Running is turning to be a delicate dance as I take one step back for every two steps forward. It’s back to shorter distances and walk/run when needed as I make the acquaintance of protesting parts of my legs. 🙂
The soles are more or less settled and I notice it takes less time to clean them after a run, the dirt doesn’t stick quite as stubbornly. The achilles tendon is not very happy though and mutters sometimes, usually when I have not been very diligent with stretching well.
Yesterday, I decided to toss it up a bit and ran a short distance on my regular route before getting onto a ground which had a trail-like surface. It was uneven and peppered with all kinds of stuff which made for an invigorating 20 minutes or so. I found myself landing lightly, having shorter strides and generally being less lazy with the legs. I had to be if I didn’t want to get hurt. The body and mind were doubly alert and it was exhilarating. I felt a bit like Mowgli.
I looked at some old pictures of my feet and they are healthier and stronger now. The first image was taken yesterday while the latter one a few months ago.
Running barefoot usually gets me some question or comment and it is usually the same set that I used to have as a shoe-shod runner. A couple of days back I made the acquaintance of another runner, a retired army man with a steel rod in his leg who wondered how I ran barefoot. Didn’t it hurt? It doesn’t. I also bumped into a lady from the local running group who tried to run barefoot and gave up. It’s simple, start slow.
If I stop to think about it, running barefoot requires one to leave impatience behind and be willing to lose on current running fitness. It calls for listening carefully to one’s body and be willing to go back to the basics, again and again. In my experience, it has been humbling even as it gives me the joy of new discoveries. And increasingly, I find the journey is the destination.