I Drank the Kool-Aid

As these shoes are well vented my feet end up even dirtier than my legs.

I drank the Kool-Aid or perhaps in this case chugged it. “I drank the Kool-Aid” is our go to expression anytime someone gets really excited about a new trend. My new trend is “barefoot running”. Okay it is not really running barefoot. Barefoot running is the catch all term used to describe the current running world craze of minimalist footwear. Instead of worrying about how much support running shoes have or if they help you pronate properly, many runners are opting for shoes that look more like ballet slippers than serious running foot wear. I’m not one to take to a trend. I like to let things percolate for a bit (see post about dead coffee maker).

Long story short I like to run yet if I take time away from running to work harvest, manage a B&B or live this crazy gypsy life, I develop horrendous shin splints when I return to running. This past winter while lodged way back in the holler I finally read Born to Run. This anthropology meets physiology meets slight mid-life crisis narrative spoke to me. To runners this is a manifesto. Worlds collide. The concept of ‘how to run’ meets ‘back to nature’ and minimalist footwear is their love child.

Upon our arrival in Portland I scored a cheap pair of Vibraim Five Fingers at an REI returned gear sale. Course I didn’t use them much right off as we were attempting to call Portland, the rainy version of hell, home. But that’s another story. Anyway between Portland and our new home in Bend, I strategically got my toes into their appointed slots and went off on a couple pleasant outings. Soon though there was a coupon to be spent at our local REI in Bend. I went for the Merrell version of barefoot trail runners. These are minimalist but different from the five fingers in that your toes get to cohabit. Happily ever after we have run, we have hiked, we have served up cocktails and unloaded cases of vodka.

I have not known shin pain since moving to Oregon. I’m blown away at how my trail running agility has increased with the Merrells. I’ve always considered myself clumsy and then wisely cautious. But with these lighter, super sensitive shoes I experience the trail with almost a sixth sense of super ajillity. It is surreal. Instead of going airborne and falling flat on my face I now merely have horrific stumbles with summersault potential. Haven’t done a shoulder roll yet as I typically limit the situation to a guttural yell and several yards of stumbling.

P.S. I wrote this post several weeks ago but chose to wait till after I completed the Haulin Aspen Half Marathon to publicly commit to my trendy new scoots. They did great. This was a trail run covering all sorts of terrain. No stumbles. I flew down hills whizzing past more cautious runners. Have some Kool-Aid!

Advertisements

Action Sports Avalanche

For years now in all those where to live conversations, Steve’s constant refrain is, “I want to be able to do stuff right out my door.”

Way back when before New Zealand, before winery work, when we were just hatching out of Kentucky our plan was to find and settle in a place that had climbing, skiing, trail running and biking close by, really close by if possible.

Now we have all that and more within a short drive or no drive at all.

We are enjoying the bounty, climbing one day, biking another, skiing on the first day of summer. With us though, that is not where the story ends. We are completely overwhelmed trying to find time for it all.

Summer Nord

Did I mention we have three-day weekends? We were lucky to land jobs that have us working through the weekend leaving us to play mid-week. We love the idea that we have fewer folks to share the trails and cliffs with but this is Central Oregon everyone is out all the time.

Its going to get a little wide...

Lately we’ve managed to fit in climbing, skiing, running and some form of biking into those three days. We want to sign up for a couple trail races this fall but that would require us to run more than once or twice a week which might mean we would have to not do something else one of those days. Ahhhhhhh TWEAKED!

I’m counting on Mother Nature to bail me out of this one. The temps are rising and the snow is melting. This should take climbing and skiing out of the weekly rotation. Of course that opens up the potential for peak bagging. And what about a SUP (stand-up paddle board)? Those look fun.

Team Elmrock Rocks

Momma Peg, Steve and I suffered through a 5K in this monsoon that appears to have settled over Kentucky. Numerous 5k’s took place around central KY today including the massive Race for the Cure in downtown Lexington. We avoided that scene as Momma peg picked us out a little race in  Bourbon County, The Secretariat Big Red 5k. Apparently there is a Secretariat movie in the works. So everything Secretariat is en vogue. And well anything horsey is always in with my mom.

Amid thunder, lightening and heavy rain we rolled out of Lex for the 8am start in Paris. The lightening eased, a little, the rain did not. But that didn’t stop us and about 50 or so other stuipid super tough folks from ‘hammering it on out’. Thanks to the low, low turn out and our superior running skills we each took first in our respective age groups. By the way I’ve named us Team Elmrock to reflect our shared mailing address.

Team ElmrockGlory Shot!