Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The First Day of True Barefoot

Hints of springtime are among us, Wisconsinites!  And the countdown is on...the Shamrock Shuffle 5K is in one month, and the Oshkosh Half Marathon is in two months. 

I am determined to run both of them, from start to finish, totally barefoot. 

Determined, I tell you. 

I don't doubt my cardiovascular fitness will be sufficient for these events, since I've been running with my little vinyl booties, but what worries me is my soft feet.  Yeah...the ones that I've been scrubbing vigorously with pumice stones for years to keep them as silky and feminine as flower petals...I am now begging said feet to grow some serious calluses. 

But they haven't been listening very well, and I'm desperate, so I decided it was time for some old school discipline.  Being as this week's heat wave is pushing high temps near 40 degrees F, I knew the time was right to hit the pavement. 

No booties.

No socks.

No ballet flats.

Just wild naked foot action:

(Yes, those are rolled up pajama pants.  I refuse to spend any money on workout clothes, being as how ugly they are and how ugly I look in them.  If I must look ugly, I want it to not cost me anything.) 

Unfortunately, I was only able to run about 1/2 of my 25-minute run barefoot, because it was still below freezing when I went out, and because the roads and sidewalks are still freckled with thick ice patches and piles of sharp salt pebbles.  I carried my ballet flats with me and used them to cross these hazards.

Still, the barefoot thing is really fun!  The friction of the pavement felt a little weird, like my feet were sticking to the sidewalk, but I didn't step on a single rock or stone.  I didn't get any cuts or scrapes or frostbite, and my soles barely got dirty.  Although I deliberately stepped on a piece of solid, smooth ice for a second, just to feel what it was like.

Yeah, I don't recommend that.  The coldness of it made my feet ache for like 15 seconds.  Yowch! 

Otherwise, it was a good time.  My feet feel completely fine, although my calves still cramp up quite a bit while running, but that goes away if I do a lot of walking afterward.

The high temp for Thursday is predicted to be 48, so I will be out once again, slapping my pasty-pale tootsies on the cement, praying to the foot callus gods.