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Posts Tagged ‘VFFs’


*sigh*

You may remember my most recent running shoe conundrum….. if you can’t bring yourself to read the blather, here’s the nutshell: My Vibram Five Finger Bikilas got a hole, and it was time to replace. I hemmed and hawed, eventually getting two new pairs; the See Ya Lses and the KMD Sport Lses.

Back in March, I had posted that the See Ya Lses were not wearing as well as I hoped, and to stay tuned. So. Here we are. :/

Much to my dismay, I have had to change to my backup pair after only 500ish miles. I’m disappointed. I was only about 100 miles in when, after washing, one of the toe pockets was sporting a small tear. As time progressed, the hole got bigger. But I still ran.

My last visit to Hunny, I seriously debated about whether or not to take my backup pair, leaning heavily to leaving them home. Boy, was I glad I took them! I don’t know if it was a combo of the hilly terrain and temperature, or just the high road heat, but they are trashed. My last day, the one toe was all bruised, not to mention black from the road grime. BOOOOO! 😦 😦 😦

VFF1

VFF2

VFF3

VFF4

VFF5

Since I had to retire the See Ya Lses, I’ve moved into the KMD Sport Lses. It’s a heavier shoe, which I could do without. But if it wears better, it might end up being ok. I’m hoping the toe pockets will stretch a wee bit, because a few toes hit the end more than I’d like.

Anyhow. That’s that, and now I know.

Bottom line= ok if you don’t mind replacing your shoes earlier than you want to. Lightweight= yes. Durable= not really. Would I buy again= probably not. I find myself really wishing they hadn’t changed the Bikilas…… meh.

At least Queen rocks on {even though Freddie can never be replaced!}!

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2014


Alrighty then. Clearly, I’ve been slacking. It seems the combination of farm life and absent Hunny kills my motivation for writing. Here’s my lame attempt to get sort of caught up….

My mileage stunk for last year. I was trying to bribe myself to finish the painting before I allowed myself to run. {snort) At some point, I said, “Screw it!”

Last year, I only managed to run 332.21 miles. Seeing at I’m already at 108 and some change for this year {which is still sort of dismal} you can see that running was more or less ‘meh’ last year.

And I was dealing with some leg issues. Seemed like I’d get over one sore spot and find I had another. I finally broke down and got some compression calf sleeves, which really seems to have been a huge help. Hopefully, I can ditch them completely before summer hits, because I HATE HEAT.

You may remember that I logged over 1,400 miles on my previous pair of VFFs and had to get a new pair. I’ve gotten just over 304 miles on the new pair, and they are not wearing nearly as well as my others.

While I have the spare pair, they are heavier. Heading into the heat of the summer leaves me wondering if the See Ya Lses will get me through so I don’t have to wear the others when it’s hot. We’ll see. I’d really rather not have to order another new pair, seeing as the Vibram website got hacked and my information was compromised. {Yes, I know there are other places to buy them; I just always start there- and they were on sale!}

Not only are the soles starting to wear, but several months ago, one of the toes got a small hole in between the toes. I don’t think these are nearly as well made as the Bikilas. If they ever go back to the original sole {and not the beefed up one for transitioning folks}, I would be inclined to buy the Bikilas again.


Did I mention I had to get new ear buds? AGAIN?! If memory serves, this was right around the time I had to get new shoes, so that piece of stunning news might have gotten lost in the shuffle.

Anyhow. You know I’m seriously picky about what goes in my ears when I run…… I was nearly distraught when I discovered they no longer were offering my Nike Vapor ear buds. I nearly gave up running. *sigh*

But, because I am a trooper and decided I needed to deal with this horrible, life-altering news, I bit the bullet and got myself a pair of YurBuds. Because I was a former behind-the-ear fan, I got the ones that go behind the ear. You are shocked, I know.  focus-100-for-women

Did you see that ^^^^^ there? You know, that part where I said a FORMER fan? What changed my mind?

The YurBuds. I hate the over-the-ear model. HATE. THEM.

Sure, they swivel. But they also come completely apart. And trying to get them in and over the ear without popping them off requires a mirror and tweaking, etc. Seriously? I want to put them in and GO.

What I have discovered, however, is that I don’t need the over-the-ear feature. Nope. I don’t. YurBuds actually stay in the ear like they are supposed to, so the next pair will not have that boat anchor feature. Besides that issue and the one ear piece cover trying to come off all the time, I am actually quite impressed with them. They are ok. And they actually don’t fall out, which is good.

Fortunately, I don’t need to use them a whole lot, courtesy of my new treadmill, which has an mp3 port. My old one finally died after almost 20 years and thousands of miles. Given how much it rains here and that summer is coming {eventually}, I knew it was time to pony up and make that investment. I don’t have a non-blurry picture of this stunning piece of equipment, but I found a good NordicTrac with the same size motor as my old one. Motor size does matter, kids. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Lest you think all I’ve been doing while non-writing has been avoiding painting and running, I will let you know right now, mister, that I HAVE NOT. Well, ok, I have been avoiding painting. BUT. I’ve done a lot of knitting. And, I have more peeps. 😀

So, let’s recap. Running in 2014 was pretty sucky. Not a total loss, but this year will be better in that regard. Unless my man comes home, it will likely be as stressful. I am not a good single parent, I’ll tell you. But running will be better, and darn it, there really is stuff outside that has to get painted soon, nevermind everything inside……. stay tuned. Or don’t. 😆

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You may recall that it was time for me to get new running shoes….. I really don’t like it when I go to replace something I love only to find out it’s no longer available and things have changed. BOOOO!

So I ordered not one, but two pairs of Vibram Five Fingers shoes. I had read reviews on See Ya Lses seeyalsesthat indicated they weren’t the best for cold weather running. To cover my bases, I also ordered the KMD Lses.

Let me just say that the US sizing is not accurate. I much prefer the UK sizing where your foot is actually measured. If you’re a girl in the US, you will no doubt know that shoes {and jeans, and tops, etc etc} vary wildly depending on shoe. It would have been nice to have had the option to order the UK sizing like before.

When the See Ya Lses arrived, they were entirely too big. They are shaped differently, too, which made me worry about the higher heel digging into my Achille’s. I sent them back.

In the mean time, the KMD Lses arrived, so I wasn’t totally dead in the water. I got 15 miles on them before the other pair arrived in the right size. kmdsportlsKMDs were fine. The toe pockets seemed a bit snug, but I’m sure they will stretch out just fine. I love the lower, padded heel. I think I prefer this lace system over the See Ya Lses. They also feel like they have a thicker sole, which is good to keep in mind.

I’ve been running pretty regularly in the See Ya Lses, and have around 50 miles on them. The toe pockets are looser. The second time I wore them, I ended up with a bloody toe. There must have been something in that toe pocket, because after that, I had no issues running in them. I’m not sure I’m real keen on the lace system- these are actually tied like regular shoes. It doesn’t seem to be any wider than the KMD LSes’ lace system.

My concern about the shape of the fabric on the heel to this point is not a real issue. I can feel it on the back of my foot, but the suede is actually pretty soft. The color on mine does bleed, but it washes right off.

The one thing I really like about both is the insole is yellow. The white insole of the Bikilas always bothered me because it never really came clean with washing. Both will wear better in that regard, I think. I also appreciate that they aren’t removable, like my older Komodosport Lses are. I always worry that they’ll come out when washing and then never go back in the right way. It hasn’t happened yet, but I don’t wear them the same as I do the others.

I am really eager to get back outside, but I do have to say I still dread having to weave through the gravel. Even with new shoes that aren’t worn as much, I am NOT loving running on rocks. If things stay calmer around here, I’ll give it a shot. {As it turns out, both of the bulls are still loose– will update on that deal in a bit.}

Anyhow. For what it’s worth, I’m giving them both a total thumbs up because I’m on the road again……………

[youtube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gdlyi5mckg0%5D

 

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We all have them. In my mind, my milestones are points in time which are usually “firsts” and often, experiences that may not be duplicated. And usually, it’s somewhere on a journey, that has a definite beginning, middle, and end.

In this case, I have no idea where the end is, but I clearly remember the beginning. While I should have hit this particular milestone a while ago, I am finally to it.

Yep. That’s right. I’ve got 1,000 miles on my Vibram Five Finger Bikilas. (ok, you can throw confetti as long as you promise to clean it up later  😆 )

Do you remember? I first wrote about them June 16, 2011. My very first VFF run, I went a stunning 1.5 miles.  😆 After 34 days of transitioning from my Asics to my VFFs, I was finally in them for the full 5 miles.

As you can imagine, I’m pretty anal with my documenting (as if you didn’t know already!  :lol:). I’ve always kept track of the mileage on my shoes, just because it’s good to know how many miles they’ve seen, so if you starting getting some issues, you’ll know whether or not it’s time to change them out.

I can’t tell you how thrilled I am not to really have to worry about that! Anymore, I just keep track of total mileage, and because I really have no idea how long they’ll last, it’s just interesting to keep track of the miles. I’ve heard VFFs last a really long time, so I’m going to put them to the test!

So, here are some stats:

  • 1,000 miles run
  • 3 races to date (2 10ks and 1 Half Marathon)
  • 34 days to transition to full-time at then current mileage
  • 156 days of running which =s
    • 6.41 miles each run, on average
  • No idea how many times they’ve been washed, but it’s a lot.  😀

Where am I am these days?  Let me tell you, the heat is kicking my butt, big time. The hotter it is, the more I swell. The more I swell, the worse I feel, and the more NEED to run to help flush out the swelling. But, the worse I feel, the less inclined I am to run. Blah.

My initial goal for the yearly mileage game is 1,200 miles. This means I need to run 100 miles a month. My normal average is between 30 and 50 miles a week. You’d think, then, that it would be no problem and I’d be over the goal at the end of the year. And if I was a normal person, you’d be right.

Instead, spring hit, and brought 90 degree temps. We’ve already been over 100, and most recent weeks, we’ve been in the mid to upper 90s. Blessed be, we’re getting a cold front and some supposed rain blowing in. This could not have better timing, and I’ll tell you why in a minute.

December was a rockin’ month, with 205 miles.

I took a break in January and logged 118 miles.

Mileage for February was 115.1, with my half marathon giving me that leftover tenth. (Have I mentioned that I generally like nice, neat, round numbers?  :lol:)

And then I hit a flare and it got hot. March totally tanked, and I only managed 44 miles. That put me 56 miles behind that month.

April was marginally better, but I had a few weeks where I didn’t run at all, which also killed my mileage. I ended the month at 81 miles, which left me still 42 miles behind.

At this point, I’ve only got 21 miles this month, and this should be a taper week since I have a 10k on Saturday. Can you see the struggle?  My Wednesdays are now free, but this is a week I need to cut back and try to save my legs for Saturday. We’ll see.

Since the cold front is moving in, it’s supposed to be signifincantly cooler. The high on Saturday should only be 82, which means it shouldn’t be too hot for me. In theory.

A few weeks ago, I did change my mileage for the game down to 950. I don’t need the pressure of feeling like I’m so far behind that I’ll never get caught up, because it’s too easy to let that become a self-defeating thought pattern. I am, however, still running with the original goal in mind, and we’ll see how it goes.

Are you wondering what these 1,000 miles shoes look like? Don’t mind the post run sweaty wetness…….  😆

1,000 miles! Reflectors are still reflecty!

 

Look! No holes yet!

Because my life has been a soundtrack lately, this one will take you to the commercial break. (Sorry about the ad, though!)  :mrgreen:

 

 

 

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Have you looked?  Do you usually look? 

~~WARNING!!!! LONG POST AHEAD!!!~~~~  😆

Every year around this time, I end up laughing sardonically to myself.

“I just love a clean slate!”

“New year= new beginnings!”

<gag> I mean, really? Do people really believe this? Like, nothing from the past year is going to follow them into this year because it’s a “new calendar?” Or that because it’s the new year, things are just magically going to be “better” because the time meter has been reset?? The short answer is yes, apparently they must because every year, they say the same thing.

Ooooooookkkk- back to reality! I love history. I just don’t live there. 😀

Sir Winston Churchill said, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Yep. It’s true. The key here is learning.

So many times, people do the same things over and over, each time expecting a different result. Doesn’t work that way. Never has; never will.

Learn something from the past, get over it, and move on already. Play the hand life has dealt you instead of moaning and groaning about better days (like when you were in high school). Don’t let the past keep you trapped, because you can’t escape from self-imposed imprisonment. It’s just not happening.

Get rid of your grudges– they keep you enmeshed, even if you don’t think they do. Why are you continuing to let that/them/him/her/it continue to have that kind of power over you? They don’t care about your grudge, and it’s going to damage you far more than it will them. Let it go……. but learn from the experience- don’t forget it; protect yourself from something similar happening again.

This is why we need to periodically look back. For me, it’s a measure of taking stock- where have I been? What went right? What needs work? Were any of those things things I actually had control over?  😆

Let’s take a walk down memory lane for a minute so we can see what my frame of reference is:  2010.

~~~~~~~~~~Intermission music~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Oh hey. I see you’re back.  🙂

The big rant there, about the medical billing? Yep. It’s still broken. The one bit of information I redently learned from my insurance company was “All emergency room doctors are contractors. None of them work for the hospital.” <gasp!>  😯

That was news to me! I thought only smaller community hospitals were cursed with that! I have no real way of confirming this information, so if you have some kind of concrete evidence, would you point me at it, please? Thanks.

Why, you might ask, is that even on my radar? Well, in August, dd #2 (my now 10-year-old) ended up in the ER with a concussion. I kid you not when I say that the hand of God was on that situation from the get-go, because financially, it could have been a WHOLE lot worse than it turned out to be. (I mean, of course the hand of God is in everything all the time- this was one situation, though, where a person could see it really clearly and know it for what it was.)

Explanation: We here, in our rural community where a larger city is 200 plus miles away in ANY direction, have 2 hospitals. One is relatively new; a private, physician owned venture that is really, really nice. Thanks to the cuts in Medicare and Obamacare, it can’t expand nor can it sustain itself, so it’s being bought out by the other hospital. I’m not sure that’s happened yet, and it’s besides the point.

So, when J started vomiting after goofing around with siblings (something I did not witness), I knew it was time to take her to the emergency room. I’m pretty well convinced that the other hospital will kill you unless you are mostly dead anyhow (ya, this is the one where the head of ER services told me “Everyone has pitting edema in the morning- you are just fine besides the connective tissue disease issue. Get off the internet and stop trying to find something wrong.” Yes, really. Nevermind those pesky chronic illness that other COMPETENT medical professionals have diagnosed.  🙄  😡 ), so my thinking was to take her to the other ER because surely, it had to be better.

Indeed, it was. We were in and out in 2 hours; the CT confirmed a concussion but no bleed (which was a huge relief, because that’s an airlift out). In reality, we were the only ones there.

That was early August. It is now January. A few weeks ago, I got another bill from the emergency doctor’s contracting service, which turned into nearly 2 hours (yes, really) of time waiting on the phone. First, I had to call the service to find out why they hadn’t billed insurance again. (We had already had this conversation in October.) They said they had, and insurance said it needed more information from me.

??? I hadn’t gotten anything from insurance, so I called. Insurance said they couldn’t find a record of a claim. Interestingly, the hospital bill and the labs had been completely paid for by the end of September- apparently, the hospital, which took my information- was able to properly bill insurance with no problem. Somehow, the ER doctor service wasn’t able to take that same information and do anything with it. That bill was for nearly $750.

When I called insurance, it showed that it hadn’t been billed at all. The next logical step was for the insurance company to call the ER doctor service to try to straighten it out- all with ME still on the line……..Granted, most of the time spent was just being on hold, but still…. 2 hours later, it was finally determined that the ER doctors hadn’t actually billed the right place, but now it should be on the right track.

How does this stuff happen?!!! You give your information a single time; to a single person. This person enters that data into the computer, for goodness sakes. And every one but the one gets the billing right? Maddening!

But wait- there’s more!  😆 As it turns out, the new hospital doesn’t actually HAVE pediatric services.  Yep. You read that right. They can deliver the bulk of the babies for the community, and they treat adults, BUT, they cannot admit pediatrics because they are not equipped to do so.

AND NOWHERE WAS THIS INFORMATION POSTED OR OTHERWISE SHARED WITH ME

You’d have thought that when we showed up, there would have been a note or something posted- or the person taking our information would have said, “Please be aware that if she needs to be admitted, we are going to call an ambulance to transport her to the other hospital.” Had I known that, I would have taken her there to begin with (where a dear friend actually works in the ER).  It was a given that if she had had a bleed, it would have been a chopper ride out- but first, they would have transported her to the other hospital by ambulance, too, because they are not equipped to do that there for peds.

WTH?!!! Pardon my french, but really? You don’t think you should tell someone that kind of information when they come in with a child that clearly needs medical attention? But see, fortunately, this is where God was clearly *overtly* in charge, because there was no bleed and things went well, all things being considered (we didn’t come home with something like MRSA….).  But when my friend called and let me know what was more likely to have  happened- wow. Just wow. Do people not have consciences?

I think we can conclusively say that medical billing is broken. And while our medical system is broken, I’m still inclined to think it’s considerably better than other countries with socialized healthcare, where people have to wait for eons to get surgeries and other services. At least here, I, the consumer, have the option to shop for doctors, even if I have to fight the payment ring-around-the-rosey later.

I think we can check that off the rants for 2011.  😆

Let’s see- the Stuff issue remains, more or less. Getting a Kindle has been hugely helpful in not adding to the pile of books, so that is good. The other stuff- *sigh*.  Work in progress.

I will say, though, that unlike 2010 which I was glad was dead and buried, 2011 actually DID have some really good points.

I missed not doing our usual travels. I think we all missed not taking out usual vacations. This was due completely to the addition of CHICKENS! If you’ve been reading along, you have no doubt figured out by now that I am totally crazy chicken lady.  :mrgreen:

Not a *single* regret here for getting chickens! Santa even brought Mama some chicken lanterns for Christmas, which add to the chicken calendar, magnets, and ornaments for her birthday.  😀

We’re hoping to get the chicken arrangement more automated so when we do hit the road again, we’ll have it set to where our chicken sitter only really has to come once or twice a day to collect eggs and make sure they all put themselves to bed.

Of course, all of our girls are grown up now and they are all laying eggs. One of these days, I’ll actually get around to taking pictures of the chicken condo, the girls, and their gift of eggs!!  😆

The other “big” thing for me this year came in the form of running shoes. The change to Vibram Five Fingers has been absolutely monumental for me. Because I’m not running with as much pain, I’ve been able to increase my mileage and enter races. 2011 brought me 2 10k races. 

Year end totals for running: 935.76 miles. At the beginning of the year, my goal was 500 miles. At some point, that changed, and I was looking at 800 miles. When that goal got close, it changed to 900. The last few weeks, I had changed the goal again, to 950 miles. 😆

The last week bit me in the rear, though, as I hit a pretty major flare on Christmas Day followed by a tummy bug. I only logged 43.5 miles for last week; my monthly total for December was 205.

How does that break down with the shoes? 308.56 miles were run in my Asics, which leaves 627.2 in my VFFs. I’ll continue to update periodically on my VFFs, as a measure of keeping track of the longevity of these treds. The Holiday Challenge finishes today, so stay tuned for the update coming soon!

Overall, 2011 wasn’t as bad as I had anticipated. In fact, it was considerably better than I had hoped! That being said, I can’t confess to having unbridled enthusiasm for 2012.  While I’m cautiously optimistic, I’m probably just too cynical.  😆

2012- looking forward to good things and firsts- like going and collecting eggs, because we haven’t collected eggs at all this year.  😆  And then a run, since I haven’t run at all this year………………. 😆

What are your goals for the coming year?  Do you set any?  Have you looked in your rearview mirror yet?  😀

 

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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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SQUEEE!!!!!!!!!!  Can you believe it? 100!

Um, what? 100 what?

Ya, posts. Hard to believe I’ve had nothing to say 100 times, especially this time.  😆

In other news, I have admitted defeat.  I don’t think the house gremlin is going to respond to my letter.  And I can’t say that I blame him.  Heck, those toe socks are S–E–X–Y!!!

I did order my new shoes (and freebie toe socks!) today. They come with some pretty serious stipulations, though. Even though these are going to replace my regular tennis shoes, Hunny has expressed his desire not to be seen in public with me wearing them.

Yes, he thinks they are that ugly. Initially, I am bothered by his response.

Since when does he care about what I’m wearing, particularly on my feet? Really? There’s never been a single item of anything he’s been unwilling to be seen with me wearing in the last 20 years. Why start now? 

In this case, I am convinced that my ethereal beauty is so overwhelming that people will fail to notice the hobbit feet. 😆

He wouldn’t have had an issue with Z-Coil shoes. 

 

 

 

 

 

He wouldn’t have had an issue with the rolly shape-up shoes. 

 

 

 

 

 

He even laughed and told me to go for it when I said I wanted to find the flipper heel shoes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But he has a problem being seen in public with me while I’m wearing Vibram Five Fingers Komodosport LSes?

 

 

 

Ppffffffffffffffftttttttttttttttt !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have to say, I am surprised. Shocked, even. But daunted? Intimidated? Chicken? Thwarted?

Not on your life!  😆  I think he’d better get used to it!  I supposed, if it’s really a hit to his perception of respectability, I will cave and wear heels with my jeans as I have done for the last several years.  But the thought of no foot pain while on vacation?!  Comfort?  No foot pain? Did I mention consistently not having foot pain?

Ya.  I think that trumps his reaction and “need” for fashion. (Like, when did he even start caring about that anyhow?!) 🙄   😆

Now, if I can just figure out how to combine my fashion love of VFFs with chickens……… 😆

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