I saw this add for Altra shoes and really thought it captured why I run.
With regard to my running, over the last few weeks I have tried to wear my more traditional shoes thinking that I would need the extra support and cushion at Murphy and my achilles has really gotten sore, I noticed that it never seemed to bother me when I was wearing my minimalist shoes. I thought it might be my increasing mileage but last weekend I was in pain 4 miles in, this week I wore my minimalist shoes and didn't have any noteworthy pain. This weekend I decided to reassess my thinking on this.
You see deep down, I wasn't 100% committed to minimalist shoes. Sure I had been wearing them almost exclusively since April but I hadn't mentally said I would never go back to traditional shoes. I started wearing them to strengthen my ankle and that has worked but to commit that I was ready to give up on support and cushioning, well I wasn't sure. The last few weekends though have changed that, I tried to run in my older conventional shoes (9 to 12 mil drop, support and cushioning) and it hasn't worked all of my long runs were basically a disaster.
On Saturday, I ran 3 miles in my New Balance MT10's on an asphalt bike path and then 3 more miles in Lebanon Hills. For the 3 miles on asphalt, I had no issue whatsoever and again confirmed that is easier to run in minimalist shoes on pavement versus trails. Smooth and hard surfaces give instant feedback. On Sunday I decided to get a long run in Lebanon Hills. I wanted to get in 18 to 19 miles and I got in just short of 18 so I was pleased, I ran out of time not energy. For my run on Sunday, I tried to hit every single hiking trail in the center section of the park, I missed two small sections and really enjoyed running on the trails with no purpose but to hit every trail. The weather was cool but very good for running, I had some achilles pain but it was manageable. Before the run, I decided to re-commit to my minimalist shoes so I wore my New Balance MT110's. They aren't a pure minimalist shoe but are in that class of shoe more than anything else, they are a 4 mil drop, lightweight shoe (7.7 oz) and fit similar to the MT10's but they have a thin rock plate in the forefoot which gives a little more margin, here is a review of the shoes that I pretty much agree with from Jason of Barefoot Running.
So with a couple of more weekends between now and Murphy, I will maintain my commitment to my minimalist shoes and see how it goes.