Today . . . I ran barefoot! Well . . . not literally barefoot but in my Luna Sandals! Left the Hokas at home!! I know . . . I know . . . I have upset the balance of nature and have done what I promised I would NEVER, EVER do! But I did.
I have not been a fan of the "barefoot fad" and have kidded quite a few of you true believers! My buddy Chad Wollenberg was an early convert and sang the praises of Luna sandals for several years now. I just didn't listen to a word he said!!
Now don't get too upset!! This change may well prove to be only a temporary misalignment and I may well return to my old Hokas and set the world right again. But I needed to experiment . . . and the world order be damned!!
Actually Karen Jackson is to really blame . . . I am only a pawn in the overall scheme she and the Luna folks have to take over the running world! If you don't know Karen, she is THE ultra running queen of the impossible. She does stuff that simply can't (or shouldn't) be done . . . Like the Tarheel Ultra and more 100 milers than I care to mention! And she always runs in Lunas.
I crewed for Karen at the Tarheel Ultra and was totally amazed she did it all in her sandals . . and her feet had relatively few issues when you consider the distance of this adventure was 367 miles!! So I'm thinking if these sandals are good enough for her . . . they are probably okay for me too. But trust me . . . they look way better on her!!
|Hope the picture of this sexy leg and foot isn't too "racy" for the women . . .|
My foot is honestly doing really well (assuming you've been reading my past blogs!!) but things aren't perfect. After 15-20 miles my foot really starts hurting and the furthest I've been able to push it was only 42 miles.
So I started thinking that maybe my foot needed two things . . . increased flexibility of movement and strengthing. So . . . me being my own combo trainer/PT/Doctor . . . I decided that just maybe the Lunas might help. So today I did my first run in 'em!
Me being the light-footed petite runner that I am . . . I was concerned about moving away from the awesome cushioning the Hokas provide. That cushy ride is so, so nice! And the Hokas really don't weigh much at all! These Lunas are not all that cushiony at all!! I got the most "cushy" Luna they made and they are still FAR from what I would call a soft ride!! So I was worried (and still am to a degree!).
So I started my run. Just taking it easy and seeing how everything felt. Right off the bat I notice something unusual . . . my gait changed. I didn't make the change knowingly . . . my bidy just did it!! No thinking required . . . which is a good thing!! My stride saw shorter and I was landing mid-foot just like normal. While the ride wasn't a soft, it didn't seem to matter! Odd! Second thing I noticed was the weight reduction. That is NICE!! By the end of 3.3 miles I knew there was a big weight difference that should translate into even FASTER runs for me!! hahaha! I may earn that nickname TripleF eventually!! (Freakin' Fast Frank)
I was scheduled for a hard run today, so for this one I averaged 79% of Max HR . . . pretty hard for me but this was a short run. Averaged a blistering (no pun intended!) 11:37 pace!!!
So . . . so far so good! My foot seems no worse for the wear and so far my knees and hip are doing okay too. My feet do feel a little more tired (strengthing) and I DEFINITELY felt the required increase in flexibility!! The sandal attaches between my big and second toe and I worried that I had not "toughened" up my feet enough. Believe I do have more toughening to do but I experienced no problems over only 3.3 miles . . . 6-8 miles would have probably been too much though.
I have no idea if this experiment will become a permanent change . . . but it seems like a good way to add both flexibility and strength at the same time.
And who knows . . . maybe the world can adjust to this new state!