three things thursday

1. So, this finally happened.  
When someone shows up on your doorstep with a weird vegetable you have never seen before, you cook it!
Yes, we were both on our second beer.  No, I don't actually comb my hair that often but thanks for asking.
I don't really have a recipe to share but there was a lot of garlic and basil and fresh parmesan that's all you really need to know.  It didn't cook long enough, so it was more "squash"-y than "spaghetti"-y, but I think I like it and shall try it again and soon!

2.  I am trying really hard to avoid complaining about the weather.  But any suggestions for a place to live where the average high in the summer is 81º and there is very little humidity?  And I'm not talking about at 4am.

3. I do want to thank everyone that emailed/commented/texted me after my "I'm broken yet again" post on Tuesday.  MANY of you suggested that I try a minimalist shoe.  I'm not sure if I've talked about this before (but who cares if I repeat myself, not me) but I have been really against the minimalist/barefoot thing.  In general because I feel like I have enough problems in the shoes that I wear (Asics 2150) without adding in a whole host of new problems.  The poet has transitioned over to running in Vibrams & Kinvaras for the most part, and I've been an evil wench about making him transition super slowly while making sure that he knows I think it is a terrible idea.  

However (huge sigh), after doing a LOT of reading, I think there may be a place in my training for this. I'm going to talk to a doctor at both appointments I have lined up (one today, gait analysis in a week or so) and see what their recommendations are after evaluating me (other than ridiculous hot mess).  I do not intend to transition over to running in minimalist shoes entirely but I think that adding it as a piece of my training may help some of the gait issues that I have.  Do any of you guys do this as part of your training but not run in minimalist shoes all the time?  I'm curious to hear how it fits.

I've also realized/had pointed out to me that it seems like my gait is really going to hell when I am doing fast running (sprinting into the finish, for example), which would 100% make sense with the progression of this issue.  Try not to wince:
Yeah.  So that happened.

Happy Thursday, everyone!


  1. I dunno. I'm not a big fan of minimalism -- I think shoes are like eyeglasses -- different people have different needs.

    I guess I'm technically a minimalist, in that the Kinvara is what I consider to be my "heavy trainer". But that's just me and my footstrike, and it's not something I've striven for.

  2. I do a good deal of my running in relatively minimal shoes, but I agree folks should transition slowly. I wear the New Balance Minimus for my short to mid length runs, the New Balance 100/101 for my mid to longish runs, and a sturdier (not minimal) Inov8 285 for my really long runs.

  3. Haha - Kinvara = minimalist shoe :)

    I go back and forth on this. I think some element of barefoot/minimalist training (like in drills) is good and important, if for no other reason than it strengthens muscles that don't usually get used. I agree with Cris though that each person has different needs in terms of what kind of shoe works. I can't wait to hear more about what your appointments say and what you try!

    As for the heat, I got nothing.

  4. Did you try any barefoot drills on your run today? I can't wait to hear what the dr's say!

  5. Excuse me, when I said I was going to transition to minimalist shoes, you told me I crossed over to the dark side. So welcome to the dark side!!

    I have Vibrams and a pair of New Balance minimalists that I haven't tried yet. I'm very slowly working with the Vibrams and run in them about 2 days a week and in my regular shoes 3 days a week. So far, all is well and the transition is going great =) I'm only up to 2 miles on the Vibrams but once I get to 5, I'm going to kick in the New Balances which are more minimalist than barefoot!

  6. I think a gait analysis is a great idea. I learned a ton from going through that process, and while minimalist shoes weren't the answer for me, I did get some feedback on how to strengthen my legs so that my stride would naturally fix itself. The minimalist thing still intrigues me. Maybe someday. Sigh.

    Hooray for the long-awaited spaghetti squash taste test!

  7. I naturally walk/run on my toes and I'm against the barefoot movement. BUT, I def am pleased with the movement, only because shoes like the kinvara are finally getting more forefoot cushioning. I've gotten shinsplints & stress fractures from shoes that did not offer enough FF cushioning and the excessive pounding on my toes did those shins in. So, I would be way too afraid to go barefoot.

    I did finally give in to my chiropractor a couple of years ago and tried running in orthotics to force my foot to heel strike and after 8 months in them, I was still in tremendous pain on my runs and slower than molasses, but I still like them to wear during the day when I'm not running.

    Unfortunately, even after 20+ years of running, we still question what works and doesn't work...

  8. Highs in the summer at 81 and little humidity?

    Santa Fe, New Mexico! Spent the summer there, and I wore pants for most of the summer, it was always 80-ish, with zero humidity.

    ...if you don't mind training a mile above sea level.

  9. Good luck with your appointments. I hope you are on the path to discovering what will work best for you! I have been interested in trying out minimalist shoes but not sure if it would be best for me or not either.

  10. Eh I am an anti minimalist shoe person, but let me know how it goes:). good luck.

  11. i never thought i would hear the day where you would try minimalist running but I like that you're being totally open minded about how to get over this injury. talking to both drs about it should give you some good perspective about whether it's the right move for you.

    and garlic, basil and parm? the key to my mother effing heart.

  12. Barefoot running could definitely be an option, but I'm sure it's different for everyone. Looks like you guys did a great job with the spontaneous vegetable.

    Cris- if you consider the Kinvara to be a heavy trainer, I must be wearing bricks on my feet. LOL.

  13. Matt G. beat me to the punch. Move to New Mexico! ;)

  14. California, specifically the bay area. Just buy a one way ticket in July, then both you and hubs can come and just stay here :)

  15. I'm gonna have to go back and look at some of my race photos. Can you specify what is wrong with your gait in the above photo. Heel striking?

  16. Hooray for the spaghetti squash! Even if it was a bit al dente, the flavor was awesome.

    We used:
    LOTS of garlic (7 or 8 cloves)
    about 1/4 of a red onion
    sauteed both on VERY LOW HEAT in Olive Oil for about 5 minutes

    pasta sauce/canned tomatoes + crushed red pepper
    salt + pepper

    At the very end we added:
    fresh basil, chiffonaded + fresh grated parmesan

    For Next time:
    bake squash even longer than 1 hour at 375 - it should be very soft all over when poked with a fork

  17. I missed the Tuesday post so I went back and read it. It seems like lots of injuries are on the blogosphere right now. Sorry you are suffering from one too! I hope your docs can help.

  18. I hope you get some answers at your drs appointments. And I have that same impressive heel strike in most of my race photos too. Ugh.

  19. I spy a Spaghetti Squash!! WHOOP!! 'Bout damn time, gal. You might be the only person still eating these through summer.... ;)

    2. Denver. DUH.

  20. yeah, spaghetti squash is super weird, like some sort of alien pod or something. i like it, but i have to figure out a better recipe.

    ive just been experimenting with gait, stride, shoes, stretching, etc. nothing seems to work over the other. im still looking for answers too. grrrr!

  21. I wore the Asics 2100 series line for a while, but switched at a race expo after talking with a Brooks guy for like 30 minutes who really took his time with me. He put me in the Ravenna -- still a stability shoe, but less of a shoe. I stayed injury free for a while and still run in them. I daringly just bought a neutral shoe this week to put into my rotation. I've done a lot of reading on shoes, or lack of shoes myself, and the real answer seems to lie in form and fixing form. You might be interested in this post and the comments in it:

  22. oh hai, your finishing spring looks like mine **cringes**

    I got some kinvaras for birth-mas in hopes that they would help promote less of a heel strike for me. I baby-step broke them in with only a few miles a week, and now I really love them. However, if you look at my race photos, you'll see that I still heel strike WITH them, so I still suck.

    I'm attempting the whole "focus on form" mantra during my easy paced/junk miles lately. Hopefully it helps.

  23. Yeah, I'm not really sold on the minimalist shoe movement, either, but I'm not really against it, either. I know the whole belief behind it is that our bodies are meant to run 'free' or whatever, but I just really feel deep down in my heart that my body is so not structured properly that it needs all the help (ie, through shoes) that it can get, haha. But I am totally interested to hear how it goes!

    I made spaghetti squash for the first time over the winter. I can't remember what recipe I used or where it came from (and htat was before my blog days), but I thought it was pretty good!

  24. One thing that keeps me from heel-striking, remember that running is really Controlled Falling. So you're leading with your head/torso, not propelling yourself forward with your legs. The legs simply follow. Like when you trip and you are running like mad to keep from faceplanting. Only, more graceful.
    Clearly, I should be a running coach based on that stellar explanation.

  25. I walk in minimalist shoes sometimes, and also spend a hell of a lot of time barefoot. So in theory, my feet are strong, everything's working as it should - but I don't run in them.
    When I'm running, lately I've been striking more with my midfoot than my heel - not sure why, but it's working for me. I feel less tired when I do that, like my leg is working more efficiently - only thing is, I have to stop myself from going too fast then.

  26. That last picture tells the tale. Too much heel! That will cause the entire leg to take too much ground reaction force! Hopefully you find running friendly health professionals. DO NOT LET THEM TELL YOU TO STOP! Good luck!


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