Sunday, December 27, 2009

Barefoot Running, The Holidays, and Happy Changes for 2010

Barefoot Running...
I got some emails after my last blog post regarding barefoot running. It seems that being overweight isn't a hinderance to going barefoot. Quite the opposite, actually. So I gave it a go. And LOVED it! I started with a little less than 1/2 mile. Just decided to take my shoes off towards the end of a 5 mile run. It was freezing temps, so I left my socks on. A couple of days later I went about a mile, this time with no socks. And again a couple of days later. And so on. Each time, adding a little bit of distance or more difficult terrain. So far I've run on asphalt, concrete, and grass. And gravel for about 10 feet. That will take a bit more time to get my running form correct enough to run on. I also purchased some Vibram Five Fingers, which I love. But I am trying not to use them as a way to run further "barefoot" than I really should. Ultimately, I would like to run totally barefoot all the time, except for sub-freezing temps or on really ugly terrain. It's just too dang cold to go barefoot every day right now.
Some of the common questions I've received already:

Q - Why?
A - I don't have enough time to write all of the reasons here, but go to these websites for some great info on barefoot running:,,

- Does it hurt?
A - No. Unless I am running incorrectly, and then it does. Then I stop and figure out what I'm doing wrong.

Q - Aren't your feet going to get nasty and callused and icky?
A - Nope! Being a vain person, this was one of my bigger concerns. If you are scuffing your feet and damaging the soles, then you aren't running properly. If you "kiss" the ground with your feet, then your soles won't get all torn up. I read on one of the websites to treat your feet as kindly as you treat your hands. Meaning, wash them and moisturize them and take care of them. I have about 6 barefoot miles on them over the last couple of weeks and they actually look better than 2 weeks ago.

Q - (from Ken) Really, you have a gazillion pairs of expensive shoes, but you want to go barefoot?
A - I really have no way to answer this one. Sorry honey.

The Holidays...
We had a wonderful time over the holidays. We went to the Nutcracker (an annual tradition) and I walked around downtown in ridiculously high heels. Wishing I was barefoot. But being vain won out that night. And Vibrams don't work with stocking feet.
We had lots of awesome friends and coworkers stop by on Christmas Eve for cocktails and good conversation. And I went for a run in the sunshine with Jeff. On Christmas day we cooked a beautiful turkey (our very first one together). 17 pounds of free range and hormone free yumminess. Except that we fell asleep on the couch while it was in the oven and it was done when we woke up. But none of the other dishes were ready, so we had to scramble to get it all together. It ended up delicious anyway!
We played lots of Wii. Here I am getting my Kung-Fu on.
And of course we did the gift thing. Santa brought me some new BLACK Uggs. These won't show bike chain grease like the last ones. Yay! And I don't care if you are an Uggs-hater. Nothing feels quite as fabulous after a 20 mile run, as sliding your feet into a cozy soft fuzzy pair of Uggs. Even if they are covered in chain grease and sticky PowerGel drips.
Happy Changes for 2010...
Despite very good intentions, it appears that I have been suffering from PIAS. Post-Ironman Attitude Syndrome. Symptoms are lots of sleeping, lots of unhealthy eating, and a general don't-give-a-cows-ass attitude about pretty much everything. Thankfully, I've done just enough training to avoid packing on too much weight. Actually, as of this morning I'm back to the weight I was on race day. Which is still overweight, but at least not 10 more pounds overweight. Admittedly, I've spent far too much time on the couch. I googled "Ironman Couch Potato" today and this is what came up:Despite a little too much lounging, I do feel like it was good to take a break and recharge. Even if I have lost some fitness because of it. Whatever, I'll get that back. And unlike a couple of weeks ago, I'm getting all excited for next season. This afternoon, I am writing out my training plans for the marathon and half-ironman. I'm trying new plans. Hopefully making some good changes over the plans from last year.

I am slowly making changes in my diet. Okay, the holidays don't count. I am trying to limit added sugars, eliminate high-fructose corn syrup, and eat as little refined foods as possible. I'm even moving to bulk malto-dextrin and bulk electrolyte powder for my sports drinks. As soon as I work my way through the GE tubs I have in stock.

And, as of today, I am changing where I workout. I've been wanting to do this for awhile now, and I finally did. Swimming: Did you know that there are 3 community pools with convenient hours and super cheap fees within 5 miles of my house? Neither did I! Very cool! Biking: I pretty much ride outside or on the trainer in our spare room anyway. I'll miss the group workouts, but I have lots of backlogged shows on DVR to catch up on. Running: I haven't ran on a treadmill in over a year (with the exception of the 1 mile run I did the week after Ironman), so not much will change there. Except I will be doing more on trails. And barefoot.

So, yeah, some pretty exciting changes for 2010 for me. Hopefully I'll have happy updates as I incorporate everything into my new routines. Cheers!


jtrimom said...

Youare a cool girl, with a great attitude! I love reading your blog. Congrats on the IM. I signed up for IMAZ next year :)

Jason Robillard said...


Both Ken Bob and Ted are great teachers. Follow their advice and you'll reach all your barefoot running goals.

Good luck!