Inspired by my friend Stacey and her love of seeing people’s workout rooms, I decided to give you the contents of my gym bag–as I do not generally work out at home, and when I do there is not one particular area designated for it (seriously, sometimes I do yoga in the kitchen, sometimes in the living room. just depends.).

Clockwise from Left:  gym bag,  water bottle , pouch of toiletry items, tech pouch (with iPod and headphones on top), Ryka running shoes, VFF Sprints, heartrate monitor watch, chest strap heartrate monitor, extra socks, training log (decorated for inspiration) with pen, and the current issue of Runner’s World.

My Spankin’ new VFFs…

I’ve run exactly ¼ mile in them and I’m sold.

I’ve been thinking about Vibram Five Fingers for about 6 months or so. My friend Sam got hooked on them around the same time I read an article about minimalist footwear in Runner’s World. So I did some more reading and research on my own, and enjoyed Sam’s running commentary (ha!) in his journal comics. What sold me was getting Born to Run for Christmas (Have I mentioned how amazing this book is? I’ve already started to re-read it!). 

I could feel the difference right away, so I’m expecting *some* soreness tomorrow. I’m not really a heel striker. A look at the soles of my shoes shows more wear on the fore/mid sole than the heel. I am barefoot or in flimsy shoes as often as humanly possible–I just haven’t been running that way. And bad joints run (ha!) in my family, something I want to delay as long as humanly possible because I LOVE RUNNING. Still, I know I need to take it slow. Sam cautioned starting with a half mile, others have said just to start with a few minutes. I decided I’m going to do ¼ mile on top of my scheduled training for the next week and progress an extra ¼ mile each week as long as it feels okay. When I get to running a full mile in them I’ll start subbing that mile for some of my training–but for starting out it’s not a big deal to add an extra ¼ to ¾ of a mile to my already short runs, and it’s a bigger pain in the butt to stop mid-run to change shoes.

But already, I’m sold. I can’t wait until I’m only running in my VFFs. And I can totally see myself getting another pair and wearing these around for errands and such because they really do feel like a second skin. And they are going to be so much easier to pack for traveling because they are wicked light and portable (the box looks like a child’s shoe box!). I didn’t get the color I wanted because the place I went didn’t have choices, but I don’t care. If I really wanted to I could order them in the color I want since I know my size now, but I’m not going to jump into that just yet.

New Shoes Day!

Before I can get my new shoes, however, I must do a couple of things for work. I have to draft a couple of letters and draft a paragraph or two about some programming efforts to see if we can qualify for grant funding.

After that, I shall go and get my Vibram Five Fingers. And then I’ll go make up my run from yesterday. :o)

Pittsburgh Half Marathon Course Map!!!

Pittsburgh Half Marathon Course Map!!!

Snow is slowing…

…which means I will likely have to go to work tonight at the store. But no bother–if it’s clear enough for me to work at the store, hopefully it will be clear enough when I get out to go for a run at the gym!

Is it bad that I’m thinking that way? Probably not bad, but possibly sick.

Spent a good chunk of the afternoon chopping up old Runner’s World issues for recipes, workouts, and bits of inspiration–for both my training diary and my inspiration wall (which is in desperate need of a makeover).

Steps to Snow Day Productivity…

Because I am who I am and I’m wired how I’m wired, I have to make the most of a day at home. So…in effort to slow down my productivity, I’m going to tell you how to be productive. :o)

  1. Dress for success–this means two things for me–I can NOT wear pajama pants and I have to wear shoes. If I stay in pajamas I will do nothing. If I’m not wearing shoes, I’m not getting anything done because it doesn’t feel like I have to.
  2. Make a list–I have to have a specific list. Without a plan I won’t do anything. When confronted with too many options, there’s no urgency. And I make my list specific. I like to cross things off. If I’m too general I feel like I can get by with doing less.
  3. Coffee–I have to have a lot of coffee. :o)

Things that hinder productivity:

  1. The internet–it’s just so interesting! There’s so much to read, comment on and learn! So many games to play!
  2. The fuzzy cat–He’s ridiculously adorable. Ridiculous. Fuzzy kitties beg for pettings and lovinzes. Very hard to resist. Seriously. Tell me you could resist this:

Okay, guess I should go be productive now. *sigh*

There’s a fine line between bravery and stupidity.

Matt Young

[appropriate given my realization that going anywhere I didn’t absolutely have to would be stupid today. I’ll be cross-training at and working from home today. If I can get a picture that accurately captures what is going on outside I will post it.]


It’s snowing like crazy here. And it’s supposed to continue through tonight. We’re supposed to get 9-12 inches. It’s a scheduled run day. I woke up trying to decide how hard-core I am.

The answer: I think I’m pretty hardcore.

My plan is to head to the gym and get my run in, then go to work to pick up my to-do list and a few things I can work on at home, then come home.