Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Running in the snow and ice? Screw it!

The recent cold snap to hit our area was messing up my running schedule due to the combination of icy roads and my hate for treadmills and gyms. Thankfully, the mailman stayed true to the postal service motto and delivered the latest edition of Runner's World over the weekend. A brief article on do-it-yourself "screw shoes" inspired me to create some of my own. After laying out just a few bucks at my local hardware store for two different sizes of sheet metal screws and about fifteen minutes with my cordless drill, the Akiyama Ice Runners 2008 were born.

I used size 6x1/2 hex head slotted sheet metal screws for the heel area and size 6x3/8 screws for the forefoot area. 

There are several websites with instructions and videos on how to create your own pair of screw shoes for snow/ice running. Here's a site I wish I had read first. It recommends using a socket bit driver on the drill, which would be a lot easier than using the slotted screwdriver attachment.

After going on a seven mile run this morning in mixed snow and ice I can report that these things work like a charm. I didn't slip once. The running sensation is most like running on hard-packed sand during low tide at the beach. The sheet metal screw studs on the bottom of the shoes make almost exactly the same sound on asphalt and ice as studded snow tires do. 

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Akiyama Comma

I like commas, probably because they let me take a breath without really coming to a stop, which is something I rarely do, because why stop when a pause will suffice? I once had a teacher when I was in high school, you know, one of those influential types, the sort that made you feel cool because he used a nickname to call on you instead of your given name, and not one of those nicknames that rhymed with astard or turk. He called me Akiyama Comma, probably just because it rhymed, but I liked it and appropriated it for any and all self indulgent publishing I did, be it a class project or, upon the advent of the internet, a website or blog.

The purpose of this Comma shall be to record some of the things that give me pause and may, should you have enough free time to kill perusing things like personal blogs, give you pause as well.