A subtitle for the series could be, "Who says it has to be all or nothing?"
So, here we go with Part I -- The Preliminaries
This was going to be my first day out in my Vibrams. Some of you may remember I mentioned that I started in Vibrams last spring, ran a few times, then decided to try barefoot to learn proper form. My intention back then had been to go back to Vibrams once I had the barefoot form down correctly, but after experiencing barefoot running I never put them back on.
So, today was going to be the day I put them back on. Had them all ready on the chair, along with a pair of Injinji toe socks.
When I checked the temperature, I saw that it was 35 degrees. Well, that's pretty warm, I thought. Maybe the streets are clear enough that I could do it barefoot after all.. Let me go see.
So, I headed outside to take a little walk around and scope the situation out -- in my bare feet of course.
Parts of the sidewalks seemed fine, very well-shoveled.
However there were sections like the one below which did not look like they were going to be good at all.
Well, I thought, it must be clear out on the Boulevard. Maybe I can start out in the Vibrams and take them off when I'm on the runway, then put them back on again to come home. Yes, that's what I can do and what I shall do.
I went back in to put my Vibrams on. This was the first time I was using the socks with them and it was really tough getting them on with the socks. I thought to myself, "I don't know how I'll get these back on when it's time to come home. This is really tough." I thought about how my feet would be wet when it came time to put them back on. I decided to bring a little towel with me.
Then I realized something! I don't have to wear these socks! It's 35 degrees out there. I've run barefoot in 35 degrees so why would I need these socks? I decided to ditch the socks.
Now it was time to step out the door:
Definitely did not feel good about having them on. :-(
Here is a video of my first steps down the snowy path in my Vibrams:
When I got to the corner, something completely unanticipated happened. I looked across to the other side and saw that the way to my running path was blocked by snow:
I could clearly see there was a little path carved out up there, but couldn't see how to get to it.
As I jogged along, I was beginning to think my plan to take off my Vibrams at some point was starting to fall through. When I got to the corners, I was especially sure it would not be a good idea because I would encounter puddles of slush like this:
All the while I was on the lookout for a place across the street where I might cross over on to the path by the river. Finally I found a spot that looked like it might work. Daffodil and I stepped through it to get to the Boulevard path.
We took a look back to see where we had come from.
Now we were up on the path at last.
We scoped it out. First we looked North:
And then we looked South:
And everything looked "good to go."
Notes to self after "The Preliminaries:
- Scoping out the scene in bare feet before heading out by walking up and down a few blocks to see how it feels not only gives a good idea about whether to use shoes or not, but also gives the feet a little touch of cold weather conditioning. Who says it has to be all or nothing?
- Climbing through snow and slushing through slush in the kind of Vibrams I have is pretty wet, so it's not like Vibrams are going to keep my feet dry.
- I don't need socks when it's 35 degrees.
- No matter how hard I try to think things through and anticipate everything, there's always going to be something I didn't think of
- Sometimes I have to just get out there and see what it's like to know how it's going to go. Experience is the best teacher.
- Don't like my Vibrams any more. The first time I ran in them, back in the spring, I thought they were amazing. But after running barefoot all summer, I don't like them any more.
I'll continue in Part II -- Running in Vibrams