Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A Nice Run!

Yesterday I went down to Portland for a run around the riverbanks of the Willamette River - verrrry nice surfaces. Then I decided to cut up into the city and find me one of those Immigration Marches.

Along the way I ran to REI and stopped in to see if they had any Vibram 5-Fingers. They didn't. I showed them my home-made version that I fashioned from 5-toed socks and platicene. They were impressed but didn't think they would start selling them any time soon.

I ran around and eventually heard drums and shouting, so I steered towards the parade. I was secretly hoping some news reporter would see the crazy barefoot guy and grab some footage of me. Didn't happen. I did entertain a lot of police who seemed to get a kick out of seeing me. The parade marchers were predictably noisy and respectfully gave way to let me run past them.

It was back to the river front sidewalks where I actually wore my personally-made 5-fingers for the first time just to see how they felt. I actually liked wearing them! Just enough shielding to help keep the skin from abrasions. A nice break.

I also experimented with some form techniques and think (once again) that I have crossed a new milestone in my development. I've learned that barefoot running requires some very subtle changes that are elusive to me. This time I concentrated on picking up my feet and setting them down like I was squashing bugs gently. Weird concept, I know, but it worked. The difference is in how I lifted my feet by raising my knees instead of by swinging my feet forward in an arc.

All in all, a very nice 6 or 7 mile run.



Papa Louie said...

If you patent those home made 5 finger sock/shoe and sell them below the $70.00 vibram let me know because I'll be the first to buy them from you.

Vancouver Barefoot said...

Hey! Thanks for the offer -- I'm not actually thinking of manufacturing them at all. I can't patent the idea because I got it from somebody elsse. You can make a pair yourself like I did...

I bought a $12 pair of 5-fingered socks at REI and a can of plasticene (the stuff you dip tool handles in to coat them.)

I slathered lotion on the soles of my feet to keep the paint from sticking to my skin (next time I'll use Vaseline), then I put the socks on and stood in a flat pan with some paint poured in. This gave me painted surfaces on the soles of the socks across the pads of the toes, the ball of the foot, and the heel.

My socks are a light khaki green/tan color and I used black plasticene paint.

The plasticene does not offer much padding at all, its there mostly to protect the fabric from wearing out too quickly. I'll have to reapply it from time to time if the original coating starts wearing thin.

I thought it would be interesting to sew a bunch of zig-zag patterns across the soles of the socks with Kevlar thread (available at my local fly-fishing and tackle store) for additional strength. Next time!