Petra has been on my mind so much that it’s difficult to focus. Even though I run often, I’ve had to add long daily walks to help alleviate my restlessness. I am constantly thinking about her and sometimes I become very sad because I am not with her.
So, hopefully the following post will be of interest to you, and at the same time, keep my mind off the wonderful Petra.
Plenty of runners have jumped onto the minimalist footwear trend that has been popularized by the book Born to Run, by Chris McDougall. He was in town recently and a bunch of my running group friends attended a reading he gave.
This issue has plenty of pros and cons, so I contacted the National Institute of Running Sciences, and spoke to an acquaintance, Dr. Ayer O’Beck, Chief of Running Research. I tried to pin him down on whether it’s a good thing or not, but he wouldn’t give a definitive answer. Our conversation went in circles as I tried to get him to tell me his position. This is what he said when I really pressed him:
“It’s hard to say if it’s better or worse than running in traditional thick-soled shoes. A lot depends on individual preference and the body’s response to minimalist footwear.”
I emailed him a photo of my friend, Javier Pita, pictured with the author, and asked if he should wear foot gloves. Dr. O’Beck asked about Javier’s running background. When I told him, adding that he’s a 2:49 marathoner, Dr. O’Beck said he’d do very well in minimalist footwear.
“How about if you’re out running,” I began, “and you see this fabulously beautiful woman and after trying and trying, you finally meet her. Eventually you get to know her, but then it turns out she has a boyfriend. Will wearing minimalist footwear help out?”
“You know, Jim, we have an Office of Running Psychology here. They may be able to help. They’re supportive. They listen. They know what you’re going through. Shall I transfer your call?”
“Thanks, Ayer, but I want to focus on the purpose of my call, which is Petra…I mean minimalist footwear. So…in this day and age of running groups and entering marathons and half-marathons, and doing hill workouts and trying to increase your mileage, do you think it’s best to not look at women runners, I mean,..not talk to them? Is it better to always run alone, deep in the woods so you don’t cross paths with anyone?”
“Jim, seriously, the people in the Office of Running Psychology are good. I’m going to connect you right now.”
“Thanks, Ayer. Appreciate it.”