For the most part running has been a positive experience, until a couple of issues with my knees developed, the left issue and the right issue to be exact. I settled the problem with my left knee relatively easily. I wear a strap that stabilized the outer tendon and I'm good to go, but then the right knee felt left out and began dishing out a much sharper debilitating pain. It was so bad during last quarter mile of the Autism run I thought I'd have to walk across the finish line. It hurt like the dickens, giving me a sneaky suspicion it wasn't going to be such a simple fix.
About the time my right knee and I were becoming bosom buddies, dad's health was rapidly declining. Taking care of him during his last few weeks essentially forced me to rest from running, thus giving the knee a chance to heal and restore. An MRI confirmed no major damage, only a little aging and one small cyst. My doctor instructed me to continue training, wear a knee support, and let the pain guide my training. So here I am back on track hoping my body will cooperate with my goals.
With the gut feeling mechanics is the core issue behind each knee's problem, I began doing a little research. One thing led to another and soon I was reading (and hearing) about the benefits of barefoot running. It's all very interesting so I'm giving it a try, only I won't be running totally barefoot. I'll be wearing Vibram Bikilas and blogging as I go.
While these "five-finger" running shoes look silly, they require a hefty dose of patience in the beginning. They are not easy to get on because your body has to learn to maneuver each toe into its own tiny little sleeve. Believe it or not I've heard some folks have taken up to an hour to get them on at first. Once you master the skill of getting them on, your feet, ankles, and leg muscles have to then adapt to running with no support. Even though this is the most natural way to walk and run, it will take a few months to get used to this newfangled footwear. Nonetheless, I believe it's going to be an interesting journey and I invite you to come along for the ride.
So go ahead, live vicariously through my Bikilas and let's see how it goes. I'll do all the "foot work" and you can prop your feet up on the desk and read along. It'll be fun and I look forward to sharing my progress.
Here is what Vibram Bikilas look like.