Day 19 — Slept in 1 and a Half Hours and My Back Pain Was Gone

Today has been a wonderful day. Mid-day I realized that I don’t have any back pain. I experienced extremely mild discomfort today but I fixed it by standing up at my desk. Over the past few days I have been more or less obsessive compulsive about my posture, spine alignment, and tension of back muscles. As the pain ebbed from my upper muscles into my lower back I feel like I was able to focus on what was happening and stop it all together.

In the morning I did not wake up before 5: 30 AM. I am not upset about this. At work we went around in a circle sharing how we felt, on a scale of 1–10. No one has ever said 10, including myself. Today I said I was at a 10 because I usually run in the mornings but I had a sprained ankle and skipped running, also because my team got pizza at lunch. It must have sounded crazy to anyone else that I felt like a 10 because I have a sprained ankle, but boy it’s the truth!

At first I questioned whether I had slept in because I simply didn’t want to go outside running barefoot in the morning. On second thought, even if that was the reason, then it’s alright. Good things came out of it. I finally found the day that I failed in waking up and running in the mornings, so now I know that if I go past this streak I’ll be even stronger.

I ended up running in the evening, after I got home and took about a two hour nap. I ran about one and a half miles, to two miles, and then I began a timed mile run. On the timed mile I got a 7: 57 which is absolutely amazing. My un-spoken and non-direct goal is to get down to a 14 minute mile, bare-foot. Then at that point I will be so accustomed to running without shoes that I will need to take about a week to get used to shoes again, to run with them as safely as I can, and then I’ll time myself on a mile and see what time that gets me.

I love running barefoot because on one end it feels like it uses up less energy, but on another end it feels much more intense. With shoes on I can easily run a 6 minute mile and only feel the pain of my body spending so much energy and breathing. Without shoes, every step I’m losing more skin off my feet than I’m gaining feet into the distance of my race. Without shoes, ramping up my speed is not about being able to breath and put out energy. It’s about being able to endure the crush of my skin against the ground, and it’s about being able to run in a completely different way.

When I run quickly barefoot it almost looks like I’m on a spinning wheel and I need to keep up with it. My strides are much shorter, because otherwise my heels would get hurt by landing on them with such force. I like this method of running much better.

Something else I’ve been working on is organizing a yoga retreat with a couple of friends. It’s set for the 26th and I look forward to it a lot. I’m going to wake up early tomorrow, clean my room, and get a lot done. I’m also going to either get coffee or lunch with a friend of mine, and I look forward to that a lot as well.

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