I ran 2.5 miles total yesterday, 1.25 of that barefooted. I have discovered that running barefoot on Florida sun-baked concrete sidewalks gives me blisters... almost instantly. Not fun. I'm eagerly awaiting the pair of RunAmoc running moccasins that I ordered from Soft Star Shoes.
I added "Last of the Mohicans" to our Netflix queue.
The reality of my fitness level is setting in. It really has been years since I did any substantial running. I have to "forget" my college Cross Country training capabilities and consider that I am pretty much starting from scratch. Note to self: TAKE IT EASY.
I discovered a new web site dailymile for keeping track of training miles and getting social with other active people.
I have one word to describe my second barefoot run... CALVES!
Yes, the calves are quite sore. I ran 2.25 miles today, 1.5 of that barefooted. Most of the run was on dirt trails, some of them twisty with the occasional tree root. I was quite surprised that the rougher terrain did not bother me... as long as I stayed light on my feet and continued a brisk cadence as described in the various barefoot running guides.
At this point in my training, I am glad to carry the Nike Frees along with me. When my calves need a break I can throw on the shoes and keep my cardiovascular going. The shoes allow me to continue with a mid-foot strike, but give the calf muscle a break since my heal does not travel all the way to the ground.
Wooden boards can be very slippery when wet. My Nike Frees had better traction than bare feet on a wet mildew-covered boardwalk crossing a wetland area. This makes me think I will try some minimalist shoes for the possibility of gaining traction.
I'm told that I need to watch the movie "Last of the Mohicans" because of all the running scenes. I also keep finding great stories online such as UltraRunning - In the Beginning: Native Americans. These fit well with the conceptual love I'm developing towards the moccasin. But for now, I will continue to alternate between true barefoot running and the Nike Free Run+.
The spare tire around my middle has expanded to a maximum allowable level! After a multi-year hiatus, I started running again a few weeks ago. I really want to keep it going and make it a regular activity. I used an old pair of Nike running shoes, which were fine except being just a little broken down. After the first few runs they started wheezing due to an apparent pop of the air chamber, so I decided to buy some new running shoes.
On Saturday I tried on a bunch of shoes at one of the local sports stores and found a pair that felt good... nice and soft with lots of cushion... they way shoes are supposed to feel, right? I came home, went for a run, and within 5 minutes had terrible pain in my calves and feet. The pain continued and was so bad that I had to ice my feet and calves later that evening. This is exactly the opposite of my expectation for a "shiny new shoes" experience.
I started doing research on the Internet, trying to figure out what kind of shoe I should buy, thinking that the pain *must* be due to my choosing the wrong kind of shoe for my foot. I have a high arch and think I have a tendency to over-pronate. The shoes I had purchased were supposed to be ok for this. I became discouraged. However, during my research I stumbled onto some barefoot running sites. The concept of mid-foot strike rather than heel strike really clicked with me. I tested this in the back yard, running around barefooted and had no pain whatsoever. The fact that native peoples have been running long distances barefoot or in minimalist footwear for thousands of years also struck me as significant (see the sites below for lots of information and references).
I returned the big cushioned running shoes in favor the Nike Free Run+. These were the only "barefoot" shoe available at our local sports store (I was eager to get running again and was not ready to go completely shoe-free).
On Tuesday I started alternating between running barefoot and shod with the Nike Free Run+. These shoes are very light, easy to carry, and do not require socks so I can just stop and slip them on if needed. They do feel like they have arch support, which I think my feet appreciate until the foot muscles get stronger. Here is a picture of my Nike Free Run+ shoes:
Dealing with proprietary software (especially buggy proprietary software, proprietary software where the company has disappeared and released no source code, proprietary software where the company has just decided to kill off the product for marketing reasons and released no source code, proprietary software licensing, proprietary software license key activation, difficult license renewal processes, license management servers that inappropriately lock the customer out of the software, etc.) can occasionally put me in a foul mood.
Over the weekend I found some images that are fitting for such occasions...
(Proprietary Software Toilet Paper)
(Proprietary Software in Quarantine)
NOTE: Images originally found at http://www.openstickers.com/ with the following license:
Copyright 2006-2007, Javier A. Albusac Jiménez
Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this book and associated files, to deal in the book without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the book, and to permit persons to whom the book is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:
The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or different versions of the book and inside images.