I have been on a secret mission these past couple months. It's more like a morbid curiosity slash obsession. I am hooked on this idea of barefoot running. Okay, now it's not what you're picturing. It's not like I'd be scampering through the woods Twilight-style, forgoing showers, deodorant, and civilization. Let me explain:
As I was reading Born to Run, a lot of what was discussed in the book made sense to me. Our ancestors weren't running around pre-historic America in their $180 Nike Shocks. No Cavemen waited outside FootLocker for the latest pair of celebrity-endorsed Jordans. They covered more distance than many of us could ever dream of and yet they did it in self-fashioned sandals or even barefoot, and yet we are the fools rushing out to get the latest "super cushioned, ultra balanced neutral, over pronated under pronated give me all of your money for this latest model" sneaker. And the irony (ohhh the irony)? Runners today are getting injured more often than the generations before us. Plantar Fasciitis and IT band injuries were relatively unheard of for centuries. Anyway, before I get too lost in running mambo jumbo, I highly recommend reading it. Even if you aren't a runner. It's an amazing story with some information sprinkled in. geez, Random House should pay me to promote this book. (Hey Random House, I'm going to grad school for Publishing. I'm fun and cool and like to write grammatically incorrect run on sentences and overuse parentheses. Wanna hire me?)
But I digress...In any regard, I harbor a deep desire for the "barefoot running" shoes. Have you seen these things?
Now before you call me a hypocrite for just saying how I want to do barefoot running in the paragraph above, let's be real folks. I live in a city. in 2010. Do you know how nasty people are? I cannot go running around Boston or London barefoot. Ew. God. I'd surely contract herpaghonnasyphilaids (try saying that ten times fast). Plus it'd totally contradict the whole less injury argument if I impale myself on a broken beer bottle within the first mile. So, I'll need some sort of footwear. That is where these fabulous little shoes come in.
Aren't they ridiculous? They are. Don't fool yourselves. You know it and I know it. I won't be wearing them out on a date with Sean that's for sure. After months of secretly stalking them over the internet, pouring over blog reviews and coyly staring at the color choices on their website, I finally tried a pair on today. They are intense. I am not so sure I'm ready to bite the bullet. Fine, I'll admit it, I'm a little scared to get them. The key to these shoes is that they essentially retrain your entire body how to run. I won't launch into a diatribe on heel striking vs foot striking but to boil it down: basically your calves feel like boycotting against the rest of your body after the first run. You use muscles you've never used before in ways that haven't been done in a long time. Apparently it takes months to rebuild your mileage base back up. It scared me. I've worked so hard at making the strides I have I don't want to lose them. (haha, get it? strides? puns are so fun!)
I tried on another shoe today too, the Newton Performance Trainers. I like to think of it like the barefoot-in-training shoe:
They've got similar elements to the five fingers without looking like a complete idiot on the streets. See how they have the ridges in the front? Instead of an elevated heel like most sneakers, it forces you to run on the balls of your feet, which nature tells us we are supposed to be doing anyway. I am leaning more towards these ones, except for the fact they are like $100 more than the Vibram Five Fingers. Of course. It's like a honing beacon for me. Find the most expensive item in the store and covet it. grrrr.
Okay enough technical running talk. even I'm bored at this point and it's my own blog. Can we discuss the colors these shoes come in? Aggressive. Hey shoes, 1987 called, they want their colors back. Milli Vanilli and Punky Brewster were rocking them when I was still in diapers. The Newton ones are the color of the Situation's tan by the end of shore season. With that being said, I kinda like them. ohhhh the mind of this little lady is always a mystery.