After I got injured running last June, I found myself with some free time on my hands. I couldn’t run, so I started reading about running instead. {Self-torture much?} I picked up the infamous “Born to Run” book, and was immediately enraptured with all things barefoot running, pinole and chia seeds.

born to run barefoot running

In fact, if you’ve read Born to Run and didn’t walk away completely enthralled by these things, I’m guessing you didn’t really read the book. Winking smile

You can read more about the barefoot running book here, but one of the main takeaways is that this group of ultrarunners run 100s of miles in tiny thin sandals that might as well make them running barefoot, and they never get injured. Perhaps this stuck out to me more as I was sitting on the couch with a bum knee, but I think the idea would have appealed to me regardless.

runners knee

At the time I was in physical therapy for my knee. Since I had a professional at my disposable, I chewed his ear off with questions. It wasn’t hard to tell he was pretty much over the whole barefoot running and Vibrams thing; the number of injuries he’d seen had gone up drastically due to the popularity of Vibrams.

So I pushed the idea out of my head thinking it was just another passing fad and didn’t have much merit. Then one day early last spring, the husband and I were outside doing yard work. I, of course, was barefoot, as I almost always am.

I wasn’t paying much attention when suddenly I heard the husband yell out. I looked up with just enough time to see him running towards me… with a dead rat. Yes, a rat. I didn’t think two seconds before I took off sprinting towards the front yard.

It was only later when the horrible, disgusting creature was far, far out of sight that I realized what had just happened. I ran. And it didn’t hurt.

Up until then, every time I tried a short run, it would end in knee pain. I was just about giving up. But then I ran across the yard without a thought. The only difference? I was barefoot.

I took the precautions of my physical therapist, but decided they only way I’d know for sure about the whole barefoot running thing was if I gave it a try myself. I got a pair of Vibrams, and set off on a walk around the neighborhood the next day.

vibrams fivefingers

It couldn’t have felt better. To me it felt completely natural- I spend so much time barefoot that these shoes just felt right. Slowly, I started to jog in them. They felt great. No knee pain. I was already a mid to forefoot runner, so running without the support of sneakers wasn’t a big deal to me.

As I worked my way up in mileage, however, the knee pain would return. The difference with the Vibrams and my regular running shoes was that the knee pain would stop as soon as I stopped running- it didn’t stick around for the next few days.

So I trained for a 5k mud run in my Vibrams. {The mud run was the perfect first race back from injury since it was on a soft surface.}

mud run 5k rugged maniac

If you were reading back then, you might remember my knee didn’t fair well after that race.

So did I blame the Vibrams?

Find out tomorrow. Winking smile

 


Pssst. We finished painting the nursery! Go check it out and tell me what you think. Winking smile