I never was a runner, well I mean one who goes out and pays to run in a race. That journey started about 4 years ago after my husband came home from his first marathon. This marathon path was paved with much sweat, tears and tons of pain. Over the years I spent countless dollars on shoes and even more hours in the doctors office. My third marathon I ran on a stress fracture. While I still managed to PR I was heartbroken and at the end of my rope. It was during my time of healing that I stumbled upon barefoot running.
What I truly loved about barefoot running was the freedom. I finally felt like my time, pace, distance, nothing mattered. I was simply running. I had never felt that because not only do I put tons of pressure on myself, but the running group we connected with back in Florida were Boston qualifying queens. When I ran barefoot nothing else mattered. I loved the way the ground felt under my feet. I even began to crave it and the thought of not going out and having the dirt beneath me was not an option. But old habits die hard.
I have a desire to run a marathon. I mean run like I can. I have that stupid dream of being able to run Boston. I know it's silly and meaningless really. I know that it is not what running is about. Still it sits in the back of my head. I've had to put shoes back on here and there based on what I'm doing or the weather. Each time I lose my smiley attitude. Something about those shoes disconnects me from what it's meant to be.
I am about 30 days from my first Half Iron Man. Training for and racing barefoot was never an option. By the time I get off the bike the roads will be too hot. So for now I'm in shoes again. I have yet to find that perfect shoe, one that I love slipping on. I have though stopped living by my watch. I no longer time my pace as I run, the Garmin has been packed away. This for now is my smiley.
While the shoes are under my feet I am able to lose myself in the moment. I even at times get so in my head I can forget I'm running. I love that feeling. I am no longer dictated by my pace, I allow my body to run as it feels. My heart, lungs, muscles guide me on the road. I am finding my way back to that place I so love...One smiley step at a time.