It was on the last day in Tarifa, I was running another 10k barefoot along the beach when I felt a twinge in my right foot. But I was only half way and needed to turn around and run the second half as in 5k back on the sand. My time was good so I decided to go for speed and ramped up the pace, almost sprinting the final half kilometre. And I clocked 50 minutes, not bad for a 65 year old!

But when I stopped oh boy, I felt like 105 years old. I could hardly hobble up the beach with the pain now radiating across the top of my foot.

I did wonder whether I'd trodden on a weever fish or similar in the shallows to cause such pain? But 48 hours later and I was still hobbling so probably not. Oh and I know, I know that running on the sand barefoot can cause all sorts of problems from calf strain to Achilles pain to metatarsal stress fractures but I HAD been training barefoot on the beach for over a week doing 5k runs and another 10k so it wasn't as if I'd taken off my trainers for the first time and gone hot foot straight into that barefoot run.

But what to do with a tender foot? I could go to the doctor, have an x-ray, whatever but I know what they'll say. Rest. They might even confirm a stress fracture but I really don't want a cast on my foot for six weeks.

Now we're back in the mountains it feels like being hobbled and so frustrating not to be able to hike let alone run as usual. But we're currently experiencing this Euro-heatwave with temperatures scorchingly hot, hitting 40C here in the French Alps, so running up a mountain would be a tad challenging.

Today, a week after that beach run, I managed to put on a tough Merrell walking boot that gave enough support to take the dogs down to a lake so they could enjoy a swim about 1k away. Then it was a hop (literally) and a skip (metaphorically) to the river at full snow-melt flow where I dipped my barefoot into the glacially cold water for natural cyrotherapy treatment.

Also, as you can see, I can still stand on my head, which as the young man in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, questioned, 'Do you think, at your age, it is right?'. As Father William replied, 'In my youth I feared it might injure the brain; But now that I'm perfectly sure I have none, Why, I do it again and again'.

This is also similar to what I reply when people say, 'Do you think, at your age, sprinting barefoot on the beach is right?'...


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