Yesterday, I had a great 15K barefoot run. I ran on the same paved park trails I had run the day before. Had to do loops, though, as the total trail distance is pretty short. (About 7K from end to end, plus another 1K to and from my home to the trail start.)
It was a wonderful run. The trail is in a narrow park, and runs beside a small creek. There are lots of trees (many of which are in flower right now), and the trail is just far enough removed from the surrounding streets that traffic noise is virtually non-existent.
The pavement on the trail is a nice, smooth chip-seal, which is a real joy to run on. As a bonus, I found work crews tearing up about 800 meters of the pavement, preparing to lay down some new asphalt. That will mean even smoother pavement in a few days. (Nothing like brand-new pavement to make a barefoot runner happy!) I had to run around a couple of pieces of heavy equipment, but I also got to run on the soft, smoothly-packed sand the crews had put down as a base for the new surface. The result was that I had a nice combination of mixed surfaces to run on – a little more than 3K of packed sand and about 12K of good pavement.
This was my longest barefoot road run so far. I’d previously done a couple of 14K road barefoot runs (as well as a few 22K barefoot treadmill runs in the winter.) The bottoms of my feet were pretty tender after the road 14Ks, but felt fine after yesterday’s 15K run. I think I’ve turned a corner, and that my feet are becoming nicely conditioned.
I’ve got a 30K run scheduled for Sunday, so am thinking of trying that barefoot. If I do, I’ll run the paved trails again. I’ll have to do twice as many loops to cover the distance, but I think it will be fun. Stay tuned.