Sunday, February 28, 2010

Did you say BAREFOOT running?

"WHAT IF THERE'S GLASS? BAREFOOT!!!! ARE YOU CRAZY? OH, MY GOD!" my mom said as I stepped into my house, barefoot, after a run. "Then I don't step on it," I replied calmly.

On January 3rd, 2010, my sister-in-law, who was training for her first half marathon, asked me if I wanted to join her for a run around my neighborhood. I had been engrossed in the book "Born To Run" by Christopher McDougall for the past two days and had just finished the night before. So, that morning, I put on my running clothes and stepped out the door, sans shoes.

What I experienced that first day of running barefoot was almost indescribable. I felt a huge rush of adrenaline. My senses were inundated with all kinds of tactile information. I felt the bumps and cracks of the asphalt, the flat but rough surface of the sidewalks, the soft grass, and of course an occasional small rock. It was awesome! I ran 2.5 miles that morning, but I felt like I could have run more. I was energized! Barefoot running had it's hooks in me.

It has been almost 2 years to the day since my last marathon. I have not run in almost as long. Maybe a half dozen runs up to 2 miles last summer. The running bug is back and back with a vengeance. Since that first day of barefoot running, I've run about 25 cumulative miles almost exclusively barefoot (about four miles have been run in Vibram Five Finger KSOs). I am running 2 to 3 days per week all barefoot now. I'm getting ready to train for my first barefoot half-marathon.

My mom still thinks I'm crazy for running barefoot and always asks, "What if there is glass?" When I talk to people about my training, they always do a double-take and say, "Did you say BAREFOOT running?" "Yep," I say with a big grin on my face. "I'm running barefoot."

Coming up in future posts, I'll discuss my setback with the dreaded "Top of Foot Pain" or TOFP as referred to by barefoot runners. I will also discuss my experiences with iskiate using chia seeds as a pre-run beverage. I hope you enjoyed my first blog post. Hope you visit again!

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