Christmas, New Years and loads of travel (150K to go):

It has been a good while since my last post, more than a month in fact and not surprisingly Christmas and New Years, coupled with a load of travel bear the majority of the responsibility.

First "mini" session

First “mini” session

Add in a season that alongside running have to make room for my other favourite winter activity… Snowboarding, then it all makes sense.

Christmas was spend with my family in Copenhagen, followed by a quick trip to Greenland to celebrate new years and get the first 4 snowboard sessions of the year. Our slopes are somewhat short, and we only got two, but they both feature an ocean view and some pretty awesome sunsets.

Got in some good winter running too, plenty of my favourite runs along the nordic skiing trails. Which in t urn means that I have been running the spyridon quite frequently.

The EL-X has been and still is my favourite winter boot though. I wear it day and day out during winter. Only exception is when running or when snowboarding, aside from work of course:)

Been hiking a fair Bit too.

downhill sledding

downhill sledding

Done two hikes too, both to the nearest peak and we have been sledding all the way down too on both accounts, there is just something over putting your self on a tiny kid sled with on a plastic seat and one handle and then speedsled down a newly groomed alpine skiing slope, it is both quite fast and super fun 🙂

On both accounts I dug out an old pair of vivobarefoot neo trail as I wanted a closed toebox for the downhill sledding.

Miami Beach

Miami Beach

The last two weeks have been spend primarily in Naples, FL with overnight stays in Miami and Key West. It has been two absolutely amazing family weeks. The first time in a year with both my sister and my brother at the same time.

It has also, been an absolutely wonderful experience to get a two week completely barefoot break in January, I wore shoes only when going to restaurants in the evening and most locals seemed rather relaxed about me not wearing shoes anywhere. well it kind of makes sense on the beaches, but elsewhere too and you gotta love the clean streets.

The one piece of broken glass I saw was on the beach.

Evening walk at Vanderbilt Beach

Evening walk at Vanderbilt Beach

Lots of barefoot running too, and mostly with company from family (wearing shoes), such a please to run on so many different textures, there were quite a few patches of some rather nasty chipseal, but also wonderful beaches with sand and seashells, smooth concrete and anything in between.

Speaking of seashells, it was a seashell that gave me my first cut, a 1,5cm very clean under the arch of my right foot. It hurt for a day, but as it did not bleed a lot, it never stopped me from being barefoot 🙂

I can easily see why people love Southern Florida, the climate is absolutely gorgeous for barefooters in winter.

The travels continues though, next stop is France (Nice and a few days at Isola 2000), before heading back to Greenland for most of February.

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New York, Boston and Mt. Washington (420,5K to go):

Manhattan from Brooklyn Bridge Park

Manhattan from Brooklyn Bridge Park

Soon after leaving Greenland and perhaps the best running experience of the year, I was back on the gravel paths in Copenhagen.

An intense 1 hour session with my running coach had been planned. Sounds weird that 3K can be tough, but when you have your coach eyeing every step you take and constantly forcing minute corrections on your technique, it will very fast become a very focused session.

Time Square

Time Square

Next morning, 36 hours after my arrival in Copenhagen, I was on the next flight – destination the US. New York, Boston and North Conway in the White Mountains were on the menu.

The first two days in New York was great. It was the first trip to New York for my Girlfriend and as a frequent visitor to New York it was great to be able to experience a “first time” visit again, Immersing myself in her curious and energized attitude.

Paved parks of Boston

Paved parks of Boston

Next up was Boston, a total road runners paradise, better yet Boston is barefoot running friendly in a way I have seen nowhere else.

I enjoyed two gorgeous runs, a 6K barefooter taking me around the parks in central Boston and sucking in the relaxed atmosphere  present there, having just run in fresh deep snow it was great to be truly barefoot and run fully connected to the surface again.

Being completely barefoot was great while trying to drill in the latest minute style changes.

Amazing how much of a difference the direct feedback makes.

Pleasure Bay - Boston, MA

Pleasure Bay – Boston, MA

The second run an 8,5K barefooter, took me out and around pleasure bay, again a barefoot paradise, a multitude of varied textures and surfaces to run, while taking in the surroundings.

The completely clean sidewalks, boardwalks and roads made it easy to maintain a complete mental focus on feeling my run and the style. I easily reached that almost Zen-like state where running seams to flow without conscious effort and with the mind empty of all conscious thoughts.

From here we drove northwest and soon hit North Conway, the gateway to the White Mountains and the famous Mt. Washington.

Just below Lion head - Mt. Washington

Just below Lion head – Mt. Washington

We spend 3 days hiking here, exploring some of the best trails I have seen in the US, not the ruined almost paved walkways, but real trails with real terrain, some parts a little more sculpted by human hand than I prefer, but particularly the Lionhead trail and other trails towards the upper Mt. Washington provided a very “real” hiking experience, with a few exposed sections that felt like home. To  be able to return and run some of these trails would be a dream come true.

We even managed to sneak in some barefoot breaks here and there 🙂

Barefoot break at Lowe's Bald Spot.

Barefoot break at Lowe’s Bald Spot.

The peak itself is quite a let-down and tourist nightmare I think, souvenir stores, big paved road and even a train going up, such a shame I think. Especially given the fine hiking area just below it.

I used a pair of Sketchers gobionic trail for the hiking, a surprisingly good shoe once you get rid of the insole. I do not know why make such a great shoe and then include an insole with a 4mm drop.