03/29/11

Kanadia Tr 3 Shoes + Barefoot Running

I was really eager to try out my new trail shoes – the Kandia Tr 3, even though I won’t actually see any trial until this Saturday, so I went ahead and gave then a little test run around my neighborhood.
Now, I’d run laps around my block before and I’d noticed it was close to a 1/4 mile though a little short. I thought about it and decided to picture it like a track where the longest distance is at the far lane (if you start and finish at the same spot.) So, I went to the opposite side of the street, right along the sidewalk and started running there and kept my path as close to that as possible. Know what? Doing it that way, it was a perfect .25 miles! Yes!  I ran four laps like that in the new shoes.  They felt well cushioned, responsive and they didn’t rub in any weird spots. Basically, I’m hopeful they are another winner in the shoe search. The real test will be this Saturday when I take them on the trails and do 16 miles in them. THAT will tell me a whole lot more than today’s test run, but it was still nice to get a little taste and see how I felt about them in action.
One of the most impressive features of the Kanadia Tr 3 are the huge grips and even those little pointy rubber things you get on new tires! The bottom even says it has “Mud Surface Release.” Niiiiicceeee!!!! I can’t wait to run hard in them this weekend!
After my first mile, I decided to take the shoes off and run the last mile barefoot for foot strengthening, so I did. I was pretty sweaty after the first mile, so it felt pretty nice to kick off the shoes and socks and just run a little more freely. Now there were several little bits of gravel on the road that made me want to yelp so I kept my pace nice and easy since it hurt less if I wasn’t coming down on those bits of rock with as much force. I also stayed mindful of the fact that this is a new activity for my feet without all the cushioning I’m used to I kept things easy peasy. I started thinking about this huge grassy field not far from my house and decided I’d really like to get out there soon and try a barefoot mile on that soft surface for another experience. I bet it would feel really good! 🙂
Stats: 2 miles. 10:31 pace. Total time: 21:04. Felt: Good
03/9/11

Just Call Me Barefoot Christie

I’ve been reading Born to Run before bed each night. I’ve really enjoyed reading about the Tarahumara Indians before I drift off to sleep, helping me effortlessly glide through canyons and  across mountains as I run in my dreams.

Though I have no intention of giving up my cushioned shoes for good, I did feel that some of the stories shared in the book did make me feel compelled to at least leave the shoes behind and do a little bit of “foot strengthening” barefoot runs in the neighborhood each week. I live in a fairly new subdivision with smooth asphalt roads, so I figured “Why not try it out?” –just a little bit so as not to overwhelm my feet.

My children giggled as I headed out the door without my shoes on. Being children, they probably think it’s actually sillier for Mommy to normally wear shoes since they spend tons of time running in the yard barefoot. I remember being their age. I’d run at recess. Race at recess, actually! It was a lot of fun to feel the cool grass between my toes. I may have to head over to the nearby college next time and try it on the grass for old times sake!

I ran laps around my block, my children waving and laughing from the top of our playground fort in the backyard as I went by each time.  It was fun! I had to dodge the postal worker truck and felt the sting of a few pebbles, but overall it was fine. I was a bit faster without my clunky, cushioning shoes, but I could also feel the muscles working a bit harder than usual in my feet.  That’s why I kept it at just one mile.  I think I might do this a couple times a week as a strength exercise for my feet. I think it could do some good and might just bring back some childhood memories of being a pretty fast sixth grader who could even outrun most of the boys. Ahhh.. those were the days!

I’m sure the neighbors were wondering what the heck I was doing out there running about in my naked feet. I like to keep them guessing about my sanity!

Stats: 1 mile. Pace: 9:35. Felt: Good. HR ave: 136. Max HR: 167.