I began running at 9 years old and have run pretty consistently since.  I have completed 14 marathons and more half marathons, 10Ks and 5 Ks than I can count.  We have four children and have lived in Texas, Oklahoma and New York City—yes, with all four. I have enjoyed running past the blue bonnets in Texas, the oil derricks in Oklahoma and the trails in Central Park.  I have been running barefoot for a little over two and a half years.   I started because I was having a great deal of hip pain.  Running barefoot has virtually eliminated it.  I have completed two 1/2 marathons barefoot and I shaved 7 minutes off of my previous 1/2 marathon time a year earlier in shoes.  I trained for The Marine Corp Marathon in Washington DC last October but was unable to run it due to another family commitment (those darn kids).  Running barefoot has become second nature to me.  I can’t imagine putting on running shoes now.   People often ask me how I do that? I started slow allowing my feet/body to adjust and before I knew it I was barefoot and experiencing the benefits of “no shoes”.  Does it hurt?  Well I do have to watch for “sticks and stones” but it is amazing how the body acclimates, toughens up and actually works in its natural state really well. People think the bottom of my feet must look like leather but actually they look very normal.  The concrete acts as a natural pumice stone so I get a little pedicure every day that I run.  I love running barefoot and have already saved hundreds of dollars on running shoes – which I think means I just get to buy more cute running clothes!