Thursday, September 30, 2010

barefoot regrets

Yesterday morning, while at the rec center for our morning workout, Sylvia and I decided to run barefoot on the indoor track. Because, you know, I read "Born to Run" and I am impressionable. Also because I had read that it strengthens your feet, which decreases the incidence of injury. But mostly because I'm a lemming.

It was a totally new sensation and actually quite liberating. It's actually much more fluid to run on the balls of your feet, rather than striking with your heel. But since I haven't run that way since I was a kid, the oh-so-important calf muscles get quite the workout. My feet, my outer thighs, but specifically my calves were worn out yesterday afternoon and I knew this didn't bode well for 24 hours later, when the lactic acid has had plenty of time to accumulate.

Today I've been feeling it. And I didn't workout this morning due to a late night at Cheesecake Factory for a friend's birthday. But I was (relative) good - I decided to forgo my beloved Chicken Madeira (the very name triggers my salivary glands) and got an appetizer salad (which I still couldn't finish) and then split the...I can't think of the name, but there was cheesecake and chocolate cake and Reese's peanut butter cups baked in and then icing and some kind of peanut butter buttercream nonsense on top. Oh it was divine.

But I wasn't too stuffed to distract from the radiating awareness of coming pain in my calves. So tonight I decided to return to the rec center, do a quick mile on the treadmill and then run a little barefoot. Just to work out the acid. Just a little barefoot.

Except.

Running barefoot is really FUN. I feel like I'm exerting about the same amount as usual, but I'm faster. And I start bouncing along and it's...well...fun. It's like that episode of Friends when Phoebe tells Rachel to run like when she was a kid. Except I'm not waving my arms around like a lunatic. It's just glorious. And I'm going too fast to care if people are grossed out or confused or...whatever.

So before I know it, I've done half a mile and I start sprinting various portions. I kind of wanted to keep going, but my calves were starting to fatigue. So I headed home. I threw some edamame in the microwave and ran upstairs to take a quick shower, then headed back downstairs.

Aaaaaaaaaand that's the problem. Walking downstairs. I seem to have lost the ability. I had to walk down the stairs BACKWARDS, that's how much they hurt. A little bit, Sarah, a LITTLE bit was all tonight was supposed to be. But hey, when my ipod is telling me "Tonight's gonna be a good night!" I believe it. And keep going.

What can I say, I'm impressionable that way.

5 comments:

Lisa said...

When you do the Warrior Dash barefoot, then I'll be really impressed. :)

Becca said...

Is it really that much of a difference?? That's not allowed at my gym...but if it's really that awesome then maybe I will have to look into Vibrams. Uhhh I don't want to be THAT person though.

laura said...

No Becca, don't do it! Vibrams are creepy. And you can definitely get shoes (like the Frees) that mimic barefoot running while still having some structure. The reason it's so different is that the point of modern running shoes is to stabilize your foot and there's so much arch support and other stuff that means you're not using the muscles that were put there to help you run.

Allison said...

When I read your email about barefoot running, I was totally picturing Phoebe. I mean, we ran barefoot all the time as kids. It sounds fun. But there's nowhere here I'd run barefoot. Dave wants some Vibrams, though I have to remind him that he hates those toe socks, so that would rule out Vibrams. Our friend has them and swears they're supercool even though they look odd.

I'm tempted to just get two pieces of leather and tie them to my feet.

mikerives said...

Sarah, you should join (or at least visit) the Barefoot Runners Society. www.barefootrunners.org. You can hang out with some other people that think barefoot running is pretty dang fun! Cheers & Good Running!