Friday, May 28, 2010

First VFF Run

I made it out for my first run in the new shoes...a very short run. Everything that I have read about barefoot running (which this is as close as I plan to get to actual barefoot) says that you should start with really short distances and increase very slowly because it uses different muscles than regular running. So, I did my regular run this morning and finished it off with a quick run around the block in my VFF distance = 0.30 mi, whoo-hooo!

Honestly, it didn't feel as weird as I expected. I thought that since the foot strike is different and there is no cushioning that I would struggle to make it feel comfortable. But, I guess my body just automatically adjusted for all that because I just fell into a pretty natural feeling stride. One thing I noticed was that I felt a little bouncy at first. I'm not sure why that was, but it got better by the end of the run. Also, I could feel the difference in my calves.

So far, so good.

I have been wearing them around when I can, and they really do make my foot feel better. I wore some reasonably comfortable shoes to work yesterday and my heel was bothering me all day (not painful, just bothersome). I changed into the VFF when I went out to be chauffeur to my 3yr DS in the evening and my heel actually felt better when I got home! I still have high hopes for this experiment working...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Toughest run in a long time :(

I can't pinpoint an exact cause...because there were so many contributing factors. Luckily there wasn't any sun (early AM) but the temp was already 74* and the humidity was 73% when I left the house. My legs were tired from all the biking I did last week (instead of running). I stupidly ate at the casino buffet the night before. It was my first time this year actually carrying water on my fuel belt. I chose a hilly route. Breathing still not back to normal after a brief cold early last week.

I could tell it wasn't going to be pretty as soon as the run started. But, I decided that I was going to make my way around Medicine Lake even if I had to walk half of it. Since I knew it was going to be tough, I decided to allow myself to rest now and then - that ended up happening once a mile!!

My legs are still tired today. I ran 2 recovery miles and hopped on the bike for a couple miles. Hopefully they are feeling better for my 5 miler tomorrow.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Make it Dramatic!

Someone I respect recently made a comment that has stuck with me...If you want to make a big change, you have to Make it Dramatic! ie - If you only want to make a small change, you can just make a small change and can achieve the goal. BUT if you want to make a big change, then you have to rethink your methods and make a dramatic change.

Since the end of 2009, I have been plagued on and off with Plantar Fasciitis. I have been to a podiatrist - the first time she sold me some orthotics to put in my work shoes and told me to wear my running shoes whenever possible. I wore the dress orthotics, and wore the running shoes whenever my feet were sore. However, I also read "Born to Run" and researched online to try to figure out a way to 'fix' whatever is wrong and causing the pain. I went back to the Podiatrist this week and tried to discuss possible solutions to the problem that didn't include more orthotics, but she said that they typically don't use physical therapy etc unless the orthotics don't work. If I continue to have problems after I get the $500 custom orthotics (my insurance may cover these, I haven't even checked) then we could consider putting me on a treadmill with a video camera and looking for any imbalances etc.

That was not the answer that I was looking for. I would like to try to go the route of strengthening my feet and possibly transitioning to a more midfoot strike (I am currently a solid heal striker). So...I decided to go the complete opposite of her advise and bought these yesterday:

Cute, huh? Yeah, you're right - they are pretty funny looking. I plan to slowly integrate these into my training. Heal striking in these babies would HURT (absolutely no cushion). I am hoping that they will both help strengthen my feet and get me to feel comfortable with shorter strides and faster turnover.

How's that for Dramatic??

I haven't run in them yet - I am hoping to try them out for a short portion of my run tomorrow morning. I did wear them around for a couple hours last night though and they actually feel pretty good. I will keep you updated on how the grand experiment goes...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I'm back...

First of all…yes – I am still alive.And yes – I am still running.

So, what has been happening since January?? Wow, has it really been since January?? I basically have been running and trying to keep my mileage respectable. I ran two races: MDRA Fred Kurz 10 mile, and the Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon. I will try to put up a quick race report on both of those later on…we will see.

In general, I am still focused on my goals for 2010. Wanna hear my progress?

1) A faster half marathon – Well, I did set a new PR at Lake Minnetonka by over 4 minutes. But I still have a ways to go.

2) 1000 miles for the year – I am a little behind pace, but am just now ramping up my miles for the summer. I am still confident that I can accomplish this one.

3) Plus some volunteer/cheering thrown in – Haven’t done any yet – thinking of maybe volunteering for Twin Cities again. It will be easier for me to get out to cheer as the weather improves and I can take the kids.