Back when I was running regularly, which is now three years ago, the barefoot running craze was starting to explode. Both running truly barefoot and running in very lightweight shoes that had very little padding were the trendy thing to do. Being somebody who would love to be able to live barefoot, the craze fascinated me and I was dedicated to giving it a try. My groin injury ended running and I have yet to recover from the muscle tear enough to run. (I know, I know. As soon as we get back from Cabo next month, I’m going back to the sports doc.)
A couple of months ago. Running to Her Dreams posted a piece about Be Real Shoes — a new entry into the minimal shoe category. I signed up on their website and got a discount offer. A couple of weeks I ordered a pair of their shoes. Here they are on my little toesies…
Back when I ran my last half marathon — the one in which I spent the last six miles dragging my right leg along because of the aforementioned groin injury — I participated in a training program for the first time. The leaders spoke regularly about the importance of eliminating heel strike in your stride. Of trying to land as much as possible on the pads of your feet. Heel strikes slow a runner down and send more of the pounding and shock of the foot strike into your legs and joints than a pad strike. Or so the theory goes. As long as I’ve run in traditional running shoes, I’ve struggled with putting the theory into practice. It’s just too easy to fall into the stride that has been ingrained into my muscles for years.
So, I got these shoes. This morning I went for my first walk in them. They are incredible — the closest thing to walking barefoot without actually walking barefoot. So lightweight and comfortable it doesn’t feel like there’s anything on my feet. And with almost no padding on the bottom it’s just like walking barefoot. Because I can’t help it, even though my groin tear is still a problem, I tried small amounts of jogging during the walk. And almost immediately was able to switch to pad strikes instead of heel strikes. Back when I was running, people who had made the switch wrote and talked about how it’s pretty much inevitable that these shoes will pretty much force you to change your stride. I’m a believer now.
Thing is … it’s a different stride that puts much more of the effort into the calves. I probably only jogged about a mile in my walk of almost four miles. But my calves were burning at the end. If I keep this up, I will have calves that will be able to kill a person. I also think they may just make it possible for me to run reasonable distances without aggravating my groin tear because the stride puts so much into the calves and takes off some of the pressure and effort from other parts of my legs. Or maybe I’m just dreaming.
Anyway, love the shoes.
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I de-activated my FB account this morning. Spur of the moment decision built upon months if not years of recognizing that it’s a complete waste of time. At least for me it is.
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I’m in the midst of reading a self-published book. It’s a well-packaged book with a great attention- grabbing blurb. Problem is the story is bordering on complete crap. I’ll never claim that my self-published works are great literature and I certainly have made mistakes in the self-publishing process, but there are so many fundamental flaws in this story I’ve had enough of it. My bigger problem with the book is that I’ve seen fellow bloggers/self-published writers assist in the PR campaign for this book by reblogging posts about it, etc. When I see those reblogged posts I always wonder if the bloggers doing the reblogging have even read the book and if they haven’t, why are they doing that? See, my belief is that pushing all self-published writers, regardless of the quality, hurts all of us. I don’t understand how you can support a book or author you haven’t read. And I don’t know how you could support this book, even if you’ve read it. I’d love to see us self-published writers rally around quality rather than supporting anybody who self-publishes.
That’s my two cents.