I had heard about the crazies who run barefoot. I had heard from a friend who heard from his cousin's best friend's sister's co-worker that it was good for you or something. Good for you? Sign me up.
Anyway, that was the extent of my knowledge on barefoot running before I purchased these:
These Vibram Five Fingers are like bridgewear for your feet. For those who want to try barefoot running but are too scared to, you get these. They allow you to run on the street without being super cautious about what's beneath you. (Except for dog crap. You should always be on the look out for that.) The idea is that you can strengthen your feet and return to your natural gait from doing the whole shoeless thing. But in order to get to Barefoot Utopia you have to condition, or rather de-condition your soles, bones, and joints by, well, running. Seems pretty simple, right?!
They (those experts at Vibram and barefootrunning.com) predict that your feet will hurt at first. They consider the pain your body's natural mechanism for signaling you to stop running. They consider it a blessing or something. Okay, cool. Except that nothing ever hurt for me. My internal alarm malfunctioned or something.
I went out yesterday and wore them to a street fair, then running for two and a half miles; my feet felt great the whole time. Toward the end of my run my calves started to hurt, so last night I soaked them (twice!) in a hot tub and rubbed some homeopathic stuff on them. I thought I was in the clear.
Until I woke up this morning and couldn't walk.
Seriously. My calves are killing me. And the recommended solution for this? Run more. Just slower, less, and more frequent. MORE frequent. Because when my legs are mutinying the first thing I want to do is go running again. Awesome.
This is what it's like to watch LOST with Dre: "I don't know, I just think I would take off my jeans if I had to swim in the water."