So far barefoot running is working out great for me

May 23, 2011

I was feeling pretty good last week until Thursday, when I offended the god of running shoes by trying a very short barefoot jog. I have read many stories of injury-prone people finding more success by ditching their shoes, and I thought it was worth a try, as an experiment at least. Could it build up foot and ankle strength while reducing strain on my knees?

My first try was just four-tenth of a mile, with walk breaks. I’m doing it entirely barefoot, rather than in minimalist shoes, in order to force myself to build up very slowly. I found a smooth concrete path in the park and tried it out on a sunny day. I was surprised that it felt great on the soles of my feet. It felt invigorating, like a foot massage. I didn’t really want to stop after one lap, but I did.

That evening, I mowed our hilly, uneven lawn. My right ankle started to hurt. The next morning it was still hurting a little and some right-side sciatica  was making itself known. It may have been sympathetic pain accompanying the ankle, or I may have stressed my back; I don’t know. By Saturday afternoon the sciatica was fairly painful. I made it through 13 miles Sunday Morning OK though.

Now my sciatica still hurts, plus I think I might be coming down with a cold. You’re probably thinking that the cold has nothing to do with having run barefoot. But maybe the god of running shoes is a jealous god, and a mean one.

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Update

May 13, 2011

Sorry about the quiet blog lately — there just hasn’t been much going on. I’m continuing to rebuild after Boston. Last weekend I ran six easy miles on Friday, then tried for 10 on Saturday. I made it to about nine and a quarter before my knee started feeling funny,  and I walk-jogged the last bit. I was also very worn out, much more so than I normally would be by a ten-mile run.

This week I’ve had a fairly normal (if light) training schedule, with a fast six-miler on Monday, three recovery miles Tuesday, six pretty easy Wednesday, and five miles at a moderate pace Thursday. I’ve had no knee pain, but even these shorter runs have felt like a lot of running.

It’s a rest day today, then I’m hoping to do 13 on Saturday.


Knee-Jerk Reactions

May 3, 2011

As you may recall, my left knee got tight and painful during the Boston marathon. I’ve had this happen before. It didn’t surprise me when it was sore for a couple of days afterwards. And it didn’t surprise me when running more than a few miles made it sore again in the following weeks.

So it was a pleasant surprise yesterday when I ran a full six miles with no pain or tightness. I’m not going to fool myself about being fully recovered. It stiffened up a little during the drive home. I’m still going to take it easy getting back into my regular running routine. There’s still a fair chance I’ll take a pass on running the Vancouver USA Marathon on June 19th. But it was a nice surprise nonetheless.