Barefoot (almost) running milestone


4:34 a.m.
I stand, bleary-eyed and slightly disoriented, at the edge of the Chosen Treadmill.
Trying to remember how I got here, I think I can hear someone mumbling.
I look up, but the closest person is 6 treadmills, 3 ellipticals, and 4 weight machines away.

I realize, in my break-of-dawn haze, that what I’m hearing is a fight between my own Body and Brain.
So I tune in…

Body: Come on, you know you want to get back into bed! It’s way too early for this!
Brain: No! Must run! We made it all the way here, there’s no turning back now.
Body: But we haaaate the treadmill. It’s so boring.
Let’s go outside! Or back to sleep!
Brain: Negative. Too dark/damp/creepy outside. Suck it up, Body.
Body: But..
Aww come on! Pleeease can we do this another time??
Brain: Start. Running.
Body: But…
Brain: NOW!

And so began the journey of 6 vibram-clad miles – a new mileage milestone for us (us being me, my fivefingers, Body, and Brain).

The gradual mileage buildup approach has really paid off with this venture into barefoot running. No calf or foot pain today, and I think my form has just evolved to better absorb the impact.

Granted, I have only used the vibrams on the treadmill, but I’m hoping to start wearing them outside now that the weather’s getting better.

In other news, I can see the weekend peeking at me from around the corner, and I can’t wait for all that it comes with.


Back in the Running I

Dear Running,

I am back.


Oddly and unexpectedly, I did not want to take off my Vibrams today. I always thought of them as an experiment, a way to maybe strengthen my calves and feet and see if my running felt any different in them vs. traditional shoes. This morning, I realized that I’m really enjoying how it feels to run in these non-shoe shoes. I feel engaged, present, and totally aware of every step. My whole body is awake, as if monitoring where and how my foot falls and making sure to appropriately distribute the impact.

Today’s Vibram mileage: 4

Pain Management

My official, 9-week half-marathon training plan was supposed to be kicked off yesterday with a high-intensity 5.25 mile run that included speed training as well as pace training, and was just going to simply be the best first-run-in-a-training-program anyone has ever had, because WE ONLY DO THINGS ALL THE WAY IN THIS HOUSEHOLD!

Phew. Sorry about the shouting. Things can get a little intense up in here.

So, obviously, since I was supposed to wake up at 4:17 am, Baby Z decides to wake up at 2:30 am, and keep me tethered to his bedroom for an hour, just rocking him and holding him, not wanting to be put down. I forgive him though, because I know he’s been congested and not feeling so great, AND I suspect he might be feeling the push push push of a little tooth trying to break free. (I really hope he gets a tooth soon because that’s the excuse I give him every time I can’t figure out what’s causing the fussiness. “Oh he’s teething.” “Oh, I’m sorry, he’s just teething.” “Oh he was crying? Yeah it’s because he’s teething.” So far, I’m a liar, because not even a little tip of a tooth has peeked out yet.)

Anyway, after much sulking and self-pity, I decide that I will take matters into my own hands, and modify the training plan to start TODAY, and then just cancel out the first rest day to make up for yesterday.

Everything leading up to this morning was perfect. I had a mellow and relaxing night with the boys. They went down before 8:30 pm, I got lunches ready, sat down to relax for a bit, then got myself into bed before 10 pm. I lined up my Vibrams and gym bag next to my iPhone, set the 3 alarms that go off at 4:17, 4:23, and 4:40 (just in case!) with their labels of “JUST DO IT!”, “GET UP YOU LAZY ASS!”, and “HALF. MARATHON.”, and had a great night’s sleep. No babies waking in the middle of the night, not too hot, not too cold, and I woke up ready to tackle the dreadmill!

The plan was to do the first mile of the run in the Vibrams, just to continue getting used to them, then strap on my regular running shoes for the remainder of the run. I strap on the Vibrams, gather my things, and run off to the car to get to the gym.
Perfection! I was on time, rested, READY!

I start running, then as I move my gym  bag out of the way I realize it’s lighter than it should be. Deep breath here… The reason my bag felt lighter than it should was because it was. Because I FORGOT MY OTHER SHOES AT HOME.
I stop myself short of starting to hyperventilate, and tell myself it’s ok. I’ll just work with what I’ve got. We’ll just call this the Accelerated Calf Training Program and roll with it! The show must go on! We can DO this!

I keep going, and made it to 4 miles before deciding that I should really stop before I lose my calves for the rest of the week. As I hobble off the treadmill, I realize that I need to attack this head-on in order to minimize the impact, so I devise a recovery plan that is work-attire friendly.

Here’s a visual breakdown of what went through my head:

+ 4 miles =



Recovery Plan:

R.I.C.E (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) =
Sitting at work for the next 10 hours +
Ice later on at home +

+  = RELIEF.

I will happily report, I am wearing those ugly white things (which are actually athletic compression socks) underneath my long boots, sitting at my desk at work, and so far, so good.
The compression REALLY seems to help with the recovery, or at the very least, reducing the amount of soreness and pain (so far!).
And the long boots do the job of disguising the socks, which, let’s be honest, there is just no way to wear white compression socks that is flattering, no matter who you are.

Ok maybe if you’re an elite runner that looks like a cheetah they can be flattering.

Here’s hoping my legs won’t fail me the rest of this week!

Daily Vibram mileage: 4 miles
Total Daily mileage: 4 miles

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