Where have I been, you may ask.
Well, in the interest of giving a true account of my barefoot experiences, I thought I'd come clean and confess that I've been nursing a recurrence of my foot injury :(
After upping my mileage, and doing some speed work and intervals as part of my half marathon training plan, the top of foot pain that I suffer with on and off following my stress fracture (2nd metatarsal, Nov 2011) flared up again. Not exactly the same location, but very close by (a little further towards the ankle). I think a combination of speed, increased mileage, and also a couple of trail runs where I landed on stones precisely underneath the location of the fracture, have triggered the pain again.
I rested for 2 weeks. Then, when there was no pain in my foot at all, I tried a run in trainers. I did 4 miles (probably a little too much), but what I noticed after about 2 miles was a pain in my left knee, shortly followed by aching joints in my hips and ankles. Everything felt hot and prickly. These are pains that I immediately associated with wearing trainers and training for races, pre my barefoot days.
On the plus site, my foot felt fine.
2 days later I ran a mile barefoot. No joint pains or trouble with my knee, but I could definitely feel that stress fracture pain again within a few hundred metres of setting off, and the pain lasted for another 3 days.
Yesterday (again, waiting for zero foot pain) I did 3 miles in my Vivobarefoot shoes. I chose these because they are zero drop, but they came with some padded insoles to aid in the transition to barefooting, so I put these in to give a little support to my soles. Knees, hips & ankles win, but again, foot adversely affected.
So, considering that I am half marathon training, and have a 10k race in early September, I feel a bit lost as to what to do next. I think I'm sold on barefoot / minimalist - there are just too much big joint pains associated with trainers for me now, but I really need to sort this foot out, and I think that boils down to form. Now all I need to work out is what to do about it...