Monday, March 28, 2011

Muddy Five Fingers

Between March 4th and last Friday, I did not run at all. This was partly due to a week-long snowboarding trip I took in early March (I didn't even bother to pack running shoes) and because I picked up the flu on the final days of that trip.

When I resumed, I slipped on my Vibram Five Fingers and only attempted my short 1.5 mile orbit. My calves really burned the next morning...though any pain hardly seemed justified after such a short distance.

Yesterday, however, I attempted my first trail run in the Five Fingers, heading up to Burma Road with some friends. Unfortunately, the previous night's rain left the trail slick and muddy...and I would have likely aborted it even if my friends had not turned back early. I did cover three quarters of mile downhill before turning back, so it still proved to be a valuable learning experience. Key lessons learned:

1) Running over rocks with the Five Fingers is not a painful experience
2) Individual toes provide a great deal of traction in heavy mud
3) The top of the Five Fingers does not keep out moisture or mud (my foot felt wet even before it sank deep into it)
4) Getting chunks of mud and small rocks inside the shoe is not fun...and they are quite hard to remove (largely because I still can't get my toes back into the shoe very quickly)

After aborting the trail, we continued running until we totaled over 5.5 miles for the morning...which is actually the most I have run in the Five Fingers yet.

I still get blisters on the bottoms of my big toes and my calves have been really burning all day today. Neither of these issues have ever plagued me with traditional running shoes...and, until I overcome them, I should probably avoid longer runs in the Five Fingers.

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