Awesome baby deer.


    Remember when this happened? it was a 4 iron.


    Well, it happened again. Never in my golf history have I plugged a ball on the green. This year I play 2 rounds total and it happens on both! This was a pitching wedge.


    My Teammates were great, we were able to pull out a 5th place out of 12 teams.


    On our way home we stopped by the Tech Shop to pick up my Race pack for the Harvest Half on Oct 2nd. Nice long sleeve tech shirt and a great pack. It actually has pills! Immunity FX. From the makers of Cold FX, they now have Immunity FX! a 3 weeks supply! Cool fact. I received my Ankle Road ID and it just so happens I need it for the race as they use a D-tag for timing. I’ll be a super cool barefooter now!


    And finally, I had fun comments on my cool green camera that I carry when i run.

    It’s a Fuji Z33WP. It is waterproof, shockproof, dustproof, sweatproof, and just about anything else proof. I take all my IN RACE photos and videos with this camera and it seems to fit the bill very well for me. The shutter button is the only one on the top of the camera, so I kinda just have to get close and it’ll shoot. The video button is on the bottom right at the back and it only take one push to start filming. Very good for ‘On the run’ stuff like you have seen in my bloggo!


    My first love, though, is my 2008 model Canon XTi. I have taken over 30,000 photos with this camera in 2 years, including all the ones of the golf above.


    I have a 10 mile run on tap for Sunday, otherwise it’s all work this weekend trying to get caught up with our projects. Here’s a nice completed project from earlier this year.