Sunday, February 26, 2012

Kristine- 1, K2- 1 -- 54 miles total

Elevation Gain:1,113 ft Elevation Loss:1,067 ft MinElevation:549 ft MaxElevation:1,621 ft

This was my first hike/run out by myself. I decided to take on K2/Training hill.
I stood at the base of No Hands Bridge and try to decide...'do I do Robie or do I take on K2?'. I decided that since I hadn't been out doing any kind of running in a while, it was time to kick my own ass.
It took awhile for me to get my watch working the way I needed it to. The Virtual Partner was of no use to me as I wasn't running against it. The setting was still on "biking" from the day before and for the life of me, I couldn't get the damn thing to get a way point set.

As I neared the base of Training Hill, I looked up at it. Then I started talking to it. "Yeah, I know you look scary right now...and that little hill right there is just a facade of what you REALLY look like. You are steep and you are mean and you will have me in tears a half mile in. You are over a thousand feet in elevation gain and the last part is like rock climbing. STOP STARING AT ME!"
I looked down the path that was uphill, but not as intimidating as K2. I could just do the 5 mile and head back....OR...I looked back up at K2. "Fuck it, i'm doing this." and I started my climb up.
When I first started hiking I use to love to turn around and see how far I had gone. Not much has changed, I crested the top hill knowing there was nothing more but hill in front of me and turned around. "I just did that." I said to myself and then started to round the corner that I knew brought nothing but brutal humility.

I was a little past a mile and half in when I came across a wonderful hiking man in his 60's who didn't even look like he had broke a sweat. "Hi there!" I call out and he greeted me with a smile. "Is this your first time?" I ask, and he informed me he has done it 8 times before. Okay, well...okay, i'm a fucking pussy and need to man up and keep up with this fast walking hiker. I tell him about the time I had done this exact hike and it turned into a 25 mile hike. He graciously showed me that if I go left instead of right, I can make it a nice 4 mile hike. Yes, that sounded so much better than the 25.

It took about a mile before I could finally feel my calves and could begin to run. I knew where I was and I was going to be okay all the way back to the car.

At 3.8 miles my feet started to hurt. I had hit a lot of shale on the way up and my step was slowing.

Seeing No Hands Bridge was a blessing. I waited for him to come back down as I didn't want to forget this nice man's name and be able to read the website he has been keeping through his adventures.

It was 1 hour and 40 minutes. An hour of that was just getting up that damn 1 mile climb!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Urban at roughly 50 miles.

In an effort to not be murdered while I sleep by my 5 year old nephew while he's on his school break, I decided we would go for a quick run up to the cupcake place. It's about a mile from the apartment.

Strapping on the Vibrams for their first real pavement run I got a little nervous. In the small amount of time running i've done on the street in them, my feet start screaming at me. "WE ARE NOT READY FOR THIS!"

I put on my Garmin 405 with my heart rate monitor. This would be the first time I have worn the monitor and I knew what my max heart rate should be. I was ready to see how close I could get to it.

By a mile my big toe was cramping. Okaayyyy, this is a new little thing I haven't had before. Don't remember seeing that on the forums and websites. We stopped into the cupcake place and I stretched out my big toe. Yes, big toe stretches.

We made our way back and in a hurry because I wouldn't let him eat his cupcake until we got home. He tried to run and keep up but he mostly just said, "I really don't like running." we walked a lot and my feet thanked me when we got back.

I need to work on street running in my Vibrams.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Two hikes this weekend brings the total to 46 miles

On Saturday I went on a hike with Tabitha, her son and another friend. Tabitha is the third person of Hiking With the Exes. We took her friend from work to Empire State Mine. It's a hike we have done a few times before and really enjoyed. The only downfall is it that it's an hour drive there and back. The people on the trail are always really nice and you get to see dogs, horses and people enjoying their bikes.

I debated between my Brooks and my Vibrams right up until I was ready to leave. My calves were feeling a little bit tight after Friday's mileage and I didn't want to push it, but the trail was perfect for my Vibrams so I decided to just do some extra stretching and hope it would hold up.

They didn't disappoint.

There is this one hill that I have struggled with in the past and they did so great I was almost in tears when I crested the top of the hill.

Sunday my boyfriend, his son and I went out to the same place. After the snow hike from a couple weeks ago, I needed to redeem his faith in my ability to take him out and see fun stuff. This hike didn't disappoint either. Around every corner was something fun to see, crawl on and speculate what it was for. At the Visitor's center I picked up a trail map that explained what some of the stuff was and that helped with the guess work.

On day two of the same hike I could feel that my feet were tired. My legs even complained the second time up that hill. My boyfriend is part billy goat as is his son, so we did a bit off trail exploring to see what we could see. We made our way up a very steep rock pile to investigate and this is where I would have expected to really feel the pain in my feet. I paid close attention to the pads of feet while we were up there and I would say it was pretty minimal. Nothing I couldn't handle.

Today was the first time I noticed what every other Vibram wearer talks about...the smell. Okay, after 37 miles they needed to be washed in a big way. After my most relaxing bath where I scrubbed my feet and thanked them for another beautiful weekend of exploring, walking, jogging and running I washed my shoes with Yardley soap.

I love my Vibrams.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Frustrated cussing!

I've been kicking myself to get the treks on a treadmill to see how they feel. I hate the treadmill. I hate street running too. I hate that the sun sets too soon right now for me to get in a trail run after 5pm.

I'm just a big ol' ball of hate right now.

Today I got on my running clothes and headed to the apartment gym. HOLY GILROY GARLIC FESTIVAL! I swear the last person that was there must have sweated buckets of garlic.
1.64 miles into it, I couldn't take it any longer. Every breath I took I felt like I was going to hurl. The shoes did fine on the treadmill, but I could feel my strike going back to heel if I slowed my pace. Not to mention I kept swerving, and some may can you swerve on a treadmill? Just imagine a drunk person walking on one...that is what I look like. Not graceful or cute in any way, shape or form.

After leaving the apartment gym, I went back to my normal gym where I have let my membership expire. It will cost 40 bucks to get it reinstated. I decided to check out the gym across the street that offers classes. Oh boy did it smell so clean. It didn't have everything I was looking for, but it didn't smell like garlic and it had some of the neater looking treadmills and even had stair climbers... the new kind. If they had Jacob's ladder I would have signed up right there and then, but I decided to wait and decide which one I will join.

By the time I got home it was already time to go pick up the boy so I decided to add another 1.7 miles on for the day.

Running on the treadmill I could feel a hairline pull in my shin and I had to slow myself down to a stupid slow pace. On my way to the school I tried to keep mind to the pull and see if it's there. The only time I could feel it is when I hit the pavement.

This is so much harder than I thought it was going to be.

Total miles: roughly 35 miles

Monday, February 6, 2012

Weird weekend

I had planned on going on a longer hike, but decided that we would just do a quick 3 miles and then head home and get our bikes up and running.

We decided to do the Foresthill bridge hike and then down Mossy to Tinker. The incline is nuts and I have gotten use to going up in my V5F shoes, but I hadn't quite mastered the down part.

In my Brooks I can really get some speed up going down the hills, but with the V5F's I needed to find a way to have the speed, but not die in the process. When the grade is so steep I found that I take my toes and scrunch them up and use that to slow myself down.
I love the trial and error of learning how to use my shoes to fit what I am doing.

When we got home we got our bikes some new brakes and Lester gave me a 2 second "here's how you ride a ten speed." It seemed so stupid because as a young girl I use to race BMX. I just never learned how to ride a bike with speeds. Stop, go real fast, jump the tabletops, go real fast, stop, pick up trophy. BMX was easy. I have NO idea how to find the right speed for what I am doing. For the record, I drive a clutch, so yes...I see how stupid I sound right now.
The shoes don't like bikes though. Well, let's be a little more clear. I don't like the shoes for biking.
I also don't like them sitting in the hockey rink, if i'm not feetsies get cold.

3 miles added = 31.5 miles

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

We must take this message from Miss Newmar with us across the land as our sovereign token.

It's been a month in my Vibram Trek 5 finger toe shoes and like everything else in the last year I have learned it has been through trial and error.

My boyfriend has taken up hiking and is slowly working in trail running in with me. This is working out great because I have been wearing my Treks out knowing I can't over do it. Not that I haven't done that every time I leave the house.
So many times I want to say, "Hey babe, you might not want to wear that..." but I know that he needs to learn this along the way just like I did. There were a few things that I picked up along the way that I had to share with him.
When getting a Camelbak- get one that has padding and airflow on the back.
When getting good trail running shoes get them from a place you can return them no matter what you have done to them.
Do NOT eat Salami before or during a run.
When wearing Vibrams ---- TAKE IT SLOW! That means if you can run 5 miles non stop, WALK a half mile for the first few weeks. I am not fucking with you on this, SLOW...very slow.
I'm like a crash test dummy, you could learn a lot from me.

So what have I picked up along the first month of this journey?
Leg warmers. Yes, leg warmers. It took all that is in me to not get the big ass Flashdance ones too.
Toe socks for running. Injinji socks from REI. The ones in the pictures are your standard toe socks, not to be running in...but I probably will because HOW CUTE ARE THEY!??

That is it so far. Who knows what the end of February will bring.