New Vibrams – Treksports

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!

One Month to Half Marathon

With one month left until the Hartford Half Marathon, I’m getting a bit nervous because my training hasn’t been up to par. I was on vacation last week and did a lot of walking, but no running. In order to get myself motivated, two things will happen before Monday. I’m creating a running playlist for myself for the half, which means it has to be about 2 hours long; and I will buy a new pair of Vibrams. I’m looking at the Vibram Bikala and the TrekSport. I’m looking forward to trying both on and seeing which I like better.

I’ve started on the playlist, and here’s what I’ve got so far. It’s far from done but it’s a start. It’s an eclectic mix… so we’ll see how it works when I try it out on the run tomorrow. I really love the Glee soundtrack, as you can see… and I also really love a cappella. There’s something incredibly powerful about using your voice to create the bass, drums and background music. I’m biased because I used to sing a cappella, but I love it!

If you have suggestions for your favorite music to pump you up while running, I’d love to have them! Once I have time to sit down and download some music, I’ll definitely be pulling some songs from Run Like a Mother’s playlist, as well as from The Running Couple’s playlist. Well, lists… since both Lee and Isis posted one!

1) Hello It’s Me – Fisher

2) Blue in the Face – Alkaline Trio

3) Full Moon – The Black Ghosts

4) Fix You – Coldplay (a cappella)

5) Sweet Caroline – Glee Cast

6) Beautiful Life – Fisher

7) The Mixed Tape – Jack’s Mannequin

8 ) Tripping Billies – DMB (live)

9) Does He Love You? – Rilo Kiley (a cappella)

10) Don’t Stop Believin’ – Glee Cast

11) Young Hearts Run Free – Kym Mazelle

12) Hung Up – Madonna

13) Supermassive Black Hole – Muse

14) Gold Digger – Glee Cast

15) Decode – Paramore

16) Bust Your Windows – Glee Cast

17) Crazy – Gnarls Barkley (a cappella)

18) Get Together – Madonna

19) Untouched – The Veronicas

20) Holiday – Green Day

21) Local God – Everclear

22) Mercy – Duffie

23) Spotlight – Mutemath

24) Hate On Me – Glee Cast

25) SexyBack – Justin Timberlake

26) Defying Gravity – Glee Cast

27) Keep Holding On – Glee Cast

28) Bust a Move – Glee Cast

Hartford Dragon Boats!

This weekend is Dragon Boat weekend in Connecticut. HYPE (Hartford Young Professionals & Entrepreneurs) had two boats, Team HYPErspeed and the HYPErsonic Dragons. For a lot of us, it was our first time ever racing in a Dragon Boat. It is a REALLY fun experience. I wore my Vibrams all day; they recommend no flip flips because it’s more likely you’ll lose it when getting in or out of the boat, and I didn’t want to wear sneakers because sneakers are uncomfortable when wet. Plus, Vibrams always spark good conversation about running and barefooting. I talked with a couple of other HYPE members about how I got into it, how I trained in them (slowly!) and why I love them now. I told them they should really read Born To Run, because I thought it was so fascinating about barefoot running in different cultures. I think I was able to convert them, or at least get them to try it out.

Both teams did exceptionally well, coming in in the top 15 out of 44 community teams. We raced in three heats and I paddled during the first heat then took on the drummer seat in the final two. When you’re the drummer, you keep pace for team by using the drum and counting out when they should be paddling. It’s an intense position because you sit on the nose of the boat in a little seat, and if the boat were to tip too far to one side, the drummer is going to get dumped. It was a lot of fun and we all had a great day.

But being the drummer meant I wasn’t using as much energy as everyone else, so at the end of the day when everyone else was tired I still had a lot of energy. The races took place down on the Riverfront in Hartford, which is where a bunch of 5ks take place as well, and I know the trails, so a friend and I went for a run. It felt good to go on a spontaneous run and get all that energy out. It was only about 2 miles, but it was just enough for me to go home feeling satisfied that I had accomplished something.

Barefoot in Connecticut

One of the best things about quitting my job and working from home is that I get to be barefoot (and work in my PJ’s) whenever I want. When I bought my Vibrams back in May, I wore them whenever I could; to the grocery store, to the bank, to the dry cleaner. I’ve run 5 or 6 5ks in them and walked 20 miles of the 3-Day for the Cure in them. I love my Vibrams; I no longer have knee pain and my legs feel stronger and healthier. I love running in them but I’ve never been motivated enough to train in them, I just run races. But I want to be a better runner, so I’ve made some goals for myself to be a better and more consistent runner.

Here are my goals:

1) Run the Hartford Half Marathon in October

2) Run a sub 30-minute 5k

3) Run at least 3 times per week