I have started referring to myself as The Nampa Barefoot Lady, because I haven’t seen anyone else running barefoot in Nampa. Maybe it sounds too close to “bag lady,” but it’s catchy. I’m setting a good example, running in common walking/running paths and on well traveled roads. I’m often smiling, because it really IS fun, other than when a dog is chasing me or when I’m at the end of a run pushing myself into new goals. Maybe I need a t-shirt that says, “Yes, I’m running barefoot on purpose! Give it a try!” It’s not that I want to be pushy; I just want to share a good thing!
It’s a bit of a conflict for me when I run by people and they seem interested. I want to stop and tell them how much I like it, and that I couldn’t run if it weren’t for running without shoes most of the time. One man commented last week, the second time I had passed him toward the end of my recovery run after the Emmett Triathlon experience. It was a usual comment: “Bare feet!?” intoned with a mixture of “did you know your feet are bare?” and “are you crazy?”
I suppose I could have shown him the bottoms of my feet and how great they look after the race. The minor start on toe blisters have quickly turned into more conditioned sole. I’m transitioning to using my toes a bit more often and naturally when I am training, because I always run on them some when in a race. No need to use my husband’s duct tape system this time around. Plus, at the risk of repeating myself, people get blisters from shoes all the time. I’d rather deal with a blister now and then, than ruin my knees or have stability issues.
Although I still use music once in a while, I don’t feel the same need for it that I did when running with footwear. Being in tune (pun intended…) with the ground and my body results in me feeling my own rhythm. In fact, I sometimes find any music distracts me, creating a sensation of opposing melodies.
Running barefoot has helped me to run with much more relaxed form, too. This tends to make race pictures turn out embarrassing, because I often look limp, with my aging skin swinging from side to side. (May have the nerve to post some of those some day….) But I feel good and my race results are rewarding.
Maybe I should start a “Where’s the Nampa Barefoot Lady?” game?! There could be a prize for the person who sees me the most times? Contestants would have to learn my routes, take pictures to prove the sighting, and, of course, wave and say hello. 🙂 Tell your friends to post sightings on my facebook page! I’ll have to run enough to make it worth your while, so it motivates me, too. I’ve just decided the deadline will be October 31, my husband’s birthday. I had better make some clear rules:
- all sightings must be made while I am out running, training or races
- all sightings must be away from my home
- sightings outside of Nampa perfectly acceptable
- the prize will be a book about running barefoot