Saturday, January 1, 2011

Winter Cross Training in Vibrams -- Part I I -- Running in Vibrams

Well, I certainly have a task as I bring you part II of this series from the one and only day this winter I ran in Vibrams so far.

The problem is that I was so busy that I didn't get Part II and Part III of the Vibrams adventure up before I had another adventure, running completely barefoot again on the first day of the New Year.

So, tonight, I first went about the business of writing a blog post about my run today on New Year's Day, while it was fresh in my mind, but did not publish it, because I have to go back and finish up my plans for this 3-part Vibrams post.

So, from the memory of 5 days ago, I continue.  Due to the circumstances, I shall keep this part brief and tell it mostly in pictures.

When we left off in Part I, I had finished with the preliminaries of figuring out how I was going to manage the day after our big blizzard, and I had climbed over the snowbank and was on the path about to begin.  My plan was to run in Vibrams and maybe do a patch of barefoot running, if it seemed like that would work out.  I headed out on my usual route, following the shoveled out path along, when I ran into a snag in my plan.  It seems that the guys with the snow plow were moving a little more slowly than I was.  I had to turn around.  Evidently I had been following a freshly-hewn trail.

That's okay, I'll just repeat the other part.  I hate repeating.  I find repeating on the same run very dull.  But I had to admit that it was a way better kind of dullness than the treadmill would be, so I shut myself up and proceeded on.

Here are some pictures of what the way looked like.
Daffodil and I found that the application of salt was a little uneven:
Don't worry, I didn't let Daffodil lick any of the salt.  But I was worried about her little paws.  (I made sure to check them when we got home.  She is just fine, in case you were worried.)

I did discover that running over the salt that was sprinkled on the sidewalk was like running over hard gravel pebbles.  It was not fun.

I also began to worry about Daffodil's paws being too cold too.  But I realized that she has been conditioning with me.  She must have made some adjustments to it as we've gone along too.  I watched for signs of her being too cold, but she just seemed happy the whole time.

There was this little section of stone that I found fatiguing.  The first pass over it, I kept running, but the second pass over I just walked it. You can see the stones in the photo on the right. It seems that the snow plow missed the main path and left the border free.

All along, as I was running, I was surveying to terrain to see if there would be a stretch where I could maybe take off my Vibrams and get a little bare foot mileage in.

My feet were pretty wet in the Vibrams from going through patches of slush.  It was 35 degrees, so being wet was not dangerous because it wasn't going to freeze.  As long as my feet are wet, thought I, they could be barefoot.

Pretty soon I found the stretch that might work for barefoot.  It was out on the bluff section, where I usually do my 1/4 mile or so of asphalt:

Here it is:

The part I've shown here is the sidewalk part.  The asphalt is on the road to the right, which you can't see in that picture, but you can see in the one below:
This road is usually much wider, but they had only plowed out a narrow section.  This is my asphalt training ground.  It is hard to show here, but it's a pitted and rough kind of asphalt.  I tried to take a close up to show you the texture but it came out a little blurry:

Well, as I passed over this part of my path out on the bluff, I made up my mind that I was going to do it bare foot on the repeat.

My total distance in the Vibrams had been 2.3 miles when I was ready finally to take them off and include a little barefoot.

The barefoot part will be the next in the series:  "Winter Cross Training in Vibrams -- Part III -- The Barefoot Part"

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