I started running at nine this morning. As usual, I did it barefoot. This time I did not find it difficult going up and down the peak of the RCPI mountain even if the rocks were so sharp that I felt I was running on broken glass. I just imagined myself going up and down the the Pyrenees mountains. By 10 am, the scorching rough road was still bearable. But once I reached the asphalt highway at 11:30 I had to wear my sandals or risk getting blisters on the soles of my feet. I finally reached my 'hermitage' at 12:50 pm.
I just hope that there won't be a lot of asphalt section on the Camino de Santiago.
I doubt if I can run/walk barefoot the entire 800 km length of the Camino across Nothern Spain. I will be doing it during summer when the temperature can rise up to 40C. Maybe 3 hrs barefoot in the morning will be realistic unless the skies are cloudy or the path will be lined with trees. I wonder how St. Francis and the medieval pilgims could walk the whole way. Perhaps, it would be easier during Spring or Fall.
I have been running up and down this mountain since 1980, but I've never done this barefoot previously. I wouldn't have imagined myself doing it. I thought only Kenyan runners could do it in Africa. Now, I enjoy doing it and I can even run barefoot 2-3 hours a day. I owe it to Christopher McDougal's book 'Born to Run' which made me realize that we humans are designed to run without shoes. Running barefoot taught me how to run with the correct form (forefoot landing, bent knees, shorter stride). I also learned listen to my body and feet, and focus on the surface ahead of me. This has made running more enjoyable and injury free.