Saturday, June 5, 2010
I think I've hit a defining moment in my running life. I started getting interested in the BF movement almost 2 yrs. ago, and then it really got fueled when I met Christopher McDougall, then meeting BFT and Barefoot Ken Bob on-line, and then I was hooked. I had a rash of injuries (PF, AT and Runners Knee) and twice I went 100% barefoot for 3 months. I've tried more types of shoes than I care to admit and many trial and error training programs.
For the past 6 months, while everything has been improving, I've still had aches and pains (minor off and on PF and AT) but nothing to prevent me from running or racing so I accepted that was just something I would have to deal with, especially since it was minor, but I started a rigorous daily strengthening and stretching program for my feet, especially the plantar muscle and Achilles tendon.
However, something has occurred in the last 5 days and I know it in my heart and I can feel it in my feet. About Monday of last week I could feel something like the muscles and tendons in my feet shifting and settling. Slowly, the morning pains started to disappear around last Tuesday morning. Then, I seem to have solved a very minor issue with the Evo's when off-hand I tried a different thin insole and I knew I hit the jackpot when I put them on and took my first step. Then, yesterday and today, I run 1 mile over dirt path terrain that I couldn't run 10 ft. on 1 yr. ago and I do it with ease and can run with speed. To add to it, my stride in the last 5 days has changed. When Dr. Lieberman said you don't have to shuffle when you run barefoot, he was right. My stride has increased comfortably and I still land under the body, very softly, and pop off the ground automatically (someone asked me the other day if I ran track in college and I knew something had changed). I just ran 8 miles this morning and did a 5k tempo in the middle and I was at about 80% effort and almost ran sub 19:00 min. (19:07 exactly) and it was on dirt trails with some hills.
This is a long way of saying I wonder for folks like BFT and others, if they had a defining moment or point in time when everything just came together? If so, I think it just happened to me. I've had small accomplishments along the way but this is entirely different. This is like all the small pieces coming together. I'm very happy and I'll admit, I've had a tear or two in the last few days because this is life changing. 4 days in a row, I wake up in the morning with no pain other than sore calves/legs, etc., which is normal stuff but no problem taking the first step, no post-run pains other than sore muscles (in fact, I've been running 7 days a week recently). I've decided I don't need to regularly take days off, as the key is making sure I run easy on enough of those days but we are built to run every single day for the most part.
The discipline required to learn how to run BF has improved my overall life. Again, today, while warming up I was getting passed by all runners and it doesn't even bother me because I'm in my own world now. I use to try to compete against every runner and now I listen to my body and adjust my daily schedule according to how I feel. If I miss a workout goal, so what, because I know I get to run tomorrow.
BFT, Barefoot Ken Bob, Christopher M. and others, I've always believed in this and sure at times, I've had doubts but to see it come together is amazing.
I pray for everyone to experience this same thing at your appropriate time. It will happen!!!!!!!!!!!! I believe it's a mental, physical and spiritual test to reach this point. It won't come easy and you have to believe. And, when it happens, it's life changing.
Posted by - at 10:00 AM