For as long as I can remember, I told people "I can't run." But in March of 2009, I decided that this was no longer an option. From my first 5K to my second half marathon, I've endured my highest highs and lowest lows as an official Runner. This year I want to embrace running for something beyond times and distances.

Running is so much more than merely getting out there. I want to get out there and love it.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Run Bare

Three things today:

First off, I had my final long run (before the Chi Half) last weekend. My mom, sis, and I camped at Point Beach State Forest outside Two Rivers, WI. I mapped out 14 miles before I left, memorized road names, and had the run looming on my mind for days prior. Fun!

Now we all remember my last 14 miler three weeks before my first half. Lots of pain. Lots of tears. Well this one would prove to be some more of the same. Not necessarily pain, however. Here goes: 3 miles into the route, I came up on the road I would be running back on. It was SUPER bright and sunny. Aka: super bright sun I wouldn't want to run back into at the end of my run. So I decided to reverse the loop I planned. Mistake. I totally got lost. I've been camping at Point Beach for nine years now, but I don't really venture into T'Rivers. Long story short, I went two miles out of my way to find my route back. I ran along this combo of roads, back and forth back and forth back and forth, trying to figure out where the heck I was. The road name was correct, but the sun was in the wrong place! Haha! Anyway, being lost totally zaps your energy. And this was only six miles in. I was 4 miles from the campsite and my mind just gave up. I stopped to walk and just felt sorry for myself and started thinking about my mom and sis just waiting there for me, worried about where I was. I just burst into tears. I know, such a drama queen. But getting lost when you're running really f*cks with your mind, man. Because it's not like in a car where you can just turn around and press the gas pedal. Ok, so I walked for eight minutes...huge drops of salty discharge streaming down my cheeks. What a display. After the eight minutes were up, I started running again and yelled at myself a bunch. I rolled into our campsite and let 'er rip once again (seeing your mom does that to you sometimes). She and my sis gave me water and peach nectar juice and started cookin' up some mean breakfast burritos and I felt worlds better. Final tally: roughly 16miles...exactly 3 HOURS of running (well minus that eight minutes haha!). Definitely a PR even though it lacked some grace.

Second, I received a FANtastic piece of "fan mail" the other week. I think maybe it was my second or third email since I started this blog a year and a half ago. There truly is nothing more inspiring than someone reaching out to take the time to thank you for something. This blog isn't much more than a stream of consciousness. Mostly complaining. But we're all in this together and if there's anything I blather on about that can possibly be helpful, well then, hey, it's all worth it I guess! So thanks Michelle!! I hope you heal up quick and get right back out there!!

Third, barefoot running.

I have a friend who is literally obsessed with running barefoot. He's up on his big puffy barefoot cloud looking down on us silly, small-minded, shoe'd dummyheads who have no idea how big of a mistake we're making. I was NOT a fan of this. But when I got an email that barefoot runner Michael Sandler was stopping at my local running store with his fiancee to talk about it, I thought: hey, maybe I'll check it out, just so I can tell my friend I've given it a chance.


Talk about an eye-opener. I'm going to have to write an entirely separate post devoted to all the ways my mind has been changed, but in short: shoes suck. Ok they don't completely suck. And Michael doesn't think so either. They serve purposes. Like becoming hand weights ;) No no, seriously, running shoes still take part in training, but runners don't have to rely on them so heavily.

Shoes mess you up though. After listening to the science, there's really no denying it at this point. Anyone who has ever had issues with knee pain, IT band pain, arch pain...even NECK pain, you could potentially trace it back to running shoes. And we all think: "well I must need different running shoes." I myself just wrote in a past post: "I need new shoes. My feet hurt." New shoes? How about NO shoes.

SO! I drank the Koolaid, I purchased Barefoot Running, and I'm going to give this a whirl. It takes awhile to build up, however. And as Michael had us all repeat three times: "I will only go 200 yards on my first run!" So this past Tuesday, I put my shoes in my hands, and ran two blocks barefoot. Invigorating to say the least! Like I'm a kid again. After my 8 mile yesterday, I took off my shoes and ran four blocks. Then iced my feet :) Ever since the seminar, I try to go barefoot as often as possible. Through the Target parking lot, on the route to church, and I don't put my work shoes on until I step inside the building and I have QUITE the trek from car to building (let's just say I get to work on the later side...)

If you've ever considered running barefoot, there are probably 340350325 concerns that tell you not to. I'll address some of the ones I had next post. At the end of the day though, this running thing has been quite the struggle for lil ol' Katie ever since the spring Half. I just don't feel it. I don't have that "I love running" except in fleeting moments that are ruined by pain and frustration. I need a change. I can't do the same old thing anymore. Even after only a year and a half. Starsky's bored. So I'm giving this a shot. This and the whole Run Bare attitude: running isn't about times and PRs and mileage. It's supposed to be fun. I'd like to have fun while running again.


  1. Love the aerial view of Kohls...shudder. Anyway, I enjoyed the narrative of your Point Beach horror! Sorry for making you cry by being your mom standing there. :-) I have never gotten lost running but I would have cried too under those circumstances, for sure. Anyway, I am looking forward to hearing how the barefootedness goes over time! It's so fascinating!

  2. How weird that we both had crying/jogging posts! I actually tried on those shoe/slipper jobbers that make it feel like you're barfoot with each toe going in there like a glove. Kind of cool but very expensive.

    I really like driving barefoot, but I heard it's illegal. Fuck it. I'm a rebel; a barefooted, crying through a jog sissy of a rebel.

  3. Yeah WAY expensive...but probably worth it in these midwestern winters!!

    I drove barefoot to work this morning and it was glorious!! Illegal Schlmegal. And that's exactly what I'll tell the cops!

  4. I'm very interested in reading about your experiences running barefoot! I've heard things about both running with and without shoes...I'm not quite sold on the barefoot idea, but interested in learning more! :)

  5. I've never gotten lost but I can imagine the emotional drain from it. I go barefoot on teh football field but only for 1/2 mile.