Shake Your Shamrock Virtual Race Recap

When I originally signed up for the Shake Your Shamrock race I had great intentions of running the 13k (8.08 miles). Since getting the news of starting my new job last week, my running schedule had to be amended just a wee bit.

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It was definitely more doable for me to run my 13k in two takes. So that’s just what I did.

I ran part 1 on Friday morning before heading to work.

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Before even starting this race, I offered to run a fellow army wife to the airport. So I was up and at ‘em at 6:00 a.m in the morning. I ate a bit of breakfast, laced up my shoes and decked out in my green headed out to the track in front of my house by 7:30 a.m.

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Mile 1 flew right on by as I was in a great running groove. I was happy that there was a slight breeze in the air, and the humidity wasn’t too bad just yet.

By mile 2, I had a clothing malfunction…stupid shoelace came un-tied. I quickly double knotted my laces and continued on.

As I was closing in on mile three, I heard my name being yelled. I turned around to see another one of my neighbors flagging me down. I stopped my watch for a few minutes to chat and was back to running in no time.

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I finished 4.5 miles in 46:30. It was a great way to start my workday, even if it wasn’t my most stellar run to date.

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Part II of The Shake Your Shamrock run continued on Sunday afternoon. I wanted to “shake” things up a bit, so without much thought threw on my vibrams for this run.

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Yeah, the pink doesn’t really shout St. Patty’s day but I went with it.

Starting this run at 5:30 p.m. made a huge difference in my running. It was super hot and humid and I quickly realized that this run would be a bit of a challenge.

I kept to the same race route as I did for the first run.  shamrockraceroute2

There were not as many interruptions for this one, but I could feel blisters forming after mile 1 due to my vibrams. Eek.

I knew I only had 2.58 miles to go, so I ran through the discomfort – which I know was kind of a bad idea.

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Check out the new addition to Sunday’s race outfit –a green sweaty band! [My first running related purchase since starting my new job at the running store!].

I finished the 3.58 miles in 39 minutes. And boy was I glad to be done!

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Virtual races can seem kind of silly, but for me it’s a great motivator to get myself out there running. So for me to break up my race into two races, made it even more of a fun challenge for me.

I shook my shamrock twice, and was so glad I did. Even though both runs were less than stellar, it got me out there. And for me that is a great improvement.

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Shake Your Shamrock Showcase: Be sure to check back tomorrow to see how the other Shamrock shakers did on their races.

Happy Monday!

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Valentine’s 5k Relay

♥Happy Valentine’s Day!!♥

We celebrated V-day a few days early and in the best way possible–by running a Valentine’s Relay Race together on Saturday!

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Go Team Awesome!

After a full day of fun [will post in another post], we were decked out in our Team Awesome shirts and vibrams ready to run!

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I wasn’t sure at first how the 5k relay would go down, but it was quickly explained that we would each alternate running 10 laps [five laps per person].

Each lap was roughly .31 of a mile — not too bad right?

Runner number one was to pass off the slap bracelet to runner number 2 once they completed their first lap. This signified that runner 2 was ready to start running.

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This race was actually pretty small, with only 36 teams in total. That made it easier to weave through people during the laps and easier to find J. Alabama during the transition.

The picture below is the first group of runners, getting ready to take off. Can you spot J. Alabama in the front left?

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I must also mention that it was something like 40 degrees. So everyone was freezing,  but it seemed to motivate us to run even faster once we got going.

The race started promptly at 5:00 pm and the first group of runners were off!

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The race route had us looping around Loco’s restaurant and a bunch of shops. There was also a pretty abrupt hill around the corner to add a little extra difficulty.

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In no time J. Alabama was finished with his first lap and handing off the slap bracelet for me to run my first lap.

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I thought only running .31 of a mile would be a cinch, but speed work is no joke friends.

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I ran my little heart out that first lap, while my lungs burned from the cold air.

The laps went by quickly though, and in no time at all J. Alabama handed me the bracelet for my final lap. He wished me luck and told me to RUN!

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I knew I still had some speed left in me, and gave it my all that last lap. I honestly don’t know how fast my laps were, but I was really flying on that last one.

I zoned in on the finish line, picked up the pace even more and passed a few people to the finish.

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We finished our 5k Relay in 22 minutes! That is way faster than any 5k I have ever ran solo. LOL.

We ended up placing 9th out of 23 husband/wife teams, and finished 15th out of 36 teams total. We were both happy with our finish considering it was all for love and fun!

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We were both completely smoked by the end of the race, with our muscles aching from running so swiftly. Which is a good thing!

With our entry fee into the race we also received two technical race shirts, and a $30 gift certificate to spend at the restaurant that we were running in circles around.

We both had a fun time racing together and agreed that even though we only ran 1.5 miles each, the relay style was a fun format and the fact that we got to race together and have a fun dinner afterwards made it all worth it.

Check back later this week for more Valentine’s Adventures. 🙂

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Have you ever ran in a short relay race? Have you ever ran in a night race?

I’ve done two other relay races, but nothing so short and quick as this. And all my races have been in the morning so the adjustment to racing at night was a bit different.

Wedding Shoe Showcase

Okay — So doing a whole post on wedding shoes seems a bit redundant since I’ve already featured a few pics of my wedding shoes.

But I still thought it would be fun to put it all together, so you could see the vision as a whole.

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I had several ideas on what I wanted me wedding shoes to look like. I was thinking sparkly, pink, funky & fun. Try finding all that in the middle of January!

I decided I wasn’t going to worry about my wedding shoes until closer to the date. That is until a girl’s weekend landed me in Salt Lake City, Utah. And of course we had to find The Nordstrom’s Rack.

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One pair of these glittery goodness, were sitting alone on the clearance rack. It was seriously like the sky above parted, a light was shining down and them and angels were singing.

These weren’t the shoes I had in mind, but once I saw them I immediately knew they were my wedding shoes!

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Now let’s talk about J. Alabama’s wedding shoe choice.

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It was about three weeks into our wedding planning and I had shot down quite a few of his ideas. Red flowers? What? That totally doesn’t mesh with my pink, yellow & silver vision.

Anyways, he joked with me about him and the groomsmen all wearing Vibram FiveFingers with their tuxes. I felt bad about nixing the red flowers, and laughingly said sure…why not?!

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That pretty much opened up Pandora’s box…and the toe shoe theme continued.

We even went so far as to incorporate the toe shoes into our personal first look photos. We both love running, and thought this would be a clever way for us to show that.

And we even decided to take them for a little spin. It sure helped with the pre-wedding jitters.

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We only had to do a few re-takes of this shot. Can I count that in my mileage?

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Now all together..the boys + the bride

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Time for the bridesmaids shoe wear!

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Since I opted to let the bridesmaids each pick a different style of dress I thought having the same shoe would bond them together.

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Cute Target shoes…which I think were only like $25 bucks. I love how they looked with the whole bridesmaid ensemble.

(Which you will have to wait for yet another post to see the whole look all together!)

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The shoe’s of the parent’s of the bride…woah that’s a mouthful!

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My mother was over the moon about her fabulous pink shoes! They matched perfectly with the wedding colors, and helped bring a pop of color to her black Mother of the Bride’s dress.

Mixed in with my Dad’s wing tips…it was rockin!

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I wasn’t sure how the wing tips would look with my dad’s pinstripe suit until it was all put together. And man, oh man, was I almost in tears when I saw him and my mother.

They looked absolutely gorgeous together. And the wingtips gave my dad the ultimate mobster Italian look! Since we’re Italian that was definitely the look I was hoping for.

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The shoes were a small but fun detail of our wedding, which all came together better than I could have imagined.

My wedding advice to any bride-to-be…have fun with your wedding. And make it YOURS. The toeshoes seemed silly, and I’m sure got a few scoffs from people who didn’t “get” it, but we didn’t care. It was a symbol of us and something we both love to do, and that was super important to us.

I hope you enjoyed the wedding shoe showcase. I know I did! 🙂

Happy Hump Day Friends!!!

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Photos by Greg Hoskins, of Boise Idaho.

Sweating it up in Mexico

So Mexico wasn’t all just chillaxing and Pina Coladas on the beach.

I did manage to squeeze in a few workouts while I was away. Which after a week of wedding festivities was a much needed de-stresser. And oddly enough relaxing at the same time.

So you can bet that I was jumping with joy when I saw that our resort was offering daily activities –one of them being yoga overlooking the ocean. 🙂

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I made sure to plan in a yoga morning around all of our fun excursions, because my body needed a little yoga love.

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That view of the ocean was spectacular. And the sounds of the waves and the birds chirping were natures music to my ears.

As you can tell, my camera and the humidity didn’t quite get along so well. You will notice a few pictures are a bit blurry due to my camera lens being fogged up.

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We managed to squeeze in 2 different yoga sessions while we were at the resort. Each class lasted about 1 hr 30 minutes and included a long savasana and lots of breathing exercises and stretching.

This yoga class was different than anything I had ever done before, besides a few downward dogs, we actually never left our mat.

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He led us through several different stretches and yoga moves that could all be done pretty much with your butt to the mat.

Though it doesn’t sound like you could get a workout from sitting on your bum, whatever he had us doing left my abs killing the next day. And left me feeling amazingly refreshed afterwards.

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My favorite part was at the end of the class the teacher would have us lay on our stomachs to do the savasana and he would walk around and give each person a 30 second back massage.

And then he would end the class by asking each of us to think of anything in the world that we wanted, money, happiness, sucesss… and just know that all these things we can have. He also reminded us to live every day as if it were our last and that the most important person in this world is you.

I appreciated this outlook on life and yoga. And will forever remember these two special yoga classes.

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And now onto running…because this is a running blog afterall!

It didn’t take too long before J. Alabama and I were inspecting the resort gym. I was happy to see five treadmills sitting in a nice air conditioned room. The Mexico humidity was killer on this Idaho girl!

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It wasn’t the best run I’ve ever had, nor was it the worst…but it was a much needed sweat fest.

I ran 3 miles in my vibrams on the treadmill and loved every second of it.

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I have talked before about running in vibrams on the treadmill and I still really enjoy the feeling of my feet on the tread.

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But running in vibrams on a treadmill in Mexico is kind of an oxymoron if you have a nice sandy beach and your own bare feet to take you on a run.

So J. Alabama without much convincing got me to run naked with him on the beach. Oh please….we we were not naked-naked but without shoes & without gadgets.

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You know just me and the sand beneath my toes. It was glorious!

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We ran up the beach through piles of seaweed, around small children, and through splashing waves for roughly 1.5 miles.

The freeing feeling of running barefoot in the sand and actually being able to feel the ground beneath my feet was amazing! I could see why people love this.

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We were definitely a sweaty mess afterwards. But the joy of running on the beach is whenever you get hot you can just jump into the water to cool off.

Brilliant I tell ya!

So my REAL barefoot running experience was positive. I will definitely make sure to try this again the next time I find myself on a tropical and beachy vacation.

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So there you have it… you can workout and relax all at the same time. Who knew?

I think the important thing for me was to not think about it has “having to workout”. But finding a creative way to get in a little extra movement in a fun and exciting way.

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But now that I’m back and all the festivities are behind me, I’m hoping to really kick it back into gear. I really want to run marathon number 2 in October which means I have to really focus now.

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What are your thoughts about working out while on vacay? Yay or Nay?

Superhero 5k

I like to think that our Superhero 5k run on Saturday evening saved the world.

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J. Alabama’s roommate was moving away so we decided to throw him the BEST going away party ever!

I don’t think any going away party is complete until you have people running around in spandex and neon colors dressed like superheroes.

Am I right?

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This was probably the most dressed up I have ever been for a run, and let me tell you it was a blast running through the town all decked out.

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The pictures above are J. Alabama & his roomie who is leaving. They were showing off their superhero muscles. LOL!

Before we headed off onto the run we gathered for an EPIC SUPERHERO group pic.

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And then like superheroes fighting crime, we were off to save the world, one mile at a time!

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I forgot to mention that I had already ran 7.75 miles earlier in the day (I opted to split my 11 mile long run into two smaller runs).

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But let me tell you, my legs were tired this second time around. I had to give it my all to keep up with the pack.

You’d think the cape would have made run faster right?!

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It was fun running through the grass in my vibrams!

We finally made it to the finish line to find out that J. Alabama had added a little twist to the Superhero 5k.

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It involved us not being officially “finished” until we shot gunned an icy cold beer.

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Ugghh! He had to show me how.

That’s what I call a #Sororitygirlfail! Seriously, shouldn’t I have learned that in college?

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What a going away party! I absolutely loved the fact that a bunch of people ran through town dressed up like Superheroes. So fun!

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Have you ever  dressed up for a race?

I’ve always wanted to, but I worry too much about chaffing issues and the distraction of it all. So at least now I can officially say I have!

Happy Tuesday friends! And you are welcome, you know… for us all saving the world on Saturday! 🙂

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Running Naked Reports:

*Mark from Wait…You Run? Here is his TC 1 mile naked race report

* Richelle from Running Toward a Higher CallingHere is her Medtronic TC 1 naked mile report

Running Naked

Okay just to be clear, I did not run entirely naked.

But I thought this title sounded way better than “The Race For the Cure 5K Recap”.  Don’t you think?

So if you remember back to a few weeks ago when I met Christopher McDougall, the author of Born To Run – I threw in a little claim about me running The Race for the Cure naked. Naked in the sense of no garmin, no ipod, and a little addition of no shoes.

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Okay, so I rocked the Vibrams. But still, I consider that a pretty darn naked run.

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This particular race holds a very special place in my heart for me. Exactly two years ago, I ran this same race as my very first 5k.

Crossing that finish line for the very first time was one of the most amazing feelings in the world. That race two years ago seriously sparked the fire inside of me to keep on running. So I was pretty excited to be taking part in this race yet again.

A little blast from the past… May 2009

Before the race, I met up with my Team. Which included a few people from my church, a few people I have never met, and my bloggy friend Meg!

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Anyways, I set out to run this race with the utmost of mindfulness. Mindful of my body, mindful of my surroundings, and mindful of my breathing. So that was the goal anyway. Run mindfully naked.

The race started out as complete cluster, which I anticipated from year’s past. But being short has it’s advantages to weaving through people quickly.

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I listened as my vibrams pitter-pattered the ground beneath me as ran.

I watched all the fans lined up on both sides of the streets decked out their breast cancer pink shirts, and cheering on all the runners.

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There was a false start at the beginning of the race, and we had to crowd hundreds of people backwards through the start line. It was quite funny.

Then the race started FOR REAL and we off!

I ran through miles 1 with no problems. Around mile 2 my stomach felt like there was a brick in it, and I was breathing really really hard.

I had no idea of my pace, but honestly I felt like I was running slower than usual. I really didn’t want to stop until I hit the finish line. So I kept on trucking.

Since I’m also still getting used to running in vibrams (this was my first race in them),  catching my rhythm seemed a bit more difficult at times than in regular running shoes.

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Between mile 2 and 3 I started to feel a little cramp in the arch of my foot. This was definitely a Vibram related issue. It wasn’t hurting too bad, but if I hadn’t been so close to the finish, I probably would have stopped to walk it off.

I rounded the last corner of the race, and could finally see the finish line ahead. I happen to glance up at the time clock and noticed it was in the 28:00’s.

WTF?! Seriously?!

Something clicked, and my legs moved faster than I think they ever had. I wanted to cross that finish line under 29 minutes.

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I felt like I was flying through the air. I had no concept of anything going on around me. I saw the finish line and I put into full speed.

I crossed that finish line at 28:59!  A new personal record 5k record. I beat my previous 5k record by 40 seconds (29:39)!

As soon as I made it through the hustle bustle, I knew I had pushed it. I felt high on life, and like I wanted to puke. It was an interesting combination of feelings. 🙂

I met back up with Meg as she crossed the finish line. YAY, it was a great race for everyone!

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I also found J. Alabama and he couldn’t stopping grinning over how proud of me he was. He has been to almost every race, and knew running under 10 minute miles (for a 5k)  was a HUGE milestone for me.

Oh yeah, and then we found some friends who were also rocking the Vibrams, and had to take a picture.

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I’m not sure if running without gadgets and gizmos helped me to focus more on my running. Or if running in Vibrams helped put a little pep in my step.

All I know is that this is the second time I have run this race without a garmin or ipod and I have pleasantly surprised myself.

I can’t say that I will give up wearing Garmina, I love her way too much. It’s just nice to leave it at home for a race and just see what my body does.

Apparently it does just fine! 🙂

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I challenge all you runners out there to go on a “naked” run this week. See how you feel without your garmin & ipod.

Let me know how it goes. I would love to do a collaborative post with all your photos and comments!

Email me at destination26.2 at gmail dot com by Sunday evening May 15th and I will feature you in a post next week!

Happy Running!! 🙂

My FiveFingers

Which oddly enough has nothing to do with the fingers on my hand, but the toes on my feet. What?

Who named them Fivefingers anyways? Super confusing if you ask me.

Anywho, this post has been a few weeks in the making. I have been running in vibrams for almost 3 weeks now, and am absolutely astonished that I haven’t written about it yet.

So here it is friends!

My Vibram Fivefingers Review:

I bought my first pair of Vibrams back in January….

And have been wearing them as much as possible when I am not at work to get my leg muscles accustomed to the new style of walking.

Because you are practically barefoot, you are forcing your legs to work different muscles when you walk/run in the Vibrams. So that is why there is a caution to start out slow in them. You could seriously injure yourself if you are not careful.

These cute little pink Vibrams are the Classic model.

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After hearing all the raves from J. Alabama, I finally decided I was ready to take them to the pavement.

I set out for 1 mile run, just to get a feel for them.

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My feet made a little pitter patter noise as they hit the cement. And I felt like I was prancing down the greenbelt.

Weirdly enough, my strides felt hard(er). Like it took a little more energy to run. But at the same time I felt lighter.

But I felt great with each step. Until, (twice) I tripped over my own feet. I realized that I am a shuffler when I run, and this doesn’t bode so well in Vibram running.

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The damage… a hole in the toe of my Vibrams. First time running in them and got a hole. 😦

Aftermath: The day after (and the following 4 days after) I felt excruciating soreness in my calves. Like I barely move they hurt so bad.

1 mile in these babies, and I was hurting. But to be fair, this was my first run post-Robie Creek, so I may have still been a little sore from the beast of a mountain.

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After my first run in the Classic Vibrams, I wasn’t completely sold on them.

I stopped by my local running store and walked out with these.

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The Bikila model. I dunno there was just an instant love with these. As soon as I tried them on I knew it was a match.

There is a slight bit of padding inside the shoe (which adds bit more comfort than the Classics). And I believe the stability of having the full shoe coverage helped a lot too.

The true test came when I took them out on their first run.

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This time, I did a combo of 2.5 mile run/walk.

Love Love Love! Every step I took I seriously felt like was running on a cloud. My steps felt even lighter than in the classics, and I did not trip over my own feet.

I even tested them out on the shredmill for a 3.25 miler run a week later to really see how they held up.

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It was glorious. It was one my better shredmill runs. My feet hitting the tread, it made me feel fast, and strong.

Aftermath: I had zero calve pain after running in the Bikilas. And they felt amazing. I’m totally SOLD on these now.

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What I have decided, is that I’m going to use my Classics for running errands, going to yoga class, riding my bike etc..

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But when it’s time for running, I’m going to gradually incorporate the Bikilas into being my permanent running shoes.

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I will carefully and mind fully start running longer distances in the Bikilas, But not without slowly adding in the miles. So probably add 1 per week as I get into the longer distances.

I will keep you posted on how I like them as I run in them more. In the meantime I will be switching between these and my regular running shoes as I “wean” myself off of running shoes.

In doing this, I must be super aware of my feet. J. Alabama pulled a muscle in foot when he switched between regular running shoes and Vibrams. It’s a totally different step in your running.

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Meg & I after my first Bikila run

So my plan is to run my shorter runs in the Bikilas adding 1 mile a week in distance. And my longer runs will be done in regular shoes, until I am comfortable in the longer distances in the Vibrams.

Any thoughts from anyone else that has made the Vibram switch?

And if you have any other questions regarding running in Vibrams, please ask them in the comments section. I will work with J. Alabama (since he has been running in his for over 6 months) to answer all your questions.

Thanks and Happy Running! 🙂