There are as many reasons for running as there are days in the year, years in my life. But mostly I run because I am an animal and a child, an artist and a saint. So, too, are you. Find your own play, your own self-renewing compulsion, and you will become the person you are meant to be.
- George Sheehan

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Not every run is perfect

Yesterday's run was proof that on some days, you just don't have it.

I went out for an easy 30 minute run Friday afternoon (had to rush back to see the Bruins win the Stanley Cup!!), thinking that it was going to very straightforward.  Unfortunately, waiting until the late afternoon on hot days to run barefoot can really hurt.  Literally.  I didn't realize how hot the concrete would be.  Holy cow!

Normally the high turnover rate (faster running cadence) means that hot surfaces aren't really a problem.  My feet aren't on the ground long enough to really cause any damage when the concrete is warm.  But not today.  Wow...right off the bat I had serious doubts about whether or not I'd be able to even do five minutes on the running trail, it was so hot.  But soon after, I settled down and felt well enough to carry on.  I wouldn't get too far though before I changed my tune. 

I only completed about 20 minutes of my run barefoot before I had to put my Vibram Sprints on and finish.  Why?  Because the heat was beginning to cause "hot spots" (aka the beginning of blisters) on both my feet, making the run rather uncomfortable.  This was a great example of why carrying some sort of footwear (heck, maybe even socks!) on runs is important.  You just never know.  I run with a waist pack that fits a water bottle or a pair of Vibrams nicely, plus some other pockets for my keys, cell, band aids (very useful sometimes), and whatever else I need.  Comes in handy when I'm a few miles away from my car.

Also, running in the Sprints (my favorite type of Vibram FiveFingers) again was a nice reminder.  I don't like running in any shoes now, but it's necessary to on occasion.  It's amazing how muffled the ground feel is, even in something as minimalist as the Sprints - and they are extremely minimalist!  The feedback you get from your skin is so incredible, and is the perfect teacher.  I found myself focusing on form, speed, and landing softly so intensely in the Vibrams, while barefoot I don't need to.  It's a significant difference between barefoot and "barefoot shoes."  They are not the same.

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