Thursday, May 28, 2009

I'll be heading up to do the Reno-Tahoe Oddessey Relay in a few hours. It'll be a weekend sans kids...first time ever for me!

I'm taking the Vibrams with me and will run at least one leg in them. Maybe all of them since it seems that everytime I wear shoes now I get aches and pains.

I did my track workout in my asics landreths. I felt horrible in them. I wanted to take off my shoes and run barefoot but I couldn't because there were a bunch of bees on the track. I didn't think that risking a bee sting before the Oddessey would be so very cool. So I left on the shoes and felt like I was running on vibrating marshmallows. It sucked.

On Wednesday I did a 4.5 mile recovery run in Vibrams. Felt great. It sorted out the pereoneal tendon irritation and lower back soreness that I got from the Landreths.

I'll post pictures of the race and my runs in the Vibrams for y'all.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Today I did 6 miles in my VFF's, half on a rugged trail near my house. I ran this route 3 minutes faster than I did last time in my shoes.

I feel great right now! No real soreness in my calves. My legs definitely feel like they've had a workout, but in that nice kind of way. Running barefoot actually feels like it's releasing the tension I've felt lately in my lower back and hamstring. I actually feel "loose" there.

So what do I do with my shoes now???

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Yep, there they are. My Vibram Five-Fingers KSOs.
I ran 4.5 miles in them on their maiden voyage. I had my running shoes and socks stowed in the baby jogger just incase things got painful. But they never did. This was a short recovery run.
I didn't even get the famous sore calves of the new barefoot runner. Maybe because I have been easing into this.
This run gave me a new spring in my step. I could really tell that my right foot hasn't been carrying the same load as my left. (I broke my right leg a few years ago and I know that I favor it unconsiously.) BF running "wakes-up" my right foot and balances out my body. I actually felt less achy after my BF run than after my shod run this morning. I guess I'll have to switch over to the VFFs more!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

This morning was cool and sunny, perfect running weather at 6am. I went out for a little 5 miler. In the middle of my run I slipped off my running shoes and socks and did about 1 mile barefoot. It didn't feel all that odd to me because I walk around barefoot most of the day anyway. I've also been running as if I were barefoot for a while now, thinking about skimming the ground and running lightly.

I loved the sensation of the ground on my feet, and I did notice that I did have to adjust a bit more to reduce impact. I noticed that I use more of my leg and feel the springy cushioning in my muscles that I have to employ while running barefoot all the way up my body. But not in a bad way. I don't feel any jarring, I just feel that my entire body is controlling the landing and absorbing of impact in the proper manner. I could've run further but I felt that the bottoms of my feet were getting roughed up a bit; they aren't tough enough yet. I don't want to get big 'ole blisters on the bottoms of my feet right before the Reno-Tahoe Odessey. I didn't get sore calves either, maybe because I've been running softly already.


I'm almost done with Born to Run. I'll be sad when it's finished! It's an excellent read for all you runners out there, I highly recommend it. I love that the book starts out with the question - "Why does my foot hurt?" I think that it's symbolic of a bigger question - "Why does my life hurt?" Because in getting rid of the shoes that are hindering us we have to ask what are the other modern things that are hindering us? Too much car driving? Excess "stuff" in our lives? It's freeing to find out that we are just fine, even better, without a lot of this stuff that we thought we couldn't live without.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The day before yesterday I walked around barefoot at my daughter's school during lunch hour when I pick her up from Kindergarten. The other parents didn't seem to notice but one little girl was nearly apopleptic over it.

"But where are your shoes? Why aren't you wearing shoes?" She kept asking me the same things over and over. I kept telling her it was because I didn't feel like it. And if it would help at all my flip flops were over there by the tree. I can only imagine what barefoot running is going to to do to the populace around here when they see me doing it.

And heck, this is California BTW. I'm certainly not the strangest thing out there. Is lack of footware really that subversive?


In other news I ran in my Nike Frees to the track and at the track last night. I figured that was fairly close to barefoot. (I'm easing my way into it around here) The workout was a lovely pyramid of 400, 800, 1200, 800, 400 meters. I concentrated on good barefoot style form. Surprisingly my times were about 6 seconds per lap faster than I anticipated them being. I was pretty stoked. And there was no hint of hamstring issues or piriformis problems. Maybe my postural and barefoot work is starting to pay off.

Monday, May 11, 2009

I was hoping for an epic trail run on Mother's Day. But the virus was still lingering in the background. Less than a mile in I knew that it wasn't going to be my day for 15+ miles flying through the woods. But sometimes epic comes in small, almost imperceptible doses. I've learned that every day on the trail is soothing to the soul and if you learn how to listen, it teaches you many lessons.

So I took it in stride.

I had considered running in my Teva sandals instead of my usual trail runners. My feet felt hot and sweaty and I want to start transition to barefoot running. But I chickened out because I thought that I'd go long. I have run trails in sport sandals before, a long time ago when I forgot my running shoes and I was running with my dog and a few others that I was doggy sitting. This was long before the present barefootin' movement, so I thought that I couldn't continue doing that for all the usual lame reasons.

Anyway, back to this Sunday. I was kind of bummed out that I didn't just use my Tevas now that I could tell I was going to have to cut this run down to about 7-8 miles. But I just went ahead and ran with "barefoot" technique. I concentrated on erect posture (without sucking in the stomach and tucking the tailbone - just thinking of pulling up on the crown of the head) and landing lightly on the mid/ball of the foot, not crashing on the heels. I concentrated on being relaxed. Fairly quickly I was getting in the "zone" - just gliding along through the woods softly. This was pretty good considering that the rest of me felt a little feverish and sniffly. I considered going to the top and back down, which would make a comfortable 11 miles.

But then there was a gurgling in the gut. The other side of viruses....gastro problems. The length of my run was now beyond my control. I'd have to turn back down when I hit the Dean Trail crossing. I couldn't risk an "accident" on Mother's Day when there were more hikers than usual out. Getting caught by a hiking family while taking care of business would not be my idea of a good day.

So I concentrated on keeping my nice gliding form and being relaxed while holding in my "problem". I won't lie, I had to stop and walk a few times to keep it all together. But I did make it back to the trailhead bathroom without incident. (Whew!) It ended up being somewhere between 7-8 miles in about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Not bad considering the terrain and the inner conditions!


A word on form - I've been reading the McCall Body Balance Method. It's about how we are moving our bodies and holding our postures in unnatural manners that are causing lots of problems. I got this book because I suspected that I was out of whack. In the few days that I've been practicing the methods my piriformis problem has dissappeared. It's going to take a while for me to change the way I've been moving and holding my posture but I'm hoping that it becomes second nature (again) soon.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

No cool trail posts from this weekend, and no post on the latest track workout.

Casa de Coyote is innundated with the Spring Sniffles.

The Older Pup and Mama Coyote has the cold, the Younger One and Dada do not.

Mama coyote is taking it in stride. I'm looking at this as a good opportunity to get rid of my tight piriformis situation. I'm also waiting for a book that I ordered on Amazon...I wish it would get here already, before I'm better so that I can get some good readin' in.

I found out about this book on Barefoot Ted's site. It looks like a fascinating read on the Tarahumara and natural we can run without all of those fancy shoes and how we'd probably be better off for it. It's something that I've always thought about. It just doesn't make sense that after millions of years of evolution somehow this animal that has traveled to the far corners of the globe on foot now needs squishy constrictive shoes to run.
Part of the problem now is that we need to ween ourselves of these shoes if we wish to run barefoot. Throughout our lives we've been wearing them and they've changed our stride and coddled our feet into mush. I've done a little bit of barefoot running. You can really tell after a few strides that your shoes have changed the way you would normally run. It makes me wonder if my piriformis and hamstring situation has anything to do with that changed stride and if I'd go barefoot would it fix it? Dunno, but either way it's probably a good idea to put at least a little bit of barefootin' into the training regimen.