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Color me barefoot!

March 23, 2013
Before and after the race... My Xero shoes... And running into an old friend in her Vibram FiveFingers

Before and after the race… My Xero shoes… And running into an old friend in her Vibram FiveFingers

Last night I dreamed my foot was hurting. I tossed and turned, fretting over the Color Me Rad race. Do I run anyway? Should I play it safe and skip it? Maybe I should just go and cheer on my friends. I was so relieved when I woke up and realized my foot was feeling  just fine.

The Color Me Rad 5K was the first race I have participated in since my stress fracture last June in the Heatwave Classic Triathlon. During the race, volunteers throw packets of colored corn starch at you and spray you with paint. Runners are supposed to wear white so that by the finish line you like you rolled around in a giant bowl of Fruity Pebbles. Sounds rad, right? Running with friends and being silly was totally rad. Dealing with corn starch in your nose, mouth and eyes, not so much. It was kind of like going to the beach. It’s so fun while you’re there but when you take a shower afterwards you say, “How in the world did all this sand end up there?” Same thing with the corn starch.

This race was also my first time running any significant distance in my new Xero shoes, huarache sandals similar to the ones worn by the Tarahumara indian tribe discussed in the book Born to Run. They are essentially 4mm of rubber tied on my feet with some nylon laces. I opted for my Xero shoes, instead of going totally barefoot, because the City of Jackson is not known for its well-maintained streets and my soles have been spoiled by the paved trail and smooth streets of the suburbs where I normally run. During the race, I heard a lot of people say things like, “She’s running in sandals!” and “Look at her! Is she running in flip flops?” Never mind the guy in the fat Elvis suit. Or the fact that every single runner was covered in corn starch and half the runners were wearing tutus and rainbow-colored socks up to their knees, my little strappy running sandals made me the oddball.

 Next up: Warrior Dash. Can’t wait!

From → Running

  1. trissa permalink

    BUt you didn’t run completely barefoot. was your foot still hurting? I’ve done the Warrior Dash!! you will love it!

  2. Trissa, I know I wasn’t completely barefoot. Seriously, Jackson streets are rough on the feet. My feet couldn’t handle it… Well, they could, but it wouldn’t have been as fun. My foot wasn’t hurting at all, it was just in my dream. And I did Warrior Dash last year (completely barefoot) and loved it. I think I prefer mud to corn starch.

  3. Jan permalink

    Great column, Marci!

  4. Thanks, Jan! You should’ve run with us. Next time, right?

  5. Kevin W permalink

    What are your thoughts on the Xeroshoes, I was thinking about getting some?

    • Kevin W, I have a pair of Unshoes and Lunas. I found them to be more comfortable and easyer to adjust then the Zero shoes. The strings on the Zeros tend to dig into the skin and cause blisters.

      • Kevin W permalink

        Yeah I was also looking into Luna Sandals too, just wanted to get opinions on them. Thanks for the recommendation.

  6. Kevin W, I like them for running on terrain that would tear up my soles–surfaces with a lot of gravel. I like them when I am some place where shoes are required. I have worn them to the gym and tried to teach class in them and they are really not good for that. Moving laterally in them doesn’t work as well. But for running, they are great. They breathe better than FiveFingers.

    • Kevin W permalink

      That’s really good to know. As much as I love my five fingers, that love quickly disappears once they get that forever smell that nothing can fix. Lol

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