Sunday, April 4, 2010

Barefoot running


As a little kid, I didn't have much more physical activity than playing with my friends.  I was skinny.  Some of my fellow skinny kid friends were put on uber-fatty diets to force weight gain.  Thankfully my parents never followed that advice, but I wasn't in cheerleading, gymnastics, track, basketball, or volleyball.  Looking back some of that makes me sad.  I would have loved to be in sports.  I could have excelled in things where my small frame was an asset.  But we do better when we know better, and at that time those two options were the best that parents knew to do.  So cest la vie.

But one of the beautiful things about life and growing up is that you can do what you want.  Even though I'm still thin, my cardio endurance could GREATLY improve!  I hate having poor endurance and have been trying to improve it slowly but surely.  It's baby steps for sure.

I love the idea of being a runner, but right now I'm still in the fast walker stages.  My husband's path is very different.  He was the super athlete in high school, but he stopped all forms of exercise after graduation.  After 14 years, he's at the fast walker stage right there with me as he tries to work off the buddha belly.


When I heard about barefoot running, I was intrigued.  I started reading about it.  I quickly learned it was pretty controversial, but I didn't buy into the negative nellies.  The idea totally made sense to me.  We were made to run, we were made to go barefoot.  I started noticing that you do walk differently when you're barefoot.  Shoes really do make you roll heel-to-toe, which seems to aggravate the arch in my experience.

So I think I'm going to pursue barefoot running.  I started yesterday and today with walking.  Because my neighborhood has issues with broken glass strewn about, I am wearing thin flat soled shoes.  I have experimented for a few weeks with different shoes to see what works well.  I try to start hobbies with minimal upstart because I can go off course easily and don't want the money pit if I don't stick with it.

My hot pink clearance sale Simples seem to work the best so far.  I'll be looking into cheapy flat soled lace ups before I graduate into running because I don't want to step out of the shoe as I go. 

If I stick with that and enjoy it, then I'll look into Vibram KSO's or BFT's huaraches.

I am so lucky to have a sweet hubby who is always supportive of me, so he's already agreed to the shoe investment once I feel I've reached that point.  He thinks I'm kind of nuts for buying into the idea, but he'll support me in it if that's what I want to do.  I think that's an element of a good partnership.  Who knows, he ventured into vegetarianism with me, so maybe he'll end up being my running buddy after all!  There's def no pressure on that one, though.  You gotta do whatever exercise you enjoy.  In the meantime, I'll love the time I spend with my walking buddy.

Have you ever heard of barefoot running?  What are your thoughts and why?  Do you ever pay attention to the way you walk?  When you get passionate about something, do you burn bright and then burn out, or do you burn steady?  I can def be guilty of burning bright then burning out because there is so much goodness in life to try that it's hard to stick with just one pursuit!  With other things, though, I do burn steady and form new habits.