Thursday, June 16, 2011

Barefoot Running and My Vain Little Foot Secret

I have to admit that I was really discouraged about the marathon and my IT band acting up. Thank you for all your comments. They really lifted my spirits more than you know. I was really mostly down about the injury. I turned to barefoot running to heal my body and to run more efficiently. It was, in my mind, a last resort, a drastic move. I've endured a lot of comments and criticism along the way. I was really insecure at first, I didn't want anyone to see me. But now, I just don't care. I've been gawked at, whispered about, talked about very loudly right behind me, and offered rides from concerned people. I've had my neighbor ask me if I was doing poor financially and offer to buy me shoes. I've had things shouted at me like, "shoes are for feet, not hands." I've had people stop me in the halls at church and ask me why I'm doing it. I really have not been offended or hurt by any of the comments even when people tell me I'm crazy or stupid (and they have). I've considered myself the first exposure that they have to barefoot running. I've tried to be as positive about everything as I could possibly be. But after my IT band started hurting, I started doubting everything I had told myself and others such as, "my body feels better than it ever has before" and "my knees and hips don't hurt anymore".
But after a few days have passed and my mind has been cleared, I can still look back at my time barefoot and minimalist running and say with confidence that my body really has never felt better. Long runs don't hurt like they used to and the recovery time is almost nothing. Even though I may have this little setback, it's not going to stop me from continuing on in my journey to be a barefoot runner. I'm going to be more consistent with my weight routine. After the first taper from the Ogden marathon I really slacked on my weights. So that makes about 4 weeks that I didn't strengthen my hips and butt or any of my lower body. I wasn't stretching consistently either. And I need to realize that JUST barefoot running is not the cure all to every problem with my body. It is a part, but it is not the whole. Plus, when I look at this video clip, I can't help but marvel at the beauty that is barefoot running. Amanda from Miss Zippy and Don from Running and Rambling have both posted it, but it should be shared again and often. It's what I want to look like someday. Maybe it's the magical music or the serene surroundings, but it's absolutely mesmerizing.


Now to my foot secrets! First, when my feet are tired and achey or if I've overdone it a bit and the tops of my feet hurt, Nora from Tri-Living Together (formerly known as Barefoot Running Mama) told me about a little trick. It was one of those simple things that you would think would be too easy to really work. She said to get those toe separators that people use when they paint their toenails and wear those around. Finally, after the first marathon I got some and tried them out. My feet kept squishing the foam together and it didn't work super well.

So this last weekend I bought some soft rubbery ones and I can't believe how well it worked. The tops of my feet were sore for probably 2 1/2 weeks after the first marathon. After just 3 days of wearing them my feet are completely pain free. I can jump without hurting! I'm really so very excited about this!

My next foot secret is a purely vain secret. I get lots of compliments on my toenails. And I usually just say thanks and move on. But all my good friends know my secret and since you all are my good friends I might as well share it with you as well. My toenails are fake. They are acrylic. Like you would get on your fingernails. Only these are way better in my estimation. I started getting them 6 years ago when I was pregnant with my last little child. I decided that if I was going to be huge during the summer that I was at least going to have cute toenails. (Even my midwife complimented me on them in the delivery room!) And I loved them. They are no maintenance and last for 5-6 weeks.

Then after I ran my first marathon and lost 2 toenails during the training and another 2 during the marathon I went back in and asked her if she could do anything about it. She just molded me some toenails on top of what was left. I was so pleased and haven't quit since.
Sometimes I do a french tip.

But when my toenails underneath aren't looking so good, I just do a solid color on top. No painting, no fuss for 5 weeks. My lady only charges $20 bucks so I don't feel like I'm breaking the bank either when I do it. I call it my guilty splurge and I love how they look.


I'm not saying it's for everyone, but I thought I might as well clear my conscience and quit accepting compliments for what is not really natural!

28 comments:

Jerilee E. said...

thank you for sharing your toe secrets :). I wear sandals ALL the time, so I am for sure looking into that when my toenails inevitably go bye-bye!
I remember the first time I saw a barefoot runner- running down the street as I took my daughter to preschool. I'll admit that my first thought was "What in the world is she doing!!". A year later I'm thinking "Someday I will do that, too!".

Rachelle Wardle said...

You are so cute Jen! I am glad you are feeling better about the marathon and barefoot running. Do not question it because I know from reading your passion about barefoot running that it is absolutely right for you.

We all have guilty pleasures. Mine is eyelash extensions. Love them! Your feet are adorable. :)

Jen @ Run for Anna said...

I was just looking at my feet over the weekend (the first time I wore sandals in public), and was horrified by how bad they are starting to look (toenails being the main problem). I figured a pedicure or something similar would be a waste of money...I did not know they even had fake toenails!! Hmmmm....might have to try that. :)

Coy Martinez said...

I miss miss miss barefoot running. I keep trying to think of what I could have done to upset my ankle. It wasn't my achilles either. It was the tendons around my calcaneous. I use to run in Vibrams that had zero support, just plain flat on the bottom, then I bought a pair of Bikilas, the ones with the fancy tread and that's when it all fell apart. Misszippy said that I should run plain barefoot but I've tried and it kills my soles.

I wanna try again in a month or so. I'm almost scared of failing. After all, I had worked up to 6 miles. AND you're right, my body felt so much better! You're gonna be my inspiration! :)

Shelby said...

Great peddies! Love it!

Holley @ Lunges and Lashes said...

i am all about the toes! i love that you have a little something you do for yourself just because you love it. everyone needs something like that. they ARE super cute!

Julia said...

$20???? that is a steal!! I am jealous and may drive up there just for that. My feet are disgusting and I actually feel embarrassed to get my toes done because my feet are so gross. haha!

I am so glad you are having better feelings about the marathon and your feet. I think your barefoot running is inspiring and I really want to learn more about it. I do not know if it will be for me but I figure it can't hurt to learn! I can't wait to see you again! you are a daily inspiration to me! Have a wonderful weekend :)

Audrey said...

I LOVED THAT VIDEO - what a beautiful stride. I felt like I was watching "nature" not just 2 guys running. I love your feet tips too.

You aren't a bit crazy. I think sometimes people are jealous when someone else takes the time and effort to properly care for themselves; and in turn the react by attacking that person.

Cheers to you for taking the time and effort to train your body how to run correctly. You're awesome!

Elle said...

Love your little secret!

I thought I was the only one with ugly feet from running (and dancing). I have just done a pedicure and now have lovely polish to cover my bruised toenails. Look sooo much better.

But your idea is good and I had never thought of it!

The Hungry Runner Girl said...

LOVE THIS!!! I am starting grass running barefoot this week...the best!!! I LOVE YOUR TOENAILS...I am copying you on getting fake ones!! So happy that you don't care what peep's think about you when you are out running barefoot....I THINK IT IS AWESOME!!! LOVE PYOU SO MUCH MY BEAUTIFUL FRIEND!

Lindsey said...

I watched that video, and it was amazing!!! Good for you for not letting people's comment\looks get you down - keep it up! Also, I super love your toenails...I'd noticed them before in your pics - that's such a great idea!

Tri-Living...Together said...

Awe.. love your piggies!!! I love my feet honestly! I'm so happy that it helped your foot feel better!! And you are the awesome one.. I haven't made it to a race in vffs! Since I was down for a while my achilles got very angry when I ran on Sat in my Lunas.. so I won't be racing in them in August. After I get through this half IM I'll work on it. Keep inspiring and teaching others about your BF journey! ((hugs))

Amanda@runninghood said...

Wonderful! We have to do these things to pamper ourselves sometimes. It is the little things. I love reading about your BF running and learning...my husband is trying to get into this and I will be passing some of these posts on to him. Did you ever get my card? Just want to make sure I sent it to the correct address. :)

Nelly said...

Good luck with your IT band issue. I'm no barefoot running expert, but I don't think the IT band relates to barefoot running. If anything maybe it was caused from simply doing too many miles at once - 2 marathons in a month is a lot of running. And like you say, strengthening your hips and butt can help relieve pressure on the IT band I think. Those are the type of exercises that I'm doing now to try to strengthen those areas.

Jennifer said...

Great blog posting! Love your perspective on barefoot running.

Cory Reese said...

Hmmm, never heard of using the toe separators before. May have to try that when my feet get achy.

wendy said...

I had no idea you could get acrylic toenails! What a great idea.

Jess @ Blonde Ponytail said...

What a fantastic idea! I'm hoping several of mine fall off!

So glad you are back to YOU and I know minimalist running has helped you in your journey and will continue to!!!

Connie said...

Thanks for sharing your toenail secret! I currently have two that are about to fall off and I was wondering if there was some sort of fake nail solution so that I can still look cute in flip flops. I will definitely look into it this week!

katie thompson said...

sad to hear the marathon was a bomb. but i think just about everyone has a run like that. crappy though. people are so lame i cant believe some of the things they will say. keep up the barefoot running. ive worked up to 5 miles in my vibrams now and am loving it. although my calves are way more sore than usual.

KT80 (Running Like a Girl) said...

That's awesome! I never thought of doing that, but it's a great idea. I have a bad habit of just throwing on another layer of polish, but not really taking off the old and replacing the polish.

Korin Lopez said...

I was looking at your pics before I read the post and thought, 'wow her toe nails looks so good'! I think I am going to copy you, what a wonderful idea!

Nikki said...

So sorry you've had to endure all those comments about running barefoot. Geesh! That's what I found so inspiring about your blog. That you were trying something different (regardless of what others thought) to find what works for you!

I have never heard of acrylic toenails. The coolest thing ever!!

One heart and mind said...

oh my heck...love the video. I want to be like that. Love the toenails too. I've always been jealous :)

Lindsay and James Cotter said...

i really need to give it a second chance. Thanks for sharing! and glad you are feeling better too!

ashley & sundance said...

Love the toes. My feet are really starting to show that i'm a runner. :( maybe i need to look into acrylic for my toesies!! When's your next race??

Penny said...

Love who you are doing your toes. Nice looking toes girl. I had to laugh when I read all the about all the looks you got when you are barefoot. Especially the one that wanted to pick you up. I am so glad you feeling more positive about your BF running. I also glad the top of your foot is feeling better.

FloridaGirl said...

I love your toes!! I am fairly new to barefoot running, and I have to say that the worst thing so far is that I really, really, really liked my awesome cute running shoes. However, my knees, hips, and IT band did not. So my compromise to running barefoot, at least as far as vanity is concerned, is that I made a trip to Ron Jon's Surf Shop (I live in Orlando), and I bought a number of the most awesome anklets I could find. Love, love, love how they look on my new healthy and strong bare feet! Wendy B.