Tuesday, July 5, 2011

On the Run, Slowly

Here we go!  Back in the saddle.

I did 7/10 of a mile on July 4th after not running since the previous Tuesday.  I'm now taking the "run for fun" approach, and listening to my body rather than trying to pound out a specific distance or set of intervals.  I didn't time this run, but I did map it out afterwards just to see the distance.  I want to get an idea for how far, I'm just not concerned right now with how fast.  I hereby vow to never again fall victim to "Too Much, Too Soon".

The process of becoming a runner has been interesting to say the least.  I started back on this path with a specific goal in mind and a set training schedule.  I haven't been able to stick to it due to injury but I know my lungs are stronger than they have ever been.  My lungs seemed to constantly be a limiting factor in addition to the shin splints that have plagued me since high school.  I feel proud now that I can always keep up a sub-10 minute mile pace without being so gassed I have to stop.  10 minute miles aren't winning any awards, but neither is sitting on the couch.

The run I did on the 4th was all barefoot.  No shoes at all!  I had been out mowing the lawn and decided it was go time.  My heel pain had resolved, and I was itching to get going so I took off my shoes (Yeah I was wearing shoes, but I'm not taking a whack in the toes from a string trimmer!) from mowing/edging and I took off.  I had a route in mind but I decided I would  just see how I was feeling.  I had a little stretching/aching in my heel but it wasn't painful so I kept going.  I felt like I was going a good pace so I ignored that part and focused on my left heel to see if I could find any gait problems that were keeping this pain around.  I discovered that I was landing mid to forefoot on both sides, but my left heel wasn't really touching down.  Instead I was keeping it stiff and almost pushing off.  I worked on it and had it pretty much under control by the time I was done.  The best news is that I have no heel pain at all today!

I was a few blocks from home when I got overtaken and passed by two other runners.  I wonder what they thought about what I was doing.  Both had on ASICS.  I doubt they gave it a second thought, but I like to think they went home and looked into barefoot running.  Regardless, I'm hooked and I'm going to continue!

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