Monday, September 27, 2010

Vibrams Update

7.18 miles today! Whoo-hoo! And unlike last Sunday's 7 mile race, I didn't get any blisters (working up those calluses)! Gradually my calves are getting stronger- the muscles even feel more solid to me. My dad has always called me "chicken legs" because I have pretty small calves and ankles. Well, no more! When I run in my Vibrams, I land on the balls of my feet, and this uses lotsa calf muscles! I started out the first day in my new Vibrams runnng only a mile and a half on my trail, and my calves were crazy sore! The upper part of my calf, almost behind my knee. I could only run about 10 minutes before I started having to drop down to a full-foot landing (but still not a heel strike like I would in my running shoes). Today I ran uphill a full 45 minutes before I started needing to drop down to a full-foot landing, when I turned around started back down the hill home again. I could feel the muscles in my ankles, Achilles tendon and that muscle right under my calf (what's it called?) being used today. I signed up for a account today so I could click my way through today's run for mileage (no I don't have a fancy GPS Garmin, although I guess I could have run with my iPhone... But that doesn't upload my routes... but there's probably an ap for that :). It shows an elevation gain of 890 feet. I don't know how often I'll use this site since I tend to run on the same trail since it's about 1/3 of a mile from my doorstep. Today is also the third day in a row I've run. I can't remember the last time I haven't needed to take a day or two or even three off to let my knee or lower back heal, and it makes me light-headed with happiness. I bought these shoes daring to hope that my knee (and back) would strengthen up because I'd be running as God intended (barefoot!)- I'm giving myself time to work up to longer distances and really listen to my body and my muscles for signs that I need to back off or for other aches that might crop up (no fair trading one set of injuries for another!). I'm listening to a book called Born to Run by Christopher McDougall that talks about the science of barefoot running, ultra runners, and a tribe in Mexico called the Tarahumaras that have known the secrets of running crazy long distances (50, 100, 300 miles!) for hundreds of years and loving every step of it! This book makes me want to run and run and run and not stop, and revel in the beauty of the nature around me and appreciate a pain-free strength I've worked hard to build. And I'm extremely grateful for all of this- a book full of inspiring stories, shoes that don't make my knee hurt, and most of all for the chance to run~ :)


Turi said...

Lots of apps for that - in fact, I think Mapmyrun has it's own iPhone app. Might look into that. But yay pain-free tunning!

evolvingcreations said...

Hey Amber,
Was just checking in on Turi's blog and followed your comment here.
Super stoked to hear that you're pain free with happy knees. It's easy to empathize with other runners being bogged down with nagging pains so I'm always glad to hear stories of healing.
Awesome that you've turned on to Born to Run. I feel lucky to have been guided to it so early in my life as a runner. It really gives an inspiring perspective to so many aspects of running and obviously is steering you in a good direction.
Neat to hear your feedback in regards to the Vibrams too. Just competed in my first Half-marathon yesterday and am thinking of doing the Sparks Half in October. Maybe I'll see you and Turi there eh?

evolvingcreations said...

Ha scratch that, guess the Sparks half is cancelled. So yeah, gonna have to find something else to do then.

ZEKE said...

Glad to hear your love the vibrams! I am reading Born to Run right now too...I'm loving it.