Posts Tagged ‘running’

New shoes, New terrain!

Hubby surprised me with my 3rd pair of VFFs, and effectively cut me off for the rest of the year at the same time. I had wanted a pair of Treksports to run in for my upcoming Warrior Dash, see:http://www.warriordash.com/register2011_carolinas.php . The Treksports are made specifically with trail running and hiking in mind see: http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/products/Five-Fingers-TrekSport-Womens.htm They have a great tread on the bottom that gives you more traction for climbing and navigating rough surfaces. The sole of the shoe is also a bit thicker than your standard sole, which gives you less barefoot feel, but in my opinion a little less of that is needed on the trails.

I have never been much of a trail runner. I always felt clumsy in regular shoes, my sense of balance seemed to be off.  The minute I stepped onto the trails with my new Treksports, that all changed! I thought being able to feel the ground under my feet with all its rocks and roots would be a bad thing, but it actually gave me my sense of balance back. I felt nimble and excuse the corny term, but one with nature. I had a new sense of my surroundings. Yes, I still had to be careful where i stepped, a sharp rock can hurt. Stubbing your toe on a tree root isn’t fun ether. I was able to bounce around my new surroundings like a kid.

My Vffs have given me a new respect for trail running. I try to incorporate a trail run in at least 2 days a week to my running schedule. So, far I have made it up to 2 miles in my Treksports. I have to be at 3.2 miles by august, a goal I know I can meet in my new shoes!

Vibram FiveFingers TrekSport - Women's

My hubby is a VFF convert.

My husband Ryan, had been teasing me extensively anytime I wore my “toe shoes”, saying I was just wearing them for the attention. He had noticed people coming up to me asking about my shoes constantly. I kept trying to explain to him how comfortable the shoes really were, but he just didn’t get it. He was half-way through “Born to Run” and hadn’t gotten to any of the juicy parts about how the shoe industry is duping us all.

Vibram FiveFingers KSO - Men's

On our way to the mountains of Asheville, NC, I needed to stop and pick up a new pair of running shoes, my Kinvaras had worn out since the marathon and hadn’t worked up into decent mileage yet in my bikilas. We went to Omega Sports here in Raleigh. They are fabulous by the way for you barefoot running fans here in NC. Several of the store employees run barefoot and in VFF’s and are experts into getting you into the right minimalist shoe. We had a BOGO coupon, so I had Ryan just try on a pair of VFFs, while I tried on my NB minimus. When he got the Vibrams KSOs on you could see his face just light up. He walked around in them a bit in the store, then tried them out on their treadmill. I could see he was hooked! We got him a pair, right then and there, and he wanted to wear them on the trip right away.

Since finishing the “Born to Run” book, and getting his KSO’s. He finally tells me now that he gets it. He wears them every chance he gets, and has become a master at converting his thick shoed wearing buddies to VFFs. He carried a copy of the “Born to Run” book wear ever he goes, like a preacher with his bible, sharing the “good news” about running barefoot and in Vibram five fingers.

barefoot running haters!!

so with all the information out there on how great barefoot running is so great its was just a matter of time before this site came up : runningbarefootisbad.com.

They have very umm “informative” articles such as: Definitive evidence that barefoot running really does make you blind and Why I have turned my comments off (apparently he gets a lot of hate mail). He accuses the barefoot community of not having any science to back up our thinking, and yet his website does the same thing. Opinions are one thing, but at least try to back it up with some evidence. I understand the right to free speech, so I will agree to disagree with his statements. 

The Naked Tour, part 2

"Me and Scott Jurek"So after getting lost in the woods for a bit,  (see part 1). I was not particularly in a good mood to say the least. Me and hubby got changed into some fresh clothes and started walking over to Lipinski Hall, where the talk about “Born to Run” was going to take place.

Chris Mcdougall’s speech was a basic synopsis of the book with a few jokes thrown in. Then his running coach from the book stood up to speak, he had an interesting take on how to raise a child to enjoy barefoot running. I was especially touched when he got teary eyed talking about his daughter

By far the best speaker of the night was Scott Jurek. For those of you who do not know, Scott Jurek, is an Ultra running champion.  He showed us slides on all of the beautiful places he has raced.  He had raced an ultra in the Alps, spanning 3 countries in one run. The most challenging race had been a  race in France, where he ran the same 1 mile loop of road for 24 hours straight and won! His last speaking point of the night really touched my heart, because I believe it not only speaks about racing but life as well. Mr. Jurek has had some tough spots he has had to get himself through during races, like during the Badwater ultra marathon in Death Valley, where temperatures can reach over 130 degrees, and the race is 135 miles long! He told us his “secrets” to getting out of tough situations:

1. If something goes wrong, let yourself have the negative emotion. example: you run out of water on a run, let yourself get angry. Be cathartic about it and release the negative emotion.

2. Only allow yourself a few minutes in the emotion, and then start planning a way through your problem. example: you ran out of water, maybe you can refill your bottle in a stream a mile up ahead.

3. If the problems seems to big, break it down into smaller pieces that are easier to deal with. example: you have 20 miles to run for race training, break it up in your head into 4, 5 mile chunks, and only imagine yourself getting through that one chunk, aka take things one day at a time.

4. If you feel you must stop, run for a bit more,,, then reassess the situation, if your gut is still telling you to stop,,, STOP!

I have been using these principles in my own life over the past week or so, after I found out my husband might have a serious illness, while going to school full-time and working full-time, and dealing with my own recovery from skin cancer. I let myself have the emotions a need to have, but just for a minute. I plan out the day ahead and how I will maneuver the obstacles in my life. Remember to take things one day at a time, don’t think too far ahead. Most important, take time to just stop everything, if i need to.

Thank you Scott, for your inspiration and motivation, it touched me more than you’ll ever know!

Hi my name is Elissa and I’m addicted to VFF’s

Happy news! my 2nd pair of vibram five fingers came in last week. I knew I would be running like crazy in my bikilas, and i love the way they look, but i wanted a more casual shoe for everyday use. After searching the birthdayshoes.com website and doing my research, i opted for the sprints; and the sprints did NOT disappoint!

The soles of the sprints are actually thinner than my regular bikilias so you get more of a barefoot feel. The sprints were actually one of the first VFF shoes produced, so they have the standard Vibram knife cut bottom. They have an open top, which is cooler for the summer, and ends up making them look more like a sandal. I got my sprints in blue/aqua, and they tend to be a little less “noticeable” than my hot pink and orange bikilas. The toe pods felt a little tighter on these than in my bikila, but after a 5 days break in period they feel pretty comfortable. The straps also took some playing with to get the right level of comfort while keeping the shoes firmly on my foot.

I have felt comfortable enough in them to wear them to school, on my walks, and even to the doctor’s office in the past week. I think they are going to be my “go to, everyday” shoe. Did I mention they look super cute with capris!!?!

Next shoes on my shopping agenda: either the komodo sports or KSO treks for my race Warrior Dash in august.

Chris Mcdougall’s Born to Run, the Naked Tour!

Sorry to disappoint you nudist out there, but only our feet will be bare. Chris Mcdougall and crew are touring the country to promote his book “Born to Run” and barefoot running. Check out his website to see if they are coming to a city near you: http://www.chrismcdougall.com/blog/naked-tour/ .

It just so happens….. they are coming to Asheville, NC, which is 3 hours away from me and….. wait for it…. for my anniversary my hubby got us tickets!! I am so excited!  There will be a barefoot running session where he teaches us proper form,Scott Jurek, a long distance runner from the book will be there. After the barefoot run there will be a book signing and seminar special. I will definitely keep ya’ll updated as to how it goes. For those of you in NC the book tour stops in Asheville, NC on April 29th. Hope to see you there!!

The moment…

I had to wait.. patiently for the sale I knew was coming to Raleigh Running Outfitters… at the Cary location. So not only did I have to wait a month but had to drive a good bit out of my way to get them, Cary is almost an hour away. It was well worth the wait.. by that I mean the time it took to get to the store, and the time it took to get them on, which brings me to my next topic… new things all newbie VFF wearer should know:

1. They are difficult to get on…. at first. For about the first week I would be cursing by the time I got my VFFs on, but after figuring out that you have to get the toe pods just right and then slip the back of the shoe on, I was golden.

2. get used to having your feet looked at ALOT! you have not just bought a pair of running shoes, you have now become an ambassador for the brand. Many people will come up to you and ask you about your shoes, why you’re wearing them, and at times tell you how ugly they are. It takes some getting used to, but I have met quite a few interesting people because of my shoes.

3. You cannot take VFFs out of the box and go running 10 miles in them,,, without seriously hurting yourself. If you are planning on running almost barefoot, it will take time. Many websites such are birthdayshoes.com suggests that you start out running completely barefoot and “let your skin be your guide”, when the soles of your feet become sore, that’s how far you can go at this time. Other site suggest starting  at 1/4 mile – 1/2 mile and slowly build your mileage by only 10% everyone other week. I used a combination of these 2 strategies the first week.

Getting a new pair of Vibrams is exciting. Rest assured once you have one pair, you WILL want more and more.