Vibram Fun on Trails

During the summer, I was mainly trying to break in my shoes for the Capt’n Karl’s Races, and lowered the amount of running where I was using my Vibram Five Fingers.   Now I’ve decided to start phasing them back into at least one of my weekly, easy neighborhood runs.  And last week I had the  bright idea to wear them running the Ho Chi Minh Trails–I hadn’t run the trails with them in probably 6 months so I knew it could be an interesting experience.  I guess I like the attention it garners too when people notice them, although the Ho Chi Minh Trails are exponentially less populated with joggers than the Memorial Park Pretty People’s 3 mile loop across the street.

 

I was meeting another group at 6:15, but since I wanted to make my drive up to the park worth my while, I got there an hour early to get a few extra miles in.  About 3 miles into my solo run, I landed on what I’m sure was a root, and it hurt like heck.  Right on the midsole of my right foot, which you know if you’ve run in Vibram’s, can be quite painful.  I managed to limp along back to my car, and waited for the others to show up, and I almost considered bailing, but like I said, I might as well make my drive all the way up to the park worth it so I decided to tough out the run with them.

 

I lumbered out for the ~3.8 mile trek on the green trail, which became increasingly difficult as my stride started to suffer due to the pain in my foot, and the little rocks started to talk to me more.  What started as a jog ended up being alot of walking (not to mention the constant dodging of the bikers every minute or so!!) but I eventually managed to finish the green out and back trail.  Don’t want to sound like too much of a whiner, but I guess I’d forgotten how unforgiving the shoes can be on the trail.  But it is fun to run the trails with them–you constantly have to find the best spot for you foot (more so than in regular running shoes) , constantly changing your stride, foot strike, everything is varied and keeps you mentally engaged.

 

I guess the lesson learned is I need to phase them back into my running regimen to get my feet/ankles stronger, which should help running on the trails in them (should I decide to do that again).   Nevertheless, my foot was mostly fine the next day, and was good enough to run 18.5 mi Saturday morning.
And in a related note, I volunteered at the USA 10miler this morning, and noticed a woman walking the 10 miler in grey vibrams, which I thought was cool.

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