Showing posts from October, 2010

DAY 13 - Dirty MILFFs and Mud Runs

I highly recommend a happy hour hot tub therapy session for any embedded objects that are as elusive as mine was.After about three vodka and lemonades and some chill time with my girlfriends in a 100 degree hot tub I was amazed to find that the invisible thorn/glass/thingy is gone. This made my 5.3 mile run today all the more enjoyable since I had some major work to do in fixing my form. I've been struggling with correct form in my VFFs and today I borrowed some more ideas from my friends at Barefoot Runner's Society to fix my form and guess what? It totally worked. Someone posted a thread on cadence and so I tried to pay attention to my turnover. I still can't seem to find any music to match the 180 beats per minute minimum that would help me, but apparently my 170 bpm is acceptable. I also concentrated on "peddling" my feet like a bicycle so I ensured that I picked them up properly. Seemed to work. Imagine me wiping the sweat from my brow. I had no knee pain or…

The Hazards of Barefoot Running

As it turns out, the hazards of barefoot running aren't as bad as you might think. OK. So stepping on a four-pronged goathead may be a little less than ideal, but after running barefoot for close to two months now, stepping on sharp and pointy stuff hasn't been much of an issue. That being said, I have, however, discovered my first mysteriously elusive embedded object. You're probably wondering, embedded? I know. Its wrong. Things just shouldn't be embedding themselves in my foot for me to find them days later. I should feel them jab me and pull it out right away. I guess this is both an advantage and disadvantage to barefoot running. The soles of my feet are getting thicker so I may not feel things poke me and thus may stupidly walk, or even run on them, for days before even realizing that there's something sharp and jabby lodged into my trotters.

So I found this "thing" today right below my big toe on the ball of my foot. It was a little swollen and sore…

DAY 12 - Risking Dishpan Feet

Can I just trade my left leg in for a new one?I think its a bit defective. It just doesn't seem to do what I want it to do. Funny thing too, since I'm left handed, you would think that I would be coordinated on that side of my body.

Ran another long barefoot/minimal run today, YAY! 5.43 miles again. Its was less than mojo though and I attribute that to running in my VFFs. Don't get me wrong... I like my VFFs so far (at least better than my old shoe blocks), but my form is just not the same in them as when I'm running completely barefoot. I wouldn't have worn them in the first place if it weren't for the wet weather, but I sucked it up and did it to avoid the dishpan feet I've heard about.

The first mile was...meh at best. Then it degenerated into knee pain and knot monsters in my left leg. WTF? Why just my left leg? My right leg needs to have a serious talking to my left leg since it seems to know how to run. So I paid attention. Seems like when my left leg l…

DAY 11 - Barefoot Running Breathrough 5.43 miles!

I could totally scream like a girl!Ok. I know what you're thinking. But, Krista. You are a girl. Well, I'm not the kind of girl that screams all high and screechy when something exciting happens. Anyone who has teenage daughters will know exactly what I'm talking about. No. I'm a little more... simmered down. A simple "Awwwwwyeah." will suffice. Screeching is like nails on the chalkboard for me. But today, I could totally screech in that giddy, teenage high pitched kind of a way. Why? You ask. Because I finally ran my long run, completely sans my old motion control blocks of shoes. 5.43 miles. Beautiful. I did it. 3.14 miles of that was completely barefoot and the rest was in my VFFs. I think I probably could have gone further completely barefoot, but I didn't want to push it. It felt so good.

This morning was much cooler than most. The ground was a bit chilled. Starting out barefoot, I immediately felt pins and needles in the bottoms of my feet. Every lit…

DAY 10 - Running Out of State

Hey Toto, we're not in California anymore. At least that was the case about a week ago when we were in Bend, Oregon visiting family. Getting off the grid for a bit, we left our sweaty Indian Summer down here and headed towards the northern chilled air. I managed to squeeze in a run and a small pocket of explore time between a wedding and a somewhat debilitating cold virus. 

Bend is a pretty cool place. There's public art installations at a few chosen roundabouts downtown... a school of metalwork fish, a super enormous flower made completely out of kayaks, a single funky yellow bird, which, according to my husband, marked the mountain bike trails as well. The Deschutes River was the picture perfect backdrop to a pretty lively downtown. Our first stop in town? The Deschutes Brewery. Had myself a tall pint of the Lug Nut. Awwwwwyeah. After 10 hours of driving, that one would definitely qualify for the tastiest brew award.

Sunday was my day to get out and run. I started down by the …

DAY 9 - Odd Looks

I know I'm running longer runs now because I'm starting to run into the people who give me dirty looks. I guess I never thought of barefoot running as something that would warrant somewhat nasty looks. These are some serious looks of disapproval, people. WTF? Are people offended that my feet are naked? Seriously? Or are they feeling sorry for me because they think I've lost my marbles? Or maybe they're jealous because they're not tough enough to try it. Whatever it is, I find it slightly amusing that other people are so affected with what I'm doing. A total stranger that just passes them on the bike trail. To me that's weird.

That being said, I'm going to be completely honest here. Before I considered barefoot running, I didn't think "those"people were stupid, or crazies (er... well, I may have thought they were a little crazy). Actually, the thought I had about barefoot running was that it was the "extreme" version of running. Yo…

DAY 8 - Mojo Fi-yah!

The run I had today was nothing short of mojo. I was able to run 2.12 miles barefoot and then complete another 1.87 miles in my VFFs. I was teetering on the edge of disaster by increasing my mileage more than the recommended amount, but I had no lingering pain issues and my form felt strong so I threw caution to the wind and enjoyed every little step of it. 

That is until I stepped on a goathead. 

If you don't know what these little nasties are they will make you cry just looking at it. They are four-pronged spiny little mofos and they are elusive! You'll never see them on the ground but you'll feel it in your foot. The first one got stuck in my heel but didn't go in very far. I caught the second one around the edge of my pinky toe. Luckily, my feet have been toughened up by the asphalt I've been accustomed to running on so the pain wasn't so bad. Another rite of passage I suppose.

All in all, it was a great run. My left calf started to pipe up within the last ten…

VFF KSO Modification for Webbed Toes

There's something seriously wrong about cutting up a brand new pair of Vibrams. But... you gotta do what you gotta do.This project was a little nerve twinging, but it totally worked. Whew! My webbed toes are happy, little, freaky toes now.

I posted my dilemma over at Barefoot Runner's Society and they hooked me up with a helpful link (apparently I'm not the only one with these odd appendages.) Someone else had modified their VFFs and so I felt much more confident about making my own modifications. I documented my process in steps with pictures here below.

I consider myself to be a fairly adept seamstress, but VFFs are not your normal "seamed" shoe nor are they easy to manipulate and turn inside out. Well, I couldn't turn mine inside out at all. Which led me to my first realization: This thing is not going to be pretty when its done. So I embraced the ugly and picked a polyester thread that could be easily seen in the photos and is the same pretty gold color of …

DAY 7 - Turning Point

I really felt like I turned a corner today. Finally. I'm sure I have further to go, but I felt like my run today was the best barefoot run I've had since beginning my journey just four weeks ago. It was also the longest at 1.9 miles. No hip pain. No calf pain. No blisters. Just a steady, decent run. Awwwwwwyeah.

Tried to run shodded after barefooting, but just running in place with my running shoes I felt my hip starting to act up so I threw off my blocks and decided to take my VFFs for a test drive. The left was good, but I had to squeeze two toes into one toe hole in the right foot to make it bearable. Looks like I will be doing some modifications this weekend.

After trying out my VFFs, I'm glad I transitioned sans the minimalist shoes in the beginning. There's a lot of feedback that I get from running barefoot that I don't feel in the minimalist shoes. I find that I can be heavy footed in the VFFs and really have to focus on running lightly and lifting my legs. I …