I have been fascinated with running for a long time. Not with the asphalt running but trail, nature, mountain running. I would look to an image of a forest or whatever other nature image and instantly the thought that pops up in my head is how fast I can go from one point to another inside that scenery photo. This has been with me since a kid.
Also, since I was a kid I had denied it. Because I was never able to run properly. I would develop some sort of pain after distances bigger than 1 or 2 km. Either the knees, or the kidneys region or the lungs or all together. So I never ran.
I did tried. In 2008/2009 I tried with some friends to start running and we would try to do a 2-3 km from the town where we lived till the beach. Did not worked so well. Pain. Also by that time I was a bit overweight without noticing. As I said before I am 1.90 m and by that time I would have 105 km. Not fat but not athletic. Also by that time I was also smoking. I have smoked for 13 years and I was quite determined in my smoking, so to say. In the last months before quitting I would be smoking 2 x 20 cigarettes per day. That did not help my running.
So this attempt lasted 2-3 weeks. I gave up. The pain was not funny.
In 2011 while living in Portugal I tried again. Although by this time I was not smoking anymore, and I was substantively lighter, the pain, especially the one in the kidneys area was still there. Also appeared another pain under my ribs on the right side. That one I still have but I know what to do with it.
In Portugal I also gave up running. Did not worked for me. I never bothered reading about running because my believe was : running is a natural thing, there is no such thing as technique, you can´t do it wrong. Apart from the failure in running I was quite good at any sport I have tried. As a kid and teenager I played a lot of football, and some handball, being quite decent if not good at it. I also did karate and judo.
So with the believe that running is natural and can’t be done wrong I never bothered in doing anything about it. I just ended up thinking I cannot run. I am not made for it and that is it. What changed it?
While living in Mozambique we had a small problem. We had enough money to buy stuff we just did not have where to buy it from. We were in the poorest area of Mozambique, which is one the poorest countries in the world and had no shopping centers. We had some Canadians colleagues and friends that were nice enough to buy stuff for us in Canada and bring it over. They would go every now and then back home, we were the ones that got stuck for 13 months in there. So long story short this is the way that I got to be the owner of a pair of Vibram FiveFingers KMD Sport !Probably if we would not be in Mozambique I would have never bought something like that. I just bought it because we were yearning to buy stuff and those were very unusual. I bought it for beach mainly, but I ended up wearing them more than that. And with wearing them I started have some new pain in my Achilles tendon. And so I started reading about it and so I started knowing about the big discussion between barefoot runners and the traditional runners and running came again under my attention. I did not started running in Mozambique but when we arrived to Norway I tried it on a treadmill. Surprise surprise … first run with the FiveFingers and I ran 3 km. No pain in my knees and no pain in my kidneys. This was happening in June 2013. I started from there. Had a decent gym 1 km away from the house and went there for 2-3 months. My routine : 2-3 km running, 5-10 km rowing. Did this for a a couple of months. In september I managed to run first time 7 km in a go and did it for a couple of times and in November 2013, I had my first 10 k race without previously running 10 k. So this is how it started.
Kept reading about it and now I know why I had all those pains : over-striding. The FiveFingers corrected my posture and took away my pains. I am not landing on heels now. I am midfoot striker and although I still use the FiveFingers, during longer runs I use normal running shoes that I have bought here in Norway.
So this is how my life has been changed. By buying a pair of Vibram FiveFingers KMD Sport. This is not a comercial to FiveFingers and I am not promoting the barefoot movement as well. I think everybody should choose what and how to run and what to dress and what shoes to buy when they run. However I can´t deny it : barefoot running has changed my life. Because now I am … you know … a marathon runner !