Monday, March 29, 2010

All is well :-)

I just never know how the day after a run will treat me but lo and behold:


Oh my God! Maybe I can actually do the 3 runs a week that the Couch to 5K calls for? That would be amazing!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Run 10--I did it!!!

Yes, I finally hit Week 2 in the Couch to 5K program. It must be the new capri running tights! ;-)

It was 57 degrees this evening so I didn't have to bundle up and that felt so good. I bought myself a new set of earbuds with a little hookiedo that goes around the ear--the only thing holding my old ones in was my cold weather earband. So, off I go. Week 2 is a 5 min warm up walk, 90 seconds of running and 2 minutes of walking for 20 min, and then a 5 min cool down walk. The first 90 seconds I was suuuuuucking wind and I thought to myself, "Self, you may not be ready for this." Self answered, "Bullshit. This is run #10, of course I'm ready!" She was right. The runs got easier as I went along and by the second half of the workout I was feeling fab. When my iPhone said, "Cool down." I stopped, took off my pool shoes and socks and ran another 90 seconds or so barefoot--it felt so good--strangely better than the entire run! Huh. Who knew.

I felt little twinges in my calves, knees, arches throughout the runs. Each time I felt something weird I adjusted my stride in various ways: shortening my stride, landing slightly more forefoot, keeping my ankles loose, etc and each time the twinge would go away. Whew. I'm hanging in there!

It's been nearly a week since Run 9 (the one on grass, asphalt, and concrete)--the reason? It took me forever FOREVER! to stop aching after that one. That grass was horrible on my body! I'm going to have to go super slow adding that to runs--like literally several steps at a time.

In other good news--the running tights I bought were...are you ready...OMG...I was SO excited...


Do you know how long it's been since I've worn anything with an "M" on it? I think it was when I was a teenager! I also bought 2 new jammie bottoms and a skirt that had that magic "M" on them! Holy cow. Interestingly I've not lost any new weight (I started this whole thing after losing 15 lbs) but my body is changing shape and that's pretty cool.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The itty bitty pool shoes

Because everyone needs a good laugh now and then--here are my current "running shoes" as I wait for my VFFs to come in:

I know, I know--not very itty bitty--what can I say? I have size 10 flipper feet!

Run 9-grass, concrete, asphalt

A few days ago I read an article about repetitive injury and how maybe you shouldn't run only on the sidewalk. It talked about how all the little muscles in your feet, legs, etc got a workout if you ran on other surfaces. I know this to be true because of hiking--no matter how much I've been walking, hiking is always a different workout--I can really feel it in my feet, legs, back, butt, etc.

I did run a little on the asphalt last time but of course that doesn't do much except add the tiniest bit of cushion to your body. So today I ran on grass, concrete sidewalk, and asphalt. Oh my. I ache from the waist down! The grass really kicked my butt. The first time it was GREAT--it felt so good to my feet and my body. I felt like I was springy! But as the run wore on (keep in mind I'm STILL doing Week 1 in the Couch to 5K program) I could really feel it from the waist down. By the end I was back to slogging along slowly in my run. It probably didn't help that I didn't give myself one extra day before going out again. My mind said, "GO! It's going to snow tomorrow!" I wasn't completely recovered from Saturday's run.

Overall I feel sore but not like I've messed anything up (knock on wood).

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Run 8--whoohoo felt great!

Total runs--8
Total runs in my little bitty pool shoes--4

I had hopes that I would run the last little bit of this run barefoot because it's been so warm here but it snowed all day yesterday and it was 37 degrees when I went running this evening so--no way. However, the run was fabulous! I didn't do any stretching beforehand and after my 5 minute warm up walk and my first 60 second run the muscle on the left side of my rear was starting to hurt. I stopped and did some quick butt stretches during the next two walk segments and it went away. Other than that it was uneventful--except for the constant grin on my face! This was my first minimalist shoe run where I could do the entire thing with no problem. I'm going to give myself one more of these before moving to the week 2 workout. I'm excited to be feeling so good.

Poor Onya the Border Collie overdid her frisbee catching in the snow today (we were out for about 2 hours in the morning with the kids sledding and then another 1.5 hours this afternoon just walking and letting the kids ride their bikes since the sun cleared up much of the snow). Onya is 7.5 and like a lot of high drive Border Collies, hard on her body. She was walking up the stairs this afternoon one step at a time, slowly. So I decided to leave her at home for my run. Her little face broke my heart :-( I gave her some Arnica and hopefully she'll be feeling better by tomorrow morning. I've got to keep a good eye on her from now on and not let her overdo it. I need to remember to carry a leash with me so I can get her to take a break when there are other people around. She sneaks her frisbee to anyone who will throw it and before I know it, instead of taking a break, she's flying after her frisbee again! She's not listening to her body! Hmmm...she's a reminder to me isn't she? I never thought about that before!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The painful truth about trainers: Are running shoes a waste of money?

I loved the book Born to Run--here's an article written just before the book came out. I'm looking forward to my VFFs for sure, but I'm REALLY looking forward to summer running where I can use my bare feet! :-)

The most interesting thing in this article (in case you don't want to read the entire thing!):

In a paper for the British Journal Of Sports Medicine last year, Dr Craig Richards, a researcher at the University of Newcastle in Australia, revealed there are no evidence-based studies that demonstrate running shoes make you less prone to injury. Not one.
It was an astonishing revelation that had been hidden for over 35 years. Dr Richards was so stunned that a $20 billion industry seemed to be based on nothing but empty promises and wishful thinking that he issued the following challenge: 'Is any running-shoe company prepared to claim that wearing their distance running shoes will decrease your risk of suffering musculoskeletal running injuries? Is any shoe manufacturer prepared to claim that wearing their running shoes will improve your distance running performance? If you are prepared to make these claims, where is your peer-reviewed data to back it up?'
Dr Richards waited and even tried contacting the major shoe companies for their data. In response, he got silence.


Thrust enhancers, roll bars, microchips...the $20 billion running - shoe industry wants us to believe that the latest technologies will cushion every stride. Yet in this extract from his controversial new book, Christopher McDougall claims that injury rates for runners are actually on the rise, that everything we've been told about running shoes is wrong - and that it might even be better to go barefoot...


Every year, anywhere from 65 to 80 per cent of all runners suffer an injury. No matter who you are, no matter how much you run, your odds of getting hurt are the same
At Stanford University, California, two sales representatives from Nike were watching the athletics team practise. Part of their job was to gather feedback from the company's sponsored runners about which shoes they preferred.
Unfortunately, it was proving difficult that day as the runners all seemed to prefer... nothing.
'Didn't we send you enough shoes?' they asked head coach Vin Lananna. They had, he was just refusing to use them.
'I can't prove this,' the well-respected coach told them.
'But I believe that when my runners train barefoot they run faster and suffer fewer injuries.'
Nike sponsored the Stanford team as they were the best of the very best. Needless to say, the reps were a little disturbed to hear that Lananna felt the best shoes they had to offer them were not as good as no shoes at all.
When I was told this anecdote it came as no surprise. I'd spent years struggling with a variety of running-related injuries, each time trading up to more expensive shoes, which seemed to make no difference. I'd lost count of the amount of money I'd handed over at shops and sports-injury clinics - eventually ending with advice from my doctor to give it up and 'buy a bike'.
And I wasn't on my own. Every year, anywhere from 65 to 80 per cent of all runners suffer an injury. No matter who you are, no matter how much you run, your odds of getting hurt are the same. It doesn't matter if you're male or female, fast or slow, pudgy or taut as a racehorse, your feet are still in the danger zone.
But why? How come Roger Bannister could charge out of his Oxford lab every day, pound around a hard cinder track in thin leather slippers, not only getting faster but never getting hurt, and set a record before lunch?
Tarahumara runner Arnulfo Quimare runs alongside ultra-runner Scott Jurek in Mexico's Copper Canyons
Tarahumara runner Arnulfo Quimare runs alongside ultra-runner Scott Jurek in Mexico's Copper Canyons
Then there's the secretive Tarahumara tribe, the best long-distance runners in the world. These are a people who live in basic conditions in Mexico, often in caves without running water, and run with only strips of old tyre or leather thongs strapped to the bottom of their feet. They are virtually barefoot.
Come race day, the Tarahumara don't train. They don't stretch or warm up. They just stroll to the starting line, laughing and bantering, and then go for it, ultra-running for two full days, sometimes covering over 300 miles, non-stop. For the fun of it. One of them recently came first in a prestigious 100-mile race wearing nothing but a toga and sandals. He was 57 years old.
When it comes to preparation, the Tarahumara prefer more of a Mardi Gras approach. In terms of diet, lifestyle and training technique, they're a track coach's nightmare. They drink like New Year's Eve is a weekly event, tossing back enough corn-based beer and homemade tequila brewed from rattlesnake corpses to floor an army.
Unlike their Western counterparts, the Tarahumara don't replenish their bodies with electrolyte-rich sports drinks. They don't rebuild between workouts with protein bars; in fact, they barely eat any protein at all, living on little more than ground corn spiced up by their favourite delicacy, barbecued mouse.
How come they're not crippled?
I've watched them climb sheer cliffs with no visible support on nothing more than an hour's sleep and a stomach full of pinto beans. It's as if a clerical error entered the stats in the wrong columns. Shouldn't we, the ones with state-of-the-art running shoes and custom-made orthotics, have the zero casualty rate, and the Tarahumara, who run far more, on far rockier terrain, in shoes that barely qualify as shoes, be constantly hospitalised?
The answer, I discovered, will make for unpalatable reading for the $20 billion trainer-manufacturing industry. It could also change runners' lives forever.
Dr Daniel Lieberman, professor of biological anthropology at Harvard University, has been studying the growing injury crisis in the developed world for some time and has come to a startling conclusion: 'A lot of foot and knee injuries currently plaguing us are caused by people running with shoes that actually make our feet weak, cause us to over-pronate (ankle rotation) and give us knee problems.
'Until 1972, when the modern athletic shoe was invented, people ran in very thin-soled shoes, had strong feet and had a much lower incidence of knee injuries.'
Lieberman also believes that if modern trainers never existed more people would be running. And if more people ran, fewer would be suffering from heart disease, hypertension, blocked arteries, diabetes, and most other deadly ailments of the Western world.
'Humans need aerobic exercise in order to stay healthy,' says Lieberman. 'If there's any magic bullet to make human beings healthy, it's to run.'
The modern running shoe was essentially invented by Nike. The company was founded in the Seventies by Phil Knight, a University of Oregon runner, and Bill Bowerman, the University of Oregon coach.
Before these two men got together, the modern running shoe as we know it didn't exist. Runners from Jesse Owens through to Roger Bannister all ran with backs straight, knees bent, feet scratching back under their hips. They had no choice: their only shock absorption came from the compression of their legs and their thick pad of midfoot fat. Thumping down on their heels was not an option.

Despite all their marketing suggestions to the contrary, no manufacturer has ever invented a shoe that is any help at all in injury prevention

Bowerman didn't actually do much running. He only started to jog a little at the age of 50, after spending time in New Zealand with Arthur Lydiard, the father of fitness running and the most influential distance-running coach of all time. Bowerman came home a convert, and in 1966 wrote a best-selling book whose title introduced a new word and obsession to the fitness-aware public: Jogging.
In between writing and coaching, Bowerman came up with the idea of sticking a hunk of rubber under the heel of his pumps. It was, he said, to stop the feet tiring and give them an edge. With the heel raised, he reasoned, gravity would push them forward ahead of the next man. Bowerman called Nike's first shoe the Cortez - after the conquistador who plundered the New World for gold and unleashed a horrific smallpox epidemic.
It is an irony not wasted on his detractors. In essence, he had created a market for a product and then created the product itself.
'It's genius, the kind of stuff they study in business schools,' one commentator said.
Bowerman's partner, Knight, set up a manufacturing deal in Japan and was soon selling shoes faster than they could come off the assembly line.
'With the Cortez's cushioning, we were in a monopoly position probably into the Olympic year, 1972,' Knight said.
The rest is history.
The company's annual turnover is now in excess of $17 billion and it has a major market share in over 160 countries.
Since then, running-shoe companies have had more than 30 years to perfect their designs so, logically, the injury rate must be in freefall by now.
After all, Adidas has come up with a $250 shoe with a microprocessor in the sole that instantly adjusts cushioning for every stride. Asics spent $3 million and eight years (three more years than it took to create the first atomic bomb) to invent the Kinsei, a shoe that boasts 'multi-angled forefoot gel pods', and a 'midfoot thrust enhancer'. Each season brings an expensive new purchase for the average runner.
But at least you know you'll never limp again. Or so the leading companies would have you believe. Despite all their marketing suggestions to the contrary, no manufacturer has ever invented a shoe that is any help at all in injury prevention.
If anything, the injury rates have actually ebbed up since the Seventies - Achilles tendon blowouts have seen a ten per cent increase. (It's not only shoes that can create the problem: research in Hawaii found runners who stretched before exercise were 33 per cent more likely to get hurt.)
Roger Bannister
OXFORD, 1954: Roger Bannister crosses the finish line, running a mile in 3:59.4, in thin leather slippers
In a paper for the British Journal Of Sports Medicine last year, Dr Craig Richards, a researcher at the University of Newcastle in Australia, revealed there are no evidence-based studies that demonstrate running shoes make you less prone to injury. Not one.
It was an astonishing revelation that had been hidden for over 35 years. Dr Richards was so stunned that a $20 billion industry seemed to be based on nothing but empty promises and wishful thinking that he issued the following challenge: 'Is any running-shoe company prepared to claim that wearing their distance running shoes will decrease your risk of suffering musculoskeletal running injuries? Is any shoe manufacturer prepared to claim that wearing their running shoes will improve your distance running performance? If you are prepared to make these claims, where is your peer-reviewed data to back it up?'
Dr Richards waited and even tried contacting the major shoe companies for their data. In response, he got silence.
So, if running shoes don't make you go faster and don't stop you from getting hurt, then what, exactly, are you paying for? What are the benefits of all those microchips, thrust enhancers, air cushions, torsion devices and roll bars?
The answer is still a mystery. And for Bowerman's old mentor, Arthur Lydiard, it all makes sense.
'We used to run in canvas shoes,' he said.
'We didn't get plantar fasciitis (pain under the heel); we didn't pronate or supinate (land on the edge of the foot); we might have lost a bit of skin from the rough canvas when we were running marathons, but generally we didn't have foot problems.
'Paying several hundred dollars for the latest in hi-tech running shoes is no guarantee you'll avoid any of these injuries and can even guarantee that you will suffer from them in one form or another. Shoes that let your foot function like you're barefoot - they're the shoes for me.'
Soon after those two Nike sales reps reported back from Stanford, the marketing team set to work to see if it could make money from the lessons it had learned. Jeff Pisciotta, the senior researcher at Nike Sports Research Lab, assembled 20 runners on a grassy field and filmed them running barefoot.
When he zoomed in, he was startled by what he found. Instead of each foot clomping down as it would in a shoe, it behaved like an animal with a mind of its own - stretching, grasping, seeking the ground with splayed toes, gliding in for a landing like a lake-bound swan.
'It's beautiful to watch,' Pisciotta later told me. 'That made us start thinking that when you put a shoe on, it starts to take over some of the control.'
Pisciotta immediately deployed his team to gather film of every existing barefoot culture they could find.
'We found pockets of people all over the globe who are still running barefoot, and what you find is that, during propulsion and landing, they have far more range of motion in the foot and engage more of the toe. Their feet flex, spread, splay and grip the surface, meaning you have less pronation and more distribution of pressure.'
Nike's response was to find a way to make money off a naked foot. It took two years of work before Pisciotta was ready to unveil his masterpiece. It was presented in TV ads that showed Kenyan runners padding
along a dirt trail, swimmers curling their toes around a starting block, gymnasts, Brazilian capoeira dancers, rock climbers, wrestlers, karate masters and beach soccer players.
And then comes the grand finale: we cut back to the Kenyans, whose bare feet are now sporting some kind of thin shoe. It's the new Nike Free, a shoe thinner than the old Cortez dreamt up by Bowerman in the Seventies. And its slogan?
'Run Barefoot.'
Edited extract from 'Born To Run' by Christopher McDougall

Run 7

Last night I went for run #7. This time it actually felt more like a 'run' and less like a 'slog'. I picked up my pace a bit in the run portions and felt better for it. My knee was still bugging me a bit when I first left the house and I was thinking I was going to have to turn around but then it worked itself out and was fine. For the first time since switching to barefoot I did the entire workout minus one 60 sec run portion. I'm still working on week 1 of the Couch to 5k program, waiting for my body to get used to the barefoot thing before I move on to week 2. I'm thinking a few more runs and I can switch over to week 2 and then continue the program normally.

I started this a month ago on Feb 15th.

So far my favorite things are: my stress eczema went away, I feel fabulous, I haven't hurt myself, I'm doing pretty good listening to my body, and running this way makes me feel like a kid again.

Last night's favorite thing: I love the way it feels when I take off running and my body automatically just lifts up and moves--I feel like I'm flying--the weight lifts off my ribcage and the waistband of my new, smaller yoga pants slide right down my belly :-)

This is very very good.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Conventional mags

This weekend I was at a bookstore paging through a running magazine for women. There was an article about typical injuries for women runners. I've had occasional knee pain while doing the walking part of my couch to 5K program but as soon as I change my strike to midfoot it goes away. I had forgotten the latter part of the previous sentence and was just reading about what exercises to do to strengthen the knee. One of them was to squeeze a ball between your knees. Sounded simple enough. I tried it yesterday. In typical fashion I did 50 of them because they were so easy. And as usual I overdid it. Sigh.
What is wrong with me???

I had planned a run for last night but my knees were sore so I scratched it. Oh well. I woke up this morning and they felt fine. My back is back to normal too after my bike ride.

At least I'm recovering fairly quickly now!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Well damn

I tried on my VFFs at REI this afternoon--women's KSO 42s. And they were huge! My pinky toes kept slipping out of the toe pockets. The 42s in another style fit fine. I only found out after I ordered that the style sizes were different. I tried on the only other size they had, a 39 and it was much too tight.

I feel like Goldilocks.

So I returned the 42s and ordered a 40 and a 41. It's just another week or so right? Well no! All you other VFF freaks out there are buying up a storm and now they are back ordered! Arrrrrgggggghhhhh!
I ordered them anyway but who knows when they'll get in.


My shoes are in town!

I just got an email from REI saying my VFFs have arrived at the store! YAY!!! Now, when in the world will I have time to get them today? I'm feeling good again so I can run tonight and I would love to try them...maybe when Eva gets home from school...


Sunday, March 14, 2010

10 min on my roadbike and I'm tight?

REALLY??? That's a sad statement. I was feeling so cocky too! LOL

My back has been so much better ever since bringing my son home. Nothing like carrying a baby to get your upper back evenly worked out. I've not had all the crazy back problems I used to have (all when I was a whitewater kayaker and after) so I thought that getting on my bike would be a breeze. Ha.

That's okay, it just reminds me to go slow in ALL things physical.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Working on the tightness that a beginner feels

Oooo...I feel GOOD today! Not tight, not achy, no pain--YES! If I were "allowed" I would run out and do another run but the Couch to 5k program says nonono. It's like it was made for me ;-) I'm SO prone to overdoing it at the first sign of fitness! Sigh.


I'm taking my road bike into the basement where the trainer is and riding that instead! Hahahahaha! Take that c25k! Ok, really, I promise to not go overboard, maybe just 20-30 minutes.

On another note I think that I may feel so good because on the days I'm not running I'm walking with the kids outside, usually twice a day. We go SO slow because they are 2.5 and 5 so EVERYTHING is interesting to them, "LOOK Mommy! A LEAF!!!" But, while we're walking, I'm practicing walking midfoot which immediately takes away any weird pain that pounding on my heels always gives me. I'm working out any tightness my fore/mid foot strike run has given me during the last run. I've noticed the tightness going away faster now.

So, if you're new to this like me and you're waiting for the tightness to go away from your last barefoot run go for a walk with the kids, it's sweet and it helps you too :-)

UPDATE: Snort. As IF I could last 20-30 minutes on that bike! Ha! I've not been on it since 2007! Puh-lease. My butt bones were screaming at me after 10 minutes so (really trying to listen to my body here) I actually got off the bike. Whoa. Big step.

Feeties in my house

After reading this article:  I started looking at feet in my house.

Here's mine. I think that I was lucky to spend 11 years in California as a kid where I ran barefoot 90% of the time. I've also not spent a lot of time in heels in my 40 years--thank God. My feet are more sneaker shaped ;-)

Here's my oldest child, Onya's feet. Hmmm...maybe they don't have anything to do with this...

Here's my oldest human child, she's 5 and newly home from Ethiopia where, from the looks of it she didn't spend a lot of time in shoes.

This morning I looked down for the first time and noticed her feet. She must have had her weight shifted more to the balls of her feet because her toes were spread slightly and I immediately flashed to the article and this pic in my mind--an adult who hadn't ever worn shoes.

Here's my baby, he's a few months shy of 3 and has been home from Ethiopia for 2 years. We adopted him at 7 months. He spent his early months in socks, then Robeez and only just recently has he been in sneakers. I've switched them both over to Target Converse One Star which is about as flat and no support as you can get and still be able to go in stores. I wonder about Crocs? I'll have to look more closely at theirs, do they have a heel? They're so great for the summer.

It's been nice here in Colorado and for the first time this year we've taken off our shoes and run around. I enjoyed the sun on our front steps as I watched them run up and down the sidewalk barefoot. No heel strikes in these kids while barefoot! However in my daughter's recently "lost" ("I don't know where they went sweetie!") typical heeled sneakers she was heel striking up a storm. Interesting. I have my own little science experiment going on over here.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Still excited, still knocking on wood

Today was my 6th wog (walk/jog) and my 2nd wog in minimalist shoes (pool shoes with Smartwool socks). Last time (Monday) I only got 15 minutes in total. Today I was able to wog for 25 minutes! The couch to 5k program that I'm doing only has me wogging for 30 so I was pretty darn excited to be able to do it with no pain (other than normal muscle stuff) for 25 minutes. At the very end I felt a very minor dull pain in the bottom of my right heel and that's why I stopped and came home. I tried varying my pace during the jog portions and found that I actually felt less like I was slogging through mud if I sped up a little. Interesting. I must say though that my normal jog pace is so slow that, honestly, I could just walk and end up doing the same distance and same time. I'm really trying to give my 40 year old body a break though so I can keep doing this with no injuries--so far so good--knock on wood. The goal is a 5k in the Raleigh, NC area in June--that's where I'll be for a month this summer with the kids--hanging out with my family.

I got an email from REI this week saying that my VFFs should be here on the 16th--HATE waiting!

I'm thinking, if all goes well, that this summer I'll be able to run some completely barefoot. Looking forward to that. It's cold here at night though and I'm just not that hard core to be out starting barefoot running and freeze my feet.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A good explanation of foot strikes

I found this on the web and was so excited to see a good explanation of mid/forefoot striking vs heel striking! It's Daniel Lieberman talking about his research. Interestingly he has a pair of Vibram Five Fingers on the table in front of him (towards the end) but doesn't talk about them darn it! Curious what he thinks.

Check out the video here.


Daniel Lieberman's Running Barefoot site.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Barefoot beginnings

A few months ago I read Born to Run and loved it. I started doing research on barefoot running and thought if I could ever get two seconds to myself I would give it a try. Recently hubby came down with shingles (massive stress in our house after adopting our 5 year old daughter from Ethiopia) and we realized that we HAD to learn to de-stress ourselves.

On Monday, Feb 15th I started the Couch to 5K program along with my step-daughter Nichole back in NC. The first week consists of 30 minutes: 5 min warm up walk, 20 min of alternating 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking and then a 5 min cool down walk. Through all this I'm concentrating on a mid-foot strike instead of a heel strike. I'm wearing very old sneakers with nearly all the tread worn off because I live in Colorado and it's too cold to try running barefoot in the winter.

Unlike any other time I've taken up an exercise program, this time I'm listening to my body--which is 40 years old and deserves to be listened to! It took me Tue (I felt pretty good), Wed (achy), Thurs (I needed Advil for my lower back) and Friday during the day to recover from that first run! Or wog (walk/jog) as Nichole likes to call it. Friday night I went again and felt pretty good. Several days later, when the muscle pain went away, I went again and nearly doubled my distance! I felt like a million bucks! :-)

The mid-foot strike is, of course, different than anything I've ever tried and I find that the only pain I have after a run is muscle pain. Excellent. I haven't (knock on wood) hurt myself. I find that amazing. I roll out my IT Bands almost every day and gently stretch before and after runs and occasionally on the days between runs.

So after my third run I catch a cold. I think back on all the times I've started something like this and how I ALWAYS catch a cold soon after starting. Instead of powering through I give myself a break. This is a shocking thing in my life--I don't give myself a break! I end up with a week and a half break between the cold and a short vacation back to NC to visit family.

On Friday March 5th I go running again but instead of moving to week 2 which is 90 seconds of running and 2 minutes of walking I stay with the week 1 workout. My breath was fine my muscles were so sore!

On Saturday Brad, the kids, and I are wandering around REI in Boulder and I walk by a display of Vibram Five Fingers.

I talk to the guy trying them on and the guy selling them. I try some on. I run up and down the aisles. Wow. Nifty. As the sales guys says, "You don't have to think about running right, you just do." He's right. I'm not concentrating on running midfoot. In fact, I'm running on the balls of my feet automatically! I order the VFF KSOs for women online through the store because they didn't have my size in store. They should be here next week. In talking with the sales guy he tells me about how some people are running in pool shoes. I had forgotten about that--I'm on several minimalist running lists and several people mentioned that. So I went off to Target and bought some pool shoes. Last night was the first time out in them. It was interesting. I wore socks for both comfort and warmth and had a similar experience as the VFFs except my toes were more constrained in the pool shoes. I like the way they were able to spread out in the VFFs. I think they are a good option while I wait for my VFFs. Luckily I read a lot about how to start barefoot running so last night's run was only 15 minutes long. I walked/jogged (again in week 1 mode) until I felt pain and then went home. Interestingly the pain was only when I walked. I find it easier to run with a forefoot strike than to walk that way. Are we supposed to walk that way too? Not sure. I tried midfoot strike too, that was slightly easier but still weird and stressed my hips and knees a bit. Will be researching the whole walking thing today. Either way the run was fun! I enjoyed the feel of 'bare' feet a lot.

I've always spent all my time in the house barefoot and a lot of time outside in the summer barefoot so my feet don't have to start completely from scratch.

What this all comes down to is: I feel like a kid again when I run and that's pretty cool.