Tuesday, March 15, 2011

C25K Week 1 Wrap-up

Per my first post on this subject I did Week 1 of C25K last week, with Day 1 being March 7th. I wanted to do a Mon/Wed/Fri schedule, so yes, I even ran on my birthday.

As I talked about in length in that first post, I'm doing this in my Vibrams which makes things a bit... different. Basically the first day of running everything felt awesome. I did a 1% incline and walked at a speed of 3.5, ran at around 5.0. The main thing I noticed was that the Vibrams force you to run correctly- no heel striking!- and as a result your calves/ankles/feet and all the tendons and muscles therein get a really good workout. I can tell you from experience that running in the Vibrams compared to running shoes (Sauconys, for reference) is a whole 'nother ball game. But in a good way. After my first run it felt like... well, I don’t know quite how to describe it... “stretched in all directions, in a good way” comes close to what I mean. Have you ever had a really good foot massage, where the masseuse (or awesome friend/partner whom you conned into rubbing your feet) really worked in between the tendons and stretched everything out and you felt a lot more space afterward and you wanted to give them a hug or send them flowers from your feet to them with love? Yeah, kind of like that. I had a teensy bit of Achilles tendon soreness, but nothing I haven't felt before- it is similar to the soreness I get after an intense standing series in yoga. No big deal, yay first day!

Day 2 was when I was really, really feeling the soreness in my calves and feet. Not in a bad/scary "OMG I totally hurt myself doing 20 minutes of exercise AGAIN seriously I am lame" but in a "wow, these shoes are making everything WORK" kind of way. It felt like my calves and feet finally got invited to the running party after all those years of being trapped in plastic boxes. Of note- nothing else hurt. My knees, my hips, my lower back, all were gloriously pain free. This is HUGE, because as I've mentioned I've been sidelined by Day 2 before with some terrible hip pain. I did Day 2 at a 0% incline due to my calves being sore, but I did up the walking to around 3.8, and I upped the running to 5.5.

Day 3 was where I ran into a bit of a problem- no pun intended. It was my own fault, completely. My calves were still quite sore, and as a result I think I was letting my feet hit too flat on the treadmill out of laziness. I also decided to walk at a 3.8 and run at a 6 and 6.5, which was stupid on my part. Remember that I started the week off running at a 5, trying to ease my feet and ankles into running with the Vibrams. With 7 minutes left to go my right ankle/foot started feeling sore. I had the feeling like my ankle really, really wanted to pop (the joint, not like it was going to break, no worries) and it started feeling a bit unstable. The pleasant stretchiness feeling was starting to border on a "you've done gone and stretched too far sister" feeling (sorry for all the quotes, apparently my body parts talk to me on the regular and they really, really want to get credited on the internet for the wisdom they impart). I chose to run/walk for two and a half more minutes and then just walked out the rest of the time. I'm not interested in getting hurt, although doing so did injure my pride a bit.

I had already decided that I would repeat Week 1 to build up the strength in everything below my knees, and Day 3 convinced me that was a great decision. Over the weekend my birthday party included jumping at Jumpstreet, an indoor trampoline park, followed by about two or three hours of dancing. My hip was tweaked a bit as a result, so I decided to continue to be smart, check my pride, and take Monday off. I'm starting Week 1 over again on Wednesday. I've been cruising barefoot running forums and I learned that people who can normally bust out marathons used C25K to ease into barefoot/Vibram running, and everything I'm experiencing so far is par for the course. Lots of them also did each week twice to take it nice and slow, so I feel far less lame knowing that marathon runners are doing the same thing I am.

Thus concludes a terribly boring running related post. Aren't you looking forward to weekly doses?! I know, the excitement must be too much to bear...


  1. Actually, I'm fascinated by this. Those shoes are so scary to me based on appearance alone. But you make an excellent case for them. I'm kind of curious to try some now.

    And I can't wait to hear more! Congrats on finishing week 1!

  2. Thank you! And I'm glad I'm not boring everyone to tears :)

    I definitely recommend trying them out, it feels very different from running in running shoes. Just be sure to go slow if you do. I also checked out the book "Born to Run" from the library today. I had read excerpts and chapters, and heard talks by the author on TED, but never read the whole book from start to finish. He profiles this tribe of people who run super marathon distances in totally rudimentary, flat, leather thong sandals. It's really interesting, and complements the videos I've been watching on ChiRunning.

    I just re-did W1D1 at the gym today and it went well! Hoping to keep things going through the repeats of Day 2 and 3!