Earlier this week I had the rare opportunity to go for a trail run in the late afternoon (unusual schedule at work that day). It’s been a long time since I’ve run on trails – probably not since January – so I was looking forward to the change of pace that comes with running on dirt.
Unfortunately, I had put on the wrong pair of socks before the run, and they kept sliding down my heel (I don’t have this problem with any of my road shoes, just my trail shoes). Before I knew it, I was getting blisters on both of my feet where the top of my shoes were rubbing the back of my feet. I started to walk, figuring I’d just call it a day and slowly make my way back to the car. Walking, however, aggravated the blisters just as much as running. So I did what any sane runner would do. I took off my shoes and ran the last mile and half barefoot.
Not only am I not a barefoot runner, but I haven’t been running in my minimalist shoes for quite some time (and I’ve never used them on a trail). Lucky for me this trail isn’t very rocky or technical, and my feet held up surprisingly well. I wouldn’t call it euphoric, but it was definitely an interesting experience to truly be able to “feel” the ground beneath my feet. It didn’t hurt as bad as I was expecting. I probably ran about 3/4 mile on the trail and another 1/2 mile on the paved path to get back to the car.
I wasn’t quite prepared for all of the weird looks I got once I hit the pavement, where there were lots of people out walking/running. Guess they’ve never seen a guy cruising along at a 7:30/mile pace with shoes in his hand instead of on his feet.
Have you ever run barefoot? Minimalist?