In my early running days, I stayed in the shadows and imagined I was invisible. Slowly, I faced the fact that I was a familiar face to others out at the same hour. Fast forward to barefoot walking and the same little discomfort was there. Almost everyday, I had someone ask me “why barefoot “. Four months on, a runner who lives down my lane has started running barefoot. I bumped into him and he said that he was inspired to start running barefoot after watching me. I did caution him to go slow to avoid injury. I never intended to convert anyone to barefoot running or anything of that sort. It was just a matter of personal preference.
This little exchange reminded me of what Coach had said long ago, “First they will laugh at you, then they will join you”. My first run was around this time 3 years ago and at that time the neighbourhood running group did not exist. There was Coach and a couple of others who ran regularly. Now they are a rather large group, quite active with the regular runs, events etc.
Although I didn’t feel like gettibg out today, once I started, it was good. It felt like a training run after a long time. The plan is to get in 3 runs a week, averaging 5-6k and a slightly longer one over the weekend. It is tempting to try an 8 but perhaps the smarter thing would be to try a 7k first. I end up walking a km before and after my run which is not factored in the distance I log. So an 8 would actually mean my feet being on the road for 10k.
In my little experience with barefoot running, I have discovered that less is better than more. A slower building up of the base is a good thing as the foundation is quite solid. Pushing beyond has to be done carefully and in harmony with the body. Too much and it will snap, too little and there is no progress.