Two days ago I went for a run for the first time in the past 4 years with an old pair of my running shoes. Because my trusty vibram has retired, torn at the toes. I lasted only 1km when I entertained to this crazy idea of chucking off my shoes and running barefoot, on the road. Without thinking much, I took them off, set them aside (no one stole the shoes) and ran.
Running completely barefoot was an experience for me. I've been running in vibram for 4+ years and have no problems with the lack of shock absorption but my soles have been mollycoddled with a layer of hard plastic all the while. Running without nothing on covering them, was a whole new feeling. After 2km the pavement began to burn my feet. At 4km I had moved from absolutely burning to just an all around tender feeling. I had to keep running and ran faster to eliminate the sensation. If I went any slower the burn came. I stopped at 5km, my usual tune-up mileage, and limped to get my shoes. Told myself to get a new pair of vibrams.
Still I was glad I did it. Well, at least if somebody stole my shoes or they tore I know I could last probably 5km running. That run was literally a whole 32 minutes 45 seconds of being absolutely alive. It reminded me of this poem I love:
I promise to make you more alive than you've ever been.
For the first time you'll see your pores opening
like the gills of fish and you'll hear
the noise of blood in galleries
and feel light gliding on your corneas
like the dragging of a dress across the floor.
For the first time, you'll note gravity's prick
like a thorn in your heel,
and your shoulder blades will hurt from the imperative of wings.
I promise to make you so alive that
the fall of dust on furniture will deafen you,
and you'll feel your eyebrows like two wounds forming
and your memories will seem to begin
with the creation of the world.
Anyway, bought a new pair of vibram last night and cannot wait to start running in them.