After a couple of short barefoot runs with no pain I was itching to get out for another run. Sunday the weather was beautiful 16 C. How could I resist what may be one of the last days here without snow and freezing temperatures? We got the kids home from church and I got them fed and headed out to Confederation Park. Kyle told me that Confederation Park was supposed to have all newly paved paths that were smooth and great to run barefoot on. I couldn't wait.
So I started off running. Well really I didn't run right away. I have learned my lesson and this girl warms up now before running. So I did some quick jumping in place to a 180 cadence and some running in place then I very gently stretched out my calf and wiggled all of my toes. Everything felt great! I hooked my vibrams onto my spibelt and wore them like a tail wagging behind me. I was off. I ran through the park, passing walkers, families getting pictures taken, bikers, and kids everywhere. It felt great. I remembered to keep my feet under me, my knees lifted up and bent and I tried to keep my cadence at around 180. It was so much fun. Once again it felt like flying. I had a number of heads turn and a number of people poking each other to tell them to look but overall it was great. The only comment I heard was from a man on a bike coming toward me who said "Wow, Wow". I said back to him "I know it is so much fun". The whole run I was smiling so big, it was really perfect. I got a twinge in my calf anytime I tried to over stride so that kept me feet under me very nicely. Natural feedback is cool. In all I ran 2.2 miles and I could have run longer but decided to keep it short to avoid the dreaded TMTS.
I pulled into the parking lot and realized that I wasn't the only one with the great idea to get to the park on such a great day. The park was packed. I jumped out of my van and walked over to a grassy area to take off my shoes and warm up. As I stood there in my bare feet I noticed that I was hesitant to get started. I wasn't worried about the run or glass or hurting myself. I was worried about what this park full of people would think of me as I ran barefoot. Now in my life I tend to stick out. I drive a 15 passenger van, I have 7 kids all under 10, I homeschool those kids and take them out when kids are supposed to be in school, I wear my babies in wraps on my back (freaking out people as I throw them up and tie them on) and I get a lot of stares and comments about it. So really, running barefoot isn't that different. I get stares and comments but that's not new. So why was I worried? I think partly it is because I want to be taken seriously as a runner. This is a new thing for me, running. I have only been running about 6 months and I still have a hard time realizing that I am no longer an obese inactive person. I sometimes think when I am running that I am just fooling myself into thinking that I am strong and that really other people are wondering why I am even trying. Now with barefoot running I feel AMAZING. I feel like I am flying and like I am a kid again, but I do wonder if I look like a spaz doing it. Well today I realized that I care way more about getting out and running than I do about what people think of me. The new smooth path looked awesome and I wasn't going to let my vanity get in the way of a great run.
|New smooth path.|
|Post run happy face, even with the sun in my eyes.|
Afterwards my feet felt great. They were tingly and alive. It was amazing. I am so glad that I have started barefoot running, but at the same time I am sad because this may well be one of the last time I get to do it this year. With the snow and cold coming quickly, I don't think I will be getting out barefoot much more. I'm just not that awesome (yet). So now I am starting to look for and experiment with ways to run as close to barefoot as I can get during our long cold winter. I have some EVOs coming and I am looking at getting some water shoes and maybe even just some warm socks to run in until the snow sticks. We will see how things go as the weather changes. For today I am amazed and blessed that I can run and my whole family is happy that I am not so cranky anymore.