Fingertoes, update the second

For those of you who were mildly interested to read about my exploits wearing Vibram FiveFingers, you may be mildly interested in this.

At the same time that I want to be able to use these as strictly athletic shoes, I’ve been wearing my KSOs solid for over a week so that my foot muscles will have the opportunity to adjust. I’m trying to alter my step while I walk to more easily facilitate the change while I run, although I still have to actively think about how I’m stepping during both (after all, a week of walking differently isn’t going to erase the near-23-years of muscle memory from walking in mainstream shoes–or “foot coffins,” as my dental hygienist told me her FiveFingers-wearing running partner calls them). My feet were still pretty sore last week (despite wearing them off and on the week or so prior), but everything’s been smooth sailing (or stepping?) so far this week. For a better idea on how I’m trying to change my steps, check out the video on this NPR story.

With all this stepping on my mind, I went running for 20 minutes tonight (still working my way back up from my ankle injury, plus getting used to new shoes, so I’m taking it easy) successfully–no ankle pain, no extreme calf muscle tightness, no soreness in the top of my foot. Progress is slow, but sure. If things continue this well, then I’m considering procuring an extra pair of these babies for every-day wear so that my KSOs can remain strictly for their intended athletic use, and I can still wander around in comfy shoes all day that aren’t counterproductive to my running step.

I hope that was minimally interesting, enough so that you’re mildly intrigued for further updates on the subject in the near future.

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Fingertoes

Well, it’s been a little over a week since I started wearing my FiveFingers. I’ve been trying to wear them in low-intensity situations (namely work at the flower shop) so that my feet can adjust. It’s not a question of blisters, since these are amazingly form-fitting shoes, I just need to give my foot muscles a break since they’re getting used more than they are inĀ  my other shoes. I have tried running a few times in them, which demands a lot from your calves (since I’m shifting to running on the front of my foot).

Overall, I feel as though I’m walking around in my socks or slippers at home. And it’s spectacular to feel the shape of the ground underneath you, the plushness of the grass, without the awkward pain of taking steps on sticks, stones, and various fallen tree bits. I’ve drawn a lot of attention and questions from people while I’m out making deliveries during the day, and as our senior designer said, “They look comfortable, but you’re definitely not going to win a beauty contest in ’em.”

As I said, I’m only one week in–I’ll be back with more information on them and running (no ankle pain, finally) over the next couple of weeks as I adjust.

All manner of crazy crap

So many things are happeniiiiiiiing




Don’t worry, none of them are jobs.

I meant to write a post all last week about the previous weekend, but me being myself, that never happened. So instead of breaking this up the way I probably should (into two posts, this one and one that will post tomorrow or Thursday), I will just condense everything since I feel like doing this right now.

The highlight of the weekend before last was spending all day Saturday in Amsterdam Tavern, a football (admit it, soccer sounds really stupid) bar in St. Louis off of Morganford. Suraj and I got breakfast and some other goodies at the Tower Grove farmers’ market, which I had to keep cold with ice from our table’s buckets of beer for the rest of the afternoon. Everything was fine (lamb patties and bratwurst for him, herbed goat cheese for both of us), but it was a hell of an afternoon, standing on our feet for about five hours (we sat there for a few hours before they took the chairs, while South Korea and Uruguay played) before and during the US v. Ghana match. I’ve been so excited about the 2010 World Cup and have enjoyed the overall atmosphere and game-watching so much that I guess I’ll have to start watching at least Premier League from now on.

Since Amsterdam wasn’t serving food either of us could eat, I picked up lunch (and dinner) from Local Harvest Cafe (across the street from the mutually-owned Local Harvest Grocery). It was the first time we’d eaten there, and I would highly recommend it for a mixed company of herbivores and omnivores alike. Delicious, massive sandwiches, plenty of options and substitutions, baked goods, the works. If you like the Mediterranean Veggie sandwich at Panera/St. Louis Bread Co., Local Harvest’s Mediterranean will knock you out–it is a monster of a sandwich with a glorious amount of fresh and often local veggies, azeefa, and balsamic vinegar. On the day in question, St. Louis Pride’s pet parade was about to start, so Local Harvest was also selling homemade, no-artificial-sweeteners snowcones, too, that were fantastically refreshing.

More flower shop work during the week, including hanging up willow wreaths on the walls and driving out in the middle of nowhere on the outskirts of Springfield to make deliveries.

Suraj was in Canada for this past weekend and was generous enough to donate his Cardinals-Brewers tickets to me for Friday night. My friend Daniel and I ended up going together, as Suraj had instructed me that I might as well never show my face round ‘these parts again if I did not return with Friday night’s giveaway–a Brockabrella. I made sure to leave it for him at the weekend’s end with one of his other birthday gifts. Saturday I decided I was going to finally see if REI had any Vibram FiveFingers that I could try on and pick up groceries while I was out to make party food for Daniel and Jimmy’s housewarming party. The lady working in the shoes section told me that they had, in fact, just received a shipment the day before (these shoes are in high demand and low supply right now, very similar to the Wii a few years ago), and they had a pretty full stock of women’s sizes. You actually measure your food in inches to determine your shoe size because you want them to fit as snugly as possible since they’re meant to be worn without socks. I ended up purchasing a pair of black KSOs after being assured of REI’s 100% lifetime guarantee (“If you wear them every day for a month and decide you hate them, we will fully refund you,” the shoe lady informed me).

The party was fantastic and the pasta I made was a hit, which I didn’t expect at all. Seeing people I knew was fantastic, and it was great to meet so many other wonderful friends of theirs. Expanding St. Louis-area social netwooooooork, yeah

I booked it home Sunday so that I would have enough time to make some vegan bean burgers for a 4th of July party hosted by one of the other members of the writers’ group I attend weekly, which also got devoured. In retrospect, I should have cooked them a little longer and added a little more seasoning, but they did taste delicious. All in all, the weekend was full of culinary affirmation and delightful conversation with deeply interesting people.

This week: more werk, St. Louis to commemorate Suraj’s birthday on the weekend. More to come on my opinion of the FiveFingers shoes. I’ll post my tweaked recipes sometime this week also, for those of you who are interested. AND PAVEMENT IS ONLY TWO WEEKS AWAY

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