Julie Lyles Carr: Smitten

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Smitten

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My running partner JT and I are fully back into training mode. We're in week three of gearing up for Chosen, a marathon that benefits families in the process of adopting internationally.

As per course, the first couple of weeks in the Central Texas August heat have been brutal. But it does quickly build our endurance and by the time we hit October race day, the cooler autumn temps put a lot of kick back in our step. So we know the grinding out the miles and sweat now gives us substantial benefit on the backside.

At least, that's what we tell ourselves.

This year, I've mixed it up a little bit. I've posted in the past about changing my stride, changing my shoes, discovering they weren't making my model of shoe anymore, investigating barefoot running and on and on. You can click here if you want to see the laundry list.

Back to mixing it up.

I finally bit the bullet and invested in a pair of Vibrams. They are running shoes that are feather light, have a very flexible structure and provide the foot protection without encasing it in plastic and rigidity. I'd read, researched and pondered...and finally purchased.

And here's the thing.

I love 'em. And nobody is sponsoring me or paying me or compensating me to say that.

I'm not using them for every run. Just about every other run. And I probably won't wear them for the race. But for my training schedule, I'm just smitten. I get immediate feedback through my feet as to how well or sloppy I'm getting with my stride. I've discovered muscles in my calves I didn't know I had. My knees and hips feel great. I had read some articles that said the Vibrams could make my feet really sore for the first few weeks. I haven't really experienced that, other than being very aware of where I fractured my foot a while ago.

As you scour the interwebs, you'll definitely find avid devotees and those who aren't fans. At the very least, I've found that the Vibrams have helped me build leg strength and more even muscle development through early training.

And then there's this...

When you wear these admittedly weird looking shoes, you get attention. No doubt. I've had to smile at the folks driving by as I'm running who take a second and third look at my footwear. And for a girl who loves her shoes, spike, boot, stiletto, wedge and Vibram, that just adds bonus point to the whole experience....

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