After running the AFC Half-Marathon (shod) back in August 2012, I finished "Born to Run," and tried my first barefoot run as a fluke. Needless to say I was hooked from that moment forward, but had no idea how to proceed. I'd already registered for the Carlsbad Half-Marathon in January, with the goal of completing the San Diego Triple Crown in 2013. So, I had a major decision to make: train with shoes (and all the injuries that came with doing so), or try to learn and train barefoot running in a few short months to be ready for the January race.
I learned about Ken Bob's Saturday fun runs, and went to one in early September. I asked him if I wasn't pushing myself to do too much too soon by trying to take on a barefoot half-marathon in 6 months, since I'd seen lots of warnings about not pushing too hard in the early stages. Ken Bob was encouraging but realistic, but in the end, left me feeling that there probably wasn't any reason why I COULDN'T do it. So, I made the commitment to train barefoot.
During training, I probably ran fewer total miles than I would have done if shod, supplementing my running with other aerobic cross-training while my feet and legs adapted to the different style of running. I had more than a few blisters and some rock-hard calves for a while, until I developed better form. Despite the fewer total miles, when race day came, I felt more fit and ready than I had for any other race. (I did run a 5K Turkey Trot barefoot, just to get the feel for racing conditions -- I PR'd at that distance by several minutes!).
Well, I completed the half-mary slightly less than 5 minutes faster than my race in August, and I honestly felt better at the end of my barefoot race than any other. Ken Bob's book was a continual reference, as well as input from folks at the Barefoot Runner's Society forum. I just have to thank BKB for his wisdom and encouragement. I'm no spring chicken, and if my body can adapt to this new style of running, I'm sure most everyone could. I'm spreading the barefoot word everywhere I go! Thanks, Barefoot Ken Bob!