Monday, May 10, 2010

My First Barefoot Run

After five long weeks of no running I finally broke down and ran on Friday. I was supposed to be resting my leg (because of the stress fracture in my shin) for 6 weeks but just could not hold out any longer. I know I am bad, but the urge to run was just too overwhelming and after all my barefoot walks I really wanted to see how I did with a run.

So Friday morning while sitting at my computer working the overwhelming urge to run came over me and I figured what the heck and ran upstairs and changed. Then I grabbed my doggie and drove to the park in town.

It was not a great day to be running, it was overcast and chilly. A storm was coming in so the wind was gusting pretty well too, but on the drive over none of this mattered the excitement that I was actually going to run took me completely over. When I arrived at the park I found it to be deserted, I guess I was the only one excited to be out in such bad weather today. That was fine by me, I got out of the car stretched a little then hooked Prada (my doggie) up to her leach around my waist and started to run. I had decided on my way over that I would do my first mile with shoes. The only reason I did this was so that I could run more. It will take some time before my feet are ready to run several miles with no shoes and I wanted to get in a couple miles today so I figured the best thing to do was start with shoes. Even though my feet were covered in my old stability running shoes, I did run with the same foot strike I have been practicing for my barefoot runs. This actually made me a little faster which was a surprise since I had not run in 5 long weeks.

The park I ran at is a ½ mile loop so I ran around twice then went back to the car to remove my shoes. Once they were off, I took off again and found that it actually felt good to be bare footed and running. My stride felt good, my feet were landing lightly on the ground and I had a huge smile on my face. After the first loop around I did notice the same hot spots on my feet that I was getting during my walks. This did not discourage me at all instead it just made me feel more confident that my strike was correct (see the different foot strike on the right). During the run I did feel my calves tighten up; I have heard that with the different foot strike that it works the calves differently and they will have to get use to it, so I just kept pushing along.

After my barefoot mile was over I felt that I could have kept going, however since I did have a stress fracture I figured that I should not push and that after five weeks off two miles was a good test run. My shins felt fine the entire run so I am confident that they are healed and plan to continue my running. The only thing that felt bad after this run were my calves, they were pretty sore for a couple of days but like anything new I am sure they will get stronger the more I run.

This Saturday Barefoot Rick is holding a barefoot running clinic here in KC and I plan on attending. He is going to talk about barefoot running and check out your gait if you are interested. After he tells us all he knows and answers all our questions we will do a group barefoot run. I am so excited about this, not only will I get to see how I am doing and ask a ton of questions but I will get to meet some local barefoot runners too. Don’t worry; I will let you all know how it goes and what I learn.



Barefoot AngieB said...

Good for you!! Rick is quite the character and I think you will have a great time!! Take lots of pictures :)

jill said...

so glad that you went out for a run. hope that the shins stay healed and the blisters go away soon!

Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) said...

That's great that your injury is healing and you were able to run! And, hooray for trying out barefoot running! Let us know what you learn from the barefoot running clinic! :)