It was a nice day in London today. Let me say that again, it was a nice day in London today! If you’ve lived in the UK this Summer you’ll understand the significance of that statement – we’ve had a shockingly bad Summer. All to do with the Jet Stream apparently.
Anyway, all today I was looking forward to a run and I kept thinking that I’d really like to get up to 10k. I was only up to 6k and over the past week I’d stepped my runs back up to every other day again. I’d been doing 1 day out of 3 since I pulled my achilles, and I’d done this for the past 3 weeks, gradually building my distance back up to 6k.
But 6k is my comfort distance I’d begun to realise. This was the distance that I’d comfortably worked up to before then trying to go further and pulling my hamstring. So I began to wonder today if I’d hit a phycological glass ceiling with this distance. I was determined to break out of this and I was going to do it today. I told myself that I must stop if there is any discomfort whatsoever. I also decided to achieve this distance by doing two complete laps of Clapham Common – my usual run – instead of running down to Battersea Park and back, which was a 10k run of mine when I was a heal-striker. I figured the walk home should I have a mishap would be far less. Also the surroundings are familiar, so hoped it would feel like the first lap once I was well into the second.
This all worked out well. I completed both laps, and 10k in around 55 minutes. That’s the sort of time I used to do in my padded trainers and back then I thought that was pretty fast. I took care to run very slowly today to help both with my cardiovascular and to not overstrain my legs and feet. So I was amazed at that time. I could easily have run a much faster time, but speed is both important and will come later.
Again I kept reminding myself that I had to land as gently as possible. Years of not thinking about how hard my feet come down take a lot of deprogramming, but thanks to the proprioception feedback of barefoot running this is fairly easy to achieve. I just have to keep saying to myself, “light and easy, light and easy.”
I’ve also noticed for the first time that my pads (the balls of my feet) are starting to toughen up and you can actually feel the skin is now thicker.