from elephants to ninjas

after putting in – what felt like – a very long 12 weeks this past winter to train for my FIRST half marathon (which i completed in may!!) i had a little chat with the inner-Mel and decided it was time to make a change…

a little back info – just a few days into my training period i hit up a podiatrist with plantar fasciitis issues and ended up needing to wear orthodics in my sneaks because of my high arch – he actually had the nerve to tell me ‘maybe you just weren’t made to run’… obviously i DID NOT listen to him 🙂

in addition to the inserts, i would hit up my aunt on a weekly basis for her ever popular ‘poppy foot rubs’, was constantly using the stick and a foam roller to ease my banjo string tight IT bands and hamstrings, sporting compressions sleeves after the long runs to stop the shin splints from aching… but i trucked on, like a true CAPRICORN – even though my head and heart were there, my body was – in its best way possible – telling me otherwise

now… some athletes like to live by the motto ‘no pain, no gain’,
i on the other hand prefer the ‘there’s got to be a better way’

i told you about this book and these sneaks that i picked up days after the half to ‘go about my change’, but i never really followed up on it all (sorry about that – gardening got in the way!)… so since im am heading into my first triathlon of the season this weekend, and {knock on wood} have been running pain free for the past 3 months, i guess its time to fill you in on how i went from a heel striking elephant to a graceful mid-foot striker, ninja-ing my way through the streets of the ‘sink

the book was really the one that put this idea in my head… 304 pages later, i felt like i couldnt finish it quick enough. it was funny and captivating and kinda had a sciency aspect, but had this story line that just kept calling me back for more. i wanted to know all of it RIGHT NOW!

a couple of points that really stood out to me from reading it:

said so eloquently by THE BOSSbaby we were born to run‘… IT IS SO TRUE! just look at a toddler bounding along on the balls of their feet, no shoes required

when and why did we start to need these decked-out running shoes anyway, with their uber support mechanisms and insoles that provided enough cushion to make you feel like you were running on marshmallows?!

i havent felt lighter or stronger in my runs since i started wearing my ninja sneaks – ie Brooks Green Silence and focusing on landing on my mid-foot versus pounding my heel into the ground…

now granted, i didnt just pop these babies on and head out for a bunch of miles. i worked into them over the course of a couple of weeks, slowly building up the miles with them after coming back from a run in my ‘usual’ sneaks, until one day they actually became my ‘usuals’!

in that time i could literally feel the muscles in my feet getting stronger and stronger. gone are the days of needing my prescription orthodic inserts and NOW are the days of treading a little lighter, running a little faster and feeling like im almost gliding over the earth – instead of pounding into it!

WHAT a concept?! really!

7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Susan on 2011/08/04 at 15:40

    Based on this discussion, I have to observe your running style the next time you’re out there to see these mechanics in action.



  2. Posted by nance on 2011/08/04 at 17:08

    Thanks Mel. Just went sneaker shopping with cc and was wondering the name of these. Heading back to the store to get these for her. No need to start her on her acky path if we dont have to. And yes a pair for mommy is only fair.


    • Posted by Mel on 2011/08/04 at 17:39

      don’t forget to slowly integrate them – im sure I’ll be reading about her in runners world one of these days!


  3. Posted by nance on 2011/08/04 at 17:12

    Oh and by the way good on your first ocean tri I know you will rock:)


  4. […] i have talked about barefoot/minimalist running before… what can i say, it’s changed my way of running and changed my life, so why […]


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