The Blonde Runs

Colorado lovin'


…reviving the Vibrams

They’ve been sitting around. Or at least tucked away securely in their box, keeping their beautiful white hue. A hue that has stayed around for nearly a year and a half, thanks to being hidden in that box, not seeing much light, or mud. I’ve brought them out to play a time or two; albeit, not for very long. And they’ve remained in their box, in the closet, next to a gazillion other shoes, mostly forgotten.

But then I started training for that marathon. And then I started getting tight in my left IT, hip, glute. Then I read Born to Run.

All that left side pain didn’t seem to effect the marathon. I think the marathon effected the pain. Afterwards, I cut back on mileage to heal up before starting Boston training. I ran what I wanted, when I wanted, and however slow I wanted. It didn’t add up to many miles. As I inched toward the end of my “off” season, I was realizing the pain was not subsiding. So I started to stretch more. And foam roll. And even iced.

Then, I remembered Born to Run.

It’s chock full of running tidbits that will make you rethink everything you thought you already knew about running (this from a runner of 19 years!). But as I battled the tightness on my left side, I began to recall particular things. Things about running in your shoes until they literally fall apart, things about minimalist footwear, things about barefoot running. And all the benefits! Running as nature intended us to run, not as nurture has coddled and cushioned us via brand names and marketing.

Now, don’t me wrong! I love to be coddled and cushioned by brand names and marketing! A lot! But just for a moment, I wondered…

If minimalist and barefoot running was so beneficial to athletes, namely in the way of preventing injury, why not attempt to run more in my Vibrams? I already have them. No purchase necessary. Can’t hurt. Well, maybe initially until my feet and calves get used to it.

I was always the skeptically one when it came to barefoot running and minimalist footwear. Oh sure, I had read all the articles I could find on the interwebs, in magazines, in books, etc., but I wasn’t sure what it meant to me.

Until I read Born to Run. Until I started feeling…injured?

I decided to unbox them a few days ago. Give them a little love on an easy 4 miler with my lululemon run club. It felt pretty good. Not a “the-pain-totally-went-away-and-these-Vibrams-are-the-CURE-ALL-for-running-injuries-and-world-peace” type of good, but a “delayed pain” sort of good. While my leg would typically start hurting right away when starting a run, this time the pain didn’t start until about 2 miles in. Don’t jump to conclusions, I told myself. Could be a coincidence.

The next day I ran 5 in those coddled, cushioned, brand name shoes, followed by an hour of yoga (yeah, I’m on that train). And today, I ran another easy 3.5 miles in my Vibrams. Not much pain at all. Hmmmm…

While each day this week I’ve been consistent about foam rolling and stretching, part of me really feels like the Vibrams are helping. Perhaps it’s because I run differently in them. You can’t help but run differently in them!

My goal now is to continue running my easy miles in them. Build up my calf muscles and my feet. Taking the leap into barefoot running?! NOT HARDLY. I know I don’t have the prettiest feet, thanks to several years of distance running, and the accompanying toenail loss, but I’m slightly too vain to get on board with that one! Have you seen their feet?! But I do want to see if I can avoid an injury by using minimalists. For research purposes, of course.



…in the NEW! Lululemon Run: Your Heart Out Pullover

I have been running weekly with the local Boulder Lululemon run club on Tuesday nights. I love the group! And I love the girls over at the store! They’ve been sweet enough to let me promo the brand new pullover that hit the store just recently. Introducing the NEW…

Run: Your Heart Out Pullover

This is seriously one of the best cold weather tops I’ve worn for running. I’m not even kidding. The fabric alone feels like butter. It’s made from a lightweight, wicking nylon/lycra blend called “luon.” I stayed perfectly warm when the winds were blowing that night, but also well ventilated, thanks to the anti-stink, circle mesh panels on the sides. I didn’t overheat, as I tend to do in long sleeve running tops.

I’m a sucker for tops with thumbholes…

And to top it off, the Run: Your Heart Out Pullover also has cuffins so I can cover my little fingers when it gets really cold!

I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the gathering at the chest and the slight ruffle. I’m not too much of a girlie-girl, except when I paint my nails. Or cry. Or wear a great pair of heels. But, I actually liked the feature! It added just enough femininity, without going over the top. Not to mention the fact that all that gathering hid the slight THO I had in the 30 degree weather…any girl could get on board with that!

Another fantastic feature is the back pocket. Perfect for a key and/or credit card. Or, for a longer run, perhaps a few Shot Blocks or Gels.

I really loved that the top stayed put. It’s a little longer than what I typically wear in my cold-weather running tops, and I was afraid it would ride, causing me to have to readjust constantly. I never had to tug at the bottom! It hugged my hips just right.

I had zero chaffing and the long zipper made on/off easy.

While, the price tag of $108 is a little steep for what I might normally pay for a running top, Lululemon’s commitment to quality will guarantee this top to last you for many years!

I can’t wait to run again this weekend in my new Lululemon Run: Your Heart Out Pullover!