The following is something I wrote on a barefoot running forum about my first barefoot run last week:
Let me explain something. I am NOT a runner. I used to run years and years ago. I loved to run. But running did not love me. Even in my teenage years, my track and cross-country career was riddled with shin splints and stress fractures. As an adult, every time I tried to pick running back up, the same old injuries would start to return. It was so frustrating. No shoe or insert seemed to help. I was beginning to believe that these flat feet just weren't made for running. So I walk...a lot! (And wish I were running.)
I've been reading about barefoot running. I've been walking barefoot as much as I possibly can around the house, yard, and during my frequent visits to the neighbor's house across the street. (Yeah, that may not sound impressive, but pavement gets pretty hot when the heat index is 112 degrees outside!) I've been searching and shopping for the "right" minimalist shoes so I could get started...but that idea seemed to be nixed by several of the more experienced barefoot runners I read. I still want some minimalist shoes...but I'll add those once I'm sure my form is good.
So today (July 3) was the day. I was ready to take the plunge. Once the afternoon sun had moved down a bit and it cooled to a nice, chilly 91 degrees or so I donned my flip flops, grabbed my neighbor's big dog, (bad guys don't bother ladies with big dogs as quickly as a lady alone,) and I headed for the paved greenway just a few blocks from my house. Once I was off the very bumpy, gravelly pavement that is in front of my house, I slipped off my flip flops and tentatively started to walk. It felt good! Then I broke into a run. It felt great! Even though the path was littered with debris (twigs, acorns, etc.) from the big storm a few days ago, my feet didn't hurt. Equally amazing to me was that I didn't feel as winded or wiped out as I have gotten lately when I've tried to add some running into my walk. It felt easy and natural. I did several intervals of running, forcing myself to stop and walk because I am determined to avoid injury!
I can not believe that I did nearly a full 2 miles walking and running barefoot! Needless to say I am quite thrilled and hope this is the beginning of a new journey for me and my feet!