Spend too much time listening to your body and you'll start hearing things. As I walked to the woods in my VFF, I waited for my knee to start complaining and I thought I heard a sigh. But once I started running, it seemed happy enough to go along for the ride.
And what a ride it was. I left the prepared forest path and its hard floor and turned towards a single track that cuts through the woods. The ground there was soft, at times muddy, but with the kind of mud that gives way under your weight without ever sucking in your feet. It's an experience in itself to run on such surfaces in VFF. If I could run on clouds, I'm guessing that this is what it would feel like.
This single track is unfortunately pretty short, and my allotted 3 minutes of running almost brought me to its end. But rather than continuing onto the gravel covered forest path, I turned and ran back the same way. I continued running back and forth on the trail a couple more times, taking short breaks to walk and rest my knee. I was ecstatic. Ducking under fallen branches or jumping over them, zigzagging between trees, looking out for creepy crawlies on the narrow trail, feeling the ferns brushing against my bare legs, startling a hare, this was running at its best, when it makes me feel alive and at one with nature.
I ran for a total of 24 minutes covering a total of 4 km (excluding the walking breaks), without the slightest complain from my knee. And had time to wonder several times over the course of this run why on earth I'd ever choose to run on tarmac again.