Tag Archives: walking

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!!



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!

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”.

Yes You Can!

8 May

Before I actually did my first 3-day, I thought about doing it for years. I knew and read about it and thought it was such a neat event, but it took me years to sign up for my first one. I was intimidated by the $2,300 minimum fund raising, I was intimidated by meeting new people and I would be WALKING 60 MILES?! I was just lacking a bit of motivation, the kick in the pants to make me sign up. So if any of you are feeling the same way, read on.

First of all, the $2,300 is so much easier to raise than you would ever think. This was the scariest part for me but I found that my friends and family wanted to support me, I barely had to ask. I had $1000 almost immediately and within a few months surpassed $4000. You can ask friends, family, co-workers, local businesses.. and don’t forget about the company matching program! A friend can give you $50, but if their company has a matching program, suddenly you have $100. And you can get creative with your fund raising; you can sell breast cancer buttons and stickers and t-shirts, there are all kinds of websites out there that will sell you low-cost product that you can sell. A fund raiser that I do every year is holding a charity night at a local restaurant. They agree to hold the night and I invite everyone I know to come have dinner, and then I get 10% of the proceeds. So if money is what is holding you back, don’t let it.

My next worry was about doing the walk by myself and having to meet new people. I can be pretty shy sometimes, especially in a large group. And I considered 2000 other walkers a large group! And even though I ended up having someone walk with me, I found that I could have done it alone if I had to. Every walker there is there for the same reason, so you already have something in common. Everyone is so happy to be there, to be celebrating someone, honoring someone, remembering someone; and knowing they’ve done something to help the cause. You’ll never find a more friendly and welcoming group of people than you will at the 3-day. You’ll make more friends in those 3 days than you will in a year. And if you’re still anxious, join a team! Go to the 3-day message boards and find a team that’s looking for teammates. That’s an easy way to feel like you’re a part of something for the walk and not there all on your own.

Now.. 60 miles. I know. I know it sounds like a lot and how could any one person possibly walk 60 miles in 3 days when you’ve never walked more than 2 or 3 miles at one time in your life. I know. I was right there with you. All I can say is train, train, train. I don’t think I trained as much as I should have before my first walk, so I was almost literally dragged the last few miles on day 3. Now I know better, and I know how important training is. When you train, you don’t need to be walking 20 miles. Start small, a few miles every day. On your days off move up to 8, 10, 12 miles and make sure you’re taking time to stretch every few miles and drink lots of water and sports drink. When you’re on the 3-day there will be pit stops every few miles with snacks and something to drink and a place to rest and stretch. While walking 20 miles a day definitely isn’t easy, training helps. The other part that helps motivate you on the 3-day will be the people around you. Other walkers who will encourage you, drivers on the road who will honk and wave, signs you’ll see in store windows saying thank you. It all helps push you forward and keep taking steps. And that’s all it is – one foot in front of the other again and again.

The 3-day is something you’ll never forget, and that you’ll never regret having done. It was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had in my life and I can’t wait to do it again. You can do it!

Time for Training?

1 May

With just less than 3 months until the Boston 3-day kicks off I know I need to get more serious about my training. For the past month I’ve been walking almost every day, 2 or 3 miles. I don’t know about you, but around this time of year my job gets absolutely crazy. I work in a museum where a lot of school kids visit and for at least 3 days a week I find myself on my feet for 6-8 hours. And not just on my feet, but giving hour-long tours, running around making sure everything is running smoothly, and generally exhausting myself. I find that by the time I get in my car at 5:30pm all I’m thinking about is going home and becoming better friends with my couch and TV. The little voice in the back of my head tells me to fight through it, go on a walk and I’ll feel better afterwards but my legs tell me something entirely different. So how does one find the time to do some serious training for the 3-day? It seems so easy to put it off because 3 months seems like a long time, but seeing as today is May 1st and yesterday felt like April was just beginning I know 3 months will fly by and the 3-day will be here.

So I’ve come up with a few ideas for myself on how to stay motivated and I thought I’d share them with all of you.

1) I have a pedometer at home that I’m going to start bringing to work. I know that I walk around a lot at work between giving tours and greeting groups so I’m going to track it. At the end of the day when I see that all of my work has added up to significant steps I think my excitement of this knowledge will pick me up a little and I’ll feel more inclined to take a real walk when I get home.

2) Having just moved into a new neighborhood I’ve been really excited to do some exploring. It’s an old neighborhood with some really gorgeous houses and it’s been fun to check it out on the short walks I’ve taken. I’m going to try and pre-plan my route for upcoming walks so I can be sure to explore the whole neighborhood! I’ve found that the distraction of seeing new places and having something interesting to look at is a great way to get through those extra few miles. Try driving to a new neighborhood to walk in. Look it up on Google Maps beforehand and plan your route and check out something new!

3) One of my biggest excuses for not walking is because I have errands to do. Go to the library, bank, post office… whatever it happens to be. I’m fortunate to have moved into a neighborhood where if I drive a short way, I can park and then walk to do all of my errands. I park somewhere in the middle and then I can walk to the post office, pass by my car on the way to the library, pass by my car again to drop off the books and pick up what I need on the way to the bank. I keep my water bottle in the car so as I pass by I can stop and grab a drink and then continue on! If you live near a downtown area think about how you could incorporate your errands into parking somewhere and then walking to do all of them.

Now I know that doing these things aren’t a substitute for doing a nice 15 mile training walk but they’re a great start! Build up to longer walks, and plan a whole day for your long walks. Bring friends! The hardest part of training is just starting. Just keep thinking about how great you’ll feel at the end of each day during the 3-day because of your training, and because of the amazing cause you’re walking for. Training is nothing compared to those going through chemo and living with breast cancer. If they can do that, I can most certainly do this.

This is why I love Twitter.

20 Mar

First off, if you’re on Twitter come say hello! You can follow me @CTinCT and if you comment below and introduce yourself, I’ll follow you as well.

Ready? Good. Ok so – the other day I tweeted that I needed motivation to run/walk. I really need to start training for the 9k I’m running in May (http://bit.ly/caitlinrthb) and for the 3-day in July (http://bit.ly/caitlin3day). Like, serious training needed. Minutes later I had people responded telling me to get off my butt, stop tweeting and get out there! (Thanks @maryanncruz) And then had another Twitter friend saying that she would walk with me! Shortly after another Twitter buddy chimed in saying she would walk with us too! So now we three will be walking once a week together, and it all came together because of Twitter!

If you’d like to meet these two lovely ladies they are @iambunnybee and @hleahh and I met them both on Twitter first. Actually, I’m not sure that @hleahh and I have EVER met… have we? I only met @iambunnybee after she tweeted about visiting my workplace and then met me while I was at the front desk, so we’ve only actually officially met once.

But look at that! The power of social networking – I did in fact get off my butt and go for a run that night, which I am now tracking on dailymile.com – if you’re on dailymile too come be friends with me! And now I also have a standing walking date once a week. Thanks Twitter!