Thursday, July 8, 2010

A bad idea

It looks like Summer is finally here in WA. The temps this week shot up into the mid 80s and the clouds are nowhere to be seen in the afternoons. It's a great time to get out and run. I've been running my fair share lately and loving it. I ran yesterday at lunch with the plan of running out to Grass Lawn park for a few miles barefoot around the rubber track. I left the gym and took my shirt off about a half mile into the run. It felt great and hey: extra Vitamin D!

I turned to run down the corridor trail beside the golf course and passed a dad pushing his daughter in a stroller on the dirt trail. About 200 meters after passing him with a "hi" I saw a brightly colored infant chew ring toy on the trail. I thought about it for a split second and stopped to pick it up. I turned around and ran back toward the two. When I caught up to (and startled) them I asked if they had dropped the toy. The man said "no. I saw that on the trail back there but it's not ours." I just started laughing and told them to have a good day as I turned around to continue on my run. I dropped the toy on the grass beside the dirt path about where I found it and kept laughing to myself thinking about the choice I had when I came upon it. Leave it there and wonder if I'm a cold unfeeling jerk or run it back to the guy and make someone a little happier. I hadn't thought about the possibility of running it back and it not being his. I got a laugh out of it in the end.

I continued down the trail all the way out to 132nd and headed over to Old Redmond Road. I ran East from there holding an easy sub-7 pace down the slight hill. I'm pretty happy with how much smoother it feels running since I started transitioning to a mid-foot landing. The lack of knee pain is great in it's own right. I got to Grass Lawn park and on to the track. Once there I took off my shoes and socks and put my feet down onto the scorching hot track surface. I started running the two miles barefoot that I had planned. The track was hot enough that I started running on the thin concrete strip between the fake turf field and the sponge track. I tried to run on the field but the turf was even hotter than the track was. Part of the track was a little shaded so I moved back and forth between the 6" wide paved strip to the track and back. It was hurting my feet but I didn't think it was too bad.

Normally I'm pretty smart and somewhat conservative about my training but this was a case of being pretty dumb and ignoring the pain. I finished the two miles (8:20, 8:01) and grabbed my shoes to run back to the gym barefoot as I had done last week. I ran about 1/4 mile and stopped at a bus bench because my feet were hurting so much running on the sidewalk. I put my shoes and socks back on but my feet were still really sore the rest of the run.

Since then, just walking around has been painful. I looked at my feet this morning at the gym after using the cardio equipment (because my feet were too sore to run.) I found three large blisters on my right food and some tender raw skin on my left foot. I feel stupid to have done this and now I'll get to take a few unplanned days off from running to pay for it. I'm loving the barefoot running lately but that was pretty dumb of me to run through the pain. With my perfect hind-sight, I should have put my shoes right back on when I felt how hot the surface of the track was.

Next time...

6.5 mi (2.25 mi. barefoot)
8:11/mi avg

Not worth it.


Melissa said...

As we in the south say, "Bless your heart!" or the ever effective "OUCH!"
Valuable lesson learned I guess.

nrmrvrk said...


Simple arrogance and stupidity. I thought I was tougher than the hot sponge track. I found another blister today and I'm still limping. Bummed.