DAYS 16 & 17 - Speaking of Barefoot Running...

My VFFs at the Merrell Mud Run
So I ran in my VFFs yesterday. The ground was wet and covered in puddles. A stranger ran past me on the bike trail and yelled out "How do you like 'em?" as he's pointing at my feet. I literally have less than three seconds to respond while he runs past. How do I explain that I don't wear the VFFs unless I have to, they're not for everybody, if you're transitioning to something like a minimal shoe you will want to do your research, and they require a lot of patience and a serious introduction to some barefoot running. A little long-winded for a three second answer if you ask me. So I answer him. "Love them as long as I know how to run in them!" What kind of crap answer is that? But, short answer aside, I hate the fact that my quick " I love them!" could be encouraging the regular Joe Schmo to buy the minimal shoes without research or knowledge whatsoever of what he might be getting himself into.

That being said, I finally had a chance to expound on my running geekery with total strangers today. I like to think that I'm educating the public, however, I'll admit I tend to get a little nerdy about my passions and barefoot running is no exception. In fact, as I'm writing this, I'm sitting in Starbucks shortly after a random conversation with a fellow about barefoot running, VFFs and tribes in Burma. The lady I spoke to before that just thought my five finger shoes were "cute." She had virtually no clue that they were used for running despite the fact that I was still wearing my workout gear. I seriously questioned her taste in fashion. Prior to that, my run this morning was hijacked by a fellow runner who had some beginner experience running in her VFFs and was teetering on the edge of re-learning to run after back surgery. I certainly won't say I'm an expert BFR as I'm still learning at this point, but it was nice to be able to share my experience and knowledge on the subject to someone who was genuinely interested and open to exploring the minimalist/barefoot option. I felt like I achieved my good deed for the day.

As for my running...that run this morning was back-to-back with one I did last night and was 2.82 miles. My run last night was mostly minimal due to the water and puddles everywhere so only about 1 mile of it was barefoot (total 3.81 miles). Things seem to be sorting themselves out with my calf muscles and blisters. No blisters now, but I still get a few hot spots which are probably due to my form being not so great. I've officially signed up to run my first barefoot 5k race on Turkey Day (The Folsom Turkey Trot). I'm crossing my fingers things won't change much between now and then. I'm feeling really strong and solid with this transition now.
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  1. People asked me how I liked my Vibram's at the Warrior Dash too. I had to tell em that I prefer barefoot, but sometimes you just want go bare :( People who just buy some Vibram's then go outside and heel strike out a 5K can't be helped. That's what makes the BFR injury numbers look so high I am sure. Like you, I just keep telling people how much I like barefoot running, and to try that before they by Vibrams. Though most the girls I say that to think I am insane.

  2. C-Dog... yup. When I can answer the long answer that's the first thing I say - that I prefer barefoot. People just can't get past the fact that I might step on something jabby - hahaahahaha! I try to tell them that's the least of my worries with transitioning.

  3. When people ask, I always try to warn them about transitioning period. Funny, rarely anybody asks me how I like running barefoot. I get funny comments but rarely genuine interest.

  4. I always say the same. I would much rather go barefoot. I have only worn my VFF twice to run in but I do wear them to work when doing nuun stuff. Its a great conversation starter when people see them but they always are a little shocked when I tell them that I only wear them for work these days.
    I might wear mine for the Living History Farms XC race though....
    I always try and tell people that they need to transition slowly blah blah blah. I hope that they listen and I really worry that they don't.

  5. Love reading about your new barefoot experiences.

  6. i know what you mean, krista! i honestly worry about my 3-second answers for the same reasons. like i almost would rather hand out a little pamphlet to the passer-byer entitled: “So you want to run barefoot...“ or “So you bought a pair of VFFs...“, hahaha
    Stick them on my back and underneath them: TAKE ONE PLEASE.


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