Okay so I had to give a little bit of an update to our story.
You recall I mentioned this book Born to Run that Andrew read? How it theorizes that running is something any human being is genetically trained to do and that returning to the natural ways of running is the way to avoid injuries caused by modern inventions such as that fountain of all evil: the shoe?
Well you can just nod your head and pretend like you read that post and remember everything I said. It's what my kids do.
I had to write just a little bit to tell you what I've been doing. Andrew has always loved to run but me? I think one comment from the previous post pretty much sums it up (and I quote): "I would only run if someone were chasing me with a knife."
But the book got me thinking. While I hate to run I've always wished I was a runner, that I could actually fit nicely into a pair of jogging shorts and that it didn't hurt so darn bad to put foot to pavement. Andrew's injuries have kept him from running for awhile so now that he is training this new way (i.e. barefoot) I figured that maybe even a tub o' goo like me could possibly keep up with him. At least on a circular course where he couldn't get away from me too far.
So I decided a couple weeks ago to join him in his barefoot quest for running nirvana, just to see if there could possibly be anything to this crazy idea and you know what? I'm actually having fun!
We go up to the high school track but instead of running barefoot on the track we keep on the grassy turf on the inside. When I first took off my shoes I thought it would be cold or prickly or unpleasant but instead it was kind of a liberating thing. I know that sounds cheesy but it was as if running barefoot in the grass brought out my inner hippy.
I only ran a mile and a half but even though I'm completely out of shape it felt as if I could have done more if it weren't for my calves which were really letting me know that I was going to get reacquainted with them darn fast. My feet felt great but I could tell my calves were getting a workout they hadn't had in years and that I'd be feeling it in the morning.
By the next day there was so much lactic acid in my poor calves I could hardly hobble up the stairs but after a day or two to recover I was back at the track trying it again and it's been great ever since. I even tried running when it was raining and I almost forgot I was *ahem* 34 years old. Yea. Thirty-four.
One of my beefs with running (one of many) is that I feel completely ungraceful when I run, like I'm clomping along trying to chip chunks out of the pavement with my heels every time I pound to the ground but when you run barefoot you naturally run like kids do--on the balls and midsection of your feet, hardly touching your heels to the ground at all. You might think you'd step on sharp things or hurt yourself but you kind of naturally adjust your weight and tread to avoid the nasties. Plus, I find I'm watching the ground to be careful not to step on any rocks which keeps me from thinking about being tired or the way my thighs are going "ka-thunk, ka-thunk, ka-thunk," up and down, with each graceful, gazelle-like step.
Anyway, I won't bore you any more with the details. Next thing you know I'll be running barefoot in tie-dye running shorts, singing "Age of Aquarius" in true hippy fashion.
Oh! And another benefit? Being able to completely embarrass your kids. One of our neighbors knew we were running barefoot and asked Spencer about it to which he rolled his eyes and said something along the lines of: "I KNOW! They're up there running barefoot! It's SOOO embarrassing!"
If you want to check out a site Andrew recommends try Barefoot Ted's Adventures (sounds tempting doesn't it?)
And as a final note, I'm curious how long I'll keep this up. I'm notorious about finding new exercise programs that are fun at first then quickly kill all the light from my eyes after a month or two. If nothing else I'm curious about what will happen when the snow comes. I didn't realize it when I posted about how I could never be induced to put on a pair of these hideous Five Finger Shoes but I hadn't realized they're for protecting your feet while trying to maintain that barefoot advantage.
Sigh. Still . . . I can only think of Hobbits when I see these abominations. Could they get any uglier?
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