Monday, January 9, 2012

40 Miles Barefoot?

Ok, so not really barefoot but close enough!  I am trying out a new pair of minimus shoes for the AWBC Walk.  This May I will be walking my 5th Avon Walk for Breast Cancer here in Boston.  This 2 day/39.3 mile walk that weaves in and out of Boston is one of my favorite weekends of the year!

Each year I start in January training for the walk.  This year, the walking gods have blessed me with a January in the 40-50 degrees!  A big contrast from last year and the 60+ inches of snow we had!  It makes heading out for a 5-9mile walk much easier than when the sidewalks are covered in snow and ice!!!

This was me last January!  
My sister and I THIS January!  50* at Gillete Stadium. What a difference a year makes!!!

In the past I have usually worn a running shoe from Saucony or Reebok.  Plenty of cushion, support and I have no complaints.  This year I might be jumping on the barefoot running/walking trend for the walk!  Right before Xmas I ordered a pair of NB Minimus Vibrams (closed toe) to try out.  I love the idea of getting really good leg work out by engaging your leg muscles as you walk.

So far I LOVE these shoes!  They are sleek, light weight and actually look pretty decent with a pair of jeans when running errands on a Saturday.  I started out just wearing them on errands and a couple short walks (1-3 miles).

Last weekend though I was sucked in by the unusual warm temperatures here in Boston (55* last Monday!!) and walked much further than I should have!  I planned on a light 4 mile walk to Castle Island and back but it was soooo nice that I just kept walking.  I ended up walking a total of 9.2 miles from Savin Hill out to Castle Island and a loop around Southie back to Dot.

I felt great after the walk and stretched for a good 20 minutes after.  I was tight but never felt sore... that all changed when I woke up the next morning though.  My calves were on fire and  my hips felt like a broken and discarded barbie doll!  I could not believe what a workout these little shoes gave my legs!

I set out again on Sunday this weekend for another 9 mile walk.  I want to do this mileage a few more times and add in some hills before upping the mileage.  That and I am not sure my calves could take double digits in these shoes just yet.
This is really a photo from Boston on January 8, 2012!  I swear!!!

So this leads me to the big question and the point of this post.  Can and will I be able to walk 40 miles in these shoes come May?  I am hoping that if I can keep training in them that my legs will be strong enough to make the 8 hours + of walking on day 1 and 4+ hours on day 2....

I know that I am going to have to buy a 2nd pair for the walk.  I wear a size 10 (don't judge!  I am 5'9"!) and this pair fits me perfectly, but I know from years passed that my feet swell throughout the walk.  Getting a 2nd pair, a size up should help with that and reduce the chance of blisters.

Has anyone else worn Vibrams or another brand of minimus shoe in long distance runs or walks?  Love them or hate them?

Up next is an update on where I am with P90X and my rekindled love with Hot Yoga!