Laura Drum runs on the Vermilion Gorge Trail in the Superior National Forest near the Voyageurs National Park office where she works as an interpretive ranger. Photo By SUE DRUM
Former nonrunner now on a two-year streak in minimalist shoes
Laura Drum didn’t start running until she was 36 years old, then she ran every day for two years and has yet to break her streak.
Laura is married to my son Greg. They live in Ely, Minnesota. During the school year she tutors math students at Vermillion College in Ely and summers Laura works as an interpretive ranger at Voyageur’s National Park visitor center in International Falls.
I’m fortunate to have a daughter-in-law with an abundance of willpower; the well directed kind that allows her to stick to difficult commitments like changing her lifestyle.
Laura and Greg have made daily physical activity a priority. Greg runs and lifts weights. Laura lifts weights and practices yoga, having become a certified yoga instructor. But until a couple years ago, running and hiking were out of the question for Laura because it caused pain in her knees.
It was Greg who read the bestseller Born to Run by Christopher McDougall and then joined the barefoot running craze the book sparked. He bought a pair of Vibram FiveFinger shoes hoping to cure persistent hamstring soreness. He stuck it out despite several months of bruised
feet, sore muscles and tendons. Eventually his feet toughened up. And as running became easier, his persistent hamstring soreness disappeared.
Laura tried the Vibrams and was surprised to find that for the first time in her life, she could run without knee pain. Running without pain was a heady experience for Laura. She found freedom by running longer and more frequently until she, too, saw over-use injuries fade away.
Initially she experienced sore tendons on top of her feet, and her calves and Achilles felt inflamed, so much so climbing stairs was painful. Determined not to give up, Laura committed to 15-minute runs three days a week. As her feet and legs recovered, Laura ran longer
loops around Ely and increased to five days with two days off.
On November 29, 2010, Laura started running daily. She soon decided to see how many consecutive days of running she could string together. She increased her minimum run time to 30 minutes but never exceeded an hour. It worked. Running became a daily habit and a game she doesn’t want to end.
Read the entirety of Sue Drums story about her daughter-in-law in the December 2012 print edition of Silent Sports. To order a copy, call 715/369-3331. To avoid missing any future issues, subscribe online here.