I had my daughters from Friday evening to Saturday evening this weekend. My ex wife and I have a really good custody agreement that allows for flexibility and full and half weekends each month. Complicated, but basically I get to see the girls a lot which is awesome.
The girls get a real kick out of my barefoot running thing. They are smart cookies and they understand the physiology of what I am talking about with regards to the horrors of the modern running shoe. But when I start preaching about it (which I should really start to monitor so I don’t become as annoying as a pack of krishnas giving out flowers in an airport); “man has been running for TWO MILLION YEARS without gels or cushioned heels….” my oldest daughter rolls her eyes and gives me the big “OMG Dad” grin. But they love that I have a blog and they are telling there friends how their dad is on this kick, etc. I think they are impressed with all of it on some level.
The girls rode their bikes several times on Saturday and I joined them, only I joined on foot; 3 times. Each run felt better then the last and on one of the bike / running trips I asked my youngest daughters to go further then we planed so I could get a couple more barefoot steps in. I felt great all day with no pain. I felt like the prehistoric runners that I have been reading about who didn’t just have one big run a day, they had to be ready to run several times thought-out the day for a variety of reasons. See an animal that might taste good? Go run after it? Saber tooth tiger spotted you? Run away from it. Your daughters say “lets take a bike ride”, get up and run next to them (how and when I eat is also a huge factor in the ability to do this, but that is a topic for another entry).
I feel so liberated. I feel so youthful. I feel so ready. Running doesn’t have to be a big production where you plan your day around it and mentally prepare for the big event. It’s funny how a simple thing like breaking free from my modern running shoes has had not only an effect on my body but a huge effect on my overall outlook about running.
Today is Sunday and I was going to take a day off from running. Erica and I got up this morning and took a 7 mile bike ride around the lake at nearby Peace Valley Park (ANOTHER topic for another blog) after hosting a friend for dinner the previous evening (we decided to make the bike ride optional based on how much we drank the night before; we rode) . As we rode around the lake, I could not help but look at the runners with pity. They were all wearing footwear that could hurt them and didn’t even realize it. Regardless, seeing all the runners made me want to run and I did the thing I new I shouldn’t do, run.
Not that running itself was the problem because, as I said earlier, I want to be ready to run whenever regardless of my current number of daily runs or the amount of food in my stomach. I just did not want to overdo it, but today was a P E R F E C T day for a run and I knew that if I ran, I would run a long distance. (“Long” being more miles then necessary in the beginning of my life as a barefoot runner”).
I ran, and it felt great. I had my FiveFinger shoes on and went the long way to a park here in our new town that I haven’t been to yet. There is a 1.25 mile running/walking path and its a couple miles to get there. I felt amazing. No pain in my legs from running previous days and I also didn’t have that mile or so warm up period that I used to need when wearing sneakers. I just felt OK from the first steps. My iPod picked great songs and it was an excellent time.
As I sit here on Sunday evening, I do feel the road on my lower legs. They are sore for sure. No pain necessarily, but I know that I am using muscles that I never used before when I ran. There has to be some soreness and it will take time to get through that. Oh please let that be right…..