Saturday, December 11, 2010

Barefoot Running In The Dark

Over the past 2 months, I have been making the transition from running in shoes that felt like they were made for the abominable snow man to lightweight running shoes that look like they were made for Spider Man.  I  tossed out my Vasque Blurr trail running shoes and traded them for a pair of Vibram 5 Finger running shoes.

It's been a painful transition as my toe and calf muscles have not had this kind of a work out since I was in junior high school.

On Monday, I carried the 5 Finger shoes and ran barefoot for 3 minutes in the dark on the road.  It was an experience trying to feel my  way on the black top road.  The night was warm and everything smelled so good.  I ran past the corn field and could smell the moist black soil.  Everything was so  still except for the  rustling of  the fall leaves that crunched under my  feet.

After a short period of going sans shoes, I slipped on  the Vibram's and ran another 25 minutes over rocks and rail road tracks.  I repeated this exercise another 2 times during the week.

On Friday, I walked barefoot with my wife and kids for 20 minutes and then transitioned into the minimalist shoes.

Today, I carried my heavy running shoes while I ran with my toes wiggling in the Vibram's.  After nearly 40 minutes of running on the dirt levy, I decided that it was a good time to stop before I felt any pain.  I put the heavy running shoes on my feet-14 ounces each!  I was missing the freedom and lightness immediately. 

The run in the 5 Finger shoes felt totally natural and I did not hurt.  Conversely, running in the clod hoppers felt like I  was being  restricted.  I look forward to the day that I can run totally bare!

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