Monthly Archives: June 2011

A Mood and A Promise

I haven’t been running much lately due to my early work schedule.  It’s supposed to be a temporary thing but it is taking longer to get back to normal than they anticipated.  (I’m a mad scientist by day, soccer mom by night.  This has nothing to do with the post but I really like to use that line so I use it as much as possible. whaaahahahhha!) 

I am one of those lucky people who will get to extend the already extended weekend.   My vacation starts in 17 minutes, 2 seconds and counting down…Yippee.  As you can see, I am very excited.  One of the reasons is that I have every intention of blasting away my grumpy attitude from not getting to run because of the early work schedule by…. you, guessed it… RUNNING!!!  It’s constant anticipation toward that moment when my flesh meets the road (or it may be sand).  I. Can. Not. Wait. 

Oh, going to the beach in South Haven… yes, excited.

Eating breakfast on the boat… yes, excited.

Watching fireworks with the kids as they OOOh  and AAAh… yes, excited.

Picking up my heart beat, feeling the sun on my skin, wiping the sweat from my brow, flexing and retracting the muscles in my body, and feeling the texture of whatever surface is below me as my legs turn over and over and over for as many miles as I want…..    SO. SO. SO. EXCITED!!!  I’m going to love it, I promise!

Have a great holiday weekend everyone!  Go have a run with a smile and some fun.

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Filed under Barefoot, Michigan, running

A Sweet Deal

Normally, I would be hand cuffed to the treadmill or couch whist the darling hubs is out of town. This time, however, I have finally manipulated a sweet deal for myself.

Hey, kids! What to go out for breakfast? How about we ride the bikes there?

Later…

Momma, you didn’t say you were going to run there. Momma!? You’re barefoot!
She always runs barefoot.

K-man carried my supplies. Two miles to breakfast and two miles home allowed me to have two chocolate chip pancakes.

We had friends join us at the restaurant. I had no choice but to reveal my super hero barefoot nature when we were leaving. She’s an alderman and asked me to let her know which sidewalks in town are in need of repair. Maybe my love/hate relationship with sidewalks can become a love/love relationship!

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Lounging at the beach now!

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A Foreign Run

When I asked what thing(s) I should do in Vancouver before I left, I got a pause and a few typical tourist suggestions.  Then another pause.

“Actually, Vancouverians are mostly outdoorsy people so most of what we have around here is parks and stuff. ”

I knew I was finally on the right track.  I needed a good place to take a nice long run.  Sure,  what I should have done was a 5K but, instead, he recommended a beautiful 10K run around Stanley Park called the Seawalk.

Upon driving to Stanley Park, I devised a plan for going bare/minimalist.  I kept repeating in my head something the guy had commented when we were talking about other Vancouver subjects (drug use).

“Vancouverians are very tolerant people.”

Surely, if Vancouver is a tolerant and accepting society, surely, I can run barefoot in their park?

Funny thing about running barefoot… at first, you are hoping no one notices, doesn’t question what you are doing, or make you put shoes on.  After about 4K, you practically draw attention to yourself in any way that you can because, Come On, People! I just ran a long fricken ways in my barefeet, on asphalt, on an 80 degree day in direct sun light. Hello, grilled toes!  Please acknowledge how awesome I am.  No?  How about crazy?  Can you do crazy?

By the way, LOOK at these views

Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC

  • Seawalk at 4K

No, I didn’t run all 10K in barefeet.  I had a hot spot on the second toe so I stopped at about 7K and put on the Pacers that I carried with me.  I’m not sure if I was being smart knowing that I would need them or just self-fulfilled my prophecy of being unable to execute 10k without adorning my feet with shoes.

Did I mention that it was 80+ degrees?  They speak metric up there so I don’t really know what the temp was but by the looks of the number of Canadians sitting on the beach in Stanley Park, it was very nice.    I hadn’t been expecting such warm weather when I packed which meant I would be subjecting myself to another embarrassing sweat stain by packing my grey capri exercise pants.  Half way through the Seawalk, I came across a water park.  I figured what a better thing to come across on an 80 + degree day and to boost the funnability index of the run than to zig zag through a water park.  It was only later when I looked down at my legs that I realized the genius of water spray in camouflaging any embarrassing sweat stains.

Genius water spray at the park

Run barefoot! Run Smiley! Win!

Seawalk at 7K

P.S. I would absolutely recommend the Seawalk for a run in Vancouver with or without shoes.  The asphalt is very smooth.  The views are spectacular with the mountains, city, and boats all in one run.  Two big toes up.

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Filed under Barefoot, running, travel

Minimalist provides minimal enjoyment

I took my new Paces for a short run this morning. I was rushed and in a hurry. I didn’t want to put in the effort to step barefoot carefully so I went shod. Although, I pointed the finger at my Pacers in the title, I’d say it was a bunch of circumstances that bundled into a mediocre run.

I was rushed. Poo.
I wore shoes. Poo.
I was very tired. Double Poo.
I didn’t eat very smartly the day before. Ugh. Poo.
It was humid. Poo/Better get used to it.
I didn’t find the right motivational running song. Poo.

All in all, a mediocre run day is better than a whole day on the couch!! I just hope I turned everything off before I left the house.

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Daily Activity

Today’s barefoot activity was cleaning the house. I thought for sure being barefoot would make things better but no matter the angle, I still hate washing floors. Blah!!

I am now comforted by the procrastination of vacuuming the carpets. I will have to do it before I go to bed or I will regret the rushed morning. I’m quite glad that I can sleep on the train instead of fearing falling asleep behind the wheel.

In honor of the bike ride I took to the store to shop for a Father’s day present, here’s a pictute of tge procrastination in ACTION!

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Dinner and A Run

I went out for dinner then went on a run.

Let me rephrase that. I walked into town for dinner then ran “out of my way” home.

Actually, let me give that one more try. I carried my shoes as I walked barefoot into town, had dinner then took my shoes off after exiting the restaurant and carried them while I ran barefoot out of my way home for as long as I could hold a smile. In hindsight, I would have run longer if I hadn’t had the Nachos.

A big OK sign sent out to the guy who yelled, “Those are supposed to go on your feet!”

 

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Note the rough aging pavement just perfect for improving asphalt tolerance.

It’s been a week since I ran. Distance only made my heart grow fonder and my demeanor more obsessive.

Go run smiley, kids.

Guess where I sat for dinner?

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Filed under Barefoot, personality flaws, running

Another Shoe

It’s hard for me to compare one shoe to another as I am in a different place and made adjustments as I moved along this path.  I am unable to determine if the difference is in the shoe or in me.  Perhaps that is why Dr. Craig Richard’s proposal to study running shoes makes sense after all.  

Neither here nor there, I am going to tell you about my new shoes.  For the most part, I like to go barefoot.  There are places like work, the store, Monster Truck Jam when I feel (or am required) that wearing shoes is necessary.  I find it most interesting how self-conscious we are about shoes or no shoes.   No matter how crazy, or different, or daring we are, even us barefooters, are programmed to feel self-conscious about going without shoes.   I have yet been reprogrammed.  Thus, I bought another pair of shoes. 

When I went barefoot, I kept my Adidas shoes for casual wear, turning the compost pile, or other emergencies.  This past winter I resigned to the fact that I had no tolerance for sub-freezing temps and slushy, icy roads when wearing my VFFs.  I sunk to wearing my Adidas for winter runs.  Bah.  I am fairly certain wearing those Adidas lead to the flare up of tendonitis that I have yet to resolve.   Even wearing the Adidas for casual wear began to make my feet hurt more and more.  As a result, I began my hunt for a minimalist shoe that I could wear for winter runs.  Now that it is summer, I need a shoe for casual wear. 

My latest purchase…. Merrell pace glove.

I do not intend to wear these shoes for the purpose in which they were designed, at least, not very often.  I purchased these shoes for casual wear in the summer.  See all the nice mesh upper?  I have not had a stinky foot since purchasing them! This is very important because I tend to take my shoes off all the time, like, in the car.  The 5 hour Memorial Day car ride was a bit unpleasant until I covered up my stinky feet. 

I also tried on the Merrell Pure Glove.  I was mad for the red ones. I have wide feet so I was very pleased with the fit of both shoes.  However, I have to note that I fit into a 9 for the Pace but an 8.5 for the Pure based on width alone.  It is not often that I have to go down a size due to width.  Although, I went to the store for the Pure, I chose the Pace just because it seemed to feel better. 

I was going to wait until I actually took them for a run before writing about them but the best you are going to get is a half hour of playing tag at the park with the Cub Scouts.  I did a lot of short sprints and twists and turns.  The shoes did well.  They have a little bit of tread in them as you can see below.  You can also see the dirt on the front of one shoe.   

I’m already tired of writing this review as you are reading it.  I’ll cut to the chase.

Things I like: 

  1. The sole follows the curve of your foot.  I feel like it hugs the ball of my foot. 
  2. The width is fantastic
  3. They seem easier to walk in than VFFs.  Not sure if this is a real benefit or if I have just learned how to adapt a barefoot stride to shoes.  I do remember feeling awkward trying to walk in VFFs last summer.  I have no problem waking barefoot but I seem to have a brain-shoe connection with my stride.  This seems reduced when wearing my Paces. 
  4. Love the look.  They just look good plus they draw less attention to my minimalist style. 
  5. The back hugs up around your heel.  It is a fabric covered piece of elastic.  Because I am going casual in these shoes, I leave them tied.  The elastic heel allows me to just slip them on.  I had a bit of irritation from rubbing on the heel but I think that would be reduced if I was tieing them as I’m supposed to be. 
  6. When riding my bike, the grated edges of the pedals are less noticeable in the Paces than in the VFFs.  I won’t wear the VFFs when riding my bike.  The Paces are perfect.
  7. The sole is completely flexible unlike a lot of other shoes I have looked at. 

Thinks I don’t like:

  1. They might be considered barefoot, but they are a shoe. period.   They are not the same as going barefoot.    
  2. I agree that it seems a bit silly to spend so much money on a shoe that is supposed to feel like it’s not a shoe but I’ve tried going with cheap shoes.  I wore a pair of Payless ballet type tennis shoe last summer.   I don’t know why but if you are going to wear a shoe, maximus or minimalist, you do get what you pay for. 

In all, the Merrell Pace Glove is almost exactly what I was looking for in a casual minimalist shoe.   I’ll keep my Miminus Lifers for cooler weather when my feet won’t stink so much.  I’ll keep my VFFs for running on extreme surfaces.  I’ll try to go barefoot as much as possible and stop spending so much money on shoes!

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Filed under Barefoot, cycling, Vibram Five Fingers