So, after Tuesday's toe-swelling/frostbite-like mishap (or whatever it was). I decided that now is the time that I have to switch to the "minimalist" side of the barefoot/minimalist runner. For some reason, I don't recall last winter being quite so cold. I started this barefoot journey last January and never once had an issue of being too cold.
On Thursday I went into my local REI and purchased a pair of injinji socks to wear inside my VFFs. I was interested in trying a pair of these socks to see how they might help with the cooler weather. My main intention in buying the injinji socks was for my huaraches that I recently bought from invisibleshoe.com. (Stay tuned for another post about my new huaraches.) However, I plan on taking the huaraches out bare for a couple runs this week before utilizing the injinji socks for warmth and any possible chafing between the toes.
I went for an 8-mile long run yesterday evening. It was an odd feeling of wearing "shoes" with socks and running. It has been a long time since I've had that feeling on my feet. However, my feet felt nice and toasty. Another benefit I found to wearing the injinji socks was that I did not get any blisters on the inside ball of my foot from my VFFs. I had previously had issues with getting a small 1/4 inch circular blister, often on my right foot, from the Vibrams.
The one downside that I experienced during yesterday's run was not shoe/foot related, but diet. Around mile 4 I started feeling a bit off in the stomach area. By mile 5 I really started to feel bloated. I started taking short 30-second walking breaks. I decided that I needed to focus on something other than the nauseating feeling that I was having. I buckled down for the next mile and a half and concentrated on running form - good arm swinging, lifting my foot, and quick cadence. I managed to make it to about 6.5-miles before the nausea took over again. I spent the last mile and a half walking more than running. I managed to complete the 8-mile run in 1:27. Disappointing since it was 13 minutes slower than my previous 8-mile a couple weeks ago.
So, back to the cold weather running. Like many newbie-barefooters, I was a purist. Now, I'm feeling more comfortable with delving into the minimalist mentality of Last Place Jason from Barefoot University - go barefoot when you can and use the most minimalist shoe for the situation. The colder weather, upcoming trail runs and other situations are making me consider my minimalist options. My preference would be huaraches, but that is still to be determined.
Until then, it's all about staying warm!