Hi hi! I’ve been so excited to share my half marathon recap and tell you all about running in my Vibram FiveFingers. I’ll get right to it!
First off, I couldn’t wait to not only run my first half marathon.
I woke up around at 3:15 AM on Sunday morning to make our way to the Epcot parking lot, then walk 25 minutes to the starting line. Along the way I accidentally drove through a red light (we slept 3 hours – whoops), used a disgusting port-a-potty and met up wonderful friends in our corral.
Waiting in our corrals for the race to start went by much faster than I thought it would. Once the fireworks went off, we were quickly on our way! Ashley and I started by running the first 10 minutes or so. After that, we committed to maintaining the Galloway method by running for 3 minutes and then walking for 1 minute so I wouldn’t burn out at the end. I’m so thankful to Lindsey for sharing that this method worked for her in her first half marathon. I truly believe it made the race for us.
The 3 minutes would fly by, followed by my Garmin beeping to let us know it was time to walk for 1 minute. I had so much energy the entire time and a huge smile on my face the whole way.
Around mile 5 we spotted all of our lululemon friends! I love them so much for getting up so stinking early to come cheer us on. We saw them again between miles 6 and 7.
I wore a lululemon Cool Racerback, Flow Y bra, Run: Tracker shorts, and Run: Flight Bonnet, Zensah sleeves, a SpiBelt and Vibram FiveFingers. Everything performed so so well. Absolutely no chafing, discomfort or blisters.
I never got tired and I never felt like I wanted to stop moving. We negative split the race, running the second half faster than the first. I wanted to finish under 3 hours and couldn’t believe I had so much energy at the end to run straight through the last 1.5 miles and achieve this. I probably could have kept going well past the finish line.
We crossed the finish line in 2:58.36 and I was definitely caught off guard by how quickly the race ended, how great I felt, and then how quickly my muscles started shaking once I stopped running.
We meandered our way back to my car and caught up with Abby before heading to find some brunch.
Overall, I think I’m still in disbelief that I loved running this distance so much. This race was so much fun and completing it has me inspired and motivated to run more races and even longer distances.
Running in Vibrams
I’ve moved on from my Sprint model to the Bikila because of the extra tread at the bottoms of the Bikila, but I haven’t worn a normal running shoe in over 7 months.
I love these shoes. They make walking fun and they make running even more fun. I feel connected to the ground with every step I take. They make me feel child-like even. Controlling my pro-nation is easier in these and the knee aches I used to get after a run have completely gone away. I’ve developed the necessary muscles that make my legs move forward and backward the way they should.
The road to implementing these as my one and only shoe for running longer distances took place over a long period of time. I started by taking short walks in them. Then I wore them to work for 2 hours at a time. Then 4 hours. Then 6. Then a full shift. Then I’d run for 30 seconds during a long walk. Then 1 minute. Then 3 minutes. Then 5. Then a half mile, 1 mile, 1.1, 1.2. 1.3, etc… You get the point.
I took it very very very slow. I never wanted to depend on a supported running shoe again and I knew that I had to take it slow in order to accomplish this. Still, I had my doubts on how far they could take me.
The icing on the cake to this race was doing what I:
Wasn’t sure I could do without injury, and, was told I couldn’t or shouldn’t do. Others were concerned I would injure myself by running such a long distance with no support in my shoes. I knew I could do the distance in my Vibrams, but I wasn’t convinced I could do it without getting injured because my training didn’t go as planned.
My training wasn’t perfect. Working full time and finishing my last semester of full time graduate school left me little time to train. The longest distance I completed was 7 miles and before this race I hadn’t run in 3 weeks. I was depending on the fact that I’d been wearing these shoes for over 7 months, and considered every hour I walked in them at work as part of my training. I think the Galloway method really helped me not burnout too.
While I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this little training before a half marathon, I do think it is a testament to how natural running “barefoot” is once your body adjusts to the switch from supported running shoes. Sure, I was stiff following the race and a bit sore the next day, but I was still able to do part of a yoga class the day after, and my soreness subsided entirely after 3 days. I’ve had yoga classes make me sore for longer periods than this.
I highly recommend these shoes if you’re looking to run in a more natural way, build the arches in your feet and the muscles in your entire body (especially calves). These shoes changed my running: how I run and how I feel about running. If you decide to check them out, heed my warning, but don’t let it stop you: take it slow.