Tiger mountain

My KSOs are too big. WAY too big but I’ve loved them the entire year I’ve been running in them anyway.

The major disadvantage is when I”m running in wet/muddy conditions. Then the feet start to slip around on the inside a lot. Sunday run was fun regardless!

Aprox 1,600 feet up Tiger Mtn looking down

Elevation gain and loss – 2,000 feet

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First barefoot trail run

It started with a nice VFF run around the neighborhood with a combo of sidewalk, road, and trail. I then moved up into my normal trail where I live. It so happens that there was a 12 hr race in progress! 

I ran into a friend who was running the 12 hr and decided she was on her last lap for the day (lap = 5 miles)… and lo-an-belold – she was barefoot!

She left her shoes and Vibrams in her car and committed to the last loop of 5 trail miles barefoot. So I joined her in solidarity by taking off my KSOs and finishing up the loop with her.

Lots of little rocks, great pine, soft dirt, mud with roots, big stepping stones. It was all great times. (OK those little rocks kind of bite big time).

Nice to visit with my friend and run BF together on the trial – LOTs of comments from the other runners. None negative. Maybe because my friend is a well-known ultra runner & chi-running instructor in the community!

Once we got to the end I ran home barefoot up the street.

No blood on my feet so I call it a success!

Best BF pace: 08:31. Total miles = 4.11 total time = 1hr ish 

oh yes I had already run 6 miles in the Vibrams before running BF with my friend.

take the long way home

My husband and I work in the same area. Yesterday was a day off for me and I planned my run as a “run home from work” event. Woke up to crazy snow-covered ground but I put the FiveFingers on anyway,  rode into work with the spouse and proceeded to make my way back home. 

The run was fantastic. Combo of street, sidewalk, paved trail, against the daily-grind-commute traffic and after making it 7.8 miles I have THIS to conquer! 

321 Elevation gain
see the powerline in the distance? That’s where I’m headed.

Running up that area I encountered large areas of water & mud that I couldn’t go around. 

So of course my VFFs got nice & muddy. Check out the Flickr! photos on the right if you’re interested. 

Overall elevation gain =  588 

get me to the church on time‏

Yesterday I went out for (what supposed to be) a short run before work. With my new job I don’t start until 12pm so I can be lazy about getting out later in the morning.
 
I ran around the neighborhood and veered off onto a trail – which I then took an obvious detour to a really NON-trail. Once I figured I was veering into “I’m going to be lost” territory I couldn’t turn around because a HUGE dog was chasing me and doing his duty of keeping me off his master’s property.
 
So I continued on this non-trail path and ended up in a marsh. I mucked through the mud and bog, crawled over a beaver dam and eventually made it to a stream to wash off my feet/VFFs/legs and continue on. (side note – that was SO MUCH FUN!)
 
With my trusty GPS watch tracking my movements, I knew I was over 3.25 miles away from home. I had no idea where the dirt road would take me but I took the left fork anyway. 

The FIRST building I came upon out of the clearing?   

lol

This is an LDS church-my parents religion

With a “Thanks Mom!” I got my bearings and continued running home.

Figures Mom would direct me out of a bog and drop me off on the church doorstep, eh? She’s been trying to get me back to church for over 20 years and just because she’s passed doesn’t mean she’ll stop now!

third time’s the charm


mud !

Originally uploaded by oboros

Yesterday we said fare-thee-well to February with a mud run. It was so much fun! We ran on a very narrow trail that is used a lot for mtn. bikers (but open to everyone).

Today March 1st I start a new job. With that comes a new schedule that will open up my time to run more and allow me to focus on my family.

This month is looking up to be the best of the year so far! That’s not really hard to do for this year, however.

Here’s to running!

Resolution Run 5K ‘Trip-n-Drip’ Polar Bear Dive

Diving into Lake Washington on New Year’s day is something I can honestly say never crossed my mind until Dec 30, 2009 during lunch while reading the paper. It seemed like a great way to start a new running year – so I signed up.

I wore my KSOs which gave me a HUGE advantage over shod runners. More on that. I also saw five other people (all guys) wearing FiveFingers and one barefoot runner Marathon Maniac who turned out to be Barefoot Jon. I chatted him for a while after the race and discovered he’s been running barefoot for quite some time. I hope to meet him again in the future.

There was a big storm last night and early this morning which left the park trail covered in large areas of mud and wide wet puddles in the middle and on the sides of the course. Deep wet cold puddles. The morning’s temp was nice and warm at 48 with the water 42.

A beer garden was there which opened at 10am – gun time was scheduled for 10:30. I figured I’d get some liquid courage and celebrate the New Year with a beer before the race. Unlike most others, I did not drink last night. Only three other ladies were enjoying beer before the race. I chatted with them, we finished our beer and then headed off to the 10mm time slot start area.

Yes, my feet were cold before. I had already walked through mud and water on the way to the race grounds. The whole time smiling, mind. Once the race started – I smiled even more.

Every time the race crowd would part ways to go over/around/avoid the mud and puddles at all costs – I would run straight through them. BLISS! I felt like such a kid! I saw Barefoot Jon running in the muddy grass. He was wearing his Marathon Maniac singlet. I always cheer on Maniacs as they are so inspiring. I noticed he was BF so I shouted out to him (as he was on the side & I was in the middle of the trail) “Barefoot Maniac! Do you run your marathons barefoot?!” He heartily replied: “YES! Try it sometime!”

There was also a table where people were removing their shoes before they went into the water at the end. I ran right in and was able to sprint up & out to the finish line.

My Garmin GPS was spot-on for mileage at every mile marker. I hit the ‘lap’ button right as I went into the water – again when I got out and then again at the ‘finish’ line. I have a new 5K pr even including the extra distance from the dive spot!

After I ate a banana and some chili (but had not changed yet) I saw BF Jon at the drop-bag table. He’s been running BF for 20 years. Awesome.

I can’t begin to say how proud I am of the below place times for me. I’ll be there next year for sure.

Division place: 31 out of 132
gender place: 111 out of 472
overall place: 366 out of 934

Dive time: 28:45 (3.10 miles)
chip time: 29:39 (3.17 miles)
gun time: 32:28

Links: my Garmin infoPolar Bear Dive Seattle (Resolution Run 5K)

Las Vegas RnR Marathon in VFF Sprints

December 6, 2009

I landed in Vegas with an hour to spare to pickup my race packet. I suppose it was good on my wallet the fact I didn’t have time to shop at the expo.
 
I then spent the evening with my sister and friends who were running the ½ marathon. Same time last year we were all together for the Las Vegas half. Little did I know I would be returning a year later to run in my second full marathon – this time in Vibram Five Fingers at that.
 
Sunday morning was nice and chilly. I made it to my corral and huddled with about 30 thousand other people on the Las Vegas Strip. Not many people commented on my Sprints at first. As we waited some people would notice and either strike up conversation with me or talk amongst themselves while pointing out the crazy shoes.

I didn’t prepare myself for the questions. In then end the questions boiled down to two main asks:

Do you like running in them? (yes I enjoy it very much)

Are they comfortable? (yes seems too short an answer sometimes but it’s the truth)

Of course there were a few “what about arch support” questions to which I would just state my foot support is the natural foot structure support as nature made me.

I did not wear headset during the run. In fact, I’ve not run a long slow run with music for months, due to the fact I’m running with someone most of the time. I figured why zone out on music when one of the reasons I like to run is to appreciate myself and my surroundings?

Yet I did keep a few songs in my mind for cadence at times. I tried to apply the Chi Running methods I’ve been practicing for the last few months. The running while leaning forward – ie Falling Forward really helped me stay relaxed.

Towards the Half-Full split I met up with Sara from Alaska who was seeking encouragement to continue on with the Full marathon. She was running with a bunch of Halfers and they saw me and *glomp* “There you go, Sara!”  Sara and I ran together for two miles and not once did she comment on my Sprints. This made me happy for some reason. This was her 6th marathon. Horray Sara!

Mile 17 I had to sit on the curb for some foot adjustment. You see, this was only my second run in the Sprints. Up to this point I had been running in KSOs. My Sprints fit perfect! On the right foot at least. My left foot must be a tad longer because the fabric kept biting into the back. I had some blister packs. I wasn’t getting a blister but put the packs on for padding just in case.

This all worked well because a local runner from WA who I knew from online yet never met passed me by and recognized me! She’s a Marathon Maniac and one of the inspiring people I have admired from afar. We live 20 miles apart at home and didn’t meet until Las Vegas! Fun times.

I ran with Tory and her good MM friend Marie for three miles. They stopped to get pictures with a runner Elvis so I kept going. We waved at an out & back spot. I knew they’d catch me again. I was still smiling, but starting to get tired.
Only six more miles.

My sister wanted me to call at mile 24 to alert her of my location. I called at 22. I didn’t think I’d have the energy at 24 and I was right. Although still no blister, the bite of the material was turning into a version of The Wall.

The thoughts going through my head as I was running into The Wall: I know I can do the distance. Nothing is hurting I’m just tired. I haven’t run 20+ miles for two months. My last longest distance was 17 miles. My time is great! Way ahead of my June marathon.. I am running for my brother, sister, and family. Snap out of it!

My siblings were the ones who purchased my race entry and flight to Las Vegas for my 40th birthday present. Thinking of my family – I finished strong. My sister and her friends who ran the half were at the finish line cheering me on. It was a great feeling as I crossed the line. My second Marathon turned into two PRs: 1) time at 5:08 and 2) longest distance yet in VFFs for me.


Once I met up with my sister the nerves in my feet finally started to kick into overdrive. Running 26.2 miles on asphalt will do that to ya no matter what type of shoe you wear, IMO.

My first marathon was in ‘running shoes’ – this one in VFFs I didn’t want to walk one step further at the end of either race!

So I took the Sprints off my feet felt very tender. I walked back to the hotel in my sisters socks. What a nice sister!

After a bath I was ready to head out to dinner with the friends. My feet were fine. During the run I had one small blood-blister at one point that appeared to have broken and sealed back up by the time I took the Sprints off. I saw the blood on the inside of the Sprints –  examined my feet and could not feel or see any trace of a blister. How odd! Other than that I had no injuries, aches or pains.

This time last year I had no clue about Vibram FiveFingers. What a joy they have turned my running hobby into.