Thursday, November 20, 2008

Listening To Our 'Youngers'

There is wisdom in listening to our elders and learning from them.
However, there is also wisdom in listening to our "youngers" sometimes.

I noticed some kids walking barefoot across a parking lot one time.
When they came to a rougher gravel-covered section, they all did some

familiar things:

Bent their knees more
Shortened their strides more
Stepped more on their forefeet than on their heels
Appeared to look past the rough area - not focusing on the immediate.

So yesterday I was running and took a trail that goes from a parking

lot down to the sandy banks of our local river. The trail was mostly
smooth and leaf-covered, very easy and pleasant! There is one section
that is rocky and rough. I have usually had to switch to a slow walk through
there and try to step only on the large, smooth rocks.

This time I remembered the example of the children and di
d the same
things they did. I was able to cross over the rough part very easily
and much more quickly, no problems at all. Something to keep in mind
for future runs.

Quite often people ask me "Where are your shoes?" I usually carry a
couple of bandaids in my pocket in case I need them (I rarely do).

One time I pulled out some bandaids, showed them to the person, and
said, "Here they are! I carry them in my pocket."


Friday, November 14, 2008

Running in the Rain

Last Wednesday, I felt like going running all day, but it was very windy and blowing, the middle of a big storm. Once I am out in it, I usually don't mind so much; the hard part is overcoming the initial resistance to the idea of voluntarily getting soaking wet. It was not even that cold out, a balmy 62 degrees! So I was vacillating between going or not, to get wet or to stay dry.

I thought I would compromise -- go out just for a short run (or so I say to myself) which won't be so bad. Except I know that once I'm out in it and am already wet, I'll have no reason at all to keep it short. So, I asked myself, shall I go out at all, knowing I will probably make it a longer run in the end?

So I stewed over it for some time.

Anyway, I ended actually venturing out into the full-on rain storm. It was still 62 degrees F (16.6 C) out and less than an hour before sunset. I knew I would get soaking wet but I did it anyway.

It was windy, wet, wild -- and wonderful!

Yep, I did go further than I originally planned, 7.5 miles instead of 4. There were some fairly strong wind gusts, some spells of extremely heavy rain intermixed with steady, constant rain. Some deep puddles that I intentionally aimed for, especially when wet leaves were sticking to my feet and ankles.

I even saw a few other runners and bicyclists out! I passed two women, one who was wearing only a sports bra, shorts and shoes. She pointed
at my feet and exclaimed, "No shoes??" I pointed at her and said, "No
jacket??" We both laughed and continued on our way.

Today is sunny and blue skies -- not too bad running weather either!

On another note... I get asked about barefoot running so much that I broke down and bought some business card paper and made me up some Running Barefoot cards to just carry with me and hand out on runs. I don't know how they will fare in sweat and rain, so I'm looking for a plastic holder of some kind to keep them in so they stay dry.

My desert-dwelling sister was up here for a visit. She asked one day, "What's all that stuff falling out of the sky?" (joking about all our rain
versus her lack of it.)

I smiled and told her, "Around here, we call that SUNSHINE!!"


Thursday, November 06, 2008

More on: "Is Going Barefooted Good for You?"

Someone on the Yahoo sports group, Runningbarefoot, sent me a link to another very well written and thorough article written by Joseph Froncioni on his web site,
Quickswood --- about shoes, bare feet, and injuries. Excellent material! Read it here:

Essay on Athletic Footwear and Running Injuries

Is Going Barefoot Good for the Feet?

I got a private email from someone wondering if running barefoot was proven to be good for the feet. Here is my answer:

Hi there! I got this email from you, where you said,

"I think you guys are a little loose running barefoot. There is no proof that it is better for your feet."

My first proof is myself, but that might not convince anyone. So I did a quick web search and found these articles, linked below. There may be others I didn't discover. I suppose these come as close to 'proof' as we have right now. There is not a lot of money in proving barefoot is better; scientists get a lot more money proving that a certain shoe or an orthotic design is good so some company can sell those products!

Enjoy these, they were very helpful to me!

Article 1
Article 2
Article 3
Article 4
Article 5
Article 6
Article 7