Last night, after getting through almost half of Barefoot Ken Bob's book, I resolved to run the neighborhood trail bare. This morning is the perfect running weather for me: 46F/8C, crisp and clear. But this is the coldest I've ever walked barefoot, let alone ran barefoot along a gravely trail.
Let me back up just a bit. Up to this point I logged a total of 8 miles barefoot. All 8 were run on a familiar trail that is mostly packed dust and grass, and all 8 felt pretty good. That was before I started reading Ken Bob's book. Now that I understood some of what his book teaches, I was eager to try it out on a trail with more character. And by "character", I mean gravel.
All things considered, the run went well. The 3/4-mile gravel section went better than expected. I was channeling Ken Bob and keeping my shoulders and calves relaxed and knees bent. As much as possible I kept my feet relaxed too, but the gravel definitely slowed me down quite a bit. It was somewhat painful but not enough not to be enjoyable on a level. I kept thinking that this could replace my morning coffee.
The gravel section is in the first mile of the trail, and the cool weather may have helped some also by keeping my feet numb. Once home, showered and warm, I can feel some sore spots on the bottom of the feet, but nothing that feels like an injury.
The amazing thing was my foot muscles and calves do not ache, like they have been so far during barefoot and minimalist shoe runs. I'll take this as an indication that I am grokking Ken Bob's advice and doing something right. That said, it will probably be a while before I run this trail again.