Monday, June 25, 2012

A Slave to My Routine

I was so proud of myself.  If you've been reading my posts, you'll know that I've been in the best place running that I've been in a very long time.  I had my routine down to a science, and it was working.  So why "was" I so proud of myself?  My routine changed.  Over the past couple months, I've been traveling.  A lot.  Like, more than not.  Suddenly, I didn't have access to the same treadmill or the same neighborhood route at the same time each day.  I wish I could tell you that I adapted, worked with what I had, and ran some new routes.  I didn't.  I stopped.  If I couldn't run at 12:32pm every day, I didn't run.  The end result was being able to count my runs over 6 weeks on one hand. 

I flew in last Friday to some rain, beyond frustrated with myself and the weather.  I found myself driving directly from the airport to the gym.  I parked in a different spot, and I didn't get on my usual treadmill.  Instead of plugging my headphones into the TV and telling myself I was going to run for 45 minutes, I plugged into Pandora and said I was going to run for 10 songs.  I was completely out of my comfort zone...and I ran for 55 minutes without even realizing it.  I can't pinpoint why I was able to finally change it up, but now I have the confidence that the next time I travel, I'll be able to adapt and get my runs in.  #committed

Do you have a routine?  How do you adapt when your routine is interrupted? 


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Making Big Moves!

Two important things happened for me recently: 

1. I progressed to a pair of Road-X 233s 
2. As evidenced by the image above that I am not capable of taking that creatively on my own, I got instagram

I decided I was ready to make the big move and slipped on my new 6mm drop 2 arrows!  After finishing May in the Road-X 238s, I started out with just 10 minutes in the 233s a couple days last week, and have moved on to a couple 20 minute runs this week. Dare I say, “I like these better…” 

I must admit, I was skeptical to move down a step; worried I would be one of “those people” who needs more time. But after all the needless stressing, I feel great. Not just great, kind of perfect. And to top it off, I ran my 20 minutes today at 6.5mph (for you hardcore athletes, that is great for me)! 

I plan on taking them out for a 3-4 miler this weekend, and I can’t wait to see how they (and I) perform. 

How are you progressing with your transition?


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

It's National Running Day!

Today marks the fourth annual National Running Day, and it has me dreaming of ditching some to-do list items and heading out for a run. However, it is also National Business Etiquette week, so I will probably just wait until after work.

I run for a lot of reasons, to relieve stress, to stay in shape, to test myself, to get outside...
Why do you run?
Maybe you run because you got some new shoes – don’t forget to comment on our facebook photo or on Caitlin’s blog post to enter to win a free pair of inov-8s!

Monday, June 4, 2012

From Orthopedic to Minimalist

3 years ago, before I started Crossfit, my running shoes could have only been described as behemoth sized orthopedic pillows. They were stuffed heel to toe with cushioning, sadness, dead weight, and empty promises of a more comfortable running experience. “Experts” recommended these types of shoes to me based upon my low arch foot profile and over-pronation. During that I time I constantly dealt with shin splints, knee pain, and foot pain after running. It was frustrating to say the least and it really got me to the point where I wanted to just hang it up and give running the white flag or the finger.
I wanted a way out of the vicious cycle I was in, and I knew that I had to do something drastic. Coincidentally, I ended up joining a Crossfit gym and one of the coaches/owners of the gym introduced me to Inov-8 shoes during my running hiatus. He always talked about these shoes that allowed him to run more efficiently and made his running experience more enjoyable. I was intrigued and not too long after, I got myself a pair Inov-8s to find out if it was true.  
In the beginning, I was shocked at how different the Inov-8 shoes were compared to my Frankenstein shoes of past. The Inov-8s contained no unneeded “filler,” and were incredibly lightweight. Not only did the Inov-8s help keep me more stable during my lifting workouts, but also improved my running mechanics during 400m and 800m repeats. I started with 6mm drop, and found it to be perfect for the type and length of running that I was doing at the time. My running pains seemed to disappear and I felt the muscles in my feet actually get strengthened over time. It never even occurred to me that the type of shoe I was wearing could strengthen my feet rather than serve as a crutch for their inadequacies.
I have since transitioned to 3mm drop with the F-Lite 195s and have stayed there for about a year. I am very comfortable with the 195s for most Crossfit workouts, but every now and then I sprinkle in the zero drop Bare-XF 210 for rope climbs. In my experience, there is a pretty noticeable difference between the 195s and the Bare-XF 210, much more so than say the F-lite 230s and the F-lite 195s. I’ll take more time to transition fully into the zero drop shoes, but in the meantime I will continue to enjoy being pain free while running. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Worth the Wait

I just started here at inov-8 in May, so I’m a little late to the transition game. Luckily, I had a head start and had played around with minimalist running a bit. And by played around, I mean hurt myself trying to do it the wrong way (but that’s another story).  I had been interested in minimalist running since running the John Kelley Road Race in CT in 2005, where I saw my first barefoot runner. I was so impressed and confused I had to look up what this was all about. 

I read a lot of the research and well, it just made sense. However, I’m not the most patient of people, and competitive to a fault (I even take bowling too seriously). So, slowing down my pace and shortening my runs to transition didn’t seem like an option.

Then, last year, running the John Kelley road race again, by mile 10 my knee was killing me because my worn out shoes were affecting my stride. So, with 1.6 miles left to go, I took them off. My stride felt so natural and my knee instantly felt better!  I finished the race and crossed the finish line with sneakers in hand!

Now, that I’ve started at inov-8 – I get the chance to give it a real try! I’ve got my Road-X- 233s and the shoes fit perfect to my foot, so I feel like I’m really running barefoot. I promised myself I won’t go more than 2.5 miles on them at about an 8:30 pace more than twice a week so that I won’t hurt myself and so far the training is going great. My calves were howling my first few runs, which to be honest, bruised my ego because I thought they’d be able to handle it after years of Irish dancing up on my toes! But, I’ve been focusing on long warm ups and cool downs, stretching and massaging to loosen them up. 

CONTEST: Transition the RIGHT way with me!
So, what do you say? Have you tried minimalist or natural running before? Are you ready to give it a go? We’re giving away a pair of Road-X 255s or Road X-238s (3 arrow, 9mm differential) to someone who wants to give it a patient try with me.  In the comments section below, tell us how you are going to train patiently to do it right! We’ll choose a winner Thursday next week!