Vibrams

May 29, 2010

Another article on Vibrams, in the New York Times Magazine.

Running since I’ve gotten home has been challenging.  First I thought it was the cold.  I started going to Exhale again, and was feeling pretty strong.  Then running in my Vibrams all over Philadelphia and around Larchmont was hurting my feet.  I went to the Philadelphia Runner shop and talked to a woman there about intermediary shoes between the flat flat Vibrams and my clunky Asics.  I walked out with a new pair of snazzy, lightweight runners. I thought they were great the first time I used them, trotting through Center City and along the path beside the Schuylkill River.  After my last couple of runs, I’m worried that the combination of core fusion/yoga/pilates and barefoot running isn’t quite agreeing with my body. I used to love running (and I still do!), but now it’s not coming that easily to me.  Five miles feels difficult, not on my lungs, but my legs feel dead every time.  Sadly, I may have to return to the old clunkers, we’ll see.

Yesterday was a perfect day for a baseball game.  The sun was shining and it was opening day at Citizens Bank Park.  The field was green, everyone was excited.  Bob, Scott and I made our way into the stadium and we had a lovely afternoon watching the Phillies win, eating crab fries and cheering.

This morning I went to Philly Power Yoga, which was great, and after tearing my favorite jeans last night, went on a quest to find another pair.  I think that doing things in Philadelphia is generally easier than in New York.  I was looking for a pair of lightweight minimal sneakers to switch out with my Vibrams and went to the Philadelphia Running Store, where the people who worked there were extremely knowledgeable.  I needed black shoes to wear to the six weddings we have between now and next March and it was easy to find those as well.  After a hot, relaxing yoga class, I felt ready to bend myself into any pair of jeans that Barneys Co-Op could throw my way.  Not so simple.  It was lucky for me that Anthropologie next door had a great selection.

Now it’s back to New York to see all of our cousins for dinner!

Barefoot Running

February 24, 2010

For those of you who have been following the blog for a while, I have pretty much totally converted to barefoot running.  For the sake of bringing a small bag on this three week jaunt, Vibrams were much easier to pack than sneakers.  I used them in Pipa, but mostly I’ve just been running on the beach, barefoot.  It works well in a lot of ways–I can’t get lost, it’s generally really safe, and I can put on a podcast and know how long I’m going for.  I’m a huge fan.

Vibram Redux

November 12, 2009

For those of you who had been following my barefoot running and Vibram Five Finger shoe experimentation and subsequent calf injury, I put them on again yesterday.  Determined to build up slowly I ran about two and a half miles, and I’m happy to report that I am not hobbled this time, the way I was before.

Bombeiros and Vibrams

September 22, 2009

We’ve started taking private Portuguese lessons with a woman named Angelica.  Perhaps it’s because I’m super excited to see Julie & Julia whenever it happens to get here, but I think she looks a bit like Julia Child, and has a big, loud, motherly personality.  She’s wonderful.  And today she cleared up the bombeiro question.  Apparently bombeiro is sort of a generic word, and bombeiro hidrolico is plumber, there’s also one who fixes issues with stoves and ovens, etc.  Phew.

Additionally, I know no one really cares about this like I do, but on Marshall’s suggestion, I bought a pair of Vibram Five Finger shoes and I’ve been running in them for the last few days.  They’re supposed to simulate running barefoot, and miraculously, they sort of do.  They look totally ridiculous, but I’m loving them so far.

It was wonderful to be home for a few days and to see my family, but it’s also really nice to be back in Rio.

Born to Run

July 14, 2009

The ball of my foot hit the sand and propelled me forward.  The waves licked up on the mostly empty beach, taking ownership before it became crowded with leggy girls in tiny bikinis, men selling everything from Globo biscoitos,  to sunblock, and rings of teenage boys juggling soccer balls.  I took in the solitude, too, watching as my running form got more efficient.  I skipped through shallow tidal puddles, and let my breath fall in rhythm with the inhale and exhalations of the sea.

I hadn’t really run barefoot before last week, not since I was a little kid playing in our backyard, chasing whiffle balls through the grass, and I never had for any distance.  I just finished reading Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run, where he tracks his own transformation from often-injured rec runner to ultramarathoner, explaining about Copper Canyon’s Tarahumara Indians.  I was totally captivated by the idea of running barefoot, what it could do to my form, my speed, my endurance.

On Friday morning (and again Saturday and yesterday) I strolled the three blocks to the beach in my Havianas, kicked them off when I got to the sand.  I began running and I hate to sound cliche, or lame, or like I’m bragging, because I am 1000% aware of how amazingly, incredibly lucky I am, but I went for one of the best runs of my life, along the water’s edge, the length of Ipanema, with the sun on my face and the wind to my back, barefoot and fancy free.