Went for a quick 6.37 mile run this morning (or afternoon if you live east of Dryden), decided it was time to start building up my miles again barefoot. The goal is to hopefully do the next half marathon completely barefoot. Missing the Manitoba Marathon (insert sigh here!!), as unfortunately I don't think I will be ready to run on Sunday after having orthoscopic surgery on my left knee on Friday. I recover pretty quick but that would be a little optimistic.
Anyway I digress, as usual I start with the run in the Vibrams, with the intent of taking them off once I get my legs working the way I want them too. So I quickly polished off a couple of blocks to get warmed up (about .25 miles), and then took the shoes off. I don't know if I am a bit of exibitist or not, but I always find it interesting to see the look on some people's faces when I run by them barefoot, there is always some finger pointing and some 'Did you see that guy, he doesn't have any shoes on!! Anyway, I started the barefoot excursion down Sask. Avenue as I always do running the asphalt path beside the fence line, this gets my feet ready for the miles to come. Of course the trail comes to an end so, next to the road I go on the gravel edge, getting some interesting looks from oncoming traffic, to quote a song by the Headstones, "I just smile and wave." At this point, I veer off down the pathway that runs along Sturgeon Creek, still a little muddy and wet, but ok barefoot none the less. Watching my speed, about a 10 minute mile, I negotiate thru the muddy portions of the trail, and end up with some coating up my legs to my knees, going for a camoflage look that even Rambo would be proud of, I carry on. Quick run onto Silver Avenue to the bridge and then back to the trail over to Ness. So far so good, my feet feel great, my legs are responding well, and my tunes are pushing me along at a good pace.
Now comes the fun part, onto some higher traffic areas, with more finger pointing and weird looks, yes I am running on the sidewalk up Ness, barefoot with mud covering my feet and running up my legs to my shorts. And yes, I have a big grin on my face, almost feel like a kid in a candy shop (if I liked candy). Boy, I never realized that it was this easy to get off topic!
I actually had one older gentleman, ask me if I had an issue with my shoes since I was carrying them! I had to laugh and told him that I didn't want to wear the soles of my shoes, so that was why I was running barefoot. He just looked and me funny and went on his way.
Anyway, moving along I turned up School Road and headed for Portage Avenue, passing more finger pointers along the way. I short run up Portage to Westwood and then across the street for a quick detour to Browning and over to Rouge. I even had a police officer who was driving by give me the thumbs up as they were heading up the road, all I could think to do was give him the thumbs up back, as I headed in the opposite direction (how original, must think of a more unique gester to give back when this happens next time). Once I was back at Portage and Rouge, I crossed the street again and ran west on Portage to Buchanan and home.
Overall a good run, will work on 7 to 8 miles barefoot next time, after some recovery time from my knee surgery. Hope to be back at it in about 2 weeks.