Sunday, October 7, 2012

I am hooked

And I am in trouble. At only one week before the marathon, I bought a pair of minimalist shoes, the New Balance Minimus WR00 and today I took them on my last long run. Even though I am now on my couch icing my calves, the experience of running in those is still lingering in my brain like a powerful drug. For the first time ever I understand what running "free" means.

The workout was supposed to be 1h40 long and after talking to my coach this morning, the advice he gave me was to stop at the first sign of trouble. For having been in trouble a lot in the past, I think I knew what trouble felt like, so off I went, light on my feet like a newborn butterfly. The kilometers flew one after another and up until km 10, I felt ah-mah-zing. But then my legs started feeling a bit challenged in the calf area and my right Achilles got cranky too, so I turned the knobs down a little and decided to cut it short so I don't freak out.

Made it back home in a bit less than 1h30, stretched the hell out of my leg muscles, tendons and everything in between (oh wait, there is nothing in between according to my old anatomy book), then went out to look for flowers to plant in my backyard. At the store, I mean, not in a field or a dump, just thought I'd mention it. Ok this is getting weird, and totally unrelated. Moving on... literally. All flowers were gone, by the way, so I bought a pot of ornamental chili peppers and an air plant.

Alas I am not ready to run a marathon in these shoes just yet, but that's the problem, I cannot shake the absolutely freaking fantastic feeling I had while wearing them. Now what do I do? Besides, they gave me no blisters, nada. My toes were also feeling like they were in a luxury penthouse apartment in there, no rubbing anywhere. Plus they weigh as much as a feather, so going back to my older shoes is going to be like wearing platform shoes made of lead.

I am hooked. Here is a nice review I found about the Minimus, thankfully there are people much better than me to write this kind of things. I have 6 more days to make myself believe that it's going to be ok NOT wearing them at the marathon. I know for sure that I'm going to suffer anyway, but battling blisters and the weight of my old shoes will certainly be better than battling calf cramps. I now have another reason to keep on running, a marathon in the Minimus is the next goal!


  1. My Saucony Kinvaras had the exact same effect on me. I don't ever want to put on my old Asic Cumulus again! I'm not kidding when I say that my first run in the kinvaras - the IT band tightness I'd been battling since the dawn of time (ok - since February) just floated away from my leg after the first kilometer and hasn't returned!

    Enjoy your new shoes! It's too bad you didn't discover them a month ago!

  2. My Vibrams changed my life. Took about a month for my feet to get used to them, but since then I feel unstoppable. I could never go back.

    DEFINITELY DON'T WEAR THEM IN THE MARATHON THOUGH! Minimalistic shoes take a lot of time to get used to, no matter how well you feel now.

  3. Cori and David - thanks for stopping by to comment. I have been reading about transitioning for a little while now and came across this article, which explains very well what the real danger is: ourselves. We are our worst enemy when it comes to addictive feelings and I have already made pace with myself since yesterday that I should be patient and not rush into running a marathon in these shoes after wearing them once, even though there is no break-in period needed. My calves are saying it out loud: lay off the miles, we aren't ready yet! I am already looking forward for the pain to subside, but this is a great indicator of the effort I would have had to put in during the marathon. Not a good idea, indeed.

  4. So of course, don't wear them! I wouldn't even wear new shoes which are the exact same as my "old" ones in a marathon. But, after your marathon, start getting used to them. Do you ever run on a treadmill? Once you begin training in minimal shoes, you may even want to try barefoot
    (says the gal who LOVES her old lady NB stability shoes!)! Enjoy!

    1. Nic, of course I won't, even more today when I'm still in pain. Starting to get a bit spooked out by the length of the recovery and thinking that I'm really living on the edge - but I don't regret my decision, it allowed my toe and blisters to heal while I managed to squeeze in a last long-ish run.