When I asked what thing(s) I should do in Vancouver before I left, I got a pause and a few typical tourist suggestions. Then another pause.
“Actually, Vancouverians are mostly outdoorsy people so most of what we have around here is parks and stuff. “
I knew I was finally on the right track. I needed a good place to take a nice long run. Sure, what I should have done was a 5K but, instead, he recommended a beautiful 10K run around Stanley Park called the Seawalk.
Upon driving to Stanley Park, I devised a plan for going bare/minimalist. I kept repeating in my head something the guy had commented when we were talking about other Vancouver subjects (drug use).
“Vancouverians are very tolerant people.”
Surely, if Vancouver is a tolerant and accepting society, surely, I can run barefoot in their park?
Funny thing about running barefoot… at first, you are hoping no one notices, doesn’t question what you are doing, or make you put shoes on. After about 4K, you practically draw attention to yourself in any way that you can because, Come On, People! I just ran a long fricken ways in my barefeet, on asphalt, on an 80 degree day in direct sun light. Hello, grilled toes! Please acknowledge how awesome I am. No? How about crazy? Can you do crazy?
By the way, LOOK at these views
No, I didn’t run all 10K in barefeet. I had a hot spot on the second toe so I stopped at about 7K and put on the Pacers that I carried with me. I’m not sure if I was being smart knowing that I would need them or just self-fulfilled my prophecy of being unable to execute 10k without adorning my feet with shoes.
Did I mention that it was 80+ degrees? They speak metric up there so I don’t really know what the temp was but by the looks of the number of Canadians sitting on the beach in Stanley Park, it was very nice. I hadn’t been expecting such warm weather when I packed which meant I would be subjecting myself to another embarrassing sweat stain by packing my grey capri exercise pants. Half way through the Seawalk, I came across a water park. I figured what a better thing to come across on an 80 + degree day and to boost the funnability index of the run than to zig zag through a water park. It was only later when I looked down at my legs that I realized the genius of water spray in camouflaging any embarrassing sweat stains.
Run barefoot! Run Smiley! Win!
P.S. I would absolutely recommend the Seawalk for a run in Vancouver with or without shoes. The asphalt is very smooth. The views are spectacular with the mountains, city, and boats all in one run. Two big toes up.
For more, see A Rose By Any Other Name