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.

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