Because it felt so good to go barefoot running the other day, I decided to give it another go early yesterday morning. Since the beach I run at is very dog-friendly, I decided to bring Minnie, my mother’s terrier mix (my two dogs are too old and lazy to jog).
Minnie and I set out nice and early. When I kicked off my shoes, both of us set out as if we’d been shot out of a cannon. Minnie was so excited to run she dragged me for quite a bit. In fact, she’s a much better runner than I am (perhaps because she’s always been a barefoot runner?). The jog was very relaxing, and but for one nasty incident involving Minnie stopping suddenly to inspect a dead jellyfish and me accidentally kicking her as a result, there were no mishaps. I did find it harder to concentrate on my form with Minnie pulling on the leash, but my run did turn into a tempo run of sorts.
Once again I sat in the water after my run. It’s my alternative to an ice bath. Minnie is not a water dog, and had to be persuaded to come into a few inches of water. There was none of the usual after-run pain that I experience, and my hips felt a lot less “tight.” So far, barefoot running has been a great experience. I think it’s also made me a bit more relaxed about my pace and time.
Tonight will not be barefoot. I need to do a 10K tempo run, so I need the hills that aren’t available on the beach. I’m not quite ready to take my barefoot running on the road just yet. That will be a huge leap for me, but one I feel more and more eager to try.