First ‘barefoot’ run – sort of…

Posted: 28/06/2012 in Uncategorized

I’d imagined my first barefoot run would be a symphony of minimalist technology and running smarts. I could see myself in the early morning, plodding along in my new found lightness, breaking new barriers and (not) my legs.

Turns out it was not to be…

I headed home tonight to give my daughter a lift to her friend’s house before she flies away on holiday tomorrow. Just before I left work it started to rain. Apocalyptic-type rain, real wrath-of-god type stuff. Still, I needed to get home.

It’s only 3 miles from work to home, which included some mild flooding, bumper to bumper cars and a burst drain that had left the road looking like something out of an earthquake movie.

I made it back, feeling that a bit of a wait before heading off might be wise. However, the journey was beckoning, and a trip to the supermarket for last minute sun tan lotion was in order.

So we headed off.

Down onto the coast, and the road was flooded. Back into the town, and there was flooding, but not as bad. Off to the supermarket, and the road was blocked with water, and we sloshed through and made it. Sun tan lotion purchased, and back into the car.

The road to the A19 was flooded and blocked, so turned around. Back towards the coast, but the road was flooded. Through the north end of Monkseaton, and the roads were flooded – driving involved cutting onto the path at the side of the road and inching through the mud – bumper to bumper and taking some risks.

Back to the coastal route, and the whole road was under water – again onto the path. One hour in and two miles covered.

The traffic stopped. There was no sign of what was going on. So, I jumped out the car, leaving Mrs Bees at the wheel and padded through the river at the side of the road in my Converse All-Stars to each the path. Walk up ahead and see what’s going on around the corner, eh?

No. I may as well run – the All-Stars are as close to barefoot as I can get without wearing barefoot shoes, so I loped off in a jog – maybe 0.1 of a mile if I had to guess until I reached the brown mass of water blocking the road. Some cars were turning around, a few were braving it. I jogged back to the car, another 0.1 mile, I’d guess and got back in. Converse All-Stars have thinnish, flat soles with no drop (that I can see), and basically no padding. They’re no smarty-shoes, but I feel they tick a fair few of the barefoot boxes.

We waited.

The car inched forward until we reached the water, and we were at the flood. Slowly, slowly and we were at the other side, but the traffic was still backed up. So, out again and another 0.1 miles or so to the next flood and a chat with the police woman who was directing traffic. All seemed in order, so I padded back and sat in the car. There was a bit of a blitz spirit in evidence, with the drivers on the way back out of their cars and asking what was going on.

Inch, inch, inch and there we were again. Two and a half hours and we were past that water. The rest of the trip was, frankly, fairly normal, except for some traffic lights at a three way junction that were stuck on red. Dropped the daughter off, turned around and picked up a pizza for tea before heading home – avoided the route out and got back in a half hour.

So, there you have it – my first barefoot run. In sneakers. Calves feel fine, which is a blessing, and now for the remainder of the transition…

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