Monday, November 14, 2011

Running in Eugene

A little over a year ago I read an incredibly inspiring book - Born to Run. It convinced to me start running again, without shoes. I know, pretty crazy, but the book made a convincing argument that my knees wouldn't hurt like they did before. And they don't. I've been running just about every other day ever since and have never felt better.

The basic idea is that if you run without shoes you will naturally land on your mid-foot rather than on your heel (as we tend to with cushioned running shoes). Your arch then acts kind of like a spring. Apparently there are tribes in Mexico and Africa (and who knows where else) that run this way and have an extremely low incidence of injuries from running.

The book also suggests that primitive man, before we started making tools, actually ran animals to death! And that our bodies were made for running.

If you decide to try this, do some research. The book suggests that you can run 5 miles tomorrow, barefoot, but you actually have to start off very slow and work your way up to longer distances. I started with 100 yards the first day. 110 the second, and so on. It took me about 6 months to do 3 miles. I now have running shoes that consist of a thin layer of rubber on the bottom to protect my feet from rocks/glass/etc., but no other kind of support.

So I was very excited to hear running is very popular in Eugene, and that my new art friend, Sarah, is a runner too! So we signed up for a 6 mile run this last Sunday. Here we are at the start and taking off.



The first third of the 6 miles was uphill most of the way, on trails. The last third was back down the same hill. I think I made it in half the time. : ) It was a hard run but exhillerating, and I will definitely do more. Sarah and I are already looking at a 4-miler on Thanksgiving day.

15 comments:

  1. Your amazing Carol...after painting and putting up with us all week...and running too! Thank you for sharing your adventures and moving...look forward to following you and being inspired.

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  2. Totally inspiring, Carol! Your advice is so true.. you have to start out with small distances and work your way up. Even after 6 months, I still am struggling with the second mile (but I'm no youngster anymore!).. love the fact you're using the Vibrams :) I have wanted to try them, but maybe after I make the 5K distance! Best to you! xox PS Your son is adorable! :)

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  3. Leave it to you to run without shoes!!!! I've seen those 'feet' socks or sneakers and thought "My God, who would run in those?" Now I know ;)

    I'm so happy you did run, and did well, and have a nice art friend already! Your interview with Leslie & Dreama was excellent. Thank you for sharing. xoxox

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  4. Kudos to you. I've been looking at those shoes and since I strive to be without shoes, these may be just what I need. I think Oregon agrees with you.

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  5. You look so happy! Guess those endorphins will do that to ya. Glad you had a good time and that you found a great friend in Sara!

    And Kelley's comment cracked me up. :)

    I run and have been having problems with my knees every time I try to increase my distance over 13 miles. I've trained for two marathons only to have my knees break down once I get past the 13 mile mark. ARGH! Frustrating!!

    I wonder how well these shoes hold up over long distances. Me thinks I must research this further. You are starting to make a believer out of me.

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  6. Hey Carol! That is awesome. I too, am a runner, but have always been prone to injury. I have recently started running again, but never more than 3-4 miles at a time to avoid injury. Keep on running and painting!
    ~Heidi

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  7. you know....Im 59 and doing that for turning 60...I'm thinking about it! Last winter I was sooo down and got a personal trainer who had me running a mile..but this year is turning out to be much better....hmmm Better for the knees you say..

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  8. I love to be without shoes but never thought to run that way. Running hurts my knees so I do not really run much, now I bike. I have built up to distance and days in a row on the bike but...running with no shoes is a real connection to the earth,cool! I bet you know when the rocks are talking to you.

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  9. Your energy, like your art, is very inspiring! I am so glad Eugene is a happy place for you. You deserve it! Thanks for keeping us posted...

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  10. LOVE the House!! Love the snow. Love the barefoot running. Love you!!!!!

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  11. Hello! I am a new follower and wanted to say how encouraging your "New Beginning" blog is to me. Thank you for sharing your journey with so many.
    You and your family are an inspiration. We have plenty of snow up here! I still love it as it covers everything in white. Blessings to you. ross

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  12. hi Carol, my friend gave me the book Born to Run because we went down to copper canyon and spent one nite in Batapillas, who did we happen to meet at the local watering hole but Caballo Blanco, introduced himself, said he ran with the Tarahumara, then there was his whole history in the book. so cool!!

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  13. Sue, that is soooo cool!!! I can't believe it. I am so jealous. : ) -Carol

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  14. I used to run a lot, and I hated shoes, in fact, I don't generally wear them unless required by law. I'm not even bothered by glass or sharp objects as I've gotten used to stepping on them in my studio. But how do you run barefoot in the winter....as kids, when we lived in Putney VT, we used to have a contest to see who could run the farthest in their bare feet after a fresh snow.....1/8 mile is about all I could do, cuz we still had to run back, and sometimes my evil sister would lock the door on us so we had to dance in the snow until she let us in. I'm going to check out this book, I've been lazy for too long, and I'd like to run again....thanks for the inspiration in many ways Carol!

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