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May 12, 2011

8.72 miles

Yesterday I walked 8.72 miles. I got in a little over five miles in the morning and the rest last night. It wasn't a personal best (that happened on Sunday when I got in just over nine miles) but it's memorable because yesterday afternoon I went for a walk when what I wanted to do was melt into a wineglass. And I even broke into a little jog, which may tell you about the energy I am trying to burn off over here. Later I got to pet a big furry dog on the walk back to my apartment.

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Oh! A few days ago reader Lisa T. asked:

Since you mainly walk for fitness, have you tried any of the new toning kind of sneakers? I got a pair and love them. My legs are getting a work-out and they are really comfy (tho they take getting used to.) My daughter asked for a pair and she likes them too. There are a couple of places online that have them at pretty good discounts too.

Hi Lisa!
I've seen those commercials for the toning sneakers and they look so interesting. But I haven't tried them, actually when it comes to walking/running I go the opposite direction -- I wear the Nike Free Run, which is about as close as you can get to a barefoot running shoe without going all the way into Vibram five-finger territory. I am VERY happy with the Nike Free Run shoes, they give me just the right amount of structure but without the bulk of a traditional trainer. I made this switch back several months ago after I injured my ankle (at that time I was still wearing the more traditional Nike Air Max sneaker which has a thick, ultra-stable base).

My acupuncture doctor was the one who turned me on to the Nike Free shoes. I'm paraphrasing here but the theory is that a shoe with less heft and structure can work your foot in a more natural way and strengthen your ankles and tendons and stuff. I figured it was worth a try.

I can't verify scientifically that any of this is true and of course everyone has different feet and a different life and disclaimer disclaimer, but the Nike Free shoes have absolutely worked for me! My ankle is stronger and my feet are stronger. My whole stride has changed and evened out and the shoes are so LIGHT it's crazy. They weigh practically nothing. I LOVE THEM.

Another big and surprising benefit of switching to these shoes has been the total disappearance of all blisters. I used to get a weird blister right in the pad of my foot below my big toe anytime I walked over four miles at one time. I just assumed it was because my feet had to get used to walking that much but when I changed shoes all my blisters disappeared. And my feet don't get tired so quickly, I think it might be because the shoes are so light.

They take a little getting used to but now I am a total convert to the Nike Free thing. Since I do almost all my walking on uneven city streets they offer just enough protection from the road and rocks but still give the kind of workout you'd get from being (almost) barefoot. And of course I get to use my Nike+ Sport Band because I am a nerd and love to know my mileage, time and calories burned and I like to see it uploaded in a neat graph format. Honestly that sportband was the best fifty bucks I ever spent. I've had it for two years now and boy has it held up. One day when I am flush again (Dear Universe, soon, please) I might ante up and get the newer fancier GPS version (nerd alert! I love to map my walks!) but for now I am quite happy with what I have.

Also, apparently I am very passionate about my shoes. Sorry for the Novella of Nike. Thanks for the note!! I'm glad you like your shoes, too!

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Yesterday Frankie found The Spider. The Spider was in a box that I unpacked and when I got it out I thought, "Do I need to keep this? Do they even want to play with this weird toy anymore?" The Spider is a big uglyass Halloween decoration with long legs that you can pose. I've had it for a few years. It was in a closet at my other apartment and I kind of forgot about it.

But I guess we're keeping The Spider. Frankie was all over it yesterday, she was killing it:


Then she got some help:


But she vanquished him and later fell asleep still hugging that spider. Until I woke her up for the picture:



Posted by laurie at May 12, 2011 6:53 AM