I have a shoe problem…

My new Vibram Fivefinger shoes!

I have been told that the first step is to admit you have a problem…I have a shoe addiction! However, I will clarify that my two most recent shoe purchases were necessary rather than frivolous.

I’ve been thinking about the swim portion of my triathlon, actually the entry and exit from the swim portion. I usually don’t have a problem being barefoot, but for some reason I have started to be concerned about running barefoot out of the water to the transition area to change into cycling gear, being in a hurry and stepping on a rock, causing problems later in the run portion. Maybe I’m overthinking it, but I started thinking maybe I’d like to have something on my feet to avoid an injury at the beginning. Plus, was thinking about the cold. I got my dividend from REI and a 20% off coupon in my email so I headed down to check out some lightweight “toed” shoes. I ended up with the Vibram FiveFingers KomodoSport Multisport Shoes. They are so lightweight, despite having a rubber sole. I swam in them already and they don’t seem to have a drag affect, which I was concerned about. Comfy too, which for a ticklish foot person, I was pleased about. I won’t be doing the running portion of my triathlon in these shoes, however, as they take a little time to wiggle each individual toe into and they will be all wet from the swim portion. They slip off easily and should shield my feet from any gravel between the water and the transition area. (Later update, I never did wear these for the swim, I ran barefoot to the transition area for all my triathlons and never had an issue.)

After the Shamrock Run I discovered two little blisters on two toes of my right foot. I hadn’t noticed them during the run, fortunately. I was concerned, though, as I never get blisters; it may have been due to my feet being completely soaked from rain the entire run. But, I have had my Asics running shoes for quite a while now and have logged quite a few miles on them, so I thought it was probably time to get a new pair. Besides, now seemed to be a better time to break in new shoes than later. 

The Asics I had were no longer available. I had purchased several pairs of them online from clearance running shoe stores and have finally gone through my supply. So I went back to Fit Right Northwest, had my run analyzed again to ensure nothing had changed, and spent time with them finding a new shoe. I ended up with Brooks Defyance 4…and not because they’re orange like my bike, they’re wonderful!! Brooks also just became a sponsor of the Portland Triathlon Club, so I will pick up another pair with my new discount.

The next purchase I made…yes, another purchase…was a Garmin Forerunner 310XT GPS trainer. I’ve really wanted a heartrate monitor/GPS mileage tracker for my sports. I have used the Nike Plus sensor with my iPod, but it doesn’t do heart rate and is not entirely accurate with mileage, even when calibrated. And, much to my dismay, I have learned that I cannot use my iPod during the run portion of a triathlon anyway, according to USA Triathlon rules. I tend to prefer having 1/4 mile distance goals and this will provide me with that and so much more. I got a notice from one of my frequent flyer mile programs that I had mile points I needed to use or lose, so I checked the catalog and lo and behold, they were selling the Garmin 310XT I wanted—so I picked it up with miles! Woo-Hoo! It is a tri-sport trainer, works with running, cycling (with add-on for the bike), and swimming, although GPS signals do not transmit through water. I’ve been playing with the settings and should have it all dialed in soon to provide what I need. I’m learning more every time I use it. I love all the data I get out of it after I upload to my computer (sample below).

Data from Garmin 310XT from run portion of Brick

Training-wise, it’s been a GREAT week! Swam on my own and with the Tornadoes Masters Swim group. I can already tell my form is better. Now it’s just to work on my strength and endurance. I will be able to make swim training with them three times a week with my work schedule, so that’s awesome! I got several runs in, both treadmill and outside runs. Did some indoor cycle interval training with the Carmichael training DVDs…a lot of work! And….a little brick, what I called Baby Brick 1. I did a 7 mile road ride from my house and then followed immediately with a 1.5 mile run. It went really well, and I was pleased with my performance. I hadn’t done any bike/run bricks since the Muddy Buddy.

Groupon had a special on Bikram Hot Yoga this week, so will be adding that in. Next weekend is the field trip to ProMotion Wetsuits in Hood River, Oregon with several tri friends and then Portland Triathlon Club party at Athlete’s Lounge (no longer in business) in Portland. Things seem to be progressing well. I’m getting my training in, even doing some at work, which isn’t my favorite, but keeps me on track.

Oh, and a friend of mine is working on organizing a Try and Sprint distance Triathlon in Woodland, Washington August 13. Stay tuned for more details as soon as I get them from him!

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