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Listening to Your Body - Game On!

 When Merrell started on our Barefoot journey, Emily started with us.  Em started running seven years ago after the birth of her first daughter, mainly because the baby was happy in a stroller.  It has since turned into an outlet for Emily, a place to challenge herself and find inspiration.  Below she shares how important it is to listen to your body, even if your mind won’t slow down.


Despite the fact that I’ve been able to increase my miles and have accomplished some races in barefoot shoes, I still consider myself a Newbie. I have a lot to learn! A lot to learn in form, in listening to my body, in setting goals that continue to inspire me to go further and have fun.


Through my “barefoot” miles, I realize how important it is to listen to your body. I may head out for a 6 mile run and just keep going for 10. I may head out to do 10 and feel tired and opt to turn around after 3. This doesn’t make me fail, this makes me a stronger runner in that I know my body and am able to listen to it every step of the way. Through the connection to the ground beneath me, I’ve become, with each step or mile, more aware of myself. 


By becoming more aware of myself, I am able to set new goals. In two weeks I will tackle my first half marathon. I haven’t given myself a ton of time to train, but know that I will have to take some days slower and longer and other days, I will have to increase my pace for shorter tempo runs to prepare my body and mind.  Mentally this takes patience. As a full time working mom of three little nuggets with a newfound passion for running and adding the distance, I often find an hour to run and jet out the door. I go fast so I can accomplish the miles! With this new race and distance goal, I have to step back and learn patience.


And so, game on! I will allow my competitive spirit to embrace that which it fears the most. It seems like an oxymoron, but to reach my goal, I have to continue to push my feisty free spirited nature through patience. I will do it so I can reach my goals and continue to enjoy the freedom and exploration that running continues to bring me.