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.