Wednesday, January 26, 2011

January 26th, 2011 – 1.77 BAREFOOT Run!!!

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

Today’s run was really good! As you may know, I read “Born to Run” and I was intrigued by the idea of running barefoot.

I know there are people who swear by it and I have the uppermost respect for those folks. However, I honestly thought they were crazy. When I ran the Rock n Roll Half Marathon in Los Angeles, a team of barefoot runners passed by me on their way up to the elite corral and I thought, “Wow! They are going to run 13 miles barefoot! That’s insane!” Clearly, they knew what they were doing because they were up there with the serious runners and I was all the way back in Corral #17 with the rest of the turtles!

I didn’t have another thought about it… Until I read "Born to Run...", which I highly recommend, by the way.

I’d never been able to stand barefoot without discomfort, let alone run! But what I didn't realize is that I already tend to run with pseudo-barefoot form even though I’m always wearing shoes.

Long ago, I was walking to school in my super cool BKs (that’s British Knights, for those of you who don’t remember the late 80’s) that came with my cheerleading uniform and noticed that I had a lump on my Achilles Tendon when I got home. My Dad told me that he got those when he was in the Military and it came from that sturdy heel strike when you walk for miles

Ever since, I was always careful to strike with my toe, or the balls of my feet whenever I was walking. When I started running, I ran like that too, striking with my mid-foot and taking rather small strides.

After reading “Born to Run”, I spoke to a few people about it and a friend introduced me to a site that sells Vibram Knock Offs and he said he has a friend who has ordered many of them and finds them to be identical to the Vibrams he paid over $100 for. They ship on a slow boat from China so they take quite a while to arrive, but other than that, he has never had an issue with the seller or the shoes…. So I ordered a pair 6 days ago, and I’m still waiting for them.

So…. When I went to the Ladies’ Room this afternoon to get changed for my afternoon run and discovered I’d forgotten my shoes, I was about to forget it all together. Then I thought, Well, there’s no time like the present. Let’s see what this barefoot running is all about.

Everything I’d read about proper barefoot running said to start out small and work your way up. I searched articles and youtube videos and they all said to start out running five minutes at a time.

Well, I wasn’t going to completely undress and suit up for a 5 minute workout! So I figured, I would run up the hill, do a couple laps around the park and come back.

That was the perfect distance. This run wasn’t about speed or distance. It was about getting to know myself in way that was completely strange to me.

Being barefoot in public is HUGE for this Southern Baptist Pastor’s Kid!! There are certain things that “a Lady” never does! And baring your naked feet to someone other than your husband is taboo where I come from! I think it stems from the Book of Ruth, where she uncovers Boaz’s feet while he’s sleeping to intimate that it’s OK with her if he pursues her. Whatever the origin, my father always told me to keep my feet covered so this was fascinating and strange for me.

Indeed, the reactions I got from people in their cars were interesting. It was clear to me that even in super Liberal, whacked out Southern California, people are taken aback by seeing an attractive, healthy woman on the street in a short running skirt with no shoes on!! That’ll take some getting used to.

As for the run, it was bliss. The most wonderful and natural thing. I will definitely be doing it again. If I can work my way up to 3 miles, I will find an organized race to do barefoot and see how it goes.

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