Nov
28
2011

  1 Mile of Intervals

After reading an article about barefoot running earlier this month, I started doing the "100-ups" exercise around the house. You just pick up your foot and put it down in the same place 100 times. Except I usually didn't have the patience to go to 100, so I'd just do 20-ups or 50-ups or whatever.

Sometime last week, M was fussing on the way home from our walk. So I thought maybe I'd go ahead and give this barefoot running technique a try, even though I was still wearing W in the backpack.

I was shocked at how much easier it was to run on my toes than the "traditional" way with full heel-first strides. I put "traditional" in quotes because really its theorized that until running shoes were invented it was most natural for everyone to run on their toes, so it's the heel-landing stride that is the newfangled development. Kind of like people who assume fiat money has been around for forever, but really it's only an experiment 30-odd years old. I suspect we'll be back to a gold standard at some point. There are thousands of years backing that.

But back to the running. I've jogged (on my toes-- let's just state outright that this is how I run, and I like it, and if I ever discuss jogging or running going forward in this blog than this is how I'm doing it) a few times in isolated bursts since I first tried it (all while carrying W). Today I thought I'd see if I could handle an extended distance of intervals.

I am happy to report that yes, yes I can. I walked out (pushing M in the stroller the whole way as usual) to the 3-mile turnaround, so I had basically a 1.5 mile warm-up. Then on the way home, I jogged or ran (I usually started slowly then picked up speed, I did have the stroller after all) for 100 steps. Then I walked for 100 steps. Then I ran for 100 steps. I repeated this for 1 mile, then once I turned onto my street I walked home the last 1/2 mile as a cool-down.

Yes, my knees noticed the difference. But I haven't noticed any pain, so I'll count that as a positive thing. And yes, I did get out of breath, but not so bad. I was usually done breathing hard after the first 5 walking steps. W likes it when I run-- I presume he's not being bounced around so much it will give him head damage. I wouldn't do it while carrying Max, but I figure W is 2.5 and can take it. He squeals with delight and says, "faster mama, run faster!" so I figure if it hurt him he'd be asking me to stop. I try to run smoothly, but it is what it is-- an overweight middle-aged woman running on her toes while wearing a backpack full of toddler and pushing an infant in a stroller ahead of her.

I'm still sticking with the alternate-days long walks, and just walking .5 to 1.0 miles (with W, not carrying him) on the other days. So now on my long-walk days, I'll add in some jogging on the way home.

I am somewhat curious to repeat my solo jogging experiment using the new toes-running technique (when last tried to jog I failed miserably and hated it). Maybe I'll like jogging solo with the barefoot-running style. I don't run barefoot over gravel, I still wear shoes, but there's no reason really not to use the technique even while wearing shoes. Or maybe there is, I forgot what the article had to say about that, but so far it's felt fine to me.

But it would be a real bummer if for whatever reason I still couldn't jog much by myself, so I'm just going to stick with adding jogging to my child-walks. T has seen me run while wearing W in a backpack, and reports that I look really ridiculous. So be it. It's not like that many people see me. Although one of my neighbors was out for a walk at the same time as me, and she witnessed it since I was running toward her. But she was more interested in my new hair color and cut than how I looked while running laden.

I guess the color is not SO subtle if my neighbor noticed, but T still hasn't said anything. I called L'Oreal to find out how to get rid of the reddish cast, and the woman I spoke to said if I go with the same color it would probably just leave me red again, so I should go with a half shade darker and try to cover it up. She said there is no product to take the red out, the only option is to cover it up. She said it would be best if I could wait the 4 weeks between colorings to do this. It's already been about 2 weeks, so I could probably go ahead and wait. It's not a terrible color, just not exactly what I had in mind.