I have to say this latest experiment has been the best and most educational experiment for me to date. That is, returning to running shoes to compare against running in the Evo's and barefoot. It took a long time to reach the point where I could run in shoes without pain or injury so this provided me the opportunity to make a good comparison. Today was so clear (more than yesterday). I've completed the last few weeks of speed/interval track work in the zero dropped Nike Free 3.0's but today I returned to the Evo's and did 1x800 meters, into 8x300 meters, finishing with 1x800 meters. The difference was very clear. Again, I was sharper and cleaner.
However, the real difference is the communications paths were all open. I can't put an exact number or percentage on it but I'd say I had another 10-15% awareness of my body. I was able to make adaptations in mid-stride because the communications paths from my forefoot to ankle to leg to brain were wide open. I could literally feel my body at work in the Evo's and barefoot . . . I could feel the same in the Free's but not to the same extent. It was like trying to hear someone speak while you have ear phones on, with no music playing . . . just the plain ear phones. The ear phones just deafen the ears just a bit but enough that it's noticeable.
I think my long distance days may be over. I was thinking about it while do the intervals. All things considered, I think I'm built and designed for middle distance. Gordon Pirie wasn't lying when he said, "Speed kills endurance and Endurance kills speed." Funny to think 18 months ago my long runs were 20-30 miles and now my long run is 10-12 miles, but I can run those shorter miles efficiently with proper form
I'm also frustrated that this group can't reach more people. I think we all have so much to offer others. It kills me to watch someone slam into the ground. It kills me to hear runners just accept that they must deal with serious injuries due to running.