Originally posted on the Trailblazer Hub.
When I first started running a couple of summers ago, one of the things I liked best was that I immediately felt as if I were part of a community. I started talking about running on Facebook and Twitter and suddenly had another thing in common with some friends, and made some new friends. I joined running groups on Meetup, started following some serious runners on Twitter and started blogging about my adventures into barefoot running, which opened me up into a whole new community.
I love going to races, because I get to meet so many great people and hear their stories about why they’re at that charity race or what their goals are for this 5k. Last week I ran the MADD Dash 5 mile in New Haven, and while waiting for the race to begin met two guys near the start line. They started asking me about my Vibrams and what it’s like to run in them and I was telling them about the half marathon I did in October. Then the race started and we said our goodbyes and they pulled out in front of me. About 2 miles into the race I met up with one of them, Jim, and chatted for a few minutes about how the other guy, Ed, had ditched him to run up ahead. We joked about it and then went our separate ways. I saw Jim again towards the end of the race as runners had to do a U-Turn and pass by runners in the opposite direction, and we cheered each other on.
It was great to have a “friend” throughout the race who I could look for and cheer for. And after the race I saw the two of them again, and we chatted about upcoming races and it turns out we’ll all be running the Christopher Martin’s Christmas Run 5k in New Haven on December 12th. They gave me some tips about finishing as fast as possible to get to the bar before the rugby guys get there, otherwise I’d never get a celebratory drink. See what I mean about the running community? So helpful.
I’ve found that this happens all the time. I meet great people at races and love to see them at other races throughout the season, connect with them online and continue talking between races. It’s a great motivator to see my running buddies checking in on Daily Mile and posting their runs and workouts, which makes me want to do the same!
What are your favorite things about running?
Two weekends ago I decided that I wanted to buy some new Vibrams for my Hartford Half Marathon training, so I went down to Trailblazer in New Haven and purchased the Vibram Treksports. Derek at Trailblazer also helped me try on the Treks and the Bikalas, but the Treksports were a pretty easy sell for me. I love the mesh top and the over the foot strap, but most of all, I love the pad on the back that cushions my Achilles.
My two biggest problems with my Classics (don’t get me wrong, I love them!) when running is that there is no tread and that the strap on the back would aggravate my ankle when I would stretch. The lack of tread would mean extra blisters, and for the trail running that I do, means I really become friendly with the rocks I would step on. So from the first second that I put on the Treksports, with the tough looking tread on the bottom and the soft cushiony pad on the back, I was in love. I wore them out of the store and went on a 3 mile walk. I think that if I had had the Treksports back in July when I did the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure (60 mile walk) that I would have been able to walk the whole event in Vibrams, rather than having to switch to sneakers.
So I’ve been running in the Treksports and breaking them in, and I have very few complaints. I ran a race last week which included running on trails that had a lot of rocks and I kept waiting to be able to feel them under my feet like I would have in the Classics, but it never came. It’s the perfect balance of foot protection and still feeling barefoot.
My one complaint about them is about the strap. The inside of the strap hits the arch of my foot, and after running about a mile and half starts to chafe on my foot. By the time my 5k was over I had rubbed the skin so raw I couldn’t stand to keep the shoes on, and had to walk back to my car through Downtown Hartford completely barefoot. However, once I put a band-aid on the chafing I was able to put the Vibrams back on without an issue. I’m not worried about having to put a band-aid on when I run in them, that’s not a big deal when I consider how every other thing about running in them is awesome. A band-aid is a small sacrifice to make when I can now run without knee or back pain, which I get when running in sneakers.
I’ll keep you updated on how the Half Marathon training goes. I’m running a 10k this Saturday in Cheshire so we’ll see how that goes!