One of our CSA items this week was a bag of basil.  And I’m not talking about a little bag…

So I decided to put my new food processor to work and make some pesto!

Yay food processor!

Yum!

I used basil, garlic, pine nuts, lemon juice, and extra virgin olive oil.  Everything was to taste.  I like really garlicky pesto, so there’s a LOT of garlic in there.  Delicious!

Weekend in review

Over the last couple days I’ve been working on adjusting to my Vibrams (Bikilas) and changing my running form to use a mid/forefoot strike, rather than heelstriking.  This should help to remedy the knee and foot issues I’ve dealt with over the last couple months.  So I’m hopeful…

On Friday, I did five miles on our treadmill (it was late).  I did the first mile in the Vibrams, and then did the remaining four in my regular shoes (Asics GT 2140s) but continued to run on the balls of my feet.  I tried to put the Vibrams back on for mile 5, but I only got .03 miles in before I knew all those little muscles in my feet and ankles were so exhausted there was no way I could hold myself up.  So I switched back to the Asics and finished the last mile.  Even though I was still running on my toes, the Asics gave a little more sturdiness and support so those muscles you’re not used to using don’t have to work quite as hard.  I also stopped at the end of each mile to stretch out my calves/achilles to prevent the plantar fasciitis issues.  It seemed to work well.

The overall impression of that run… things worked well!  My heel felt good – the stretching definitely helped.  As for the forefoot striking… wow!  The muscles in my feet and ankles were so sore for two days afterwards!  But it was a good kind of sore.

Saturday, I headed to Buffalo for my friend’s bridal shower.  I’m a bridesmaid, so I was on my feet all afternoon running around doing stuff for the party, and by the end of the day, my feet were on FIRE.  I was concerned that some of that was the plantar fasciitis (PF), but I think most of it was actually just stiffness from the workout on Friday night.  I did decide to call the run that I had scheduled for that day a wash though.  I didn’t want to cause the PF to flare up again.

Sunday, still sore!  I attempted to get a run in.  I got all dressed, put my shoes on, and got about 25 feet before I threw in the towel.  I was still so achy from Friday night.  So instead I spent the night stretching and trying to loosen up those muscles.

So this week was essentially another PF recovery week.  And I’m alright with that.  I feel like my heel is doing much better.  I have an appointment with my orthopedist on Wednesday so I can get his professional opinion on how it’s doing.

Today, I didn’t have a run scheduled, but I dragged my husband off the couch and asked him to go for a run with me (run/walk intervals for him to build up his endurance).  We took the dogs and just did a nice little 2 miles around the neighborhood.  I wore the Vibrams the whole way and felt great.  No heel issues or pain.  I’m really starting to love those things!

My take on the Vibrams so far…

I love these shoes.  Love love love.  Yes, they are weird looking (conversation starter?), and a little difficult to put on (it gets easier, I promise), but they are fantastic.

I was skeptical at first.  I figured they were a fad that would quickly fade and I wasn’t going to buy them.  So I waited to see how long it would take before I would stop hearing about them.  But I never did.  I just kept hearing more and more about them and how great they are.  I talked to several people who had them and they all raved about their Vibrams.  Considering my IT band issues, runners knee experience, and now the plantar fasciitis, I figured it couldn’t hurt to try the supposed “miracle shoes.”  So I took the plunge.

They definitely take some getting used to.  They feel weird at first, but are oddly comfortable at the same time.  You have to hold yourself back from doing too much too soon.  Although, honestly, it’s so tiring adjusting to running with a forefoot strike that I found I really couldn’t do too much too soon because my muscles simply weren’t strong enough.  But you have to make sure to build up that muscle strength a little at a time.

What surprised me was how quickly my plantar fasciitis symptoms went away after I started running in them consistently and modifying my running form.  It’s almost impossible to run with bad form in these shoes because you will feel it. When you’re in regular running shoes, you’re cushioned enough that you can be running with improper form and not really realize it until an injury flares up.

So my conclusion on the Vibrams so far… I’m glad I got them!  For me, they were definitely worth it!

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