So we are back in Costa Rica again. Got here last Wednesday, on a horrible over night flight. I figured I would get plenty of sleep, and am unsure if it was due to the fact that there were too many lights on in the middle of the night, or if I was just anxious to get back to one of my favorite countries. I knew as soon as we landed, my tiredness would be over-taken by my “want to hit the ground running” personality. We met our little Tico guy, and got our tiny little rental SUV. By tiny I mean, if we ever needed to, Greg & I could probably pick the thing up and move it. We loaded our backpacks, (side note~~ we did in fact stick to the back pack plan, and only brought what would fit onto our back) and were off on the drive over to the coast. We knew that since we had been here the last time 2 years ago, they had completed a new road from San Jose to the Pacific Coast, that was supposed to cut an hour or so off of the drive, because you don’t have to go over the mountain passes. Think we found it? NOPE! You would think, new highway leaving from the capitol city, maybe some signs…NOPE! So we took the usual route. The route that we knew…over the mountains. It takes while, but it is stunningly, beautiful.
We got to our little village of Eserillos Oeste, and to our little beach house. It was still early, since we had landed at 6am. I could not wait to get into the water. I have an odd and amazing relationship with the ocean. I swim, boogie board, and surf, all the while being intrigued, in awe, and extremely afraid of the ocean. I respect her awesomeness. I fear the power she has. However, I cannot stay out of her briny waves. She is like a seductress to me. Luring me in. I am cautious, but absolutely cannot stay away. I can’t help myself.
After splashing around a bit, tasting the salty waves, I looked down the beach. No one. Not a sole. Which is exactly how this beach is all the time. I had to get out on a run. I changed into my running clothes, put on my Inov-8’s, and headed out. All the while thinking and knowing I really wanted and longed to run barefoot. I am fascinated by barefoot running, and have worked my way down to more minimalist shoes over time, but have never had the guts, to pull off my shoes. I took about 10 strides, and thought, “I HAVE to do this” Free the feet!! Free the feet!! I thought it would be easier starting out on a sandy beach instead of a road or trail, which I know many have done. My hat goes off to all of you “true” barefoot runners. I will get there someday. So, I took my running shoes off, stashed them in some dead palm tree branches, HOPING they would be there when I got back. My feet were tender, timid, afraid, to take their first virgin barefoot run. I started slow, but it felt so good. So freeing. Like I was naked. I picked up the pace. My feet were smiling, and so was I. I did an easy 2 miles that day, and have worked my way up to 5 barefoot beach miles. My calves, arches, and Achilles have been achy in protest. I did find a great Yoga class right here on the beach which has helped with some of the soreness. My feet remain tender, and know they will for some time. And I am trying not to think about the day we go home to Coeur d’ Alene, and they have to be confined back into my running shoes.
So for now, I will continue the beach running on my smiling feet until we leave on March 5th to backpack up north in the country, and over to the Caribbean. I know over on the Caribe side, I will again be free to run without my shoes, and I already look forward to that. Like being lured by the Sea Seductress, I just can’t help myself!!