Monday, January 10, 2011

"You're Crazy"

Or, "Don't run through pain":

"Limping toward the first-aid station, I encountered three Kenyans who had been among the top finishers. They pointed at my feet, and I noticed that they were wearing ordinary running sneakers.

"'Did you really run in those?' one asked.

"'I did.'

"'We used to run barefoot to school every day, until we got shoes in high school,' he said. 'But we used to run on dirt and grass. We would never run like that on pavement.'

"He paused and laughed. 'You’re crazy.'

"I spent the rest of the day with ice wrapped around my foot and taking ibuprofen. And the next day I went for an MRI. I had a stress fracture on the second metatarsal of my foot."

Sigh.

P.S. I'll note that Mr. Abel got all the warnings from both sides of the argument, ignored them all, and got the most common serious, yet preventable, barefoot-style running injuries: the metatarsal stress fracture.  At Barefoot Ted's Google Group, we have people come to us all the time with "top of foot" pain, and we tell them what's going to happen to them.  This is what's going to happen to them.

I, on the the other hand, ran my first half marathon in Bikilas, and had a grand old time.  I've not had any stress fractures from doing too much too soon.  That doesn't mean I'm better than Mr. Abel, but his experience was not inevitable, as Dr. Kirby the podiatrist would have you believe.