C25K W9D2+D3; aka I Have Made Couch-2-5K My Bitch!

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While the week got away from me blogging-wise, I stayed right on top of the running schedule and completed Couch-2-5K!!  Woo-hooo!!!  The last two runs were awesome and my last run took me farther than any previous run which means not only am doing well with the 30-minute duration, but I’m running faster and farther!

Wednesday’s run was not as phenomenal as Fridays due to extremely high humidity which slowed me down a bit, but I couldn’t have asked for better weather for the run yesterday.  I decided to go after work when the sun was a little lower in the sky and the humidity had settled a bit.  It was around 73º with 40% humidity and a nice breeze.  I was totally pumped to complete the last day and I added a new gadget into the mix; a Nike+ Sensor for my iPhone 3GS.  I snagged one for only $2 at Small Dog Electronics online Garage Sale (sorry to say it was the only one, but there’s other cool stuff on there).  The result of great weather plus a great attitude meant I ended up farther than I’d ever been before by an entire field!  I felt great after the run, despite some ongoing foot issues that I’ll discuss later.  Toby and I took the best refreshing celebratory swim before heading back to the office.

Speaking of Toby, not only have I been developing muscle (I’m up six pounds since I started the program and it’s all muscle, baby!), but Toby is a little beefcake now.  People in the office and friends of mine apparently find it very noticeable.  Even his collar is starting to get a little tight around his muscular neck.  Apparently, C25K is not just good for humans, it’s divine for dogs, too!  So, if you have trouble motivating yourself to get in shape, do it for your pooch! 😉

My new goal is to start working on speed.  I’m slow, and I’m ok with that, but I’d like to start slowly working towards averaging a faster mile.  That’s why I decided to check out the Nike+ sensor.  The good news is that I was able to securely slip it in the top of the Vibram FiveFinger KSOs.  I wore it on my right foot tucked on top of my ankle/top of my foot on the right side and I secured it with the velcro strap on top of the shoe; I’ll try to take a picture for a subsequent entry so you can see what I mean.  I didn’t feel the sensor, so it didn’t effect my stride, and it stayed perfectly in place the whole time.  Luckily, I remembered to remove it before running through the river.

I was pleased that the Nike+ program ran just fine along with the Get Running program that I’ve been using for the C25K program.  Though I’m a little sad that I’ve now “graduated” from the Get Running app; no more polite British woman coaxing me on!  The Nike+ program was fairly easy to use.  I chose a “Basic Workout”, which is completely open-ended, while I followed along with the C25K program.  What I neglected to do was calibrate the sensor.  Supposedly, before using it seriously one is supposed to calibrate it, which means either running or walking for over a mile and then confirming with the device how far you went so it can get your pace right.

I was pretty darn disappointed when I finished my 5K-ish run only to be told by the sensor that I had only travelled 1.74 miles.  This morning, I opened Google Earth and mapped the path that I ran and, sure enough, I had actually run well over 3 miles (close to 4, actually); the Nike+ tracked me at just about half the distance I actually ran.  My initial hope was to use the Nike+ in my last C25K run so I could figure out about how quickly I run each mile and then set some speed goals, but since the device was so inaccurate I’ll have to calibrate it and try again.  It also seems that for me to get an accurate reading, I have to wait until my five-minute walking warm-up is complete before I turn the Nike+ program on.

I’m excited about setting speed goals once I get an accurate read on my current pace.  Before I get there, though, I’m taking a proactive approach to figuring out what’s up with my left foot.  I’m still getting some dull pain around my adductor hallucus muscle, and adjoining muscles around the right side of the ball of my left foot.  It’s following the same pattern since it started last Friday; dull pain in the morning, dull pain when I start running but it feels good to run on it, pain goes away during running and post run, pain comes back a few hours after running and it’s worse late at night and in the morning.

From a Muscular Therapist’s point of view, it sounds like a fascial issue; since fascia warms up with movement and is closest to a solid state when cold.  Plantar Fasciitis is a major concern here, but it’s odd because that’s one of the ailments that barefoot running is supposed to help avoid.  Regardless, something’s up, it’s been a week now, and I’m heading to an acupuncturist today for the first time in years.

I personally tend to trust a well-trained acupuncturist or Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor over orthopedists for new muscular-skeletal issues because they are more inclined to look at the big picture and see the body as a whole, while any time I’ve been to an orthopedist in the past I’m always given pain killers and muscle relaxers as a “first step”.  Also, a good acupuncturist will always refer to an orthopedist if necessary.  I do need to mention my own internal conflict here as I’m a Muscular Therapist who was trained in a style of massage that was created by an orthopedist, so I obviously have quite a bit of respect for that field despite it not being my first choice for a new minor issue.

I’ll keep you all posted on the foot news.  As long as I get cleared to run I’ll be back out there on Monday getting the Nike+ calibrated!  I can’t believe I’ve made it this far and still want to do more.  It’s true what they say, running is addictive!!

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  1. Hank  June 5, 2010

    1.74 instead of 3+ miles sounds like more than a calibration issue. Out of the box the Nike+ sensor should be between 95% and 99% accurate. It sounds like more of a sensor placement issue than a calibration issue. Get a picture up soon and I will see if I can see any obvious issues.

    The other thing, of course, is if you are doing serious off-road work during your runs. This will tend to make the Nike+ more inaccurate.

    As far as programs go, the program I have grown to love for tracking my runs is RubiTrack: http://www.rubitrack.com/ It obviously works a bit better with a GPS-enabled device, although they do have an iPhone program to use its GPS to record your runs.

    Good job on the run! If you are ever in Philly and looking for a running partner, let me know!

    • BarefootInVermont  June 9, 2010

      Thanks so much for the advice! Check out my newest entry, you’re featured in it. 🙂

  2. Andy  March 12, 2011

    Hey, just came across your blog. I have some KSO’s that I”ve been training in for the last 6 months. I love wearing them in the gym, and now I’m beginning the Couch25k program too, so I’ll be using them for that. A note about the Nike+. I bought one too, as I have an Ipod 5th gen, and it is supposed to work with that. I found issues with the accuracy of it too. I’m told that it does have to do with the placement of the sensor and of course works best if it’s placed in a pair of Nike+ shoes (which Nike probably does on purpose to sell more shoes) I tried putting it under the laces of my Brooks running shoes and it was okay, but once again, inaccurate. With Vibrams also note that the vibration needed to get a reading on a Nike+ sensor will be different in Vibrams since there isn’t as much impact from foot strike when running more naturally as it is in a pair of shoes. IMO Nike+ is a waste of money. Like Hank said, a GPS enabled device will give you a much better reading on distance. Some of the Garmin devices are great because they also will track your heart rate along with your run data.