If you've been a regular visitor here you will no doubt know that I have been investigating the whole running barefoot thing for a few months. It really took off when I read the book Born to Run. Seemingly, the mounting evidence is indicating that modern running shoes are responsible for MOST modern running injuries. I've read a lot about it, and listened to any number of podcasts/interviews about it, but, up until today, I have been on the fence about taking the plunge. This morning, during my 10 miler along the Berkeley/Emeryville waterfront, I listened to episode #43 of the runnersroundtable podcast. It knocked me off my perch on the fence. This afternoon I purchased my Vibram 5 Fingers. I can not wait, now that I've taken the plunge, to hit the ground running in them. I still have questions, though. Time and experience will, hopefully, provide the answers.
Chief among those questions is...why have I not hurt more, while wearing shoes? I am three weeks away from my 29th marathon in just over 7 years...and my 10th since December 2008. I am 57 years old, and not blessed with the proverbial runner's body. However, I have only come close to a running injury once. The first time I ran CIM in Sacramento, in 2004, I experienced knitting-needle-thru-the-left-knee pains at mile 17. Wound up walking the rest of the way. Since then, I have committed myself more diligently to the Galloway run/walk method and have not even come close to another injury. All that time I was wearing shoes. Why didn't I experience more pain, additional injury? Not a bad "problem" to have, right?
My other wondering is about how much "better" I might get doing this distance running thing, if the claims that running sans shoes makes one's feet and legs and body and, maybe even, the mind, stronger. I've never been concerned about speed. Interested, rather, in doing the distance, finishing in a more joyful state of mind and body. We'll see, huh? My priorities just might adjust, presented with unforeseen possibilities.