Well I’m currently on my 2 week break from work (it’s so nice working for a school district) and I’m all ready to run! I’m hoping to get in at least 3 good, longer, runs a week. Currently I do about 2.5 to 4 miles 2 to 3 times a week, but with all this extra time I want to up my mileage a little. I even found a new running partner to run with over the break (she is currently a shoed runner but is considering switching over after next 1/2 marathon, thanks to yours truly)!
But I have noticed some set backs (and improvements) during my last couple runs. First thing is that, I am really learning what my body needs to run, and that is water! I mean I drink a lot of water anyways, but I can tell when I haven’t drank enough when I run. If I am not hydrated enough, my left foot always reminds me by cramping up after about 2.5 miles. It sucks because I can be going really well, at an awesome pace, and then all of a sudden my foot will cramp up in the arch. When that happens I pretty much have to walk for sometime to work the cramp out. Sometimes I can continue to run again but most of the times, its game over, which is really disappointing. So listen to your body and take notes! Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
The other thing that my body will tell me is if my gate gets a little to long. To be a minimalist or barefoot runner, the first thing I had to say goodbye to was a long gate. That was a hard thing to do, because with having a shorter gate, comes a slower pace until you adjust (and then, no pun intended, you will pick up the pace). I have noticed that if my gate is too long, the outside of my right knee will begin to hurt (just like it used to when I was a shoed runner). Before, when I was a shoed runner, that pain meant game over for my run. Now I have realized that if I just shorten up my gate, the pain goes away and I can continue on. Your body is an amazing thing and again, if you just listen to what it is trying to tell you (through aches and pains) you can adjust and then go further then you had ever thought possible.
Now on to something good! I have been running in minimalist shoes since May 2011. When I first started off, one of the first things I noticed, was that my pace was affected severally. I have never been a record breaking time runner, but as a shoed runner, I had, what I considered a good pace of right around 10min miles. When I started in my Pace Gloves my pace went into 12min mile area. That was super disappointing. But the more I researched minimalist running, the more I learned that my pace would, in time, improve. And low and behold, it has! During my last couple runs, I have reached my 10min mile mark and even surpassed it a couple time by going into the 9min zone! I couldn’t have been more excited! It was a great thing to get back to 10mins, but to get into the 9min zone was a PR!