The weather was warm today here in the "D", and I couldn't help but slip on my NB 101's and trot a few miles on the grassy surfaces before slipping them off and running for a few minutes barefoot. It was great to feel the squishy earth still damp from the rains of a day ago and I could feel the neurons firing on my feet as they ran unshod. They were awakening from a winter of being closed in Brooks Ghost 3/4's and Launches.
I am not a barefoot or minimalist runner by nature. A few years ago, one of the first people I met via social media was my buddy Nate, and he was a barefoot runner. Out on the trails, he would run in these weird toe looking shoes (Vibrams) that had yet to explode on the market and I remember trying a pair on in Colorado but just couldn't pull the trigger. Slowly but surely though, I would end a few of my runs sans shoes and could feel my body react to the ground in new ways. Of course there were tight calves and creaky parts as I my body sought to readjust, but it was running and a new form of play. By the end of each of the past few summers, I have built up to a few miles barefoot.
Several pairs of minimalist type shoes, Brooks Green Silences, NB 101's, lay about in my man cave and for some reason when the weather turns colder here in the D, I end up encasing them in shoes and losing all of the barefoot training. This season though with nothing other than the Unofficial Double Blue Ridge Marathon coming up, I am thinking that maybe I might just see how far I can take this barefoot and minimalist running thing.