Archive for the ‘Vibram Five Fingers’ Category

I think it’s safe to say I won’t die running races.  😆

Yep.  I did another 10k.  :mrgreen:

This time, I came home with a medal.  I got 3rd place in my age group. (Ok, there might have only been the three of us- I don’t really know 😆 but still- a medal!)  I’ll be really interested to see where I landed over all.

I took 5 minutes off my time and came in at 64:15 with a 10:21 minute mile.  I had to watch out for ice; there was still some snow (particularly on the bridges) and the course was pretty hilly this time.  No wind, thank goodness, but there were a few times I was wondering if I was going to have enough traction to make it up the hill.  😆

I also won a 40 lb (heck, it might have been more than that, since it was literally a struggle to carry the thing) fruit basket for best outfit.  I decided not to wear my flashing antler headband, but I had some wreathy ribbon things in my barrettes; I was wearing a neon green jacket, red gloves; I had a holiday bandana (which I didn’t end up using but it was cute); I had some tinsely hair bands on both wrists and ankles, but I am convinced what sealed the deal was my ornament necklace.

We found a tube of plastic mid-size ornaments (with sparkle!!) in the $1 bin at Target.  J (dd#2) strung them together with green embroidery floss and I wore them around my neck.  Now, I will admit the sound was driving me nuts nearly right away, but I managed to put most of them on my back to cut down on the noise. I’m sure the others on the course were really glad I didn’t wear the Christmasy jingle dog collar that I learned would fit.  😆 The original plan was to wrap silver tinsel around my legs, but once I got there and learned the judging was happening at the end, well, it just seemed more practical to skip it.

The spouse was worried about getting frostbite in minimalist shoes, but shoot.  Once you get going (as I’ve tried repeatedly to explain), it feels like it’s at least 20 degrees warmer than it is, and honestly, I was fine.  I had debated about wearing my Injini toe socks, but decided against it. As it was, I was wearing double tights, shorts, my long sleeve compression shirt; tech fleece and then my tech outer shell puffy jacket.  By mile 2 I was thinking “Dear God, why didn’t I listen and leave the jacket behind?”  😆  I tied it around my waist.  Just after we turned around (somewhere around mile 3.5, I think), the gloves came off and stayed off.  It was 35 degrees when we started and not much warmer when it ended.  I had my fleece headband around my ears, and while I brought my cap, I certainly did not need it.  Next time, I’ll know.

So, there you have it. I can run in the cold and wet and not have disastrous results.  In this case, the hardest part of the race was carrying the fruit basket out to my truck- really!  😆

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When I got near 100 miles, I ended up going a bit over.  And then I got to thinking, maybe y’all are tired of getting updates every 100 miles, so I thought I would wait until 150 miles.


Total VFF/miles record #6: 153.45

Total yearly miles to date: 706.01

Total VFF miles to date: 397.45

Miles before shoes: 309.56

Lowest mileage (less the race at 6.21 miles)- 3.50: I did this twice- once was the day before the race and then the other when was I was having hip issues.

Normal mileage- 6.75/7 ish.  There were a few times I got a late start and only managed 5; less those two times, everything else was 6.5ish +. (for example, today I did 8.25)

This is around the time when I’d be paying really close attention to my shoes if I hadn’t changed them out already.  I don’t see any end in sight for my VFFs. I’m really pleased that I can increase my mileage without issue, which is huge for me.  There is nothing like setting goals only to be thwarted by pain and/or injury.

This month, I’ll have fewer miles, due to time away and the holidays.  October mileage was 118.5; I’ve only got 84.45 for November.  I hope to hit at least 100, and that should not be a problem, barring something unforseen (knock on wood)

So there you have it. My plan is to do a final update at the end of the year, which would put me around the 150 mark for the next record, give or take.

And, lest you think I’m totally insane for keeping track of this all, I have come to learn that I am in no way unusual in that regard in the running world…..  😆

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Have you been waiting with bated breath?  I know I sure have! 😉

Results via the paper today- time was 1:09:38.  That gives me a time of 11:13 per, which is still better than I thought. What’s interesting is that the gentleman whose Iphone time I was going off of is listed as having a time of 9 minutes behind me. Seeing as I passed him around mile out from the finish and wasn’t going that much faster (I didn’t think) this strikes me as odd.

I think the solution to this is going to be to ask at the actual finish (look on the sticker) and compare to a stop watch. That’s more stuff to have to go out and find, but I guess that’s the only way I’ll be comfortable. Or I could diddle with my ipod (nano), but I think the watch will be easier.

I wasn’t last, either, which is surprising, because I didn’t think there were that many people (including several men) behind me.  I must have really been zoned out.

So there we have it in print.  I finished and didn’t die.  😆

Back to your regularly scheduled programming.  :mrgreen:

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Nope. I’m not. I didn’t die. I didn’t crash and burn. Actually, I finished way sooner than I had anticipated. What’s up with that?!

Today was the day of the 10k. For those of us not on the metric system, that translates into 6.21371 miles. But who’s counting?  😀

I don’t know what my official time was, but the guy who finished a bit behind me went to his car and did some stretching before turning off his timer, at 1:07. So, I’m going with 1:06. According to my pace chart, that means my mile pace was 10:36, with a kilometer pace of 6:36  I like that one better.  😆

By the time my daughter and my friend got there, I had been done for about 15 minutes. (Really, there is not much to see during a race until people start crossing the finish line- and since I’m not real fast, it’s like, what are they going to do while I’m out there running? Sit in the cold and freeze?) I am still not convinced they didn’t start us early.  😀

Not knowing what to expect, I didn’t push it. I took most of week off, doing 7 on Thursday and only 3.5 yesterday.  I was thinking about not running at all yesterday, but didn’t want my monthly mileage to totally tank, so I did 1/2.

I also knew that if I came home injured, Hunny was going to read me the riot act and would really pitch a fit if I wanted to enter another race. Plus, I haven’t been outside on concrete since my hip stuff a few weeks ago.

While I didn’t push it, I do remember getting to the 2 k turn-around and thinking it would be nice to be done. 😆

The wind *totally* killed me. It was blowing solidly around 20 mph, gusts were I’m thinking at least 35 mph. Did I mention those were sustained winds??  At times it felt like I was crawling and heading into a hurricane. I had the tailwind for a little- it wasn’t blowing that hard when we started, and when we got out into the open, the blowing sand was the pits.

And it was cold. I could have easily done another layer; wish I would have had some gloves. My ears were not too bad, although even after standing in the hot shower for eons, they are still ringing.

There were at least 2 miles plus that were straight headwind and of course, this was the only hilly part of the course. Once we turned, it was back into the wind for the remainder of the race, but at least there were some trees here and there to act as a wind-break. I remember thinking more than once that I need to do some more strength training. I probably should, but thinking about right now just makes me tired. 😀

I didn’t need to worry about the sweat running down my face- it was so windy it was blowing off (and blowing the stuff out of my nose- had no idea that would happen, but thank goodness I packed a ton of tissues!) The coldest part was right before (of course) and then even at the end, when it’s blowing that hard, it feels like it’s 30 degrees. Definitely need some gloves and a hat if I’m running in the real cold next month.

I will be interested on times and stuff. They had me registered and tagged as a guy and we changed it on my tag this morning. No idea how they did the times, but I wonder if they had me grouped in with the men because of what was on their original registration forms. No, it is not unusual for people to think my name belongs to a Mr.

I think they need to make more age groups. And probably one for chronically ill people. And all of those people in that category should automatically get medals just for showing up. Just sayin’. 😉

Much to my relief, I did not get lost. Things were pretty clearly marked. Because it was so cold, I didn’t need any hydration. I considered it on the way back, but there wasn’t anything ready and waiting, (and no garbage cans??) so I passed. No biggy.

Next time, I am starting further ahead. I started back with the 2 k people (including the walkers) and had to pass them all. I am absolutely certain I was bringing up the rear once we went past the 2k turn-around. Although, there were people who finished later than I did on the 10 course, so I’ll have to mull that one over.

No idea how many went at this time- my guess would be somewhere around 50??  I’ll be interested to see final numbers.

There was a single other lady wearing VFFs- she was a 10 k walker.  I didn’t talk to her and ask her which ones she had, but they were blue.  I totally ♥ed the feeling of the road, fwiw. I saw a single person I knew (and it wasn’t the lady with the VFFs); dunno, seemed like there was some cliquey stuff going on.  🙄

So, that’s my race report. I didn’t die. I don’t feel injured. I ran/jogged the whole way. And I didn’t die (that’s especially important to me).  😆

Now I’m hungry, so I’ll eat and read until I fall asleep. That’s my exciting race day. 😎

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Or maybe not. I don’t know. It may be too early to tell.

Remember that last post where I was saying my pain level hadn’t increased despite my mileage increase? And that I wanted to be careful not to get injured because that would be an excuse not to do the 10 k?

Ya, well, humph. Saturday I kinda sorta upped my mileage again, by 1/2 a mile.  And it felt ok, more or less. I was feeling the hip by the end, but it wasn’t killing me. Sunday I took off because I upped my mileage on Saturday and J wasn’t home in the morning to go roller-blading while I ran, so I had enough excuses to pass. And hey, since my hip was still a little sore, I thought it would be better to have a break.

Monday came. Hip still pretty sore. Had to stop (!!!!!!) while out after about the first mile, because the front part of my hip was getting tighter and tighter to the point where it darn near felt frozen. Stretched it out and it was bearable; no incline work, I said, until I got it sorted out.

Tuesday came. Hip still sore, but I took it slow, and while I did some incline work, it was 1/2 mile less (total; 1/4 mile each) and here again, I went really slow.

Oh. My. Stars. I napped in the afternoon, and by the time evening came, it was on constant throb. Now I have two points of pain. I’m thinking it’s the normal bursa pain and then new stuff I think is some kind of hip flexor/iliopsoas tendonitis. Achille’s tendon. Extensor tendonitis. Iliopsoas tendonitis.

Do you see the pattern?? Yes, I know, I am dense. When one has connective tissue disease (and since Raynaud’s is a symptom of mixed connective tissue disease), you never know what is going to go haywire next.

Anyhow. Hunny is convinced that the pain is the result of running on pavement. I think it’s probably the combination of increased mileage and being in a flare. In hindsight, when I woke up on Saturday with swollen eyes, I should have not increased my mileage, and just to be safe, I should have probably done my running indoors. And then Monday and Tuesday when they were still swollen-same thing. Meh.

I medicated last night so I could sleep. Pain is not as bad today, but it’s not good. I can do a bit more stretching without having my breath taken away, so that is good.  I think. We’ll see what tomorrow (and some additional targeted exercises and stretches) brings. I haven’t registered yet for the race, but I still really want to.

And the clock is ticking. The only other race on the horizon is in December, and I am not sure how running in the cold (because of my Raynaud’s) is going to play out.

But hey- the upside is that I did manage to find a cheap pair of sunglasses that I think will work. They are not terribly dark, but since I’m looking down much of the time, I think they will be ok.

So, bloggy friends who have dealt with this, please give me your two cents! Push on? Ditch the race this time?

The only thing I actually know is that I am headed for a nap right now.  😆

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Do y’all remember on VFF post #4 when I said I wouldn’t bug you but every 100 miles? Yep, it’s that time!  😀

Since you can probably tell I’m still wearing them and still running, you have probably assumed that all is well in happy-running-land, and you would be correct. I won’t bore you with all the details this time, but let’s get some summary numbers (because I’m anal like that :lol:).

Total VFF/miles record #5: 105

Total yearly miles to date: 552.56

Total VFF miles to date: 243

Miles before VFFs: 309.56

October total thus far: 49.5

If you’ve been reading along, you’ll know that I am contemplating a 10k early next month. When I first had this stupid idea stroke of genius, I was a month out. It goes without saying that I will wait until almost the last minute to register if I decide to.

I’m still working on the minutiae of running outdoors. My biggest issue, I think, is convincing hunny that I am not going to kill myself. I can’t just shrug off his concerns entirely, because when/if it goes south, he’s the one standing in the gap and picking up the pieces (read: taking over the household and taking care of me while I’m incapacitated). I am hoping I have enough time to show him that there won’t be an explosion of badness because I’m running outside.  😆

What’s noteworthy is the increase of mileage. I’ve increased by 1.5 miles and added a day, which means an addition of 12.5 miles a week. At this point, I am going for distance and not speed.

Within the daily miles, I’ve added incline training (my treadmill is so old that back when I got it, it was something to have any kind of incline, particularly combined with a space saver model. This means I have three levels of what I fondly call low, mid, and normal. 😀 ). Today I did 2 miles of incline work; 1 low; 1 mid.

What’s important to know about these two newer things (increased mileage and incline work):

  • I am not following the “don’t increase more than 10% a week” rule.  😆 You’ve already figured out I generally don’t play by the rules, unless I have a compelling reason to.
  • My pain levels have not increased. Because I am thinking about trying that thing next month, I don’t want to get myself in a position where I’m injured and can’t do it. I have noticed more hip soreness, but I’m trying to counteract that by upping my hip strengthening exercises. Injury is just one less excuse for me to have to think about, as I try to talk myself into it.  😆

While I have had some soreness, it’s not prohibitive. It hasn’t slowed me down at all to this point <knock on wood>. In reality, I think if I had 2 months of prep time, I’d certainly jump in with no reservations. I’m looking at two weeks and some change. We’ll see.  😆

On the one hand, I have the voice that says, ” Your mileage is fine- you can do this even if you have to walk some.” On the other hand, I have the voice that says, ” You’re freaking nuts.”  😆

Where I’m landing today? Today, I am encouraged by my bloggy friend runningthriver who ran a half marathon recently and then will run a marathon a short two weeks later. Today, I’m thinking that if this mother here could run a marathon and then deliver a healthy, full-term baby 7 hours later :shock:, maybe I can do a measly 10k…….  😎  :mrgreen:

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Take a wild guess about what I’m griping about this time…..  😆  Ya, more shopping.  *sigh*

Normally, I am not real picky about stuff, nor the lack of it locally, with the exception of a few things. If I can’t find it locally, I’ll go online and order. No biggy.

Pants are generally one item (unless they are sweats) I won’t order online. Usually I won’t order shoes online, but since Vibram has a very clear video on sizing, I followed the directions and was able to order online with no issue.

The one item I cannot make an exception for and order online (unless it’s ridiculously cheap) is eyewear. For all practical purposes, this really means just sunglasses. Before I agree to wear something on my face, they have to fit. And they have to be dark.

Even though I have transition lenses in my eye glasses and I got the darkest ones they have available, they don’t tint darkly enough. The result is that I wear polarized sunglasses over my regular glasses.

Because of my Sjogren’s Disease, I have all kinds of issues with my eyes. The biggest issue is the recurrent cornea erosion. In a nutshell, this means that every time I blink (literally- every time), I stand a chance of my cornea sticking to my eyelid and ripping off. I’ve had this happen during the day, but the most critical time for me is before I open my eyes in the morning.

Over a year after the first episode, and after being in his office for “blips” at least once a month (but usually more), it finally came to a head when, after going in to see my eye guy 4 times in a single day, his daughter called him out of a meeting around 7 pm at night (even though I had seen him a few hours earlier before the office closed) and he met me down at his office.

The determination was that there was no way my cornea would last for a 200 mile emergency drive to have a stromal puncture done. This dealy is where they take a needle and poke it in all over your cornea, which helps the epithelial cells grow “feet” an attach into the deeper layer, and thereby, encourage healing.

I didn’t have that kind of time, though. At that point, my entire cornea was filled will fluid and was mushy; rolling around in my eye and ready to rip the whole thing (including the deeper layers) off. Ya, not good. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyy more painful than unmedicated childbirth.

The only viable option we had was to have him use a scalpel and scrape that top layer off. I am not exaggerating when I say that that man saved the sight in that eye. After the eye got to the point where we could take some time with it, we decided to try a more permanent solution.

I have punctal plugs in both eyes. Yep. For a fact I can say I have silicone implants.  😆

On my left eye, we started with top and so far, several years later, it’s ok. In the right eye, I have plugs in both the top and bottom ducts. He had never done top and bottom on anyone before (and none since as far as I know), and he has been doing them for years and years in a desert climate where a lot of people take advantage of this procedure.

Now we know it was the Sjogren’s that caused the problem. At the time, we were stumped, and thinking it was leftover from autoimmune disease. Turns out, it never left. At one point, at the annual state-wide convention, I was one of the case studies, and they were trying to figure out how to heal my eye and get it to stick.

Now having this information, it should come as no surprise as to the why my eyewear is so important. I’ve spent several years (and a chunk of change) trying not to go blind. Having proper eye wear is critically important to me.

I can’t leave the sides exposed; wind can go across, dry out my cornea quickly; I blink, and there it goes.  Something gets in there? Scratch, and there it goes. My eyes don’t heal normally. This kind of injury usually repairs quickly- the cornea has the fastest healing tissue in the body. Two of my kids have had scratched corneas, and by the next morning, they were more or less back to normal. Me?  I’d be a week out and still have a grossly swollen eye, sitting in the dark, trying to de-juice my cornea.

The Sjogren’s also leaves me highly sensitive to light. Bright light is extremely painful. Glare is painful. So don’t go yelling at me to take off my glasses just because you want a picture without tinted glasses in it!

Anyhow. I gots ta try ’em on. They gots ta fit. They gots ta fit right.

And I’m annoyed that I can’t find anything but $100+ glasses locally. Honestly, the eyes/glasses situation is one of the biggest reasons I run indoors. Now that my oldest dd is going to run with me, the dreaded shopping has begun. Still, because of the house gremlin running around here, I don’t feel like I can spend that kind of $$$ on something that may get taken before I even get to wear them for the first time. See the dilemma?

I think, before I invest in glasses, I will try to find an old pair and hope they don’t bruise my nose. Then, if being outside doesn’t kill me (like hunny thinks it will), I’ll be in a better frame of mind to think about finding the right ones.

Next, I’ll have to think about gloves and arm warmers for my Raynaud’s……. 😆

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