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Final Push for Diabetes Fundraising – and the Vibram FiveFingers Challenge!

Posted by scott on January 23, 2009

With less than 24 hours until the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes this year, I want to make one final fundraising push.  We are amazingly close to our fundraising goal, with less than $500 to go:

jdrf-thermometer-2535

If we can close the gap, I will take up the challenge issue by my friend Terry and I will do the Walk in my Vibram FiveFingers:

vibram-fivefingers-kso-1

It’s a bit bizarre as they are not exactly Mall footwear, and not exactly January-in-Minnesota footwear.  Yes, I will spend a lot of the time explaining them to people and putting up with odd looks, but that’s part of the fun.

So bug your friends and family, and support my Vibram challenge!

Cross posted at:  http://scottmark.wordpress.com/2009/01/23/final-push-for-diabetes-fundraising-and-the-vibram-fivefingers-challenge/

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Speed Work in FiveFingers

Posted by scott on November 5, 2008

Until now I have been taking it easy in the FiveFingers and not worrying too much about pace.  I have probably been running easy 8s and 9s for pace.  But last week I re-joined the work runners, and tackled intervals.  I was initially planning to again take it easy, but got caught up in the fray and booked around a 6:40 on the way back from a “social” run.  I was amazed that it felt fine, I was sure that I would have more aches and pains.  Wednesday we did some moderate 7:00 miles, but then Thursday decided to hit it hard with three 1 mile intervals.  My splits were 6:44, 6:41, and 6:45 – incredibly fast for me!

46 mile interval on the Garmin 205

I was totally amazed that I could run 3 miles that fast in them.  I never really intended these to be speed footwear, really more of just an alternative to build leg strength.  So I was pleasantly surprised to pull of some of my fastest running in them.  They continue to amaze me.

I also pulled off my first blister, and for the first time and wondering if maybe I went too big on them.  I did 7 miles of single-track trail last weekend, and have a souveneir on my big toe.  I think the sweating and extra foot movement on terrain caused a bit too much rubbing.

But we’ll see – maybe these will callous up just fine.  I also have some Injinjis to try out when the weather gets cool.  This week is a rest week as I try to finally kick the piriformis problem that has hung around since my 22 mile training run before Twin Cities Marathon.  Next week might be rest too.

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Vibram FiveFingers Do San Francisco

Posted by scott on October 27, 2008

Delayed posting – notes from 23 Oct 2008…

I had another debate this morning about whether to go out in the Vibram FiveFingers or not.  I was really excited to run in them, but just before bed last night was finally starting to feel the aches from yesterday morning, including an incredibly tight right calf.  But I rationalized that warming everything up with a VFF run would just let me get good and stretched out!  So I squeezed into the toe pockets and took off towards Coit Tower.

It was a little over a year ago in this very town that I first laid eyes on what I thought was the most bizarre footwear I had ever seen.  I took note after hearing an odd foot slapping sound approaching me from behind on the Embarcadero.  I came home and mentioned them to fellow runner and POSE practitioner Jeremy who immediately told me they must have been FiveFingers.  I just laughed when I first checked out the web site and shook my head.  But now a year later, here I am pleased to hear that familiar footslapping sound in the town where I first discovered them, coming from my own feet.

I passed through the Chinatown gate on Grant, and ran straight over to Lombard, then turned to attack the hill.  I took the roads up to Coit Tower, and was surprised to see a couple other runners on stairs.  As I got around to the other side, I naively realized that I would be taking stairs down the other side, and quickly got a bit lost.  There is quite a rabbit warren of staircases on that hill!  I caught the same runner I had seen now going down, and he helped me get back on my route.  That dude does 45 minutes of stairs in the morning – what a great workout!

Back through the financial district and I was still loving the FiveFingers the whole way.  The financial district is quite boring to me compared with North Beach and Chinatown – I would opt for the latter if you are a visting runner in San Fran.

I had a good long stretch when I got back, careful to work the calves and the piriformis stretches.  I still don’t know how much is VFFs vs. San Fran hills, but I’m definitely feeling those 2 relatively short runs!  Good times, though.

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First Miles in the Vibram FiveFingers KSOs

Posted by scott on October 17, 2008

So after a little bit of a false start and a size change, I am settling into running with my FiveFingers.  While I waited for my size exchange to be sent back I had started a barefoot training program, so I had a couple of weeks of getting used to running without an elevated, cushion under my feet, and got my soles a bit toughened up.  I’m sure that helped jump start in the Vibrams, which I think you definitely want to start with gradually if you are coming straight from shoes.

So far I have done a couple of 2-3 mile runs on the dirt road near our cabin in the KSOs.  But I LOVE them!  For some reason, it is just a blast to be cruising along with almost nothing under your feet, feeling like it is really just your feet and legs moving you along.  I went for a very easy 2 mile first (again, after much more gradual barefoot conditioning), and had no additional pains or soreness.  So today I stepped up a bit and went 3 miles at a more moderate (vs. slow) pace.  Again, no problems and the feel is fantastic.

I definitely have to pay more attention to footing than with shoes, but I’m OK with that for now.  The FiveFingers can handle small rocks (penny-size?) without any trouble.  But I have landed on some larger rocks that I definitely noticed.  But a forward-leaning running style and the immediate sensory feedback make it easier to shift weight quickly, and I haven’t had any ankle rolls or injuries.

Based on my first miles I am still really excited about giving these a try.  I’m just bummed that I’m starting right when the weather is about to turn.  I’m interested to see how long I can continue running in these as the temperature drops.  I am considering some additional cold weather options for a barefoot-like experience and will start testing those soon.

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