I had a really good 15K barefoot run today, in lovely sunshine and at a comfortable slow pace. It was a balmy 17C, so I ran in just shorts and a short-sleeved shirt. (The forecast for the beginning of next week is for much colder temperatures and rain, so I’m soaking up all this good stuff while I can.)
I ran on the roadside when I could, but had to stick to the sidewalks for much of the 15K. That’s a drag, as the sidewalks are still covered in lots of little gritty stones. They’re not painful so much as annoying. The road, on the other hand, felt like butter under my bare feet. Once in a while, just for the heck of it, I ran through puddles and in wet, squishy grass – just like a kid!
About 2/3 of the way through my run, I had a brief encounter with the local constabulary. I’d been running on the sidewalk, with traffic coming towards me. Among one group of cars was a police car. They all drove by. A couple of minutes later, the police car came roaring back, pulled over to my side of the road (i.e., in the wrong lane for him, facing oncoming traffic), with his roof-lights flashing. The young cop at the wheel rolled down his window, and he and I had the following conversation:
Cop: “Everything all right here?”
Me: “Yes, why?”
Cop: “You don’t have any shoes.”
Me: “I don’t run in shoes.”
Cop: “Alright, then. Have a good one!”
And away he went, his lights still flashing, and with a little spray of gravel from his tires.
I really resent it when the armed branch of the State hassles people who are simply going about their business. But part of me understands that this is just typical cop behaviour, and there’s little I can do about it. I also recognize that, if I weren’t an older, white, middle-class male, this wouldn’t necessarily have been as goofy an interaction as it was.
The bottom line, though, is this – even a boy with a gun and a car with flashing lights on its roof couldn’t spoil what was a really pleasant barefoot run.