I panicked last week when I thought I only had 2 weeks to get ready for my triathlon. I really have just over a month, but it has been very challenging to get back into running shape. The swimming and biking are feeling comfortable. Running, however, has felt lumbering since my broken toe in June. (fluke accident unrelated to running) I realized that I had started thinking about it as hard and plodding, letting my form sink into landing with every step. I needed inspiration for my mini triathlon training (MTT).
Along came my husband with his Bahama Bodies Program (BBP). That is, we are going on a cruise for his 50th birthday and he wanted to get in better shape. Working out 3-4 times a week needed to be ramped up to 5-6 times a week AND twice a day. Some men want their house clean or their meals on time. My man wants me to be competitively in shape. He suggests this in the sweetest undemanding way. I told him I’d see how I held up and try to have a cheerful attitude. He has a desk job and benefits from a lot of activity in his off time. I am on my feet most of the day doing household chores, yard work, errands.
In reality, that first week we managed to exercise 5 days, only going two times one day. Then I required a day of rest before our anniversary bike ride. The next week he had to be gone for business, so he conceded I only needed to exercise once a day. He would be on the other side of the world and very limited in his time. Overall, though, we have been spending more time together and talking about everything, including training regimes. He is a runner, often preparing for longer races like half-marathons, so just being around him for the BBP/MTT has been helpful. Also, the “events” are only about 3 weeks apart. It’s kind of like a double coupon.
I have run 3 times this week, working out my transition from biking to running, learning how to run more lightly, getting my feet used to the water shoes that are being used to mimic barefoot running. Possibly you are wondering why I don’t wear my Vibrams? Because the rules of the beginners indoor triathlon are that I put on tied tennis shoes after the swim. It seemed prudent to choose a shoe to change into for running that was easy to put on. Shoes are also required on the indoor track. We had already discovered these particular water shoes when in Hawaii in February. They were an affordable $12 or so. Similar ones have also been spotted at Walmart in town for less that Hawaii prices, but are usually only available seasonally. Swimoutlet.com also has some that look right, although I have never ordered them.
There are a couple of key features that make these shoes suitable for barefoot running. One is that they have thin, flexible soles. There is no raised heel to interfere with ergonomic motion. Another is that they fit quite loosely on the feet, but without slipping around. They give the toes room to spread and respond to impact properly. (I wouldn’t recommend them for activities that involve a lot of sideways motion.) They can be worn with or without socks.
Now I am pleased to say that I am back up to 2 miles. I stopped timing myself for now and just concentrated on form and fun. Today I biked 9 miles on the stationary bike, then ran. The exhilaration has returned.