Here we are, its November 11th, normally this time of year we have a foot or two of nice white snow, and the temperature has dipped below 0 on a consistent basis. Not this year, we must have really pleased the weather gods or something because so far it has been absolutely fantastic for both weather and temperature. I have ran (up to today) with shorts or my kilt and a technical shirt and of course with no footwear to speak of. Although I do get some weird looks and of course finger pointing, when I go out for my lunch hour runs downtown at work. As even though the temperature has been consistently hanging between 5 and 12 degrees, most people I come across on my runs are bundled up in winter coats or at least heavy fall jackets, and I come along with bare legs and feet and a big smile on my face. I imagine some people are wondering what the hell that lunatic is doing, or am I just crazy. The only thing I can say is I am having the time of my life, and if people think I am crazy so be it.
This brings me to my run today, the weather is a little cooler, I think we were around 1 degree C and -6 degrees with the wind chill, not really knowing what to expect. I stepped outside the same way I was dressing all week, shorts and tech shirt, the wind hit me and I decided I better throw a pair of running pants on instead as all the hair on my legs were standing at attention.
That being done, I headed out for a run not knowing how my feet would react to the colder temperature along with the wet terrain (it had been raining with a mix of snow for most of the day). I headed north getting my feet warmed up (this took about 3/4's of a mile) and I was off to the races, so to speak. I seemed to be going at a pretty good clip, and as I passed a police car sitting on the side of the road, I looked up to see one of the officers pointing at my bare feet and giving me the thumbs up, while the other had this confused look on his face (I was just thinking to myself, please don't give me a ticket for speeding, as I must have been going over 7 miles an hour, lol). I carried on my merry little way and started heading east towards the new asphalt pathway system that the city has put in, very impressed with these, they have done a great job, kudos to the city and the province for investing in these. I passed numerous people out for walks with their dogs, many seemed a little confused at this guy running at them avoiding puddles as he picked his way along the trails.
I was making good time, not because it was cool out, not because my feet were cold and I couldn't feel them (on the contrary my feet were quite warm, it was my unmoving body parts that were cold like my hands), but because it just felt right. I finished the first 5 km in under 25 minutes, which is a PR for me, and I was averaging about a 9:20 mile or so. Then on the return portion of the run, I hit a good stiff wind, this slowed me down a little, but I was still amazed at how great my feet felt. My face was a little numb from the wind and my fingers were getting fairly cold, but damn my feet were perfect. I got some more looks from motorists, especially this young couple who backed up for me at a stop sign, and then I heard the girl in the passenger seat shout, "He's got no shoes", I just smiled and waved, as I shot past them. Even with the wind I finished up back at the house with 6.5 miles or 10.9 kms in under a hour. Thus 10 kms in 57:39, also a PR for me, and my feet were fine.
I did end up with a small blister just behind my toes of my right foot (I am assuming due to the wet sidewalks and asphalt), but other than that, my feet exceeded my expectations for how they did. I was only figuring I would get about 2 miles in before my feet got cold, and not only did I exceed it, I could of gone further, much further.
This looks like it will be an interesting winter, seeing what my bare feet will do, and for how long I can go into a Winnipeg winter running barefoot.