Sunday, October 30, 2011

Running Silent

Discovered on my run today an unexpected plus to barefoot running... how incredibly quiet it is.

I've always been a fairly quiet runner, even before with my uber-heel strike.  I think landing light is the only thing that has let me get away with running this long with my arthritis.  Today, without shoes, it was... silence.  And it was... amazing.

I took a minute, and I turned off my iPod (my constant running companion).  All I could hear were the leaves rustling on the pavement, a crow calling, and my own breathing.  There was a light tap, tap, tap when my Vibrams hit the pavement.  When I took them off, just quiet.  Running along I was able to get within arms reach of a turkey.  Got a much different reaction from the local wildlife than I usually do, or see other runners get, smacking down the pavement.  Squirrels kind of looked at me, decided I wasn't a threat, and went on collecting their food for the winter.  It was a pretty amazing way to feel like part of nature, even in urban Minneapolis.

Another observation I had about my own form... as I got tired, I started to hear a "scuff, scuff" as my feet landed.  A big sign that I was getting tired and my form was slipping... I was no longer making those light, quick touches with the ground, and this is probably about the time when I start developing some good blisters.  Luckily, I recognized it early, corrected my form, and made it home with no ugly-buglies on my feet.  Will definitely be turning my iPod off and listening to my feet on occasion as a way to check in on myself.

More to come in the next few days, thoughts on shoes, etc.  With it getting colder, I suspect I'll need to be wearing shoes on my run a bit more often.  I'll give you an idea what shoes I have now and how I like them.  And of course, shoes, in general.  Because really, what's barefoot running without an obsession about shoes? :)

It was a little chilly out today, but once my feet warmed up, it wasn't bad.  A couple of obnoxious passer-bys who couldn't help but point out that it was cold and I was going to catch my death, but I could have pointed that out about their cigarrettes. :)

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