“If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies."[Nadine Stair]
Well, almost barefoot running that is.
You see, I am not that great of a runner. It's not that I lack the endurance (though, that is getting pretty low these days with my increasing amount of time spent typing away in front of my computer), it's that I lack the patience. I get bored when I run - be it on a track (running in circles), running on the road (dodging cars and other pedestrians), or on the treadmill at a gym with a TV (you never actually get anywhere!).
So running has always been low on my priority list. I'd much prefer to run sprints or do a circuit of stadium stairs (yes, that does make me a masochist, but my calves look pretty amazing!). Or even better - sports. Any sort of activity that makes my brain and my body work together towards a common goal. I know a lot of people find running mentally stimulating - they get to think about everything and nothing at the same time, they get to watch the countryside go past them, they have to just get past that darn two mile marker and they're golden. For me, not so much. I get bored, end of story.
But, with the rise of a lot of my friends training for half and whole marathons (damn you facebook for showing me and therefore upping my competitive nature!), I've started to give running a new lease in my life.
This is where barefoot comes in.
I love the idea of running barefoot - running the way our bodies were intended to run. Sneakers, while comfortable, augment the way your foot strikes the ground. I like to let my body do things the way it was designed to do them - after all, our bodies are pretty amazing machines.
I bought my Vibram Fivefingers last August (well, my parents bought them for me for a 25th birthday present). And I love them. I wear them incessantly (so long as the weather is nice enough to not freeze or soak my toesies off). I bough them with the idea that I would start running in them - just short runs. Long enough to get used to them, but short enough to not let the boredom creep into my mind. I also bought them so I can wear them whenever I get back into rock-climbing (hopefully once back Stateside), if I ever decide to take up windsurfing (like I really want to do), or whenever I go whitewater rafting again (hopefully at camp this summer - yes I signed on again! 25 and a camp counselor! but more on that later....). These shoes have some big roles to fill!
However, so far, they've just been some super awesome shoes to wander around Budapest in on a daily basis.
However, with the impending doom of my thesis looming over my head, I've decided I need a reason to get my butt up out of my chair and get some blood pumping through my body.
I'm busting out the FiveFingers for more than a fashion statement (and let me tell you, in this city? They're quite the statement! I've never had so many people stare at my feet in my life!). Today I went for a short run. I'm playing this smart - I know how painful overdoing it in these shoes can be, and I don't need to add rehabing an injury to my list of stressors this year!
Training for something? Who knows. But I will be running 'barefoot' a lot more as the season progresses.
I know a lot of people have really strong opinions (both pro & con) about running barefoot, and I would love to hear what you all have to say about it. Do you own FiveFingers (do you love them?)? Are you ardently opposed to the whole concept? Please share!
PS. Yes, I know I just went to Madrid -
as soon as I've gone through all my pictures,
you can expect a post all about it. Promise. :)
all pictures (c) ME