Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Twenty Minutes Barefoot @ 32 Degrees F

The snow is still here, but running barefoot is fine if the pavement is dry! I repeated a few dry streets around my home last evening. Toes were just fine. Could have gone farther if I was more used to barefoot pavement running and wanted to keep repeating the same streets. Put shoes on for another 20 minutes.

Again, I am realizing that things are possible that I previously never would have imagined.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The Snow is Here

It has snowed two nights so far. The first was the night before Thanksgiving. I raced on Thanksgiving in shoes, so I wasn't really thinking about barefooting that day. The snow only stuck on the grass. I did leave the house and drive to the race barefoot, and I did spend as much of the day shoeless as possible. But there was no running on that snow day. The second snow as last weekend, on Saturday night. I didn't run on Sunday because I went skiing. So Monday rolled around yesterday and I had gone to work and come home barefoot on the cold ground and in the car barefoot with no problem, so I set off from my house barefoot for the first part of my run, as I have been doing (see previous post). There were sections of wet pavement and dry pavement. I had some frozen toes after a couple of minutes. It was because of the wet pavement. Where there were longer sections of dry road, my feet warmed up. But there were not enough of those kinds of sections. A couple of times cars forced me into some slush on the side of the road. Surprisingly, the few steps in the slush was not as bad as the wet sections of pavement. I made it a mile, taking the shortest loop back to my house to put shoes on, in about 8:40. By then my toes were quite frozen. It took a couple of miles running in shoes for them to warm up completely.

I am discovering that going barefoot is more than just an exercise in running better, it is an exercise about changing the power of your mind to overcome all the things that society has programmed into it that may not necessarily be true. I was thinking of joining a gym this winter to take advantage of the treadmills, and was hoping to find one that would have no problem with running on their equipment barefoot. But trying to get through it despite the weather outside is more of this exercise in mental power.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Eastern Standard Time Barefoot

It is getting dark early. It is getting cold. These factors have conspired to make it much more difficult to run on the grass at Greenbrook Park. The grass has hidden sticks, pine cones and acorns in the dark. I have gotten more used to stepping on acorns when they are cushioned by the natural surface - i.e. they get pushed into the ground a little, unlike stepping on them on pavement - but the sticks worry me a little; not because I might step on them, but it is sometimes painful to kick them when they invisibly invade the path of my foot as it moves forward. Plus the grass itself and the ground is damp. The dampness sucks the warmth out of my feet and causes numbing and painful toes. As a result, I have been running barefoot on the road and sidewalks more than ever. Though the air temperature is cold, the road and sidewalks do not suck the heat out of my toes as the natural surfaces do. The roads are fairly clear of acorns, but the sidewalks are still full of them. I will often be running down Greenbrook Road, which is fairly busy, switching from road to sidewalk to front lawns, and back to the road again to find the best surfaces. I have been doing about 3 miles, or even more if I get out early enough. Then I circle back to my house and put shoes on for another 5 miles or so. I plant the shoes on the front stoop to get into them fast.