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Showing posts from September, 2010

DAY 6 - Blisters are a Bitch.

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If blisters are a barefoot runner's rite of passage then its official... I'm in the club. Just when I thought I had defeated my nemesis knot monster, the lingering blood blister on my second toe (yes... the webbed one) was torn up today. No longer a blister, but a flappy mess that needs some serious healing. At least I got a small barefoot run in today. Baby steps.

I was able to run shod for 1.68 miles and then barefoot for .7 mi. I meant to do about 4 miles shod but cut it short on account of some slight tenderness in my hip (maybe the knot monster moved?) I was half OK with this since I was able to get a good 5 miler in on Tuesday. Still, to think that only a couple months ago I was able to complete my first triathalon without any issues. Well... except for the fact that part of my support team - my husband - was in the hospital nursing a mountain biking wound. Injuries in my house are as common as sneezing. If its not me, its the husband. If its not the husband, it one of th…

Ok. The truth is... I'm a freak.

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I'm about to tell you something truly personal about myself.No... I'm not addicted to painkillers. I don't have an eating disorder. I've never been arrested, not even had a ticket. I don't have a porn collection and I'm not a closet smoker. This fact about myself is a little weird, I must admit. Here it is:


I have webbed toes.

Actually they are the second and third toes on both feet that are still slightly fused and don't split apart like the others. Its not really even noticeable until I separate them to reveal the connecting skin. Unfortunatley, that extra flap of skin is annoyingly noticeable in my new pair of VFFs.

My shipment arrived today and although I was excited to try them out, I'm not so sure about them for a full time experience. (Honestly, they look a little like gorilla feet, but apparently black is the only tiny, size 35 option.) I've really been enjoying the freedom of running barefoot and the feedback it gives me. It took a bit of gett…

DAY 5 - Shodded Run with a Pain Free Barefoot Finish

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Now that's what I'm talking about!I finally completed a longer run today. The first one in weeks on what seemed to be an intensely hot morning. I got to sweat, breathe hard, and run pain free. Its about time. I was at my wits end and was feeling more than just a little discouraged.

I found some really helpful advice from the peeps over at Barefoot Runners Society. What a great support they've been. I seriously would be feeling pretty isolated right now if it weren't for those people. I've also been discovering some little tidbits like the Treko Blog which has given me some amazing insight and has helped me battle my knot monster.

I ran shodded for most of the 5.23 miles (my pace was weak) but I was able to tear the shoes off at the end to complete about .7 miles barefoot and pain free. I finished by walking another .5 miles barefoot just so that I wouldn't push too hard too soon after this euphoric run. Now that I'm armed with a little more information I feel…

You can't stop me

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I jacked up my calf again last night, dancing. Seriously. Does this thing not go away? And the hoola-hooping did not help my hips either. I haven't hoola-hooped since I was a kid. Lately, any time I decide to let my hair down and truly enjoy myself, that wretched knot monster gets in the way. I'm rolling my calf muscles and quads daily in hopes that I can return to barefooting sans the monster. In the meantime, I can't help myself. If I can't run, I will dance. And if there's a hoola hoop, I will pick it up. You can't stop me. I'm on fi-yah! (at least for as long as my body holds out.)
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How Do YOU Run?

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If you're running down the street and I drive by, I will totally check you out.I do this every time I see a runner and am embarrassed to admit that I've nearly driven off the road a few times. I don't know what it is. I have to watch other runners. I'm mostly checking to see if they are: 1. Barefoot and 2. Heel striking. I'm not sure how other runners feel about this, but I hope they're not offended or think I'm judging them. Really, it doesn't matter how you run as long as you're happy and pain free.

I'm seriously missing my running fix. I'm rolling my legs religiously every day and even though the soreness has subsided in my left leg, the knot monster is still there. I swear this thing is a living, breathing entity that will be calling out against priests and holy water soon. Its made a home for itself deep inside my muscle tissue where no rolling pin can touch it. I can't tell if its getting smaller until I get out and run on it. So I&…

Day 4 - Holy Crap! What Have I Done??

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No one told me that once I started running barefoot, potential disdain for shoes could happen. This morning I tried to get out of the house for some running "therapy." I've been really missing my long meditative runs. They are part of my sanity regimen. I strapped on my heavy, ultra-motion controls to my feet and headed out the door. Only about one quarter mile in, my feet felt weak, heavy and hard to pick up. I kept trying to tell myself to just deal and keep going - get into my rhythm and give it a few miles. It could be the cold I'm just getting over. But the lure of barefooting got the best of me. I couldn't stand it. I threw my shoes off and ran shodless. Beautiful! Freeing! Awwwwwyeah. That's what I'm talking about.

Then, the knot monster in my left calf started talking obscenities at me. Then he started screaming at me and moving around, making sharp jabby knife-like motions. Now I had done it. I can't run barefoot. I can't run shodded. I ca…

Happy Cocktails

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What did I do today?Jack shit. That's what I did. Well, not really. I still had two kids that needed to be fed, clothed, cuddled, hosed down and disciplined, but other than that my running amounted to absolutely nothing. And I'm OK with that. Right now, I'm icing my calves hoping for some reprieve. Really in my head though, I'm strategizing. Strategizing about how I can run my longer distances shodded without feeling the leftover pains of my barefooting. This, I will be experimenting with on Sunday when I will hopefully be able to pull together some much deserved "me time." For now, I will just sit my lazy ass down on the couch and have another cocktail.
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Taking a Shodded Break

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My last run was an unexpected disappointment.Had to run shod, because I needed to give my dogs a break. The bottoms of my feet were a little raw and my left calf was still slightly sore. Ran 3.58 very focused miles. My calves loosened up and the soreness in my left one went away, but then something unexpected happened. My hip pain reared its ugly head.

I don't need to say this was frustrating. If you run, you will get that. This was really crappy. Could my body please cooperate here? I'm just trying to get back to the old routine. And I'm being respectful, am I not? Its not like I'm trying to run 7 miles barefoot straight out of the gate. I'm taking it slow and easy. Even running shod, I was being mindful and running at a much slower pace than usual.

I guess I will try again on Thursday.
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DAY 3 - Asphalt is a Bitch, Paint is Nice.

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Its amazing how intense my sense of touch is when running without shoes.Asphalt is rough and kind of pokey. Cement is smoother but buffs all my calluses raw. And the road paint is...well... kind of like running on satin. Awwwwwyeah. It would be heavenly to just run the lines in the roads. Heavenly, until I got hit by some stupid ass SUV. For now, I guess I'll take the rough road.

My run tonight went well. Squeezed out 1.7 miles of shodless running. Although my left calf was still sore I think I have some kind of a clue: I run a little stiff while barefoot - probably afraid at any given moment I'm going to step on something all sharp and jabby.

I've been reading a ton of running blogs lately and thought I remembered somewhere, some piece of abstract advice that said to "relax, relax, relax". I tried it and could feel my calf simmer down a bit. I also concentrated on landing squarely mid-foot with a bit of heel spring. Seems to be the ticket for now. I did better ton…

Rock some Cute Adorable Socks!

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Get some FREE knee high socks!Running Diva Mom is having a product review and giveaway. Pride Socks range from 10 inch baby striped socks to thigh high 35 inch striped socks (great for winter running). Giveaway ends 9/17! Check out Running Diva Mom's blog and enter the giveaway here!
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Team M.I.L.F.F.

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We get a lot of stares at races. Dirty looks or the bouncing stink eye as one friend puts it. On occasion someone will comment that they love our team name (mostly women). I realize the acronym for Moms Igniting a Love for Fitness is a bit edgy, but I've never been one to take myself too seriously and adding some edge to life right now is a welcome bit of sanity, actually. 

Designing our team shirts through Customized Girl was a lot of fun. We kayak, run, ski and do yoga. We have passions and they tend to be active. We are edgy, unconventional and inspired. We have fi-yah! (Or fire, as some mainstreamers might say). And did I mention we also run for beer? Awwwwwyeah. There's nothing more tasty than a cold beer after a long ass, brutal trail run like the Blood, Sweat and Beer race in Auburn, California. My new criteria for race registration - they must offer free beer. 
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DAY 2 - Pay attention!!

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What did I learn on my run this morning? To PAY ATTENTION. I'm realizing that even though I have been running pose for a while now, and practicing my drills off and on (although I haven't been very diligent about this lately) I really need to think about how I'm running, when I'm running barefoot. After chasing my son to school on his scooter I had a fairly sore left calf. I was running faster than I normally would and I wasn't thinking about my form. I didn't take it easy, which has been my mantra throughout this whole endeavor.

Prior to picking up barefooting, I was running 5-7 miles at least three times a week. I cannot wait to get back to that now that my hip feels back to normal.

My plan:Go back to the old-shodded-ultra-motion-control-running while building up my barefoot mileage in the off-days.

I'm hoping this sore calf doesn't cause any more problems. I'm realizing that running barefoot is the ultimate pose running. There's no cheating or m…

Need a "naked" fix

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Did I mention I had a hip injury recently?Well, its finally recovering and I think I will attempt some more "naked" running tomorrow. Funny story though. The hip injury wasn't from running, but from dancing. Dancing! Can you believe that? I guess that's what happens when you turn 40. I have to boldly admit that I'm no whipper-snapper anymore. 

Whipper-snapper or not, life and chaos are in control this week (my youngest is starting his first day of preschool today) and between BMX gate practice with my oldest son, soccer practice, and laundry I'm not able to run. Tomorrow maybe. I just can't explain how excited I am to get out their barefoot! I'm looking for my "naked" fix. Its hard when you're always last on the list.

DAY 1 - .75 miles

My first day of "official" barefoot running. I say "official" since I've actually run barefoot in the past but for no more than 1/10 of a mile or so, just to get a feel for my form. I used to be a serious heel striker and then a little over a year ago I switched to pose running. If you're not familiar with pose I highly recommend that you check it out. It was a challenging transition, but it has allowed me to increase my mileage comfortably and get back into my running. My limit at the time of my transition was only a couple of miles and then my neuroma would render my foot numb and stingy, I would have the feeling of a hammer knocking into my right knee and my bunion would throb. Ok. I know. My feet sound gross, but hey, I'm being honest here. And since I'm being so honest let me just back up and list my issues so you can get a better feel for what kind of challenges I'm up against starting out with this.

morton's neroma (both feet)a fairly …

The journey begins...

I have walked on hot, pointy gravel that's all stabby and stuff and now I'm attempting to run on it. Barefoot.Actually, I have no intentions whatsoever to torture myself, but being as this is my first post in my blog journey about barefoot running, I thought I would just say that I am not a virgin when it comes to pain. In fact, like most runners, I've struggled through all sorts of issues from morton's neuroma to plantar fascitis to runner's knee. I'm also a mom of two very active boys which makes me susceptible to all kinds of physical and mental challenges. I've been running most of my life and only recently decided to take on this new endeavor... barefoot running. My goal is to keep running well into my old and crochety days, injury free. So this is my journey. My aim is to be totally honest about how it works out. I'll keep you posted as to how it goes.