Sunday, 20 May 2012

"Coming out" as a barefoot runner

Up till tonight I only had two barefoot runs under my belt.  Both of those were on the Finnenbahn in Irchelpark, and they were very short.  I felt like a challenge tonight.  No longer did I want to hide from the strange stares that one expects to get when barefoot running on the streets.  It was time to get out there and run barefoot in public, with my head held up high.  I decided I would officially "come out" as a barefoot runner.  It is nothing to be ashamed of.  In fact it is more hardcore than shod running.  I could also argue that I am saving the environment ever so slightly, because it is one less pair of socks to have to wash :)))

I had two companions with me on my run.  One was Negrita and the other was my iphone, allowing me to take some short video clips whilst running on different surfaces.  The first part of the run was on asphalt and that was no problem for my feet except for one section where a lot of small twigs had fallen on the pavement and I had to pick my way gingerly over them.  Once I reached Irchelpark I joined the Finnenbahn, so the surface then was composed of wood chips.  They are a little more challenging to run on than asphalt, but also more stimulating for the feet.  Next came the grass.  That was my favourite surface as it was softer than asphalt and woods chips for my feet, yet still stimulating for them.  You do have to be careful in the long grass though, as it would be easy for pieces of glass and dog excrement to be hidden amongst the blades. After the grass I tried a section of gravel/ small stones.  There is no other way to describe that surface than painful, at least until my feet toughen up.  I left the stony section as quickly as humanly possible and reverted back to the asphalt for the return journey home.

Whilst I did see some people on my way to and from the park, and whilst several people did look down at my feet briefly, I did not get the strange comments or really intense stares I had been expecting.  I am sure I could get those by running barefoot down Bahnhofstrasse if I wanted (note to self for something to do when I am feeling I am not getting enough attention).

Below are some short video clips I took tonight whilst running:

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