Saturday, February 4, 2012

My New Shoes!!

Just in case you didn't already know, I am kind of getting addicted to running.  I LOVE IT!!  Often times in the middle of it, I hate it, but then when I finish and see how far I've gone I really feel like I've accomplished something great.  It's hard work and take some dedication, (the first step out the door on a cold morning is always the hardest) but I am finding it to be really refreshing because I can actually do it now.  And that's a big deal for me. 

I ran track in high school and thought the mile was just excruciating.  I hated running it.  I would grumble and complain the whole time that somebody was making me run.  Now that I am choosing to run it's a completely different story.

Last Saturday in fact I actually ran 10 miles!  10 MILES!!!  That's insane for me!  As soon as I was done I swore I'd never do it again, but now as I sit here typing I'm plotting the next time I can break away and do it again!

And I got an awesome present from my amazing UPS man the other day: (no, he didn't actually gift them to me, I ordered them from :))

My new New Balance Minimus Trail shoes with Vibram technology!!  Hip Hip Hooray!!  I've hardly taken them off since I got them.  :) 

Needless to say, I love them.  But what's so amazing about them that makes me love them?  Well, I'm glad you asked, let me tell you.  :)

These are a minimal running shoe.  What does that mean?  Well, they have carved away most of the padding from a "regular" running shoe and taken it down to the very basic.  These have a zero drop from the heel to the toe which makes it so that you can run with a natural gait, landing on your mid foot instead of your heel.  No heel striking with these.  

You see, a few months back my brother-in-law and sister-in-law (Hi guys!) introduced me this thing called "barefoot running."  And to be honest, I thought they were insane.  (No offense.)  But then I started reading some of the information they sent to me (studies from Harvard amongst other things) and slowly I was starting to change my way of thinking.

Then a friend recommended that I read Born To Run and I was hooked!  I rented the book from the library and finished reading it in a matter of a few days.  Now I am in the middle of reading Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger, Healthier Running which kind of lays out how to direct all that enthusiasm for natural running.

A few weekends ago I went to a natural running clinic near my home.  This was a really great informational meeting.  They had a guy from the Natural Running Network there who took video of us running and then sat down with us to critique the things we needed to change or improve.  I was a little bit shocked when I saw how I ran.  (Want to improve your running form?  Just have someone take a video of you and then watch it.  It's kind of shocking.  You'll start to be more aware of the areas you need to make improvements while you're running.)

And now I have my minimal shoes and can't wait to really get stuck into it.  They recommend you start out slow so that your weak, puny muscles can get used to it and get stronger.  See, you'll be using muscles you don't use on a regular basis, especially when it comes to running.  So I ran a mile in them today and really tried to focus on my form and it felt great!  My knees weren't yelling at me nearly as loud as they usually do.  So I'll keep pushing going father each day.  They say after a few weeks you'll be pretty used to it.  So, here goes nothing!