Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Running Update

I've definitely been too hasty.......







and I think I've made a mistake.......







And I'm positive that I've wasted 100 $ on a pair of running shoes that I will likely never wear again (Sorry Jon, I'll figure out something to do with them I promise)..........












Oh, but the running? I LOVE it. No, no, love isn't a strong enough word. Maybe something along the lines of addicted, or need...

Anyway, let me back up and explain the mistake:

Remember in this post how I mentioned that feeling of flying in my parents' basement? And how that spurred me on to want to run regularly? And how that lead me to the local running store to buy some running shoes? Ok stop. Right there. That was my mistake. The shoes part. Let me explain further:

So I got home and went for my first run a few days after buying those shoes and..... meh. it was ok. Not horrible, which was actually great at the time, because running has always been horrible for me. All in all, I didn't get injured, and I was happy that I did it. The second run was better, and the third was... ok.... But you know what? None of it felt as great as running in my parents' basement felt or running through Disneyland. I expected it to feel as good or better because now I had the proper shoes, but I never felt like sprinting. It felt like work for lack of a better word, and I wanted it to feel like love, or like fun. I didn't hate it (and that's important), but I didn't really enjoy it either. I mean, I enjoyed that I did it, but I didn't enjoy doing it.

Luckily for me, fate was keeping her eye on me and leading me in a particular direction. You see, when I was in the running store, I had plenty of time to wait and look around and eavesdrop while the guy helping me helped others too, and I noticed a book on the wall called Born To Run. It basically wallpapered the walls actually, and that intrigued me. I was so gung-ho about running that I actually made a mental note to pick that book up someday soon and read it. Another hint deftly placed by fate is that while picking shoes, the guy helping me kept saying "You want a shoe that makes you feel like you are running barefoot." To which I should have replied-- then why am I buying shoes? Because nothing feels quite like running barefoot than running barefoot. But I bought the shoes, and proceeded to have the aforementioned experience.

Meanwhile, we were getting ready for our cruise and emailing each other back and forth and my extremely well read Sister in Law suggested I read Born To Run, and by the way, would I like her to bring me her copy to read on the cruise? Yes, I would like that very much-- how convenient since I had been wanting to read it.

The book begins by listing all of the heinous injuries most people incur while running and hints subtly that if you read the book, you might just find an alternative to all of this pain. Well, I was all ears (eyes?) because that has been my lifelong concern with running. Messed up knees and messed up feet are the kiss of death for your health and well-being, and I wanted none of that.

Well, skipping to the chase, it's a great book that somewhat advocates the trashing of one's running shoes for something more natural such as bare feet. You'll have to read it to get all of the details, but suffice it to say, it makes perfect sense. So that night, for my half hour run, I ran through my neighborhood in bare feet. Uh huh-- on the sidewalk not the grass.

I immediately noticed a huge difference. The "work" aspect was gone. It was freedom, fun, flight, fantastic. And before I knew it, I broke into a dead sprint-- because that's what my legs wanted to do-- as if they were designed for it and have just been waiting for me to let them loose. It was just like it had been before. I laughed and smiled and danced through the rest of my run. When I stopped running I started leaping. Can I possibly explain how it feels to sprint like that? It is light and impossibly easy. There isn't an ounce of pain and I'm going faster than I have ever gone before-- so fast I can barely feel the ground under my feet and everything is whipping by my face. So fast that my brain is a little nervous and keeps telling my legs so-- to which my legs reply with confident steadiness. So fast it's hard to stop. Literally, it is difficult to stop and just awful to walk. My quads took over in those moments and the rest of my body was along for the ride.

I'm hooked. I love my feet. Thank you Father in Heaven for these amazing bodies.

And you know what? I can't stop wanting to run. I look forward to it all day long. I can't wait to let my legs loose and see what kind of ride they're going to take me on.

Now about those shoes..... do you think the store would take them back?

10 comments:

Esther said...

Try returning them. A friend of mine exchanged hers for a different pair. I say, exchange them for the Vibram Five Fingers. Then you can still run barefoot when there's no grass (like at the Vegas Ragnar!). I've been conducting a Barefoot Running Experiment myself (check out my blog) and have found it to be quite satisfactory. We have lots in common and lots to talk about. :)

Natalie said...

ali this visual makes me laugh. and adore you. so great! did you know that nike makes bare foot running shoes? maybe exchange them? whatever happens, running shoes are great for yard work, camping, cool evenings in jeans and sweatshirts (think canyon...). I use mine for those purposes more often than running. yah, i'm that devoted.

Natalie said...

http://blueeyedfreckle.blogspot.com/2010/06/off-topic.html

link about shoes. love to you!

ty and megs said...

love this post. i seriously want to go run barefoot, right this second and not because i'm looking for another excuse to put off writing my relief society lesson for sunday (why do you think i'm reading blogs right now?). and now i want to read that book too. maybe i should forget the lesson and run to the library!? better yet, how can i incorporate running instead of writing a lesson into a spiritual experience i can teach about...hmmmm. too much of a stretch?

Melanie said...

While at first I thought you were mad for running barefoot, I do have to say it is much more fun and less work to go without shoes. It definitely is more of a free feeling. I am curious to hear how your next barefoot run goes.

Jonathan said...

I have to say she was very cute coming home and so excited. See could not sit still. I couldn't help bu smile. She over came one of her biggest vices.

Very proud of you babe!

ali said...

Meghan-- you NEED to read this book. The relief society lesson can wait. ;)

Just kidding about the lesson, but do read the book it might just change your life.

Erin said...

This is all very intriguing to me. Barefoot running. On the sidewalk. I do love the visual and am happy you found something that brings you such joy.

Annalee said...

http://www.rei.com/search?query=bare+feet

Have you seen these? I was reading about people who use them for running, for the same reasons you posted.

Matt wears them ALL the time, in fact, he wore them all weekend while we were camping!!

Just a thought, since it still gives you the bare feet thing, but protect the toes from dog poop and other various elements!!

WTG Ali!

ali said...

yes, in fact I have some coming to me very soon. I can't wait to give them a try!