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.