On Wednesday, I finished the Chase Corporate Challenge race. (For a moment, I actually thought it was last week. This week has gone by so SLOWLY.) For the first time, I got out there with my Vibram Five Fingers: Bikila. I have to say, my left foot’s arch was aching afterwards. That was a bit annoying and discouraging, except it was fine the next day. My calves aching is usually a given. I’m slowly trying to transition into them and have been running on the treadmill for 3-5 miles on them. Now, running on the treadmill is pretty different than running on terrain, and I’ve been meaning to go for a smaller jog. I expected to hurt more, given the pounding my arches, ankles and calves are going to get. And really, I thought this 3.5 mile race was pretty perfect. For the last couple of months, since my terrain runs were longer, I just didn’t want to break out the five fingers.

The Chase Race was in Central Park and started past west 72nd st., looped around 110 st. and ended on the 72nd st. traverse. It wasn’t a bad course, especially since you are going down on Cat Hill to the finish. The only annoying thing was that it was from 7pm and I’m never a really strong runner at the end of the day. I usually feel the best in the mornings running, and the heat was getting me down.

I am so used to NYRR races running like clock-work that this race was SO disorganized to me. The volunteers were few and the ones that were there were clearly not used to running races. 1) This race was over crowded and a cluster fuck. 2) It wasn’t spectator friendly towards the start line (There wasn’t even a clear way for people in faster corrals to get through all the slower ones). 3) They ran out of water in the first 2 water stations and the attendants were quickly trying to keep up, instead of waving people towards the later tables. That was ridiculous. 4) Once you passed the finish line, they herd you for another half mile away from the race site to return to get your baggage, meet up with your party, etc… Uhg. Ridiculous. I lost my mother in the shuffle, my party missed me crossing the finish line, and I had to just meet everyone away from the action at Columbus Circle. Race wise, it wasn’t my strongest race and i definitely didn’t PR. I got pushed 3 times, and elbowed once. Race/common sense etiquette was clearly lacking. Overall, was it worth my $40? No. It would have been more fun had more people in my department signed up.

Ryan was initially super excited about them. Now, after he’s heard my complaints, he’s trying to get me off of them. Haha. I’m really still reserving my final judgment, since I haven’t had time to fully integrate them. And I am sort of convinced that my stride is lighter and lower with these shoes. And I can certainly feel the shoes giving my feet and calves a work out. And I’m ok with that.

Tangent: When I first got the Bikila’s, the store attendant was SUPER enthusiastic about them. He said he wore them EVERY SINGLE DAY and the only reason he didn’t wear them that day was because it was raining (I believe him and it was raining). I was sold on the Bikila’s, although I tried on the KSOs as well. The Bikila was comfier and I didn’t expect to do any heavy extreme sports type running in them. Then, he showed me these other Vibrams Five Finger shoes, meant for yoga and just lounging. It was kind of like these Classic, but everything was soft faux leather, and kind of like a slip on ballet flat version of these shoes. And he was like, “these are on sale now, and you are NOT GOING TO WANT TO TAKE THESE OFF EVER.” Obviously the attendant didn’t know the extent of my vanity. I was just like, “No.” (Kind of “Hell, to the NO.”) Seriously. I am willing to run in these shoes for the benefits they are suppose to offer (less strain on your joints, lighter stride, etc…), but I am not going to start to wear these things all the time. No. They are not a fashion statement. Sorry! And I’m probably not going to stop wearing my boots or heels.

The one thing is, running in them feels great, because they encourage you to be a forefoot striker. However, walking in them is another thing. Not really comfortable for someone who is used to walking in heels, since the soles conform to your feet, you feel like you’re walking on an incline.

So anyway, I’ve been giving these baby a shot and haven’t been able to completely transition into them, since I’ve been running mostly 10K races.

Find out more about Barefoot Running.

I’m very happy to announce that I’ve finished my 9 races to get guaranteed entry into the 2012 NYC ING Marathon! I’m volunteering on the 25th for the Front Runner’s Gay and Lesbian Pride Race for my “+1.” I’m pretty excited. After the really hot months, I’ll start training exclusively for long distances. I’m considering running the Bronx Half Marathon in the end of August.

The Races I’ve Done:
NYRR New York Mini 10K (June 11)
Brooklyn Half-Marathon (May 21)
UAE Healthy Kidney 10K (May 14)
Japan Day Run For Hope 4M (May 8)
Japan Day Virtual Run 5.18M
NYRR 4 Mile (April 23)
Run for the Parks 4M (April 17)
Scotland Run 10K (April 10)
NYRR Gridiron 4M (Feb 6)
NYRR Fred Lebow Classic 5M (Jan 8)

The Chase Corporate Challenge (3.5Miles – June 15-16) isn’t included, because it’s not a Marathon qualifying race. I’m also considering running the Warrior Dash in August (if my coworker is still interested in doing that with me), which is also a non-qualifying race. (Only issue is that it’s 3 hours outside of NYC, so either my coworker is driving, or we need to make a weekend of it.) It’s also an obstacle course race, so it’s not a traditional straight run. On the upside, YOU GET A VIKING HAT if you participate! And that’s probably my motivation. (I’ve become a race swag addict, and I admit, I’ve been a little obnoxious about it. “Why is this a regular cotton T-Shirt?! I should get a Tech-Shirt for the $40 I put in!!!”)

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