It has been too long!

It has been quite a while since I have posted last. A lot has happened since then. I am still dealing with some tendonitis issues but have been able to run and train. I finally graduated from my Masters program, I have been trying to adjust to life with a second kid, and just dealing with life and family crises.
I am getting ready to run my first half marathon of the year this weekend. I have also decided to add a 2nd half in June. Hopefully this will somewhat prepare me for my first full Marathon for Chicago. The focus of my training so far has been trying to find a shoe that will provide me the support I need for marathon training as well as suiting my running style. One thing I have learned is that running shoes and reviews are so subjective. I have done what I can to research shoes through runnersworld.com, their forums, runningwarehouse.com, and runningshoesguru.com. All are great sources of information, but the information can be overwhelming at times. I submitted some videos of my form to Running Warehouse to have a “gait analysis” completed. The results were that I was an extreme overpronator and I needed a maximum support shoe, thus started my attempt and finding the correct shoe for me. I first started with some Saucony Hurricane 14’s which are listed as maximum stability shoes but the felt so sloppy and unsupportive. I then tried Mizuno Wave Nirvana 8’s which were super supportive but they causes some severe arch pain after 5 miles. Finally I went back to Saucony and tried some Progrid Guide 5’s . These are not supposed to be as supportive as the Hurricane’s but oddly enough, they felt more supportive to me. It may have something to do with the placement of the medial post. I must say, I do really like the 8mm Heel to toe offset. The guide 5’s just might be my shoe. After the physical therapy for my Achilles I have been transitioning to a more midfoot strike as opposed to extreme heel striking. I am not quite there but the guide 5’s seem to help. Lets hope they hold up for the training.
On a different note: I have decided to run for charity at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. http://www.chicagomarathon.com/cms400min/chicago_marathon/ I am running for LIVESTRONG in honor of two people very close to me that are currently fighting with cancer. LIVESTRONG does great work in supporting those with and those affected by cancer. You can read about their organization at livestrong.com and research their financials and effectiveness at charitynavigator.com. If you are interested at donating please visit my personal donation page at: http://laf.livestrong.org/site/TR/Endurance/General?px=1030767&pg=personal&fr_id=1291
Hopefully during this process I will update this blog more ūüôā

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Hospital Hill Results

I know for those other runners out there that this technically isn’t very fast for a 5K. ¬†For instance my buddy Sam who ran with me and did less training killed it at 21:36. ¬†But I am happy with my time. ¬†It was a minute slower than I ran it last year but this was my first race in my Vibram Five Fingers. ¬†I must say that I was initially worried at the before hand. ¬†The farthest I have made it before this was 2.8 miles with no hills. ¬†I am sure that the adrenaline of the race helped me get through. ¬†This is definitely not a fast course just take a look at this elevation profile:

Running this in my VFF’s was great. ¬†I can say one thing for sure I hammered these hills better than I ever did in regular shoes. ¬†Since you strike mid/fore foot you can power up hills like nobody’s business. ¬†Unfortunately going downhill wasn’t so easy. ¬†I couldn’t¬†over stride¬†and let gravity do its work. ¬†Towards¬†the end I was getting the hang of it and should do better at my next race.

My goal right now is to work up to a half-marathon by October. ¬†I am not sure if that is pushing too hard or not with this transition to the VFF’s. ¬†In August I am planning on running the North Face Endurance¬†Challenge¬†10K to¬†gauge¬†where my training is at. ¬†I also wonder if I should train in Nike Free’s for longer races such as a half or full marathon in the future.

25:49
Distance 5K
Clock Time 29:06
Chip Time 25:49
Overall Place 185 / 2001
Gender Place 152 / 726
Division Place 22 / 104
Divtotal 104
Sextotal 728
Pace 8:19

Once bitten twice shy?

Surprise! You have to replace your subfloor

I recently made my second attempt at running in my Vibram Five Fingers. ¬†I was reluctant after my last two experiences (I am trying out WordPress as opposed to Tumblr. ¬†If you are interested in my past exploits check out kccycleandrun.tumblr.com) ¬†This time things felt much better. ¬†My tendon in my left leg is still sore, but that was expected. ¬†I was able to concentrate more on my form and how my feet are impacting. ¬†While my last run in my VFF’s left me frustrated and wondering if I am doing the wrong thing, this run left me hopeful that I can successfully make the transition.

Unfortunately during this time my motivation for running has decreased. ¬†I have had a number of other things this week such as end of semester for Grad school, finding surprises when installing my new flooring (see picture), and all around laziness. ¬†With Hospital Hill¬†¬†only a month away I have a need to increase my training. ¬†I really wanted to try to run the 10k at Hospital hill but I believe my transition process will limit me to the 5k which will still be a challenge running in my VFF’s.

The Transition Begins

I stopped by Garry Gribbles Running Sports¬†to get sized for some Vibram Five Fingers. ¬†I can say that initially they do feel as weird as the look but once you get used to them they feel pretty nice. I have been doing a lot of reading about other people’s experiences with them and must say that there are few people out there that have had a bad experience with these shoes. ¬†

I was able to get out for a brief run to test them out.  Immediately I had to correct my running form.  One thing I noticed is that I did not heel strike as much as I thought.  I ran about 1/3 of a mile and could definitely feel my calves and ankle muscles being worked more than they have been in a long time, in fact I can still feel them as I am typing this.  

I am optimistic as to the effect these will have on my running.  I look forward to conditioning my legs so I can get back up to my mileage.  Maybe, just maybe, I will shoot for the Half-Marathon in October.

Minimalist Shoes

I recently finished the Rock the Parkway 10k and sent a new PR for myself.  It was a fairly flat and fast course.  I have been training in the mornings fairly consistently and my long runs were getting up to 5 miles.  I have felt good during most runs but recently started having some outside knee pain.  Nothing severe but enough that I knew I should take a break before the race.  

During the race I felt great.  My legs were good and I was definitely happy with my results.  Afterwards my right knee was very sore as where the muscles in my foot.  This led me to consider some things as shoe changes.  Currently I am running in a Nike Structure Stability Shoe.  I begin to question myself Am I running wrong?  Are my shoes causing the problem? What is the deal?

During this time of questioning and searching for answers I began to consider the idea of¬†minimalist¬†running. ¬†It is not that foreign to me. ¬†As a High School track competitor I spent much of my time in racing spikes which do not have much¬†cushioning¬†or support. ¬†I have found articles laying out the pro’s and con’s of minimalist running¬†http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-240-400—13691-1-1X2X3X4X5X6X7X8-9,00.html. ¬†Also the book that seems to have sparked the revolution: ¬†Born to Run. ¬†

I believe I want to try it. ¬†The research makes sense to me. ¬†The idea of running the way our bodies intended to run makes sense to me. ¬†But can I make the giant transition to the Vibram Five Fingers? ¬†or do I need something in between such as Nike’s Free 3.0? ¬†I know the transition is time consuming and I will be retraining the way I run. ¬†It is my hopes that this will prevent any future injuries and I will be able to run for years to come. ¬†

With that being said…over the next few weeks I hope to come to a¬†decision¬†and begin training for another 10k (or maybe a Half Marathon by the fall if I am ambitious) while transitioning to a¬†minimalist¬†shoe.