Favorite Pastime - Resting!

Favorite Pastime - Resting!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Frostbite - A Barefooter's Nightmare

Hello Barefooters,
Yeah!! January is over and I didn't have to resort to wearing the Vibrams at all!  But there were a couple of days when I probably should have.  All in all the month was pretty warm here in Indiana.  The highest temperature I ran in was just yesterday at 53 and the lowest was 11 (more on that in a bit).  The highlight of the month was definitely my first barefoot race ever, which was the Jackie Sanders Miracle Mile in Kokomo (a weekly club race) which I ran (and won!) in 7:06 in the snow with about a 1 inch covering on the ground.  This was my fastest barefoot mile ever and I will be interested to see if I can repeat that speed on the asphault.  The other highlight would have to simply be the fact that I was able to go completely barefoot for the entire month.  The problem with the normal Indiana winter is that there is just never enough sun to completely dry the pavement in between rounds of percipitation.  But this was an unusually forgiving January which had very little snow (a few inches) and several sunny days.  Another issue was the fact that even when I got some sunny dry pavement, it was often littered with salt and calcium chloride (or whatever that green stuff is!) which is not friendly to barefooters.   Another highlight was when my 11 year old daughter Megan ran with me a couple of times although she did wear shoes (thankfully she's a little brighter than her old man!)  The last run with Megan was a very cold day (only 22 degrees) and she fell down on some ice at the turnaround.  Luckily we didn't have far to go and she was able to limp it in.
So, back to the title...just how long does it take to get frostbite!  Well, based on my limited experience (twice this month) it takes as little as 3 minutes.  (and it is both temperature and moisture dependent)  The first time I got it, I went out to run on the Midland Trace Trail which is about 5 miles from my house.   I intentionally drove to this trail to avoid the treated roads and was looking forward to my coldest run yet of 19 degrees.  I did a quick half mile out and back and was very disappointed to find that the after about the first .4 miles the trail was salted!  I did my best to avoid the salt chunks, but as you know, it's the super cooled liquid underneath that gets you.  The feet were really cold when I got back to the truck and i drove home with the heat blasting.  At first I thought I had kindof burned the top of my feet with the heater while thawing them out but the pain/numbness went away after about 48 hours.  Then about a week later, I stupidly tried it again, this time on Anthony road and in my driveway after a nice 3 inch snowfall.  It was a very brisk 11 degrees and I stayed only on the very packed areas and off the treated parts.  I only went .35 miles and then jumped right into the hot tub to thaw out.  I thought everything was hunky dory and at first regretted that I hadn't gone a little further but, still I was happy with my "conquest" of the tundra.  But then, after feeling fine for about 6 hours, my toes started to ache...I mean really ache, and even went a little numb.  It was more than a little scary.  This time it was a full 72 hours before the were back to "normal" and with that they still felt a little leathery and had some slight tingling and numbness.  The key to both of these situations was the moisture.  If you run when it's "really cold" then it needs to be "dry."  This will be my big take away from the whole fiasco, and hopefully I've learned my lesson.  Luckily, the rest of the month was warmer, so I was forced not to do anything stupid!  I'm still hoping not to put on the Vibrams again unless I just have to, so I'll continue praying for more of this mild winter. 

Again, thank you all for the comments and encouragement on the blog.  I feel blessed to be able to run barefoot and again blessed to be able to share it with you.  I will only be doing monthly postings from now on, but if you want to send me questions in the mean time via email, feel free. 
And stay safe out there!

Happy Barefooting,
Barefoot Dan

January Weekly Mileages = 6, 14, 12, 14

No comments:

Post a Comment