Saturday, April 9, 2011

Birthday barefoot running!

Yesterday, April 8th, I turned 34 and my son Milo turned 5 years old.  I love that we share a Birthday!
I ran 10 miles with the hubby and had a lovely time as always when running together.

  I took my Golite Rush Pack with me to carry nuun and shoes if I needed them.   I ended up putting shoes on at 8.5 miles and then wished I wouldn't have stopped.  It threw me off and I think my soles would have been fine for that last 1.5 miles.  The shoes ruined my groove.

   Our 3 days of running came out to 29 miles for the week.  Only 1.5 in shoes.  When the terrain or our soles dictate, I wear the Evo IIs and Jaymon wears duct tape shoes that he makes.  There are sweet duct tape styles  and I keep bugging him to make me a pair out of the blue tie dye.  I have a feeling that he has made the perfect shoe.

  I am pleased that my soles have not lost much toughness and my mind has adapted quickly to the intense sensations.  The key is maintaining a gentle form.  Despite what you might think, the bottoms of my feet are quite soft and not a huge callous.
The weather has been lovely and its now time to start keeping my piggies painted and pretty.  The season for testing out minimal running shoes seems to be at an end.

  To celebrate Milo's Birthday, I took him to run his first race!  It was the local running clubs Loop the Lake 8k and a Little Lakers race for the kids.
     He has been talking about it all week and he so loved seeing all of the other kids.

  It was a bit chilly and foggy when we got there.  He was mesmerized by the adult runners going so fast.
It  made me wish I would have raced too.  It chokes me up every stinkin time to watch a race.  Those people working so hard putting themselves out there.  Its so good for them too.  Love it!  Why do I feel like sobbing when watching them dang it!  Anyone else get choked up at races??

  Milo wanted to put on his new Little Lakers race t-shirt to run.  We left his crocs and socks on until right before the start.  I could see people looking at his crocs with confusion.

  He already has typical adorable spring and summer feet that have walked miles already barefoot in our own yard.  I think that the other parents, or maybe its just me, thought that the poor little barefoot boy should be wearing shoes.  Little do they know...  He pointed out that the other kids were wearing shoes.  Interesting that he is now at the age to notice the differences between people and what they choose to do.  I hope that I can instill in him the confidence to do things that work for him and make him happy regardless if its what the other people are doing.

  I have this subconscious notion that was instilled in me from childhood that barefoot is a sign of being "less than" both in wealth as well as intelligence.  I think this is a common notion in our society.  I would have felt more confident battling out my own inner contradictions if I would have worn my Barefoot Runners Society t-shirt or had my husband by my side to remind me that the beat of our own drum is the only one I can truly dance to.  I would have felt really badass and confident if I would have raced barefoot but it didn't work out logistically with the spawn.  Insecurities are not as profound when I am the one out running barefoot but when my child is judged or I perceive he is judged it brings back all of my own childhood memories and insecurities of being different.

  If anyone at that race should have been running barefoot it would be the kids.  Their feet need freedom to grow and strengthen without restriction. To learn how their bodies work by tactile feedback.  "But I can't run in them" is what I would whine at my mother when she would try and dress me up for church as a wee las. Oh how I frustrated that woman!  I would always ditch the shoes.  Now I do like to run in a dress but still ditch the shoes!

  The best I can do for my sons is to be an example to them.  I am not going to buy them fancy cushioned bells and whistles running shoes when I myself don't wear them.  We are all in charge of our own happiness.  I want to show then how I find it and hope that by my example I will inspire them to find theirs too.

  Of course striving to better myself from the inside out means that taking my son to a race leads to questioning  my reasons as well as my insecurities and duking it out internally.   The upside is that I was not feeling down and out to be a year older!   I feel more and more comfortable in my own skin and remember more often what is truly important to me even when I am not feeling so sure of myself.

  Milo was the youngest of his racing group and he kept up pretty well.  He outran a few of the older kids.  The look on his face while he was running was so cute.  He gave it all he had!

  Most of all, he had fun!  He got a medal and a t-shirt and he ran his first race and even ran it barefoot.  He met some other kids and saw a bunch of dogs and a guy in a rubber ducky costume.  I got to hang out with just my little Aries boy in the park on a strange foggy morning the day after our Birthdays. Lovely.
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I provide Bradley Method childbirth education, doula, belly casting, placenta encapsulation, and post partum doula services.
I serve families in Kitsap County, Bainbridge Island, Poulsbo, Bremerton, Silverdale, Kingston, Port Townsend, Bremerton, Port Orchard, and the greater Seattle area. email me with any questions you might have