Greetings

Discussion in 'Chapters' started by kelly, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. kelly

    kelly
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    Barefooters
    1. North Carolina
    2. Tennessee

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    Hello Everyone. My name is Kelly Mahoney. Somehow, I've managed to become the "president" of the Tennessee chapter. I was really just looking for a somewhat local running group of barefoot runners. I couldn't find a link to a Tennessee chapter on the barefootrunners.org page, so I requested to start a chapter, and one thing lead to another. Now I've discovered there are already 8 members.



    Anyhoo, I'm originally from Ft. Wayne, IN. I started long-distance running when I was 15 for my HSXC team. I've continued to run on-and-off (between injuries) ever since. Now, I'm 40 and living in Cookeville, TN with my family, which includes Amy and our three kids, Logan, Victoria and Evan. We are in the attached picture at Ken Bob's workshop in Columbus, OH. I'm in the skull T-shirt and my family (except for Logan) is to my right (your left).



    I started running barefoot in July 2009. I was looking for a remedy for chronic achilles tendonitis. It was chronic since I was experiencing the pain since my early 30s. The transition was very slow to barefoot running, but that was OK since I was hobbling around anyway at the time. Through reading the book ("Born to Run"), Ken Bob's site (therunningbarefoot.com), Ted McDonald's site (barefootted.com) and Pose running techniques, I relearned how to run. Essentially, I stopped over-striding, pushing off with my feet and over-utilizing my lower leg muscles. Instead, I switched to a shorter stride with a quicker cadence and lifted my feet, utilizing more of my upper leg muscles.



    I'm still learning, but have managed to learn enough to complete my first barefoot marathon at the Country Music Marathon in April 2010. I run shorter races as well. In the past year, I haven't seen any other barefoot runners at the races that I have attended. I hope that this page becomes a method of communicating dates and places fortraining/fun runs and races for barefoot runners to give each other moral support.



    Please feel free to speak up and introduce yourself and where you are located so that the best places can be found for group runs.



    Kelly
     
  2. louiewendell

    louiewendell
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    Barefooters
    1. Tennessee

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    Hey Kelly! Glad to see someone is starting up the TN chapter. I look forward to meeting some other BFers in my area. Iknow they're out there- our paths just never cross! Enjoyed reading the article in the TNean by the way!



    I'm in Nashville- mother of five- 3 yo twins and 2 yo triplets. A full house- literally. pharmacist at Harris Teeter, junk food advocate,neat freak, runner.



    You set a running date and I'll be there.
     
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  3. kelly

    kelly
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    Barefooters
    1. North Carolina
    2. Tennessee

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    Hey "Louiewendell"



    Wow, you must have one massive stroller, if you can even find the time or energy to get out the door for a run.



    So what's your barefoot story? How long, why, barefoot or minimal, best comments?



    Kelly
     
  4. louiewendell

    louiewendell
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    Barefooters
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    We have a couple of triples but I prefer to run without one. I'm a baby when it comes to adding extra weight and resistance! So you rarely see me running with a stroller. My husband, on the other hand, does it quite often.

    I don't really have a great story. I'm about 2 months into the transition. I was one of those who would occasionally see someone running BF and think it was crazy. Then one night I was talking to a friend who has PF and was considering getting some Vibrams. I went home and starting looking into BFR. Believed what I read because it makes total sense and shed the shoes. I was running 30+ miles a week when I did that so my running mileage has really dropped drastically. Of course, I've experienced some TOFP- I think it's more tendonitis than anything else. It's definitely a thorn in my side for now but I'm going to push through because I really think it will pay off to run in minimal shoes/ barefoot. Hoping to increase my speed and endurance.

    Would love to run in the race but I'm going to be on vacation running in a 5k there. This will be my first BF race. I'm excited and nervous. I'm hoping for a sub-22 which is pretty optimisitic but I think possible. Sure would be a great story for my first BFR if I can pull it off!
     
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  5. kelly

    kelly
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    Barefooters
    1. North Carolina
    2. Tennessee

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    "Louiewendell",



    If you are experiencing pain, then I think your best option is not to push through it. Listen to your body. When it hurts, let it rest. I believe that this is the greatest benefit of going barefoot, that it magnifies deficencies so that we can and should correct them, such as improving form and strengthing feet. Give your body more time to adapt to your new activity.



    Its been extremely difficult for me to learn to not push off with my feet. I'm still not sure I'm 100% there. I experienced TOFP as well in the first 4-5 months. It took me about 5 months to build up to a5 mile run. I made the huge mistake of running 4 miles on my very first barefoot run and about tore up my calf muscles because I was so focused on landing on my forefeet and not allowing my heels to touch the ground. After a few days rest, I started running/walking maybe a mile per day a few days per week and added a mile the next month. By three months, I was up to 3 miles. That's when I ran a 5K just under 23 minutes. I had blisters on my toes cause I was still pushing off some.



    As I said, its difficult to learn good form. Posetech.com helped me. It's not necessarily about barefooting, but Dr. Romanov is referenced by both Ken Bob and Ted. Chi is basically the same thing. I don't think about how my feet are landing now. I suppose they land sorta midfoot. My heels definitely touch the ground. I think more about having good posture, head up and chest out, leading with the hips (thats a tough one to grasp), keeping my stride short and quick, lifting the feet and landing them directly below my body.



    As you may know, Ken Bob's mantra is relax relax relax. I think its easy for new barefoot runners to tense up feeling all those new sensations on the "rough" roads. It does take some time to get used to those feelings and to become more relaxed with it. Time builds confidence as well.



    Enjoy,

    Kelly
     
  6. louiewendell

    louiewendell
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    What a great reply. Thanks Kelly. All very helpful information. Ihave definitely taken it easy. I usually put two days between runs because I like to feel zero TOFP when I hit the road so it was taking 2 days sometimes between runs to go away- more in the beginning. I, too, ran 4 miles the first BF run but I didn't have any issues the first couple of weeks. In fact, I never had any problems until Ihit the treadmill. I've always blamed the treadmill and you would think it would be an easier place to concentrate on form but Ijust hate it. However, it's come down to running on the treadmill or not running at all so I've sucked it up. (Iwork full time and I work until 8 so when I get home- it's dark and I've run into some strange characters at night so I just no longer feel safe by myself at night. The Y has become my spot after work. Ihave to split early morning runs with my husband and he gets them more often than I do). I was fortunate tonever have calf issues. It's always been the left foot.Ieven had some incidences ofaweak left foot when shod. Not sure why it would only happen occasionally but it would just give out on me sometimes- with no other symptoms. I've got lots of work to do on that foot! Ihave seen some tremendous gains lately. Just in the last few days actually. I ran last night and when I came home my foot was sore a bit and I knew it would be like always- it would still hurt the next morning but nothing this morning. I feel great today so maybe I'm doing something right finallly.

    Tell me about leading with the hips. I'm going to check out the sites you suggested. I'm guessing I'll learn something there. Ithink Irelax pretty well when I'm out on the road but not so much on the treadmill. I have some tough feet. Most likely from never wearing shoes. I can walk on broken glass probably! Gravel doesn't really smart much so I'm lucky when it comes to the "tough" part. I was already there when I started! My husband has always complained about my feet being dirty because I never wear shoes- and when I said I was going to run BF- he wasn't shocked in the slightest. :)
     
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  7. kelly

    kelly
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    2. Tennessee

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    Wendy,



    Leading with the hips refers to the very slight forward lean from the ankles to the hips and balancing the upper body above the hips. In Chi and Pose, leaning forward is encouraged, but folks generally misunderstand this for leaningabove the waist, but this causes imbalance and wasted energy. The body should bebalanced, head above shoulders and shoulders above hips.Keep your form balanced and efficient. This is explained in more detail in the attachment in the "Technique" posting. I've heard riding a Segway described as "thinking" about leaning forward, but you are actually balanced. Another good analogy is riding a unicycle. Your upper body is balanced above your hips and your feet are rolling in circles. My final thought on this is try running in place, just lifting your feet up and down. Now to run, "think" about leaning forward from the ankles to the hips and go forward, stay balanced.



    Kelly
     

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