Time to try barefoot?

I can finally start running again in two days, Saturday.  Considering the sad fact that the longest I’ve ever run was 3.5 miles and really just 3 miles on my long runs about killed me I figure I’m pretty much starting from scratch again.  Which I’m actually OK with, that just means that every step is an improvement over today. And it means I can try something new without worrying about backtracking.

I’ve been reading lots about getting started running barefoot, and just like ever other subject the information out there varies from several web sites content being word for word the same (I always wonder where on earth the original content comes from when this happens) to totally contradicting information.

A lot of sites recommend starting with just 200 feet per run the first week.  That sounded great until I looked it up and found there are 5280 feet in a mile.  So they are saying I can run down the driveway and be done?  I understand that you are supposed to start easy but geez, I’d like to actually start.

So I pulled up Mapmyrun.com to see just how far 200 feet is, and just how far a quarter mile is since that’s what I intend to start off with, and I want to see what the difference is.  It doesn’t show feet so I still insist I’d be done with 200 feet before I left my yard.  But it does show a quarter of a mile is about to my parents house, which is about that far up my street. 

So there you go, I have my first goal.  A quarter mile barefoot run Saturday, and if I feel great I’ll do it again on Sunday.  I have my Fila minimal shoes I’ll have to wear on weeknights I run, I’m not home when it’s light out on weekdays (thank you, daylight savings time) and I’m not risking stepping on a snake/frog/giant beetle/whatever in the dark.

I think this will be great fun.  I go everywhere I can barefoot now, and if I have to wear shoes it’s pretty much always sandals so the only worry I have is my stupid hip.  Oh and the fact that my sister says I’ll get worms if I run outside barefoot, my coworker says my knees will be useless within 5 years, and my mom just thinks it’s gross.

Lucky I’m used to it, if people I know started telling me now that my super-great ideas are super-great  at this point I’d be very suspicious.  When will they learn???