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Posts Tagged ‘Vibram Five Fingers running shoes’


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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Wow!  That was fast! 200 posts already?

😆  I’m good, but not that good.  😆

Remember me saying I would update every 100 miles or so?  Well, I’m at 200.  (Ok, not really- I’m actually at 211 today)  That’s 200 miles in my Vibram FiveFingers Bikilas. In the last week, I’ve added another mile to my sort-of-but-not-really-daily run and I’ve had no additional problems.

Since the nights are getting colder, and there has been a subtle shift in the weather, I’ve noticed an increase in overall hip discomfort, but so far, it’s not nearly as bad as it has been in the past. Most of the time I can sleep without it waking me up, so that is good. Because my strike pattern has settled, I am pretty sure this has been helping the hip(s).

The thing I have noticed is with regard to foot pain. Since I’m not working any more, I’ve spent the vast majority of the time barefoot. Interestingly enough, the days I wear shoes (and I’m still following the “wear heels” advice from my podiatrist for the plantar fasciitis when I’m out doing stuff) are now the days I have pain. And when I’m in them, it is hard not to kick them off when I’m out and about.

When my Komodosport LSes get here tomorrow, I’ll make the switch to VFFs full-time (except maybe for church). Does this mean I have a shoe fetish?  Probably.  😆

When you spend that many years in that kind of debilitating pain and then you find relief, it makes you loathe to go back to the days of crawling in the afternoons evening. I used to never care about shoes; I could wear whatever. Then I was on the quest to find heels that wouldn’t kill me via foot pain or tripping and breaking my neck.

So there you have it. I’m totally, completely addicted to Vibram FiveFinger shoes.

Fortunately for you, I will not be giving updates on my every-day wearing of my funky shoes.  😆

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I am now in my VFF Bikilas full-time. Total daily mileage (for the days I run) is 5 miles, but this week had me contemplating whether or not it’s time to start adding to my distance.  I was pushed for time this week, so I opted not to.  Next week, though, is another week, and I may accidentally increase my distance.

Total miles since getting VFFs: 202.5 

Total VFF miles: 138

Total days running in VFFs: 41

First day to run all in VFFs:  day 34 (I probably could have done this on day 33, but because I had 3/4 miles “left over,” I figured I could add just 1/4 mile that one day to even things out.)

First day running in VFFs: May 31, 2011  

First day running 100% in VFFs: August 26, 2011

FWIW.  😆

Summary: I will likely never own another kind of running shoe. EVER. My foot pain is not entirely gone; my Achille’s tendon in the one foot stays a wee little bit tight/sore, but as long as I make the point to stretch it frequently, it is not problematic or prohibitive.  In fact, the last several days, it has not bothered me at all while running.

Foot pain (plantar fasciitis) has not resolved.  It’s significantly better, though, and I think that’s encouraging.

Hip pain– I have days when it flares and is quite painful, or wakes me up when I’m sleeping.  Overall, though, this is also significantly better than even a few months ago.

Observations:

  • Now that I’m in my VFF Bikilas full-time, I only have a few “complaints.” On the inside arch of both feet, it seems the seam of the shoe is mildly irritating.  This doesn’t bother me at all when running, but I do some red marks of irritation.
  • I am very glad these are washable. I am planning on working on them this weekend and hoping I can get the sole back to 100% white.  I wish the inside of the shoe was another color.
  • Hunny still thinks they are really ugly.  I disagree. 😉

I am pretty sure that the next pair I’m going to get are going to be the Bikila LS (for Lace System), but am still researching.  Given that I only have 140 miles (give or take) on this pair,it will probably be a really long while.  I’d be replacing my other shoes soon. I will still update; but may do that in 100 mile intervals.

For those interested in a bit more detail, the log is below.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Day 32 – ran 4.5 in VFFs, a little more soreness in L Achilles tendon; but not too bad overall; just really hot and tired today.

Day 33-  ran 4.75 in VFFs; things feel pretty good; some initial soreness until I warmed up.

Day 34- ran all 5 in VFFs; best time to date so things are finally feeling pretty good.

Day 35- ran all in VFFs; tired today and could not push through it

Day 36- ran/jogged all in VFFs; some strain in Achilles tendon when warming up; felt ok after 1/2 mile or so; quite tired today; allergies going

Day 37- ran all; Some initial soreness in Achilles, but fine once warmed up.

Day 38- ran all; felt R calf tightness a little; some initial tightness in L Achilles; did not push much today.

Day 39; – ran all; R calf tight; feet have been sore over the weekend; marginal tightness in L Achilles

Day 40; –ran all; got a late start and didn’t stretch a whole lot; wonder how that will go; things felt pretty good, but didn’t eat early enough

Day 41-ran all; legs/feet are pretty good today- all best times are this week, even though tired and not feeling like I can push much

Weekly totals:

VFF miles: 15

Total Miles: 15

Total VFF miles this record: 49.25

Total miles for this record: 50

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