To be barefoot or not to be barefoot

Okay, so this is a late post but I got in a few barefoot beach runs in on vacation. I also discovered a lot of muscles and new places that could get sore. I have the most sensitive feet in the world but the beaches of Destin, FL were so soft, sandy and free of jagged shells. I was able to run without fear impaling my feet. It was a blast. Most of my running was done on walks with Dad and the littlies which developed into a game of "sibling suicides" - 2 year to 9 year old dawdling behind back to the 2 year old surging ahead. Wash, rinse, repeat.

This is what running should look like.
After a week of that I am now back to the real world and find myself contemplating to run barefoot or not to run barefoot. I went for a shoed run on my second day back from vacation and I was fairly miserable. I can chalk part of that up to being back in a city that is rejecting me like a bad organ transplant, confusion over my job, a lack of bug spray and just general post vacation blues (1st world problem I know) but whirling among all of that was grumpiness about having to shove my feet into shoes. After running barefoot for a week even with lighter running shoes my feet felt heavy. My gait felt restricted and my normal problem of hot spots on the inside arch came back.

Before you all comment: Yes, I have read Christopher McDougall's "Born to Run" 3 times. I have a copy on audiobook and subjected J-bird to 9 hours on the drive back. It could not have been too bad for him, between picking up dinner and a five minute drive to his house he made sure he turned it back on. It probably has more to do with the three F-bombs and less about the Tarahumar and Caballo Blanco. Though after a particular detailed description of Leadville100: as “running the Boston Marathon two times in a row with a sock stuffed in your mouth”—then hiking “to the top of Pike’s Peak”—and then doing it all over again, “this time with your eyes closed.”

J-bird looked at me, eyes wide "is this a true story?" Me: Yep. This is also coming from the kid who, on the day I entered the lottery to run the marathon was quizzing me on the probabilities of me winning the Houston marathon. After ten minutes of trying to explain you win by competing and finishing is an accomplishment and you are really just racing yourself he looks at me and goes: "yeah but is it like 1 in 1000 or like 1 in a million?" To him unless you are going to win there is not a point in taking part. We are working on this though it does shorten our family monopoly games.

I digress. All of this has been going through my head and I am contemplating the investment in a pair of vibram 5 fingers. My feet are too sensitive to run truly barefoot and I wNt to try the minimalist approach but the $80 cost is holding me back. "Born to Run" makes a strong argument but I do not want to invest in something that will just gather dust in two months. I need to get a new pair of running shoes so how about it? Barefoot? Or not barefoot? That is the question.

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