Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Michael Sandler in Seattle

Michael Sandler is in Seattle on his book tour for "Barefoot Running," and fortunately I had a chance to go hear him talk about his barefoot journey last night. It was great to hear his story, and to get some in-person demos of some of the exercises he suggests. I was also glad to see I'm not the only one obsessed with foot-strengthening exercises! I've flipped through the book, but am looking forward to really digging in and giving it a proper review.
  I was surprised at how diplomatic Michael was (considering we were in a shoe store), about the shoe options folks might use on their way to barefoot running. I suppose I shouldn't have been -- for as many purists who say the only way is to go cold turkey, and switch entirely over to barefoot, there seem to be more who propose gradually making the transition. I wonder if the former might be better in some ways, but you are just aren't going to convince most everyday runners of that -- so I liked that he made barefooting seem more accessible to ordinary shod runners.
  I also enjoyed learning that his running flat of choice (when not barefoot, of course) is the same running flat I bought last year. I don't wear mine these days, as I now prefer my Vibrams, but I somehow feel vindicated in knowing of another barefooter who wears them.
  Inspired by the talk, and anxious to enjoy the sunny part of the day, I got out for a 1.2 mile barefoot run-- I stopped not because my soles hurt, but because my ankle started to hurt. I'm thinking of keeping the mileage low and obeying the ankle pain a little more for the next couple of weeks, maybe focus on riding now that the weather seems to be turning (ever so slowly) toward warmer(ish)ness. After the run, I went for a 1 hour bike ride with some hills....and finished just before the massive downpour began!

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