Friday, March 19, 2010

Badge of honor?

My “First Blood” entry from yesterday, with all its bravado and enthusiasm for my personal bloodletting, was misguided. I walked around yesterday (barefoot of course) looking at the band-aid on my toe with pride and some weird feeling of accomplishment. That was until about 9 pm yesterday evening when I realized I had possibly made a huge mistake.

Of course I didn’t step on a rock and make my toe bleed on purpose, but I am trying to be the ‘Rambo of Chalfont’ and walk the rough road to the running trail barefoot in order to toughen up my feet. Step 1 to barefoot running; get that foot skin rough and tough, right? Ummmmmmmm… no. Sitting at the restaurant with Erica and the girls last night I realized “wow, that toe kind of hurts. No, that toe REALLY hurts!”.

I always do this. I always dive into things with such fervor and passion that I inevitably go too hard or too much or too long and I end up having to dial back the “Ken Governor” (or it gets dialed back whether I like it or not). Well, this time WAS going to be different. This time I was going to take it slow and run a mile at a time. I was going to be a good, patient student of barefoot running. Damm…

I have encountered my first speed bump on my journey to painless, endless miles of running; in the first week. However, in the interest of this blog and to the point of writing all this down in the first place, I offer two pieces of advice! One is don’t overdo it on the actual running OR the being bearfoot as much as you can to toughen up the feet. And two is to get your running shoes early so you have them.

Of course by “running shoes” I DON’T mean expensive air or gel running sneakers that cost 100+ dollars. I mean get a minimalist running shoe that costs 100+ dollars (I didn’t say that barefoot running was cheaper then the alternative). There are plenty to choose from and many, many websites devoted not only to the broad spectrum of barefoot running, but also advice on the shoes. I have invested in a pair of Vibram FiveFingers ( and so far I have resisted the urge to wear them running (aside from a quick jaunt the day they arrived). I have resisted because in my research a doctor mentioned that to truly train the foot, you have to run without any form of shoe first to get the feel and strengthen the correct muscles. Of course that doctor didn’t know he was talking to an idiot that would do a tap dance on sharp rocks.

So today, well ahead of schedule, I will run with my funny looking shoes on (provided I can get the injured toe, band-aid and all, into its individual toe hole). I know that I am still within my primal barefoot mode as these shoes are nothing more then a strip of rubber and some velcro, but I do have the nagging thought that I am not supposed to be wearing them yet.

I am sure that it will be fine…….. right?

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