Friday, November 25, 2011

Pucker Toe Mocs, Take 2

Last year's deerskin mocs took a beating, it's time for a new pair.

First, I improved the fit by starting with a mold of my feet, sliced according to the style I was aiming at.  I'm not real great at the pucker stitch, so I put the seam out close to the end of the toes.

Next, add necessary slices to flatten where the pucker stitching will go, transfer to paper, and average out the lines to match the historical pattern.
 Cut out draft 1, and fold in half.  Average out the two sides for draft two.

Check for irregularities, the pattern calles for wider sole pieces, so I narrowed up the tongue/vamp to match.
 Cuffs widened a lot.  Maybe next time will draw upper line straighter to come up more in the front.

The above pattern pieces cut and sewn. My whip stich is sloppy, so I don't turn the seam side in.  Most folks are too impressed with homemade footwear to know that it's not the authentic method.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November Update

Sometimes my calendar reminder goes off, reminding me to do a monthly update, and I just don't want to.  I've been hardly running lately, and that just does not look good in print.

First of all, I really paid for that harvest day, my shoulder and back were sore for several weeks.  On the good side, I bought a copy of the Trigger Point Therapy Workbook, and a lacross ball for each of my work/lounge areas.  This has really helped with short term relief, although I'm thinking again that I may want to recruit a professional to help me with this.

Mom died this month.  No, really, it's OK.  She loved the Lord and was in a lot of pain for a long time before she went home to see him.  But planning a major ceremony in three days, hosting four family events, and trying to cook with my sister are all stressful enough.  Fibromyalgia feeds on stress.  Thankfully I had a nice interstate drive with Dad, an old fashioned church service, great second cousins, and some pieces of nature to keep me on an even keel.  The shoulder was actually feeling pretty good by the time I got back home.

As a side note, Mom ate super-"healthy" her whole life since putting herself through nursing school, and was a big believer in conventional medicine.  She died of cancer that was inoperable because of heart disease.  This confirms what I believe about diet, which is that popular science still knows nothing, and I'm best off eating like my ancestors instead of like a lab rat.  There are plenty of under-publicized studies showing the problems with grains and veggie oils, I think in time the culture will catch up and affect the publishing bias.

My other compounding issue was that my running partner is in heat.  Hopefully this is her last one, we're planning to spay when she's two.  (Great Danes have enough growth issues without messing with their hormones before they're done growing.)  Being in heat means no leaving the yard, and definitely no walks.  Thankfully she's a bit more mature now than during the last one, and is pretty happy playing with her toys and not burning off energy, although she did go spastic when I moved the leash the other day.

I'm really annoyed at my low mileage lately, but I am encouraged that the few times I went out I did everything I wanted to do, didn't have to stop short because of aches and pains.  I could be making more major improvements if I got out a little more often.

How Asics Lost Me As A Customer

If you read my very first post about Minimalist Shoes, you already know that before this experiment I bought Asics every six months.  I'm still trying to find concrete info on the matter, but it seems that when I started seeing changes in the wear pattern on my shoes, and the reaction of my hip, may line up with when Asics "reinvented" their women's shoes.  They completely changed the cushioning, fit, and rumor says they increased the heel rise as well.  Wearing the old shoes wasn't helping me recover from my health issues, but wearing the new shoes made my health worse and kicked me into minimalisim with full force.

And no, finding other "supportive" shoes was not really an option.  I'd tried to find alternatives to Asics previously, and found only one other supportive shoe that (kind of) fits my foot, a cheap shoe that wore out every 4 months instead of 6.

I'm a little bit mad that Asics put me through a year of intense pain with these changes, but coming out the other side I'm grateful that I got my eyes opened to what supportive shoes were doing to my health, and allowed me to make the changes I needed to become a more active and healthy person.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I earlier made a post about Android DailyMile Apps, but left out the app I am now using. 

Tracks2Miles QRCode
MyTracks QRCode
Tracks2Miles is a helper app that uploads tracks recorded with MyTracks to DailyMile.  It seems like a lot of clicks to upload a workout, but you get the hang of it, and no more guessing at your milage or fumbling to remember the exact numbers as you switch apps.

I'm still playing with the MyTracks settings that best record the distance of a slow walk (too-frequent waypoints can make the track too long due to margin of error in recorded position, too-scares waypoints can make the track too short due to missing points on a curve) but am otherwise happy with the tool.  It allows entry in just as many DailyMile fields as the DailyMile mobile website.