On Friday I received a pair of huarache running sandals for my birthday.
So, on Saturday I punched a toe hole in them, tied them up marathon style and went for a test run up to school and back to collect my livescribe pen. Only one and a half miles. My feet were cold for the first mile but otherwise it was all good. The sandals are really comfortable. It felt a little vulnerable and exposed – and odd seeing my naked feet on the pavement. I’m not convinced I tied the sandals very well and I’ll be experimenting with them until I get it just right; the thong lace was a bit tight I think.
I got home and put the pen on charge and switched to my fivefingers for a longer run up onto the grand union canal which I’d never visited before. I deliberately kept going until I was five miles from home and then turned around. My longest barefoot run at ten miles. The first five felt good other than some hip joint discomfort which I put up with. After resting, and turning homeward, I started to get a sharp pain in my right achilles tendon. I thought it would bring me to a halt but I adjusted my footfall and slowly the pain eased and on I plodded. After eight miles my legs started to become very sore up and down. I persevered to the end but my pace slowed. Each time I caught myself slowing I lifted my head and regulated my stride and relaxed. It worked. As I write this a few hours later, my legs are sore but not as bad as I expected. Maybe it’ll be worse in the morning (update: it is – sharp vertical pain on inside right ankle below ankle bone).
Oddly, as I was walking home from the park, a gentleman approached me in his fivefingers. He has been barefoot for two years and donated all his ordinary shoes to charity. He does bikram yoga three times a week and told me how he could dance for a long time without tiring. Oh, and he seemed to be Italian – but I could be wrong. It was nice to meet someone else barefoot enthused.
My reward for running, and then doing my share of the household cleaning, was a piece of the wonderful coffee and walnut birthday cake my daughter had baked for me. Awesome. And nearly a half marathon barefoot.