Saturday, 19 January 2013

Snow stops play!

Well the UK has been hit with snow and while the kiddies and adults alike may enjoy such a pretty blanket from the Gods, to many a runner this is game over.

I am a sandal runner, that's right you read it correctly, I run in sandals.
Sandals and snow, hmm not really feeling that today so instead I shall move onto where I got said footwear from and why!

The sandals themselves come courtesy of the wonderful Luna Sandals, created by Barefoot Ted.
"Barefoot Ted?" I hear some of you say, if you have to ask it means that you have not yet read Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, this in my humble opinion is a must and it will also give you a much better understanding of why I chose the sandal route for my own running.

Go grab yourself a copy right now and when your finished come back and read on! :)

.............. OK finished? Brilliant wasn't it?!

That book single handedly changed my view on running and opened up my world to the crazy world of Ultra running as well as the limits of human endurance.
It also got me into thinking a lot more about footwear in general and to not take everything at face value and just buy a new training shoe because someone in a sports shop tells you too!
Nutrition is something else that is touched on a little with the mention of Chia seeds and Pinole but I think I shall come back to both of these in different blogs or im going to get carried away again!

Right lets get back on subject shall we?! Sandals!

To have a slightly better understanding here is little history of my own running....
I started around 4 years ago and now know that I used to heel strike.
A year later after remembering that I had forgotten to keep it up I took part in my first 10k, followed in 2010 by my first Hell Runner.
I hurt a lot after that and my shins, hips, ankles and everything else in my legs hurt!
Continued to run over the next year getting ready for Hell Runner 2011 by basically doing a year of hill training! Come the event I felt great and got round it comparatively easy but my feet were abit of a mess from the shoes crushing my toes, black toe nails and my first blood blister! EEEW!
2011 started with shin splints and I thought really hard about just hanging the shoes up and calling it a day.
Kept up the small distances of around 5k but still my shins hurt.
This is when the reading and my obsession started! Born to Run was handed to me like some flaming Olympic torch and it ignited something in me!
Read a lot (I will come back to books in another post) and got some Vibram Five Fingers and started the long road to minimal running.
I spent around a year stripping my style down and completely changed to a forefoot style.
Tried a lot of footwear, Vibram Five Fingers, Merrell Trail Gloves, home made sandals and then finally my much coveted Luna Sandals!
I shall come back to individual blogs about my footwear as they all deserve there own time (becoming a bit of a theme already eh?!)
November 2012 saw me complete my first marathon not only ever but in sandals! Very nearly cried from the sheer joy of the finish as this had been a personal goal for a very very long time!

WOW! Phew! Ok we are pretty much up to date and hopefully you are still reading what is rapidly becoming more like a book than a simple post!

So why sandals?

Running in sandals for me has bought back a joy to running that I hadn't experienced since being a kid, zipping along at what felt like a million miles an hour for ever and ever!

The connection with the ground, the feel of the wind rushing past your toes, the blade of grass that brushes the side of your foot, the refreshing puddle, the sticky mud, the world quite literately at your feet. All of these things and many many more is why I am a sandal runner.

Hope you enjoyed this post and hope you will join me again for more!

Please feel free to leave comments and questions and I shall do my best to answer them! :)

Thanks for reading

Miles of smiles


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