Friday, July 16, 2010

The 11.4th Barefoot Mile -- Picture of Consistency

My focus goal this time around as I -- once again -- start out on my quest to become a "real runner"  has been a singular one:  Consistency.

I decided that I wasn't interested in speed or distance or whatever, but that I was interested in developing consistency.  First and foremost, consistency in the habit of getting out there.  And then after that, consistency in a variety of things, especially the barefoot running form.

Well, I went back and found where I had written down all my barefoot runs.   I decided to chart it so I could stand back and have a view of what consistency looked like.

Here it is:

It feels really good to have a tangible product of my progress.  It feels good to be able to "see" what I've done, what I've been working on.  It looks very consistent.  There were a couple of weeks of walking in my Vibrams before this chart starts, but I just started from my first barefoot run.

I didn't write it in, but on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays I have been consistently cross-training in Kung Fu.

So, although each barefoot mile may not seem all that exciting to read about, something really nice is happening as I plug along trying to achieve consistency.

Today I wasn't sure about going out.  I had woken up late, it was humid and starting to get hot; I had been on my feet a lot the day before and not rested them enough after my last barefoot run so I wasn't sure if I should go out; I have to do a lot of work today on my feet and won't be able to rest my feet, so I wasn't sure if I should go out.

But I remembered my goal of consistency and decided to just get out there and listen to my body.  After all, going out there is not set in stone.  I can always turn around if my body tells me it's not a good idea.

But my body LOVED it and I'm so glad I went out there (although my body did advise me to run in the shade).

At one point, I decided to take a slightly different route than I regularly do and made the decision in a split second.  Coming toward me a minute later on the sidewalk were two "real" runners. It looked like a father and almos-grown son pair and they were coming fast and hard toward me.  We smiled and said hello, and I couldn't help but wonder if they had noticed that I was running barefoot.

One last point about the long incline at the end of my run.  I used to run from tree to tree to get up that incline.  Now, due to my having transformed into a more present-moment state of mind, I don't even notice that I'm on an incline.   Because my focus is on the step that I'm taking NOW.  It's a great experience.   All I notice is the task of the step I have to take now.  I may notice that I'm breathing harder, or that it feels a little heavier, but this shift, although it may seem slight, is a total zen difference from the way I used to run on a hill.

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