Here we go! Back in the saddle.
I did 7/10 of a mile on July 4th after not running since the previous Tuesday. I'm now taking the "run for fun" approach, and listening to my body rather than trying to pound out a specific distance or set of intervals. I didn't time this run, but I did map it out afterwards just to see the distance. I want to get an idea for how far, I'm just not concerned right now with how fast. I hereby vow to never again fall victim to "Too Much, Too Soon".
The process of becoming a runner has been interesting to say the least. I started back on this path with a specific goal in mind and a set training schedule. I haven't been able to stick to it due to injury but I know my lungs are stronger than they have ever been.
My lungs seemed to constantly be a limiting factor in addition to the shin splints that have plagued me since high school. I feel proud now that I can always keep up a sub-10 minute mile pace without being so gassed I have to stop. 10 minute miles aren't winning any awards, but neither is sitting on the couch.
The run I did on the 4th was all barefoot. No shoes at all! I had been out mowing the lawn and decided it was go time. My heel pain had resolved, and I was itching to get going so I took off my shoes (Yeah I was wearing shoes, but I'm not taking a whack in the toes from a string trimmer!) from mowing/edging and I took off. I had a route in mind but I decided I would just see how I was feeling.
I had a little stretching/aching in my heel but it wasn't painful so I kept going. I felt like I was going a good pace so I ignored that part and focused on my left heel to see if I could find any gait problems that were keeping this pain around. I discovered that I was landing mid to forefoot on both sides, but my left heel wasn't really touching down. Instead I was keeping it stiff and almost pushing off. I worked on it and had it pretty much under control by the time I was done. The best news is that I have no heel pain at all today!
I was a few blocks from home when I got overtaken and passed by two other runners. I wonder what they thought about what I was doing. Both had on ASICS. I doubt they gave it a second thought, but I like to think they went home and looked into barefoot running. Regardless, I'm hooked and I'm going to continue!
On the Run, Slowly
Blog entry posted by Dr. Andrew Klein, Jul 6, 2011.