My name is Bruce Toien. I am a database designer/developer living with my wife, Gail, in the house we designed and had built in 2000 in the town of Sherwood, Oregon. Sherwood lies on the outskirts of Portland and our hillside house borders the Urban Growth Boundary, so we have a nice view of the rural landscape beyond.
I've always enjoyed running and always liked to go barefoot. I started running in a serious way in 1976 while at UCLA. Two years prior, I had strayed from my science studies to get a bachelor's degree in English Literature from UC San Diego. In 1975, I returned to UCLA, where I completed the requirements for a bachelor's degree in Physics as the first part of the PhD program I was enrolled in. That was a heady time indeed, as my professors were then actively pursuing a new kind of particle called a "quark"! (Side note: the term comes from James Joyce's "Finnegan's Wake" -- "Three quarks for muster Mark!"; there's that literary connection again!)
Anyway, at that time, a couple of friends of mine in the Geophysics Department introduced me to my lifelong passions of running and cross-country skiing. I ran my first marathon with them in 1977.
As I mention in my disclaimer, I’m not an expert in the field of sports physiology, just an "enlightened amateur" and a curious and exploratory kind of guy who’s really into athletics. I like to "look behind the curtain" to find out what’s going on just out view. Lots of fun discoveries lurk there. Having played a big role in my life, athletics have not been spared my scrutiny, experimentation and inclination to tinker!
And credit where credit is due: For many, many moons my wife Gail has been my coach of choice!
My latest project: I am currently working on a near-future sociological sci-fi novel called "Signatures in the Ice", based on a two-week Arctic trek across the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen in 2004. (I chose to use footwear for that occasion!)