Tag Archives: Barefoot walking

Day 1 Done! And Then the Rain Came…

23 Jul

Day 1 of the Boston Susan G Komen 3-Day for the Cure is complete! It felt great to walk up the hill and see camp in the distance! It’s been a long, but awesome day here in the outskirts of Boston. Opening ceremony was inspiring and got everyone ramped up to hit the road! I was so honored to have been asked to carry a flag during the opening ceremony, and I got to carry Discoveries.

My walk experience thus far is a lot different than what I experienced last year. Last year I was on a team and Paul walked with me; this year I’m walking solo. It’s been wonderful to meet so many of the different walkers on the route. My Vibrams have made a lot of new friends for me! I get asked a lot what kind of shoes they are and how my feet feel walking in them. Towards the end of the day, I had to be honest and tell them that my feet had felt better days. The first 10 miles went really well, and then I started to feel the blisters forming and the soreness setting in. I also seem to have pulled a muscle in my thigh, so for the last 10 miles I was puttering along at a slower pace which was just fine by me. Reached camp at about 3pm, just when it started to rain.

And as I said, along the way I met some really great people. First, before the walk even started, I met John. John is from Hamden, CT and we met in the New Haven train station. He recognized my gear and sat down and started chatting. This is his 3rd walk so he was telling me the ins and out of Boston. Turns out he was going to carry an opening ceremony flag as well so we’ve become good buddies.

There was Vicky from X Team who is from Newton and a survivor. She was telling me about her 12 year old son who came to opening ceremony practice and looked a little bored. She said she walked over and asked how he was doing and he paused and then said, “You’re a survivor. I’m only 12. This is kind of tough” about watching a ceremony about being a survivor and losing loved ones.

I met George, who is something of a legend around these parts. This is his 7th Boston 3-Day for the Cure walk and his signature, the thing everyone knows him for, is that when he arrives at any Pit Stop or Grab N Go and especially at camp, he walks to the center of the crowd and yells, “Honey!! I’m hooooome!” and everyone cheers. He walks for his wife, who lost her battle with breast cancer.

I met Jill and Christie; Jill from Kentucky and Christie from Texas and they’re walking for Jill’s family. Three of Jill’s sisters were diagnosed with breast cancer within two years, her mom is a survivor, diagnosed twenty years ago.

Of course Men With Heart is here! Great guys in bright yellow shirts who are supportive and really embody the Keep Going® spirit! They stood at the finish line in the rain cheering everyone in.

I think the person who best represents everything the Energizer Bunny® is about and the Keep Going® spirit would be Kevin. I met him during practice for opening ceremonies, and Kevin is walking ALL 15 walks this year! He did one walk in 2008, two in 2009 and decided to do all 15 this year. He said he just wanted to step it up a bit… a bit. But he’s always excited and in the front of the pack, very energetic and ready to Keep Going®. Make sure you find Kevin if you’re doing one of the other 14 walks!!

Looking forward to tomorrow! I need to go do something about my blisters and think about if I’ll keep my Vibrams on tomorrow or if I’ll use the sneakers that I brought with me. Decisions, decisions. Thank you EVERYONE for your supportive tweets during the day! They were so great and really inspired me to Keep Going® as the day was coming to a close!

Donations accepted until 30 days after the walk! Would love your support! http://bit.ly/caitlin3day

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Update: Vibram Training

3 Jul

My training lately has been a bit sporadic, I’m finding it difficult to find the time! I recently gave notice at my job so it’s been busy days trying to leave things as organized as possible for the next person. But I managed a 5 mile training walk last week in the Vibrams, my longest walk yet in them.

During the walk I had all of the usual soreness that I’ve had during any other training walk including a bit of soreness on the bottom of my feet, which I can’t say is surprising. I got my two blisters EVER from training on my left foot, both right in the space between the pad of my foot and my toes. Because of the toe separation in the Vibrams I expect there was a bit of extra chafing going on. It all makes my feet stronger and more ready for the walk! They do make socks for Vibrams, which I thought would help at first, but after thinking about it more I think it would actually make it worse because I don’t think they’re wicking socks. (If you walk in sneakers, I HIGHLY recommend wicking socks. I believe they were a big part of why I didn’t get even one blister last year.) So I’ll tough it out sockless and just let my feet toughen up naturally!

Paul and I at the end of the 2009 3-Day for the Cure!

The wonderful part about this walk was that my knees didn’t hurt one bit! My biggest problem during last year’s walk was the strain I put on my knees. By day 3, Paul (my boyfriend and walking partner) had to pull me along for most of it. I found this video (thanks to @Vibram5Fingers on Twitter!) that explains why my knees don’t hurt in the Vibrams, and while it talks about running in Vibrams the same goes for walking! When wearing Vibrams you naturally run and walk differently than you do in sneakers, with a fore foot strike rather than a heel strike.

So hopefully I’ll be able to train more in the next 20 days before the Boston 3-Day for the Cure.. EEK!!! 20 days!! Just gotta remind myself, Keep Going!!

WalkCT

25 May

I was at my local library today  and I saw this little flier for something called WalkCT. Has anyone heard of this before? It’s an organization started by the CT Forest & Park Association and the website is all about finding parks and walking trails in Connecticut. Super cool! They do all sorts of stuff with guided activities and family outings, you should check them out if you live in Connecticut! They’re also on Facebook.

Connecticut has such a variety of parks and places to check out for training. Sometimes walking in the same neighborhoods and on pavement can be a little boring. Plus, with my new Vibrams that I’ve been training in, I want to take them for a spin on something other than flat road!

A beautiful place to walk if you’re in the Hartford area is Cedar Hill Cemetery. You’ll see them come up a lot on the WalkCT website because they hold a ton of walking events where they tell you the history of some of the famous Connecticut residents that are buried there including Samuel Colt, Isabella Beecher Hooker, Joseph Twichell (Mark Twain’s best friend) and Katharine Hepburn. If you’ve never been, you should definitely check it out.

What are your favorite trails in Connecticut? And no, the Wine Trail doesn’t count unless you’re walking it!

The First Walk!

20 May

Paul and I took our dog Lily (over there on the right, isn’t she pretty?) for a walk tonight, like we always do, but this time I went in my Vibram Five Fingers. I’ve ben slowly testing them out this week so tonight was my first substantial walk in them. We walked just under a mile and my feet felt great during! There were some places on my feet I could feel twinging a little bit as they were getting used to not having any support so I made sure to stretch them out when I got home. I’m preparing for them to ache a bit tomorrow, but excited to build up the muscles!

I can honestly say that walking in the Five Fingers makes me a feel a little lighter… no more heavy pounding of the sneakers. I felt it the most as we were walking down this steep little hill near our house. Usually I have to take my time and go slow because I’ll feel a little pain in my knee walking downhill (if it’s a big hill I have to walk backwards!) but this time there was nothing! No pain and I could walk normally the whole way down without a problem.

So my goal for the next few weeks is to be walking and doing some very, very light jogging in them. Hopefully by mid-June I’ll try jogging a mile or so and see how it feels!

My other goal is to make sure I’m posting on Daily Mile! I always forget to post when I get home but it’s such an easy way to keep track of my training. Is anyone else on Daily Mile? If so, let’s be friends!

Love at First Sight

18 May

I’ve owned a pair of Vibram Five Fingers for one day and I’m already in love! I’m taking the advice that I’ve gotten so far and taking it slowly… when I got home yesterday I went for a short walk, only a few hundred feet and an even shorter jog. It felt great! As I was driving home from the store I was thinking about how they would change my running style. I’ve just finished BORN TO RUN and he talks a lot about what the proper way to run is. Short strides, knees bent, straight back, and how you should land on the pads of your feet rather than the heel. I’ve always run like I walk – heel, toe, heel, toe. So I wondered how I would figure out how to run properly. I thought maybe I’d go on YouTube, see if I could find any videos that would show me how. But first, I’d try it out and just see what happened. As soon as I started jogging in my normal way, heel-toe, I immediately realized that that wasn’t comfortable and popped right up onto the pads of my feet. It was amazing, like I’d been doing it for years.

I’m excited to train with them, and to build up my foot strength. I know I need to take the time to build slowly so I don’t strain myself and hurt my feet. Derek from the Trailblazer store in New Haven was extremely helpful in giving tips for breaking into them and was really excited when I told him that I planned to train for the 3-day barefoot! He encouraged me to buy SuperFeet as well so I can work on walking and running properly so I can be a normal pronator.

I have until July to train so I think I should be ready for 60 miles in my Vibrams by then! But for now, I’m going to go jog a few hundred feet, and then walk  back. Slow and steady!

An update with pictures! John wanted to know what the Vibram Five Fingers looked like on the bottom so I took a few pictures.

Here are the bottom of the Vibrams. It’s a rubber skin, and like I was telling John in the comments below… it allows me to go over gravel and rocks without feeling the sharp edges but being able to feel each rock.

Here’s a side picture, they’re pretty thin and mold to my feet really well.

And then with the toes, the rubber comes up and around the toes so as you run the tips of my toes won’t chafe.

Going the 3-day barefoot?

16 May

Let me start off by saying that I don’t know if the 3-day would allow anyone to walk barefoot. I’m going to venture a guess and say no; I’m sure it’s in the handbook somewhere. But what about walking with barefoot shoes? Barefoot shoes are just lightweight covers for your foot, so your foot can still feel the ground beneath you but you’re mildly protected from the elements. I’ve gotten really interested in the barefoot idea recently for both running and walking.

Ever since last year’s 3-day I’ve had some knee problems that spark up after walking a few miles or running any distance. I became interested in barefoot running when I heard that it actually helps to realign your body properly and may help with knee problems. I’ve read that when running with shoes on your body actually absorbs about four times the amount of shock as you would running barefoot.

But then it got me thinking… if my knee problems started because of the 3-day last year… would walking barefoot help this year? I think I would at least be inclined to try it and see what happens. I’ll be picking up a pair of barefoot shoes in the next couple of weeks, particularly the Vibram Five Fingers and I’m excited to see what happens over the next few months.

Are there any other barefooters out there?

To read more on barefoot running and walking, visit the Born to Run official site, the Barefoot Walking Lifestyle blog, and this article called “10 Things I Learned from Barefoot Ted”.