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28:40 by Michele Pliner

Posted by on Jan 10, 2011 | One Comment

Today’s post is written by guest writer Michele Pliner.  Michele has been practicing martial arts on and off for about 15 years, but she is relatively new to running. She quickly took to minimalist running over shod running and her enthusiasm has not waned.
Check out her blog at:

28:40. An impressive 5K time? Absolutely not. Am I at peace with it? Most definitely.

I began running in August of 2010.  Actually, I began running sporadically in high school around 1995, but I hated it and only ran to cross-train for martial arts, swimming, and tennis.  My running stint didn’t last long.  I returned to running in 1998 in college to cross-train for crew. For some reason, I loved it. However, during a 3 mile run in 1999, I felt a painful twinge in my right knee.  I finished the run, waited a few weeks, and eventually visited an orthopaedist when the pain didn’t subside.  I learned that I had torn my medial meniscus and I subsequently had surgery.  A few months later, I tore my left medial meniscus and had surgery again.  A few months after that, I tried to “take it slow” and return to tennis, rather than running.  I re-injured my right knee, became discouraged, and gave myself a break from all sports.

In 2003, I tried to return to running, but the pain never subsided. I was becoming restless, so I returned to martial arts in 2005 to see what my knees thought about it.  They weren’t ecstatic, but they cooperated.  I continued to practice martial arts and I avoided running. Knee pain continued to plague me, but I did my best to ignore it.  In mid-2009, I gave in and had surgery again.  I thought I was just getting my knee “cleaned up” or debrided, but I ended up having a few cartilage lesions. So, I was given microfracture and a lateral release.  That left me on crutches for 4 months and essentially out of commission for about 8 months.

My husband Eric and I were at the mall one day about 10 months after my surgery when we saw a guy wearing the strangest looking shoes. We inquired about the nature of these foot shoes and we were directed to a few local stores selling Vibram FiveFingers. During our quest to learn more about vibrams, we found articles and websites about barefoot and minimalist running and the complete modification to the biomechanics of running.  I was hopeful that there was still a chance for me to run without pain again. We both ordered a pair of Vibram Sprints.  I used them for martial arts and let Eric test them for running. He loved them! It took me a few months to get up the nerve to try running again, but in August of 2010, I gave in.  It turned out that I loved running just as much as I did over 10 years ago, but this new sole-strike concept was fun, although it took some getting used to.

At the end of October 2010, we learned about a 5K targeting barefoot and minimalist runners called the BarefootFunRun. We signed up immediately, leaving us 3 weeks to train. The course was a trail run, incorporating asphalt, grass, and dirt/sand.  It was my first race and I was quite nervous. I didn’t want to finish last, nor did I want to get trampled, get dehydrated, exhaust myself so much that I had to slow to a walk, finish above 30 minutes, or get lost on the course (I know – such high expectations!).

None of my concerns became reality and the experience was invigorating!

28:40. Not bad for spending only 3 months getting back into running, not to mention post-surgery running. Or, maybe it’s not such a great time. Who cares? I’m hooked. Next up: the Gasparilla 5+3K in February 2011. Increase the intimidation factor by a few levels…

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1 Comment

  1. Guest Writer for Barefoot Running University | Michele and Eric Get Married
    January 10, 2011

    […] me as a guest writer on his blog.  If you’re so inclined, the article can be found here: […]