Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hugh are you? Hugh, Hugh…Hugh, Hugh.

A calf strain I suffered a couple weeks ago led to a very bizarre encounter at Hyland Hills. To date, I’ve provided updates on my adjustment to wearing the Vibram Five Fingers and for the most part it’s been going pretty well. That is, until I strained my right calf. This occurred during a hill workout wearing my normal running shoes. In hindsight, I should have seen this coming.

Wearing the VFF is completely different experience from wearing regular running shoes. Your heels rarely touch the ground, the bottoms of your feet get tired, and most importantly your calves do a great deal of the work. Even though I was running in them only once a week, my calves got to a point where they were almost always tight. For all my runs. And, since I almost never stretch, this, I believe, likely led to the strain. Okay, so all lessons aren’t easy ones, right?

Anyway, after a week without running (which seemed like a month) I jogged to Hyland Hills over my lunch and was just about to disappear into the woods when some guy yelled,

“Hey, are there any good trails in there?”

I turned towards the voice and here’s this guy walking up me wearing a pair of green Vibram Five Fingers. In the small talk that ensued I learned he was a marathoner/triathlete also trying out the VFF. I couldn’t wait to ask him how it was going and here’s how the conversation went…

Me: So how do you like the Five Fingers?

Him: Pretty good, I’m just wearing ‘em once a week.

Me. Me too. So how’s it going? How ARE you adjusting to them?

Him: Pretty well, that is until I strained my calf. You get a killer calf workout in these!

Me. You strained your calf? Me too. When did you do that?

Him. Last Tuesday.

Me. Me too! So, you’re going to give them another shot now?

Him. Yeah, this is my first time since I got injured.

M: Me too!!! (Okay, at this point I was immediately thinking one of my buddies put him up to this. There was NO WAY we’d have the exact same experience like this, right?)

After this exchange I introduced myself to him and asked him his name. It was Hugh, which totally freaked me out because well, it rhymes with mine. (I’ve totally got goose bumps writing this now.) What are the odds? Anyway, we enjoyed a short run together in Hyland Hills. Later, I was astounded to find out Hugh was born on the same day and in the same town I was! Okay, this part's a lie.

So what have I learned from this uncanny experience? You have to exercise patience with the VFF. Listen to your body. Hugh I and both tell you that if you’re experiencing pain or tightness, back off. If your calves are tight, and they will be, give them some extra attention in the form of a post-run stretch, or by using a foam roller. Doing this will help you avoid injury so you can continue enjoying the benefits of the VFF.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

can you suggest inexpensive, effective, foam rollers and their website, etc... thanks