Monday, January 30, 2012

Beginning Again -- Part II

About an hour ago I posted that I was going to head out for my first run in quite a while and that I was planning to wear my new Merrel Pace Gloves. because it was too cold.

I stepped out the door but looking down at the shoes I did not feel very good about it.  I had a frown.  "It's okay," I told myself, "you can run barefoot a little later when it gets warmer."

Still not happy.

"You only need to do this because you let it slide.  Before you know it you'll be back in barefoot shape and you can run barefoot all summer."

Still not happy.

"You need to run in these things some time because you can't run barefoot all the time and you're going to have to use these for certain things."

Still not happy.

Finally I just couldn't do it.  I couldn't even take a step.  I had to take the shoes off.

Immediately I felt happy.  In fact, happiness flooded into me.  I had no idea what would happen out there, having not run for so long, but I knew I was back where I wanted to be -- barefoot running.

And waiting for me, like a big beautiful blue reward was this:
It was 35 degrees and sunny!  And my feet never felt cold at all!

What had made me unhappy about having the shoes on? What did I love about having taken my shoes off?

It was that I had missed coming in contact with the ground. I really love to feel the ground.

I do believe it's true about getting that feedback from the ground.  The Merrell's are really nice shoes.  Really great shoes..  I used them to run the first mile of the 2012 Disney Family Fiesta 5K just a few weeks ago -- that first mile on that painful nubby parking lot that I described to you from last year's Disney 5K.  I didn't feel happy about wearing the shoes there either, but it was something that was necessary because I was not conditioned to run on that sharp nubby pointy stuff.

But it seem that no matter how well they make these very minimalist, barefoot-style shoes, there always ends up being a layer between the nerve ending and the feet and the ground.  Sometimes the soles of these shoes are very good, and you can feel much through them, but it is just not the same as that direct contact with the ground. It's just not the same!

I think I now know my destiny.

I think there are lots of ways to run.  I don't believe my barefoot is some kind of doctrine that must be adhered to.  If someone hated it they should not do it that way.  But for me, there is nothing like it.  I won't cease to get a big kick out of the fact that it can be done this way.  After all those years of believing and thinking and just taking for granted the "truth" that I needed some kind of support in my shoe in order to run, I can't stop thinking it's so wonderful that I can just run without any shoes at all.  It's such a feeling of bursting free!

By the way, I also wrote in that post an hour ago that I would just walk/run out there.  But I didn't.  I ended up running the whole time.  Only ran about a mile and a half but that is enough for the first day back.

1 comment:

ac said...

What a coincidence!
I decided to take another go at barefooting and had my first run today too. It was 58 deg here though :)
This year I will be patient though. Started out with just 0.3 miles
Small steps.
Congrats on getting back out there!