Coach Jeff Finally #Barefoot #Running Again!


After just over 5 weeks post-hernia surgery, I ventured out for my 1st ‘official’ run…barefoot! As you know, I have been barefoot walking for a few weeks and even did a few kilometres barefoot running 2 1/2 weeks post-surgery with my teen marathoner, Jill, at the Road to Hope race in Hamilton (not the most intelligent thing I’ve done in my life). I survived that ‘too early’ jaunt but did basically follow my surgeon’s advice re: “no running” for 5 to 6 weeks and “no weight lifting” for another 8 to 10 weeks. My guess is the weight lifting ban will be reduced by at LEAST a few weeks!

Even though I feel great physically as this applies to the incision and repair area, I knew this morning’s run would NOT be pretty fitness-wise. Indeed, I was correct! I started out with my Southdown Strider running buddies at 7:00 a.m. in -8C temps and a strong, cold north-west wind. Making the mistake of holding pace with them, I was pulling WAY back by the 3 kilometre mark. My feet adapted quickly (this surprised me somewhat as my barefoot exposure to our winter weather has been minimal thus far) to the partially snow-covered roads. Through the bush trail, the path was 90% packed snow-covered – I ran easily along this section – with the remaining 10% boardwalk and gravel – not as easy to run along! Exiting the bush, I ran along the Lake Ontario shoreline directly into the water – rather cold, to say the least BUT not bone-chilling. I finished with a slow but steady hill climb backwards (WOW – am I ever out of shape for THAT type of running!) and a flat stretch along salt crystal – covered sidewalks (ouch!).

Upon finishing my 70 minute ‘outing’, I was aware of how gradual my comeback to full barefoot running pace will be this winter. I do realize, however,  just how fortunate I am to be ABLE to barefoot run at all when so many of my colleagues and others cannot do so! This is a blessing God has given me – I will NEVER take it for granted.

Here’s to building slowly. Here’s to strengthening my feet even more this winter. Here’s to another year of injury-free barefoot running. Here’s to the naysayers of barefoot running finally waking up, getting out of the ‘coffins’ (running shoes) and leaving we barefoot runners the hell alone!!

coach Jeff


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