All change on the training. We moved offices yesterday and are now located in the City Centre rather in leafy Clifton on the edge of the Downs, so I needed to find a new barefoot route. I mapped one out on the computer at 1.7 miles, which is the furthest I have done so far. It runs around the Harbour and Queen’s Square and at lunchtime I went out for the first time.
The strange thing is that I felt so much more self consicous in the city centre. Up on the Downs there are so many runners and people just hanging out and playing games – plus it’s the centre of student land – but down in the city it’s obviously more business-like and I felt much more of an oddity.
Some of the time I was preempting and deflecting their glances, other times I tried not to notice. I felt a curious mix of shame and defiance.
But what was the territory like itself? A hell of a lot of cobbles. Some really good, others quite big with deep gaps between them – tricky, and my outer toes seemed to be catching the edge of them. It was great going back to Queen’s Square, where I ran my first barefoot run in June and the grit didn’t seem as bad – still not good.
Anatomically it was all fine but with 100% hard surfaces for the route my feet did feel like they’d had a pounding – much more so than the Downs where 50% of the route is on packed earth path or grass.
So once again, it’s got to be softly, softly.