Thursday, August 11, 2011

Barefoot Running Successes and Setbacks and a Photo Shoot

A couple of months ago I won a unique and really cool giveaway. It was for a photo session and some pictures of me running from Niki Martins Photography. Now I'm not a big fan of of my race pictures, you know what it's like... sweaty, looking like you want to die pictures... So this was going to be cool. I've wanted to spruce up the old blog here for a while too, but didn't really know what I wanted to do for the header. Now I do.

To be totally honest, I was really nervous. When I first found out that I had won, I thought to myself that I better lose 10 lbs. and find a cute outfit. I did the latter. And the day of the shoot, I was really nervous again, not knowing what to expect. But Niki put me right at ease and told me how artistic it would look. The angles and the background were going to make it look cool. No scary close ups of my face while running. And she did not disappoint.

We had a lot of fun shooting. Niki had picked a beautiful place close to her home and to be honest, the weather was perfect. We had some rainstorms that afternoon and the clouds made for a beautiful backdrop. Niki was so easy to talk to and was willing to do whatever I wanted. It's just a good thing she came prepared with some ideas of her own.

I love the clean lines that she was able to create. She really has an eye for these things.

And now my feet. My little monkey shoes (Gist) have worn out. I could tell it was happening because I could feel the sole getting thinner and thinner. But after I got some pretty bad stone bruising on a rocky mountain trail and my little toe got eaten up on a rough gravel road, I knew it was time to throw them away. And my running store doesn't sell them anymore. Hello... not a good sign. Too bad they are the only thing that really works on my foot because I'm sure that real Vibrams would not have worn out on the soles.

This is not the close up I had hoped for on my feet. Here's the back story. I had managed a couple of 7 milers barefoot a week apart. The next week I did a 7 miler where I got some pretty serious stone bruising under my big toe. I managed an 8 miler barefoot and the next day a 10 miler in my monkey feet. During that 10 miler the stone bruising that occurred earlier in the week started hurting towards the end of the run. When I got home and took off my shoes, I found this little gem of a blood blister. How's that for contrasting pictures?!

I drained it and bandaged it up for the weekend and then was fine to run on it. I did a 9 miler barefoot (a new record!) and now the skin has peeled off and is baby tender. Like I said, not the ideal barefoot picture.

This little photo shoot has inspired me. At first I wasn't sure what to think about it. Was it just an egomaniac thing to do? Now I have decided that I SHOULD have pictures of what I'm passionate about. And good ones too. Not just the sweaty race ones. It's part of documenting my life. This won't be the last photo shoot either. I really would like one done in the trails by my home, where I really spend my time. It's something all of us should consider! And if you live in Utah County, give Niki a call!