Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Right Foot Numbs During Runs

I noticed this while on a run through the 5k route I found. My goal was 2 miles that day. By about a mile and a half or so, I noticed that my right foot began to numb. Then it got worse. I didn't want to stop because I was on a mission to reach 2 miles, so I kept on truckin. It started to feel like a stump and I began to hobble on it. My left leg and foot were pretty much doing all the work as I was trying to just quickly land on my right foot. I really wanted to stop, but I told myself I'd make it to the stop sign at the intersection. I made it and stopped runmeter. Although I should have looked at my distance prior to stopping runmeter (I was only at 1.91 instead of 2 miles) I knew I would've been able to hobble the .09miles to reach my goal. Oh well.

So I walked and the numbness went away. That was SO weird and it kinda freaked me out. What the heck would cause that? I was completely boggled. I've never felt this before. I've been running my Vibrams for a good 8 months now, and have ran in them in three 5k's. Hmmm.

The location where I stopped running was about a mile from home. It was going to take forever to walk back home. After walking for about 7 minutes or so, I decided to run for a bit. I ran a half mile, got tired and stopped. No numbness during that little run. I walked the rest of the way home. I stretched a lot to avoid any other type of soreness. The rest of the the day, I was still annoyed at what had happened.

2 Days Later
My mother in law was visiting, so i took advantage of her presence and ran outside in the morning. This way someone was at home while my son was still asleep. I ran in my monkey shoes around the neighborhood this time. And once again, after a mile, my right foot started to numb. Now I was getting really annoyed. WTH?! Here I am trying to increase my distance and now I can't run further than a mile without a numb foot. This was VERY disappointing.

During the week I started looking into what might be causing this. Possibilities were:
- a pinched nerve
- slacking off on my form and pounding my foot on the ground
- tight shoelaces

I chopped it up to slacking on my form, so I went running in my neighborhood again this past weekend. Again in my Vibrams. And yes, it did it again. Are you kidding me? I even tried wiggling my toes during the run as some suggested in the forum, but it didn't prevent the numbing.

Then I thought that maybe my right foot got wider/flatter, which is quite normal for minimalist runners. I think it was only my right foot because it was already lacking an arch. And of course while running, the foot gets warm and expands even more. So I had to test this theory.

The Test
I ran barefoot the following day. It had been so long since I ran barefoot. Probably since last year before the weather started to cool. I ran over a mile and my foot did not numb on me. Ok, that confirms it, my foot got wider. But now what do I do? I can't just order one Vibram.

Hubby told me to run in my Vibrams one more time before I go out and purchase something else. So that's the plan this weekend.

Today I did some research and read up on reviews of different variations of huaraches. I wanted my feet to be free so they're able to expand if needed. I thought about the Luna Sandals or the Invisible Shoe, but honestly, I am too lazy to deal with the tying methods. I have my eyes set on either the Unshoe, Bedrock or Branca. I'm a bit low on funds, so it's going to be at least another week before I can order a pair.

Besides Vibrams and running barefoot, what other minimalistic shoes have you tried?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Almost a Year

It's been almost a year since I started on this running path. I absolutely HATED running with a passion prior to this. But I thought I would try it to see if that was still the case. I think the whole minimal/barefoot running concept won me over. And using a program like C25k totally helped.

But who knew that I'd be starting over several times after completing the program? That was quite disappointing since I worked so hard on the program NOT to repeat a week. I was successful at that, but slacked on keeping up the time and distance after the program. I didn't do the C25K program over again, but kept having to work at getting up to where I was when I finished the program. My distance as well as speed just went downhill due to obstacles.

FIRST it was stubbing my toe and that prevented me from running for about 2 months. Man, that one really hurt. I was SO annoyed because it took SO long to heal. I would stay active in other ways, but felt I lost all the hardwork I put into the C25K program.

AND THEN I got caught up again on distance, BUT got into a funk a few more times. Now, I'm slowly trying to up my distance, and eventually work on increasing my speed again.

This morning I ran outside again and it felt AWESOME. I wish I can say goodbye to my treadmill, but I do need it. My goal today was 2 miles. I just ran in my neighborhood and when I made it back close to home I stopped. I looked at my phone and runmeter said I only ran 1.76 miles. Oh darn, I was shy a quarter of a mile. I looked at the map and now have a new game plan to accomplish that distance in my neighborhood. And my time was alright at 20:49min. I'll take a 12min mile right now. Much better than my runs on the treadmill, that's for sure.

But nonetheless, I had a great time on my run. I started off slow and just went at a speed that was comfortable. I let my body decided on the speed (unlike the treadmill) and it was GREAT! I stayed at that speed for a while and didn't tire as easily. It was definitely a good run for me today. If I had more time I would have done a quick walk break and continued for at least another mile or so, but unfortunately I had to get ready for work.

I'm going to try and get that 2mile run done this weekend. I am loving this sunny weather!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Sun Came Out to Play

It was windy, but the sun was out this weekend. This year's weather has been SO unpredictable lately. When you think it will be nice, the rain starts pouring. But on Saturday when I saw blue sky, I took advantage of it and ran outside. Man, did it feel good to off that treadmill.

I ran on the 5k route I found several months ago. Took it easy and ran 1.44miles (18:59min) before taking a 5min walk break. Then I ran .97miles (12:15min) and walked the rest of the way home. A total of almost 2.5miles.
(I know, it's slow. But I did say I took it easy.)

Next Saturday's goal is to make it to 2miles before my walk break. I'll continue this until I can run the whole 5k distance without a walk break.

Did I mention how much it SUCKS to start all over again?

On the plus side, cross training has been going quite well. I'm only at 34 push-ups, but I'll get that up pretty soon. Ever since I started doing supersets, I can't see doing the exercises in any other method. It gets the heart pumping and you can easily cover a whole body workout in half the time.

Lately I focus on:
  • arms and weights
  • squats
  • push-ups
  • planks (regular and side)

- I pair up 2 exercises to create 1 superset.
- Then I pair up another 2 exercises to create another superset.
- And if I'm feeling sassy, I'll pair up another 2 exercises to create a 3rd superset.

I do each superset 3 times, and it really gets the body going. If I ever get bored with that, I pick out a Turbulence Training workout, and those never fail me.

I miss using my stability ball, so next week I plan to include that into my workouts again. I never knew it would be such a great tool.

I also like to fit in calf raises, jumping jacks and end it all with yoga stretches and poses. I definitely feel good after a workout, but I need to wake up earlier.

Today, I went for a 1mile run on the treadmill. Just a mile as it was on an incline and I still tire easily. Then I did some planks, then push-ups, and that was supposed to be it. But I wanted MORE, so I did some bicep curls. I didn't want to stop, but had to get ready for work. Grrrrr......

Between running and cross training, my goal is to perform some sort of activity at least 5 days out of the week. Some weeks I will work out every day, but I don't want to feel guilty on days that I take a rest day.

So far things are going pretty well.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Staying On Track

Last week I worked out every day, alternating between cross training and running. This week, I worked out 5 out of 7 days. This morning I slept in and boy did it feel GREAT, but it didn't leave any time for a workout. Still not too shabby.

Cross Training
Currently consists of supersets of:
- planks (regular and side)
- squats
- arm exercises with weights

I really think that doing supersets help a lot. Work the muscles a bunch and relax for a tiny bit. Work the muscles a bunch and relax for a tiny bit. It helps me build endurance.

Outdoor running consists of running a mile.
I usually do this lap through my neighborhood which comes out to roughly a mile.

Indoor running is based on time.
15 minutes is the current goal.
I hop on the treadmill and run at a 2% incline, ranging between 4 to 4.5mph.
That 2% incline gets the heart pumping FAST!

So far the last couple of weks have already helped tighten my arms a bit. Small progress, but I'll take it for what it's worth. To help, I've also cut down on my carb consumption. I've been eating salads.

  • Chicken mango sausage from Trader Joe's
  • Candied walnuts
  • Dried cranberries
  • (sometimes I'll add some cherry tomatoes)
  • Romain lettuce
  • Organic baby spinach
  • Lightly topped with a raspberry vinaigrette

It's delish.

Next week, I plan to introduce pushups back into my cross training. And so I don't get bored with salads, I'll alternate between a salad and a sandwich for lunch. As always, accompanied by fruit, nuts, water and matcha tea.

Looking forward to another successful week of exercise.
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