A Noisy Step

Like a lot of runners, the book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall has been in my list of things to read for a while. I had no idea why people talked about it so much. They never say why, just that it was good and that every runner should read it. A fellow runner recently loaned me her copy, and I have to say, even if you’re not a runner, this book is a good read. Unlike everyone else who says nothing about the book when they say you should read it, I’ll give you my reasons:

1. It inspires without being stupid about it. It’s almost unintentionally inspiring.

2. The Tarahumara are amazing people, and yet not painted as saints and put on a pedestal.

3. I have never before read anything that was actually convincing about barefoot running. I am no longer clinging to my running shoes, and it’s OK.

4. The non-Tarahumara people in this book are so very human, and do some incredible things. The race they all come together for makes me feel like my own goals really are achievable. (Who doesn’t like feeling like they can reach their goals, hmm?)

5. I now know how to make chilly chia/iskiate and enjoy it. (Put about a tablespoon of chia seeds, a squeeze of lime juice, and a little sugar or honey in a jar with about a cup of water. Shake and let the chia seeds turn into little frog eggs before drinking.)

After I finished this book, I got myself a pair of Vibram Fivefinger shoes. (Running barefoot on pavement in the desert didn’t seem terribly bright, so this was a good compromise.) I really do like them. I haven’t taken any long runs in them yet, since it does change your form and I’m not willing to injure myself before a race by being over-excited. The short runs I do are great though. Even more fun than they were before.

However, my steps are now noisy. I got used to being able to run in my Brooks silently. I kind of liked sneaking up on people while running. Now, not so much. As quiet as I try to make my footfalls, there’s always a bit of a slap.

I keep going through my checklist: Is my form right? Balls of feet or mid-foot- never heel, right? Not over-striding, right? Stepping lightly, right? 90ish strides a minute, right?

And still: slapslapslapslap…

I’m hoping I’ll get my silence back once I go completely native and shuck the shoes altogether.

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~ by jesstracey on July 9, 2012.

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