“We all have our own style,” says Lenny, a young woman in a pink and red sweater and jeans.
“We wear our sandals on the beach.
We like our sandal boots.
We want to wear our sneakers.
But we also wear sandals when we go to the gym.”
I am standing with a group of other young women wearing sandals and running shoes as they run through a trail.
The group is part of the “Run Sandals and Barbade” project, an effort to help make sandals more accessible to women in the Bay Area.
Lenny is one of the volunteers.
She is a member of the Run Sandals & Barbasion group in the San Francisco Bay Area, and she is a little nervous, but excited to share her experience and tell us about what she’s learned from her experiences on the trail.
“When I started running, I didn’t know that it was okay to wear sandal sandals,” she says.
“I didn’t have a clue that there was a group called Run Sandal & Barcade, because I didn´t know anything about that.
I was like, ‘Whoa!
What is that?'”
She says the first person she talked to who was a woman in her 20s or 30s who wore sandals told her she was too young to wear them, so she asked her mom if she could help her with sandals.
She says she was met with a mix of approval and rejection.
“A lot of people just looked at me like, you know, you are too young,” she remembers.
“They said, ‘Are you sure?
You are going to run out of sandals in this place?’
And I was, like, What?
No, I am fine.”
After running a few marathons in her sandals during the summer, Lenny decided to do some training for her next race, the Marin Marathon, and started to learn more about the community and her training.
“My mom started talking about all the different things I could do in my sandals to be more active,” she explains.
“She had a bunch of different sandals for running, and the sandals were just not designed for me.
She was like a supermom and a superpuppy, and so I just started learning.”
But while she was learning about sandals from her mom, Lenna was learning more about sandal running, starting with the basics.
“One of the most frustrating things for me was that people were like, `Why don’t you wear sandbags?
Why do you have to wear a sand bag?'”
I asked Lenny if she thought that would be a problem for her.
“Oh, my gosh,” she laughs.
“Because I would wear sand bags for years.”
For the past four years, Lennas sandals have been her primary form of athletic apparel.
“There’s so much more to the world of sandal than sandbags,” she tells me.
“You can get a lot of good mileage out of your sandals.”
Lenna is now one of three women competing at the 2017 Boston Marathon.
She’s a 2:19:37 marathon finisher, and her third place finish was the best time for a woman ever.
But she says that she’s not afraid to wear her sandal on the course because of her love of the outdoors.
“It has helped me a lot, because it keeps me motivated and gives me a feeling of freedom,” she said.
“If you don’t have that feeling, then you can’t do something that you love.”
In Lenny’s case, the sandal helped her feel relaxed.
“As soon as I got in the shoes, I could really go in,” she recalls.
“But the sanding took me way longer than it should have.
“Sand is like a sponge, and you can sand it up to any size and you get a little bit of flexibility,” she explained. “
“So the bigger the sponge, the faster it is going to go.” “
Sand is like a sponge, and you can sand it up to any size and you get a little bit of flexibility,” she explained.
“So the bigger the sponge, the faster it is going to go.”
So the sand she used is a medium sand, which is about 2.5 millimeters thick.
She explains that it takes about 10 minutes to sand a medium size sponge.
“And then you just start sanding up,” she adds.
Lenna’s sandals are made from a blend of synthetic leather, polyester, and polyamide fiber, and they have a “sand block” inside of them.
“This is a rubberized material that’s basically a layer of leather,” she reveals.
“Its a little thick, and then when you sand it, you can actually