Tuesday, 30 August 2011

No Longer a Vibram Virgin!

Last week I tried out the Vibrams for the first time. It was a really unusually long day. It started with 6 am "Run Day" Boot camp, then I worked my usual 8.5hr Thursday shift. After work hubbs and I went straight to the new apartment we are looking at moving into. By the time we got home and had dinner and got out the door for the run it was nearly 10 and I'd been on the go for over 17 hours.

From the time it took to get from my apartment to the seawall walking (ten or so mins), my feet were super sweaty and hot. I felt like I was walking in mud, you know when it gets squished between your toes? Like that. My husband was making fun of me saying the Vibrams looked ridiculous. What do I care? I have to say part of why I love running is because it is truly the only time when I am out in public that I don't care how I look. Clothes don't match? hair looks silly? no make-up? Don't care, here to run. Anyways, I was actually a bit scared to run for the first time essentially barefoot in the dark but after about 2 seconds I forgot all about it. I was running pretty slow- even slower than easy- cause I was exhausted and full up on the half chicken and sauerkraut I had for dinner moments before we left. My big toes were catching on the pavement as we ran and I had some like 2/10 discomfort in my foot where the big toe meets the actual foot. However, I think that was from my sloooow speed. For the last 2 minutes I sprinted and it felt amazing. I was up on my toes running like a pro. The other cool thing was that I was almost totally silent. It felt really good. All the pain and toe catching went away when I sped up. I'm really looking forward to running my natural pace in the Vibrams to really see what I can do in them.

I was reading Greg's blog and he said that after trail running in his barefoot shoes that he really felt his heels and calves. I have to say that wasn't really the case for me, again probably because of my slow pace. So far I really like running in the Vibrams, they sure make my chunky neutral cushioned shoes feel big and clumsy!

As for the Saturday group run I have no update. I skipped out due to being exhausted from the crazy week and as well I had my cousin in town to visit with. I still managed to get almost 6 hours of fitness last week so I don't feel so bad about it. I'm supposed to be starting track tonight with the first workout being Fartlek but I have to work so I will do it on my own tonight on the seawall. Official track work starts next week and I will definitely make it a priority to be there with Steph after work to get my paces in. I'm really looking forward to it.

This weeks schedule:

Saturday: 5 Mile run     ...skipped see above :)-
Sunday: Rest     ...rested
Monday: 40 Mins Easy     ...ran 7.35km/40:03 on seawall at lunch
Tuesday: 40 Min Fartlek     ...60 min "Leg Day" Bootcamp + 6k cycling before work, Fart 7.45km/40:03 after work
Wednesday: Rest     ...looking forward to sleeping under my desk
Thursday: 30 Mins Easy in Vibrams
Friday: Rest

Sunday, 21 August 2011

I'm a Nike Sponsored Athlete

Yesterday was the first meeting for the Nike Minimalist shoe study. We had our first run and picked up our shoes. I arrived really early, probably only a handful of other runners were there. I started to get really nervous, I was worried that everyone else would be way fitter than me and that I would be eating their dust. Slowly more people started to come and people started chatting to each other. I overheard several people saying that they were disappointed that they didn't get the Vibrams. I feel pretty lucky that I did.

Promptly at 9 am Phil started talking and making introductions, then Jack Taunton took over. He talked about how this is a landmark study that the media is very interested in. I'm pretty sure he commented on how we're all rock stars and that the world is watching us. Which I have to admit was pretty cool to hear.

Jack continued to talk about the Nike Global Research Foundation over the last 10 years and how he has worked with them to publish many studies. He talked about the Nike Free and how it was designed to be a sports rehab shoe by a Canadian female who's name I can't recall (how rude of me!) He talked about how Nike used to have 40 research centers but since the economy went bad that its down to 10 and he/we are one of them.

Then he started to talk more specifically about our study. That we are 104 participants about how hard it was to get the Pegasus, which is why we started late because they sent him the wrong ones and the right ones had only come in at the very last moment. He said that everyone wants to know what happens to statistically fit people that are randomly assigned to use different shoes after 12 weeks. He mentioned how his last study, that involved pronation control shoes and half marathon distance, saw 90% of the study finish the distance and every single person had a personal best and that he expects the same from us. This made me super happy, free shoes AND a PB?! Yes, please!!

Jack mentioned a recent health set back that would not allow him to be able to run with us but he did assure us that he would run again!! 

Jack talked about how Brent will put us through our paces on Tuesday nights to build strength and speed. He thanked us for giving our time and energy to the study and asked us to be totally honest and specific about how we feel during the study. He said Nike is delighted to prove if the product is any good. He said that we are all very valuable and we will all be stars. He then thanked the store and its staff and introduced Bruce who spoke briefly about how speed work is for strength and different intensity and they want to see how the body reacts. Bruce said that we would see speed improvements and be able to tolerate running faster. The goal? A better 10k time for all. They talked about how important it is to follow the schedule as closely as possible and stressed how important communication is.  There has never been a study like this before and they have a follow up study planned. We were introduced to group leaders: Moses, Steph, Chris and Ron. I'm not sure if I am remembering everyone. They said in the future we would run on Saturday with pace groups, 9/10/11/12 minute miles. We were all thanked again.

We then ran to the end of the block and back, did a group active stretch then ran 25 minutes out to the sea wall and back. The run was bloody hot, 21 degrees at 1030 am when we finished. I have to say the heat kicked my ass, I am used to running at night and have not run in like 3 weeks because I've been to sick with strep throat. I ran 8.42km in 49:27 average pace 5:52, which I guess isn't that bad considering for most of the run I was talking Stephanie's ear off. I asked her about a million questions about the study and she very kindly answered them. She is super nice and I look forward to working with her. I'm also pleased to say that I was not eating everyone's dust. There seems to be a really good mix of paces in the group.

My Vibrams are actually super cute.

This weeks Schedule:

Saturday: 50 min run
Sunday: Rest Day
Monday: 30 min easy
Tuesday: 40 min run
Weds: Rest Day
Thurs: 20 min easy in my Vibrams
Fri: Rest Day