So, as most of you who follow my blog know – I’ve been pretty unlucky in the injury arena. I’ve had my fair share of injuries, as I know many of you have as well. Injuries tend to make us branch out and try new things. I am pretty willing to try just about anything at this point to see if I can improve my current situation and make sure I get to Disney for my marathon in January
Last week I had ART (active release therapy) done twice. I also had a wonderful/painful massage on Friday. I go to a VERY good massage therapist. I asked her to work on my hip and she did. I was literally bruised within an hour of the massage with about 15 bright red bruises around the top of my left hip, and a few more on the right. I should note that I bruise pretty easily. She spent 30 full minutes on just the hip, hip flexors, and psoas muscle. During my run on Saturday I had very little pain in my hips and it was so wonderful. By Sunday, the pain was back, but not quite as intense. I am seeing some improvement. I was encouraged by the fact that some of the things I am doing are beginning to help.
I have also started reading the book Born to Run – which is awesome by the way. It’s not at all what I expected. It’s a lot of really exciting running stories kind of pieced together. I’m a little further than half way through the book, and I know at some point that talk more in depth about minimalist/barefoot running, but they have barely touched on it at this point. However, that said I have been doing a little reading and thinking of my own about the whole minimalist thing.
My husband Jim very adamantly thinks the minimalist running thing is a fad, and maybe it is. I guess only time will tell if it is a fad that goes away in a few years, or if it is a fad that keeps going and becomes more of a movement. Do I think that all running shoe companies have gotten on board to make sure they don’t get lost in the dust – yes I do, but is there something to the whole concept? I don’t know. I know I ordered my first pair of minimalist shoes this weekend – the new Brooks Pure Cadence. I tried them on at Dick’s and they felt AWESOME. Instantly AWESOME. I figure even if I don’t like them for running, I think they are super cute and will be a great addition to my shoe collection if nothing else.
Anyway, this morning – just for an experiment I decided to try barefoot running. I only had a 3 mile recovery run on the schedule so it would be the perfect time to try. I decided to run the first mile in my shoes to warm-up – which I did and my hip was hurting pretty good this morning. After the first mile, I took my shoes off and ran in just my socks (while carrying one shoe in each hand – I’m sure I looked a little ridiculous). I decided to see if I could run a half mile….I didn’t want to do anything too crazy to start out. I ran a half mile just fine and you know what I felt GREAT. Within 2 strides I had zero pain in my hip – ZERO!! I’m serious. It was not what I expected at all. I figured without the cushion of the shoe my hip pain would be worse. I thought well it might help my form in the long run, but it’s going to hurt bad, but it didn’t. Maybe it was all in my head. After a half mile I put my shoes back on and ran another half mile – my hip was hurting again. Then I decided to try another half mile barefoot again. Same response – no pain in my hip. I ran the last half mile with shoes on – pain in the hip again.
So am I a barefoot runner convert? No. It was however a great experiment. I seriously can’t wait to get my new shoes though and see how they impact the pain level. Like I said, I’m willing to try new things at this point. Isn’t that what the endurance world is really all about? There are so many different things out there – different ways to eat – Paleo, Vegetarian, Raw foods, etc. Many of us are Garmin addicts, but some never even wear a watch. I think you keep experimenting until you find what works for you. And what works for you may not work for someone else and that’s ok.