I was a barefoot running fiend last summer. I started in minimalist shoes in May and by October, I was running up to almost 7 miles in a session. I ran faster and with less effort than I ever had with shoes. Then I took a gig in Minnesota during winter and spring and took some time off.
Now I’m back in NYC and in late May I took up running again – with my RunAmoc Dashes at first to get my feet broken in. A few weeks ago I took off my shoes to go barefoot, and I”m frustrated that I seem to have completely lost whatever barefoot form I had last year. First I tore up my feet forgetting how hot/rough chipset can be (and got a giant bloodblister) and now I seem to have given myself some kind of toe injury – if it’s not a mild stress fracture then at least it’s a toe jam or a sprain. In any case it hurts to walk and run on.
I’m a bit confused. I had hoped that my body would retain some kind of muscle memory from all my running last year and I would be able to dial in my form pretty quickly, but that’s not happening. I find myself experimenting with forms just like I did last year when I started. I think when I ended last year I had settled on a form that may not have been classically correct (it felt like my heels might have “kissed” the ground a bit more than experts recommend) but it seemed to work for me, and I was able to increase my mileage steadily as my feet strengthened.
This year I feel like I may have a bit of plantar fascitis (my feet are stiff in the morning and i have a bit of heel pain).
I also weigh about 10 pounds more than I did last summer, so maybe the excess weight is affecting my form.
I don’t have a point to this post I guess, except to be frustrated. I do so love barefoot running, but it seems I’m hurting myself when I go out lately. I guess I am forgetting that it was a whole 7 months since the last time I ran PERIOD. I need to be gentler with myself.