I went out at lunch for a quick run in the VFF (Vibram 5 Fingers). I decided to increase pace a little to see how they felt. I ran the first mile at a 7:40 pace mostly in the grass. I then took a few minutes to stretch and walk for a bit to check things over and see if I was feeling any pain. I ran about another mile on the asphalt at a slightly quicker pace. For me the VFFs still feel a little better to run in the grass as compared to the road. I tend to make slapping noises as I run on the street. At the two mile mark I was near the Mauldin Middle School (where my wonderful daughter attends). I decided to divert down to the track and do a quick lap. I opened it up (for me) and did a lap around the oval about as fast as I could sustain for a 1/4 mile. The result was a 1 m 25 s time. That is about a 5 minute 40 second mile if I could hold that pace for an entire mile. The VFFs felt great. However, I was somewhat bothered by the fact that I can barely hold a 5:40 min/mile pace for 1/4 a mile and the athletes in the Olympics are running a 4:45 pace for 26 miles! The more I think about it, it almost seems inhuman what those marathon runners can do. I am hoping to break the 7 minute/mile barrier for the 5K and these people are running 26 miles at some outrageous pace.
I really want to improve my pace. The problem has been the more I run the more I hurt. That is why I decided to try the VFFs. About twice a year I get this strange calf tear. It happens randomly and even at times when I am just putting along. One minute I feel perfectly fine and the next minute I can barely walk. I have been really stretching my calves and also exercising them. One thing I learned is to both exercise and stretch my calves in the straight leg position and the bent leg position. The most recent calf tear I had was last July. Recovery time for me after a calf tear is about 4-6 weeks. Hopefully those are now in the past.
Back to my run. I rested for a minute or so after my subsonic 1/4 mile run. I then ran back to the office. Fortunately the showers are still open for business. I believe I mentioned this in another post about the showers being closed to employees at my office. Due to the recession we have lost a lot of people. To reduce cost we are shifting all employees to one side of the building to save money on the lease. Unfortunately the side of the building with the showers will not be leased by my employer and will be closed. I have decided not to mention using the showers to anyone and just sneak over to them and shower after my runs. Maybe I can keep using them.
After race summary: I felt great in the VFFs. I believe I could easily run a 5 K in them. I am going to sign up for the Milliken 5K cross country run and give them a shot. I have noticed some slight pain in my right foot but nothing serious. My patella tendons are still feeling great. So far no other pains or problems.
Have a great day.