flipngrip
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flipngrip

Chapter Presidents, Male, from Ballwin

Excited for warm weather! Mar 9, 2014

flipngrip was last seen:
Nov 13, 2014
    1. flipngrip
      Excited for warm weather!
    2. flipngrip
      Always running for something.....
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    About

    Gender:
    Male
    Home page:
    http://www.jameskummer.com
    Location:
    Ballwin
    Occupation:
    Tech
    I have been running barefoot since around July or August of 2010 and it now has become a major lifestyle choice for me in that I as much as possible try to be barefoot or in minimalist shoes. I have run thousands of miles barefoot on all types of terrain and really truly enjoy the freedom I give my feet when I hit the trails or pavement with nothing to cover them up.

    I got my start while in graduate school as I took on a marketing project to develop a marketing plan for a new interesting product that I had encountered. The product was the Vibram Fivefingers. Through my research on the product I found that there was this large community of minimalist runners and even barefoot runners. I had seen some barefoot runners prior to this but never had heard anything about the benefits of minimalist or even barefoot running. The whole idea intrigued me and in order to properly develop my marketing plan I felt that I need to immerse myself in the product so I purchased some of the Vibram Fivefinger Sprints. I started using them slowly as my new running shoe of choice and even footwear for everyday activities. I found that starting off was a bit painful in that new muscles were being taxed and ended up soar. Overall though I felt good, I could feel what I was running on and felt that I was more in control of my foot movements to enhance and lengthen my running capacity. I love to run, and I love to run far. I felt more aware of every step and it gave me a sense that I was really involved in my run. Prior I hadn't dealt with too many injuries during my short lived running career spanning 13 years and 5 marathons and several half marathons, but I did experience over use issues when I would get into some of the longer training runs.

    I recall having one painful injury in the Vibrams in which I stepped on a larger rock that left me with what felt like a stress fracture after several weeks. About that time I spent quite a bit of time without the Vibrams walking the dog and being outside with no shoes on at all.

    That is about when it all started for me. I felt that I did not need the shoes at all. I started doing short runs carrying the Vibrams and they developed into longer runs away from home with no backup plan (shoes) to fall back on.

    About the time that I was conducting the research I had also found that there was an book that was noted as the barefoot running bible called "Born to Run". I quickly purchased and started reading the book. Little did I know that my wife was planning a trip to Seattle for a getaway. Just so happens that Seattle is the home base for one of the key characters in the book Barefoot Ted. I got online and started doing some research on Ted and found that he held barefoot running clinics as well was at the verge of launching a sandal company called Luna Sandals. We got signed up for the clinic and the rest is history.

    My wife and I met with Ted and he ran us through a 2 hour clinic teaching us many different running techniques and all sorts of other interesting ideas. The man was all over the place with this thoughts and ideas and it was odd but very interesting to be around him.

    We left Seattle and at that point I started solely running barefoot and only using the Vibrams or the Luna Sandals that I had made myself with the DIY kit when I really needed them.

    I have since run thousands of miles barefoot, in the sandals, or in the Vibrams in all conditions in all terrain and always with a smile :)

    I am currently training for the Rock n Roll Marathon which will be my first barefoot marathon and 6th marathon total. This will be a major feat for myself as I have not participated in a major marathon in several years and I am pushing the limits of my feet with every training run. I am confident that they will hold up when I need them and be ready for more the next day. Our feet are resilient and they can rebound even more than we can ourselves.... its no wonder they don't take off on their own!

    [Update March 9 2014]
    I did finish the Rock n Roll Marathon back in October of last year and I was successful in completing my first barefoot marathon. It was very tough but I did end up with a personal record for myself and came in just over four hours. I did have an issue with the timing chip that I had secured to my ankle which was a bit frustrating but all in all I was happy with the overall experience.

    Here is a quick video I shot of my feet post-race and gave a bit of commentary on how they were feeling.

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