Tuesday, April 19, 2011

There's a New Shoe In Town

New Balance Minimus (Vibrams sole)
I worked at the Locker all weekend and on Saturday it wasn't very busy (Boston, MS150 and the Avon walk kept a lot of people out), so when its like that, its normal for employees to start trying out shoes; running on the store treadmill, or running up and down the track.  After all the research I have done, plus testimonials from those I know IRL, I decided to try on the Vibram 5 Fingers (not shown).  Weird.  Ran up and down the track a time or two, then the big cheese said, here...I am going to put you in these (to the left).  Wow.  Pretty much feels like a second skin.  And weird.  But after running in them a time or two on the track, I decided to wear them the rest of the day while working.  The first thing I noticed was the strain on my back (which had been flaring up all week) immediately was reduced (I normally have on some running shoe; not necessarily one that I ever really run in).

I wore them again on Sunday the entire shift and for the first time ever when I came home after being on  my feet all day, I had no leg soreness!  It is honestly like walking around barefoot!  Sold.

Today I took them with me to the gym along with my normal trainers (Brooks Ravenna which I do love).  My plan was to run a mile in them, then switch out.  You do need to alter how you run, which might take some getting use to, but thats the point.  To run more on the mid to front part of the foot, lean a bit more forward (both of which will generally make one faster).

It felt weird to run in them, even for that 1 mile, but it was cool.  What wasn't cool was switching into the Ravennas with my ortho's in them.  They felt like bricks, not Brooks!  :)  Then unfortunately a bit into it, I started feeling really weird in my stomach and I began sweating unnaturally.  Like stomach flu/pass out kind of sweating if you know what I mean.  I just tried to slow down and make the final moments of the run, but I hopped off to get some water and then just did weights for almost an hour.  Then hopped back up on the treadmill for another 15 min but my body just didnt feel 'right'.  Hopefully tomorrow I will feel back to normal.

My plan for these shoes are not to become a barefoot runner, but more for using them in short distance runs (working up to 4-5 miles in them), in speed drills and on hill work.  All in hopes that with training myself to run differently, I will also do that in regular trainers and in short distance racers.

I give them two thumbs up.  For now.  :O)

Now...about last Saturday...while I figure some of you will say 'wtf? that isnt fast', you wouldnt be so quick to say that had you been reading my blog long or known from where I began...
But I digress.
As I mentioned it couldn't have been a more perfect morning for a run.  61deg and less than 20%humidity which really honestly happens about 2 times a year, and typically its NEVER below 20%.
On top of that I was feeling just really, really good about things in general and it didnt hurt that the first 7.5 miles of this particular route is one of my favorites.

On a whim (or actually at the suggestion of Gizelle) we took off with the 4 hour marathon (training)pace group...I figured I wasnt going to be able to hang very long with this group and while Gizelle did take off ahead of me, I stayed right there with a pack of 4 guys and 2 girls.

I was running this training run at a pace I normally would be 'racing' at for a distance of 10 miles.  (9:30 to 9:45 pace).  I had 1 mile that was over 10min because my damn shoe came untied.  This kinda bit me in the butt because it was hard to get going again, but once I caught back up to the group at the water stop, I was fine.

It wasnt until I had to finish out the 2.5 miles around the bayou that my pace wavered a bit.  Stopping back by base and then the ups and downs of the 'hills' just started wearing on me a bit.  1 of the 2.5 miles came in at 10:01 as I stopped to walk for about 30 sec after topping a hill that took my breath a bit.

On top of the much faster training pace today, the thing that stuck out in my mind was that it didnt feel like I was overly taxing myself.  It just felt 'natural'. 

The only other thing about this run that just made me smile even bigger was the fact that at one point of the KW route (I think its Harvard where its a long straight shot), I turned back to see where the next group was and for as far as my eye could see, there was no one...not one single person in my line of sight.  That was something I loved since usually I feel like most of the time I am being 'chased' and always struggling at the back of my particular pace group.  The 4:15 group?  Yeah.  Nope.  No one.

Things are a changin' methinks...I just need to stay focused and keep the 'good' in my life right now.  Positivity breeds positive results...


Bert said...

I might have try that shoe if my calves don't heal up soon!

dixie :o) said...

sure like the looks of those shoes anyway.... easier to get into than 5fingers too ;o)

Karen said...

Way to go on the faster training pace! That's awesome!! :0)

The new shoes sound great!