Yesterday's caramel mocha came with a series of shopping excursions, so I think I needed it. We had decided that it was a good plan to get out in the morning before the "blizzard" hit northeast Ohio. We ended up being out in it for the vast majority of the snowfall. The storm never developed into the end-all of storms, and I wasn't shocked. We did get some good snow, but it wasn't something that was going to keep me from getting things done. I have to say, I was disappointed because I love snows, and I love storms, so I was hoping for something epic.
When we got out, part of me was expecting the sore scenario, as I dutifully recorded on Christmas Eve Eve. Instead, most people chose to remain home to wait out the storm. This left us free to get things done without throngs of desperate and sad shoppers getting in the way. I hate shopping, and I hate crowds, so I was very pleased.
While we were out, I made my way to a local running store and purchased my first pair of Vibram Fivefingers. I have been talking about this idea for a long time, and I had received some gift cards to the store. I wanted to talk about the concept to the store owner first (same guy I purchased my Brooks Purecadance from). He seemed very positive about the barefoot movement, so I was excited to try some things on. I told him I wanted to see a variety of barefoot style shoes so that I could see which felt right (this is why running stores are the best). I tried on a pair of Fivefingers first, and my initial reaction was very positive. I loved how snug they fit on my foot, and it was like my feet came alive right away. The sensation was pretty hard to explain, but I really liked it. I got on the treadmill for a bit (even with my knee), and I loved how easily my legs and feet kept in a good, natural stride.
Next I tried on a pair of New Balance Minimus shoes, and these were by far my least favorite. There was just something about the feel of them that was uncomfortable. I didn't even try them on the treadmill because I knew they wouldn't work with my feet. Then I tried some Newtons and Merrells, which were better, but I still liked the feel of the true barefoot shoe better. In the end, I chose a pair of Vibrams with a bit more protection on the feet, and a more substantial back. I felt like they would hold up a bit better overall. Plus, the owner said Fivefingers tend to hold up better than traditional running shoes because they don't have so many parts and pieces.
When I got home I decided to just wear my new shoes around the house and see how they felt. My early reaction continues to be nothing but positive. The glove-like feel of the shoes were great over time, and I love how warm they felt, despite being so light. Now, I don't think I would wear these out in the snow, but they are machine-washable, so some mud, rain or mild-moisture aren't going to hurt them. Additionally, basic cold shouldn't be a major factor in the same way compression pants keep our legs warm. I will be sure to take these for a spin once my rest/healing period is over! I think I will wait for dry weather at least, at least to start out with. Expect a while series of reviews as I journey down the barefoot movement's road. I am excited to see how they hold up, how my form improves, and if I will be able to run a marathon in them.
Beyond my new shoes, I also received this beauty of a gift. I have wanted a Camelbak ever since I started doing long runs because I hated carrying a water bottle, and the idea of a belt sounded uncomfortable. After trying it on, and realizing how much cargo space I would have, I am already sold. Not only can I have easily accessible water, but I can carry my keys, cell phone, a credit card, gels/gu/food and an extra bottle or two of Gatorade. Once again, this will be something I report back on in the future, but I am very happy so far.
I rounded out my running Christmas with some compression sleeves for my calves, and I still need to get some toe socks. I am also looking to get some new running gloves and a running hat from Target. My collection of gear is finally getting to the point where I have everything I need. I still need to invest in a Garmin of some sort, but that may have to wait a little while. I also need to seriously start saving for a bike. I am just excited to come off my injury strong and hit the ground running.
How was your holiday?
Did you get any gear that you are very excited about?
Did you go out and do any hectic shopping?
Did you experience any of nature's wrath?
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