Last night was day 1 of the program. I got my new KSOs in the mail, spent 10 minutes putting them on (darn pinky toe!), and went out the door.
They felt pretty good. My left foot is bigger than my right one, so I used it for sizing, so my right shoe feels just a tad loose, but my left one fits perfectly. They feel a little stiff, but I heard they loosen up after just a few runs.
I had my ipod with me. I could not do this program without it. What I have done, is compiled a "week 1" track to play during the run. It starts out with 5 minutes of Pink Floyd's "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" (warm-up walk), and then goes into 60 seconds of Static-X. It then alternates between various Floyd and Static-X tracks until it is time to warm-down, which is the rest of "Shine On." I don't have to look at a watch. I don't have to remember how long each step should be. I just run when I hear Static-X, and walk when I hear Floyd. I have chosen songs that are inspirational. For example, the first Static-X track screams "GO! GO! GO!", so you really feel like GOING! Then Pink Floyd's "Breathe" kicks in. "Breathe! Breathe in the air!" It is amazing.
My shins started hurting at the beginning. Oh no, I thought. Nothing has changed. My shin splints are going to flare up and I will be back on the couch for a week. But then a strange thing happened. I started to run faster and faster with each new 60 seconds of running, and my shins and knees felt fantastic. I think my running technique began to change as the run/walk progressed, and I started using different muscles. My feet were no longer over-pronating like they did when I wore shoes, and I think this was the cause of the shin splints. Awesome, awesome, awesome.
I know what you are thinking. It is only day one! But remember, I already did 3 weeks with shoes on, and I never felt this good. So, it was promising.
It wasn't without pain, however. The ball of my left foot and the left big toe were hurting. I don't know if I stepped on something, or if I overstressed the muscles down there, but it didn't feel great. It only hurt during the walking segments, though. It seemed to disappear when the running started. Today, the day after, it doesn't hurt at all. Neither do my shins or knees! I am very excited to continue the program. Most people say your calves are supposed to be on fire after wearing VFFs, but that is not true with me. Perhaps its because day 1 isn't all that strenuous. We'll see how they feel as I go along.
Today is a no-run day. I think I will just take my dog for a walk today, wearing my VFFs, of course.
Just an afterthought: I feel like a frog with these shoes on. I look like one. I run like one (picture a frog running on it's back legs, lol). That's ok. If they work, I don't care!