Thursday, February 16, 2012

Natural running is a virtue

I couldn't wait!!!  The anticipation was killing me.  Sometimes you just have to throw caution to the wind and do the thing you are not supposed to do, you know you are not supposed to do the thing but yet there it is...staring you in the face, daring you to not do the thing.  So I did the thing.  Ouch!  I shouldn't have done the thing.

I have been shopping around for my next shoes almost as soon as I got the old ones home.  The Brooks Pure Flow are great and I love them but they have always been a transition shoe for me.  A rebound girl.  We've all had the rebound girl or guy.  You know the drill, you just got out of a long term relationship, you spend the appropriate amount of time wallowing in your misery, then your buddies drag your sorry ass out one night just to blow the stink off of you and you meet someone.  She's not the one.  She is not bad to look at but there are better.  She can hold a conversation but not about anything you really care about.  She's not a complete loser, I mean she has friends, she has a job, she's out at the same time and place as you and she is starting to get that look in her eye.  You have no intentions of bringing her home to meet your mom but if she laughs a little too long at your dumb jokes one more time you might just bring her home.  But if or when you bring her home you already have a plan and an exit strategy.  Do you sneak out when she's asleep or go get some coffee and tell her the truth in the morning or exchange fake phone numbers or date her for a few weeks then toss her the old, "it's not you it's me, you're great I'm just not ready"?  Whatever, you've got a plan. 

Sidenote: I feel like my old transitional girlfriends will read this one day and all they will see is, "blah, blah, blah....are great and I love them.....blah, blah, blah"  Let the drunk texting begin!!!

So I've been running a bit in the Brooks Pure Flow shoes but I just picked up the Merrill Trail Glove barefoot running shoes.  These may be the ones.  I got them home and put them on and immediately felt the pull, the call to go outside to the trail and be alone with nature and my thoughts.  It was once again a warm sunny day in mid February so I headed out in my short sleeves and my new trail shoes and it was magic.  There was plenty of foot flexibility, but unlike the Pure Flow, lots of trail traction.  If you reference a previous post you'll see that I didn't take that one last trail.  This time I did and it was the right one.  It took me all the way into Rock Creek Park, to a series of long and amazing trails that I know very well and I ran.  I don't really know how far I was but when I got to a turn around point I started the watch and it took me 29:13 to get home.  The way back was mostly uphill so I'd say the whole run was about 55 minutes and since I'm about a 9 minute miler currently maybe I went about 6 miles.  The shoes felt great and I felt even better.  That is how running was supposed to be.  The form was great, short almost choppy strides, quickish turnover, legs just trying to keep the momentum going.  My feet could really feel the trail without getting hurt by the occasional sharp rock or odd root.

But that wasn't the plan!  The plan was to run exclusively in the step down shoes until May and then slowly work into the barefoot shoes, to the tune of adding 2 miles per week on average every month.  I was just supposed to wear the barefoot shoes as my walking around shoes in order to get accustomed to them.  Now I'm walking around like my grandfather.  My calves are sooooo soar, I've been stretching them all day to no avail.  They haven't felt this stiff since the day after my first marathon.  What the hell are fifty miles going to feel like?  Did I make a mistake here in undertaking this massive shift in running form and fitness philosophy?  I still have a few miles left in my old Brooks Adrenaline's.  Maybe I'll just scrap the .......... 

Patience.  Patience.  Patience.  Back to the plan (but not until this weekend).  The Trail Gloves are the one, they will be going home to meet mom, we just need more time to get to know each other first.  I'll take my rebounder girls out for another spin on Saturday and will then come home to my future and I'll wear them to the mall and the hardware store and maybe Bed, Bath & Beyond.  I don't know if I'll have enough time but it's going to be a good little Saturday.

6 miles in 55 minutes

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