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
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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.