Wow–what a cool day I had on Saturday! One of the great things about living in the Mid-Atlantic is that you can hop on a train and be in New York a few short hours later. Saturday morning I was on that train at 7 a.m. to meet up with Lee Saxby for a one-on coaching session. It was all part of the weekend-long New York City Barefoot Run 2011.
Lee started by having me run with my shoes on while he taped me. He then had me kick them off and run again. What we found? My form is actually fairly
decent both ways. No heel striking, no overextending leading leg. This is the part Lee calls the “software” of running.
Then, well, then I learned that my “hardware,” in this case my feet, leaves much to be desired. My second toe is longer than my first–a pretty common condition called Morton’s toe. Why is that a problem? Well, we have a large big toe and metatarsal for a reason–to help take on a good deal of the load when our feet hit the ground. When your second toe is longer than the first, this probably doesn’t happen. The result–overload on the other, smaller bones of the foot, which in my case led to stress reactions (not to mention my doing too much/too soon).
That was the bad news. The good news, according to Lee, is that with hard work, I can retrain my feet to better utilize that big toe. But–it has to be retrained with walking first. He gave me some drills and exercises to work on, including that ubiquitous squat I want to perfect. He said to expect it to take a minimum of six to eight weeks to make the corrections. So it looks like I have my work cut out for me.
My friend, Dr. Mark Cucuzzella was on hand also as one of the speakers for the weekend. He sat in on my session with Lee and did some videotaping, which we’ll be running later this week on the Natural Running Center site. Be sure to check it out.
On the lighter side of the weekend–it was a who’s who of the barefoot running world out there today. Barefoot Ted, Barefoot Ken Bob, Jason Robillard–they were all there. It was fun to put the faces to the feet. My only bummer was not having time to meet Barefoot Josh and Lisa of Early Morning Run, both of whom were further uptown racing the Fifth Avenue Mile. But I can’t complain–I had a great time and learned new, unexpected things.
How was your weekend?