Monday, November 29, 2010

Running with a Running Book!

I've been able to finish a couple books lately - I really do enjoy reading.  I've been trying to instill that love of reading in my kids.  I remember hearing LaVar Burton (if you have kids, you may remember that he hosted "Reading Rainbow" on PBS stations) talk about one of his fondest memories of his mother, and one of the reasons he loved books so much was because he always saw his mother with a book in her hand.  So far my love of books has rubbed off on Baby Girl.  She loves going to the library and to Barnes and Noble.  That makes me happy.  On the other hand, Baby Boy is a reluctant reader.  He's a good reader, he just needs to find that one author or genre that is going to get him excited about reading.
So, I finished Born to Run recently. What a great book!  It's a true story about a group of runners way down in the copper Canyons of rural Mexico.  They are ultra runners - people who run around 100 miles at a time...just because!  Wow!  But here's the thing - they run either barefoot, or with these little ol' "flip-floppy" sandals.

The author went to Mexico to figure out how this group of runners could run so far, with so little on their feet, and avoid injuries.  What he found was a group of people who ran simply because they loved running.  He also discovered some interesting things about runners and running.

Did you know...
Research studies have shown that there is a direct correlation on the amount of money you spend on running shoes and your chances of sustaining an injury while running?  People who spent more than $90 on a pair of running shoes were 50% more likely to be injured than those that spent less than $90.  (Whew, my last pair was $89 - Nike Pegasus - just under the wire!)  The reasoning is that more expensive shoes have more padding, which masks any pain you may feel from little missteps you make while running.  If you feel the pain, you will change your gait or do whatever you need to do to stop the pain!  Makes sense to me, and it makes sense that these runners in Mexico don't sustain many injuries.

When I was at the Expo at my last race, there was a booth selling these shoes.

They were $100. They are called Vibram Five Fingers. It's supposed to be the next best thing to running barefoot.  They look really interesting and I'd love to try a pair, but I can't justify spending $100 on something that may be really uncomfortable.  (Hmmm, how can I finagle a free pair?)

Then, I saw these on Oprah's Favorite Things Show.

They are Nike Free running shoes.  $85.  Again, just under the wire! 

I just can't see myself running barefoot.  I've got a real problem with dirty feet. 

Born to Run really made me rethink my reluctance to run a full marathon.  Really, 26.2 doesn't seem that far when you are reading about 100 mile races!

There was this great female runner in the book who was a "surfer chick" that was a really wild ultra runner.  She ran anywhere, anytime, just because she loved it!  She wasn't worried about what she ran in, or what she looked like - she just loved running!  She inspired me so I started running without my hair in a pony tail (I know, pretty wild, huh).  But I'm not giving up my Nike dri-fit tanks with the built-in sports bra!

The funny thing about this book was that it was recommended to me from a non-runner!  That's how interesting it is.  You don't have to be a runner to enjoy the story.

So, here's a question...has anyone out there tried running barefoot?  How did it go?

Thanks for stopping by today!


  1. Can't say I've ever run barefoot. It's just been so long since I was a runner. Love the Oprah shoes though!!!

  2. I may have to pick up that book, sounds really good! I have never done barefoot running - frankly it scares me! I could just see me stepping on something very not pleasant...

    I had a pair of Nike Frees - i loved them! Will probably invest in another pair soon.

  3. I don't know of anyone who has read "Born to Run" that hasn't enjoyed it (even if they didn't start running). Sometime you might check out This is the website of the Barefoot Runners Society, which is an international online group of barefoot & minimal footwear runners. Nice people sharing the ups & downs on their respective journeys. Good running!

  4. Those five fingers are way cool! I saw someone wearing them a while back, and have been thinking about them ever since. Think I might buy myself a pair for Christmas. I don't know if I would run in them though. I'd have to give it a try...

  5. Vibram Five Fingers may be expensive but it's totally worth it. I was once cynical about it not until I bought a pair of this shoes, Classic, and gave it a try. To my surprise, this shoes works wonders. It's really amazing, in fact just to make my whole barefoot shoes experience more fun, I customize my own shoes by adding a little bit of cool designs and colors just to look like a signature shoes. Check out the photos here. I hope you like it.


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