Okay, maybe I'm not a legend, but I'm a nice enough guy... Hey, guys. Some of the folks that were on Runner's World Barefoot forums last summer might remember me as I was pretty involved over there for a few months. I've been away for a while, and I'm finally coming back the online barefoot community. When I hurt my foot and had to stop running altogether, hanging out with the BF community just rubbed it in my face way too much and I needed a break. Here we are about a year later, after 6 months of no running at all, then gradually working my way back into some running with custom orthotics, now working my way into regular running shoes, then I'll gradually work my way back toward barefooting. I'm managing around 12 mi/week and currently doing the last 1/4mi of each run (3x a week) with my feet in the nude. I'm not gonna rush the barefoot distance this time, I learned my lesson last time. Anywho I posted over on the RW boards and Jason (the one in last place) saw me and invited me over here. I hope at least a few of you remember me and are willing to take me back; I missed you guys. In my brief survey of the place I saw TJ (Hi TJ!), and I expect a few of my other old compatriots are hanging around. Is Victor here? For you guys who don't know what I'm about, here's the "short" version... I'm 24, and a medic in the US Air Force (hence the screen name). I've been running regularly (though never all that far) since high school, and several years ago I had even run a lap barefoot at the track a few times, thought I didn't really get into it at that time. 2 or 3 years ago I picked up a pair of the VFFs, and I'd been doing some of my running in them 'till last April (2009), then it happened. I was running my usual volume of 15mi/week and I had another flair up of the Iliotibial Band pain I'd had in the past. I was pissed off and looking for anything that might help. I happened across the Barefoot forum over at Runner's World, saw some success stories, and I figured "what the heck, why not give it a try?" I was probably more open to the idea since I'd toyed with it a little in the past. That day, I completely stopped running in my regular shoes; I vowed to run only in my VFFs or totally barefoot and gradually work toward only running barefoot. The effect was almost instant, I had no more IT Band pain and as a wonderful side effect my Plantar Fasciitis evaporated as well. I was floored! More than that though, I discovered how much fun it was to run barefoot. The feel of the asphalt, concrete, dirt, grass, sand, etc under my feet was just awesome. The springiness of the barefoot, the smoothness of the gait; I fell in love. I pretty quickly got to totally barefoot and was adding miles weekly. I weeks after my decision, I was was doing 18 miles per week pain free and totally barefoot. In hindsight, that may have been too quickly. Toward the end of June (2009), I noticed the outside of my left started to hurt, and pretty badly, so I halted my running to make sure I didn't make it any worse. Several doctor's appointments, an x-ray and an MRI later, I still didn't have a satisfactory diagnosis. The orthopedist decided to try some custom orthotics, one pair for running and another for just walking around, to see if that would fix the problem. I'm not sure if it was the orthotics or the 6 months off from running that was the bigger part of the equation, but eventually most of the pain went away and I GRADUALLY started running again in the orthotics. As in, started with 1/4 mi at a time. At first, even that short distance was pretty uncomfortable, but the more I ran, the more the pain went away, and I made slow progress. One day, though, I just couldn't stand it anymore and I decide to do the last 200 feet of a run barefoot, it felt SO great, but I knew my foot was not at 100% yet, so that's all I did. As I mentioned before, I'm mostly out of the orthotics at this point, and am doing a little little bit of barefooting too. I'm gonna keep working on getting back to running barefoot most of the time, but I'll do it cautiously this time. The best I can figure, my foot pain was some sort of overuse injury from making the transition to barefoot too quickly, too far, and too soon. The x-ray and MRI last summer/fall failed to show evidence of a stress fracture, but I have my reasons for being a little suspicious of them, and the ortho-doc was still kinda shrugging his shoulders about what the heck happened when I last saw him to get cleared to participate in running activities at PT. As long as I get back up to snuff, I guess I shouldn't worry too much about what sidelined me, but I'm still a bit curious. Sorta a side note, I'm currently stationed in Japan and have yet to see another person out here running barefoot, but the other day I was running down a road here on base, and happened to look down at the painted white line on the edge of the road. What do I see? A series of barefootprints in black asphalt dust, the spacing indicative of a running gait. I was pretty stoked to know there is another person here who perpetrates some foot nudity while running.