Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Almost Barefoot Running in January

Well the snow finally hit again this morning. I am so thankful that we have had such a dry and mild winter so far. When I first started running barefoot I was sure that my time was limited with the winter approaching but I have been pleasantly surprised.

I wanted to comment on my run last night. Run Here I started out for a 5 miles run. I cannot believe that my next race is just over a month away. I began in my water shoes and felt good. I was being sure to pull myself back and keep my pace slow and easy. I have been working on my form (I'll post soon about my coaching session with Tina) and as my form has been improving I have been getting faster. It is quite hard to go slow now but I know that it important for my health that I have some easy runs. A mile in I was feeling quite warm and I saw that there was very minimal ice on the sidewalks, so I took off my shoe and ran the rest of my run in my wool socks. Ah Freedom. It was wonderful. Of course the ground feel in just my socks was great, I even noticed that I could run over the tiny rocks that they use to sand our streets, without feeling pain. I felt them and knew that I was running on rocks but somehow it didn't register as pain. I ran over some ice and it wasn't a big deal, I slipped a little once but I didn't fall or even really have to catch myself. I did run on what I thought was ice but it turned out to be a small puddle my toes were immediately wet but somehow dried very fast and I was never cold. My only complaint of the whole run had nothing to do with my shoes or socks. The Running Room has a run clinic on Monday evenings in my neighbourhood. I have often seen them out running and have run past them on a number of occasions. Last night I ran past the group twice in the opposite direction (face to face). I was annoyed. Twice as I ran past these women they were running 3 wide and THEY DIDN'T MOVE! Yes I am yelling. Both times I had to jump into the grass and run (somewhat dangerous in my socks and in the dark, there could have been anything in the grass and I wouldn't have seen it). Seriously it seems like they think that because they pay for this run and are running with the Running Room that they own the sidewalk. This isn't even the first time I have noticed this with Running Room groups. In the past I have encountered groups that run 2-3 across the sidewalk, groups that run on the wrong side of the path, and every time they DON'T MOVE.  Not sure what they teach in those clinics but I would think that basic running etiquette would be nice. Seriously, who does that? Next time it happens I am going to stand still and let them smack into me if they decide not to move. Really it's so maddening. (sorry vent over)

When I got home from my run, I checked out my socks and my feet and I am super happy that my wear patterns were right where they should be. Between my first and second toe and on my heel (from when you put your heel down after the initial contact with your forefoot).
See the darker spots between my 1st and 2nd toes.

I have been very guilty of not letting my heel touch the ground ever. This has lead to sore calves. After this run I was pain free and feeling good. IF only the snow hadn't come today. I was looking forward to getting out in just my socks again. I am noticing that after being in just my socks my watershoes feel tight. I have wide feet and even a bunion on my left foot and really need a super wide shoe. Kyle and I are looking into ordering Stems soon. Oh and I won a pair of Invisible shoes from Jeff over at http://barefootinclined.blogspot.com/. Thanks again Jeff. I am crazy excited to get these, I never win anything so this is so sweet. I think I will be ordering a pair of custom shoes, I just have to decide what colour of laces I want.

My sweet wool socks from Marks Work Warehouse.
So that is what I've been up to lately. I will be posting about my experience with Natural Running Coaching right away. It was so awesome. A little birdie told me that very soon Tina will be offering online coaching as well as in person coaching. I cannot express how wonderful and helpful the coaching session was. I recommend it to anyone and really everyone who wants to run naturally, it is like a fast forward button to learning how to run without shoes. But I'll save my full review for my next post.

Take care,


  1. Just found another blogger commenting on running etiquette. Stan has a great list of running etiquette.


  2. Yup I did the same thing when I first started. I tried so hard to not let my heel down that my calves were killing me!!!!! Let them down after you touch with the ball of your foot!!

  3. Ha, I was just going to put the link up to Stan's etiquette post.. perhaps you can print it and slap it on one of those runners backs!

    And yes, absolutely order the Invisible shoes custom! Not that it was hard to drill the hole or lace, but hey, if they will do it for you, then all the better!

    The only barefoot runs I've gotten in have been to the end of the driveway and back with the trash.. felt great! but when it was 15F, couldn't do it for long!

  4. Wow I'm sorry to hear the Running Room is making such a bad name for itself...it isn't the first time lol. I run at Glenmore Running Room and they are almost *fanatical* about etiquette on the trails. We always have to regroup into single file or 2x2 on the path way when a bike or runner/walker is approaching. The pacers yell out 'runner up' or 'bike up' and that means we all have to get onto the far right of the path, and let someone pass.

    I would call the location nearest to you and lodge a complaint, because this is really unacceptable.

    So glad you're thinking of ordering Stem shoes...they seem really really well thought out and made. My feet swell at least a size after a long run so having a larger shoe is a must. I've wondered about running in socks...I got some great wool socks in Montana and thought they would be so sweet to run in lol.

    Methinks that your bunion will begin to shrink as the months go by with your minimal/barefoot ways. At least I've read about others that have. My family has a terrible history of bunions, and so far I have no hint of them thank goodness.

    I had the same problem when I started minimal running with not landing on my heel at all. Sore calves to the max. Now my heel is touching down at the end of each step. My group is running the Hypo Half, but I don't think I'm ready for a half yet...I'm going to do the next clinic that starts on Jan 26 and culminates in the Calgary half. Our run this sunday is 18k, and that will be my longest distance in my minimal shoes to date.
    Tomorrow is 9 hills plus 7k, so around 12k, and thursday is a 7k steady. it's so wonderful to be looking forward to every run now.

    It sounds like you are in a great groove as well, and I'm so glad the coaching is going so well. I'm considering it, but finances are stopping me for now.

    I love the new pic on your blog, you two are such an amazing pair! Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

  5. I always love reading your run reports. They always make me smile. And I can't wait to read your next post. :)

  6. awesome run report Robbie-Lynn. I think I'll add "run barefoot in the snow" (wool socks optional) to my bucket list. That's nuts...but in a good way.

    Ditto for the running room folks (except Glenmore apparently :)). I have the same problem with them every Sunday. Somehow, it's always 3 or 4 wide...:(