Favorite Pastime - Resting!

Favorite Pastime - Resting!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Barefoot in the Dark!

Good Afternoon Barefooters,

"Icing" feet in snowbank after run

I'm happy to have run 19 days during the cold and snowy month of January.  However, with only a total of 40.2 miles, you can guess some of these runs were pretty short.  The weather just has not been conducive to longer runs but I have enjoyed pushing the limits to see what the feet can take with respect to temperature, and they have responded very well.  My longest run was just yesterday with a full 7 miler on the soggy pavement after strong overnight thunderstorms but with a "warmer" temperature of 49 degrees.  And then just this morning was my shortest run of the month at only a quarter mile in the 22 degree fresh snowfall. I guess I just wasn't into the cold today after the brief warmer temps the last few of days.  On the plus side, the snowy weather makes it very easy to ice the feet afterward by just stepping into a snowbank at the end of the driveway as I finish my workouts!  My coldest run of the month was on Jan. 22 when it was 10 degrees and I ran just half a mile.  Later that same week, I experienced some mild frostbite after a run of 0.6 miles in fresh snow and 19 degree temps.  It was a very mild case and after 48 hours or so I was back to normal.  I was even able to run the very next day although it was still a little tender.  The moisture was the key.  10 degrees, if dry and sunny is tolerable, but a wet 19 degrees is a recipe for disaster.  
Muddy Fun on the Oakbrook Valley Trails

The most fun and challenging run of the month was the 5K Night Flight Race at Oakbrook Valley in Kokomo.  This was a trail run at night which made headlamps or flashlights a neccessity.  My 12 year old daughter Megan ran with me wearing shoes, while I ran it barefoot of course.  It was actually a very warm day (for January) at 54 degrees with heavy rain predicted for soon after the race.  We were able to wear shorts and singlets which is very rare for a race in January!
Checking out the headlamps
 in the daylight befor the race

Megan and I had a blast running in the mud using our headlamps, although I was a little worried about stepping on something in the dark.  It turned out not to be much of an issue at all.  Other than a couple of scrapes on the tops of my feet, mostly from branches or small saplings on the trail, the bottoms of the feet came out just fine.  The rain, however, did come a little early so we got pretty wet in the last half mile.  It just made for more sloppy fun.  I really felt light on my feet and quite frankly enjoyed not dragging a pair of heavy mud-caked shoes around the course like everybody else.    
Muddy Feet with some scrapes

Being barefoot freed me up to bound around the course without having to worry about the mud "sucking" off one of my shoes as I ran.  Afterwards we got to enjoy the post race feed which included several different kinds of chili and other goodies.  This was the first year for the Kokomo Road Runners Night Flight race but I think it might become an annual tradition for us since it was so much fun.  I always like being able to run with one of my kids.  It was also nice to see all of my Club Kokomo buddies and get a race in so early in the year.  The rest of the month has been pretty cold and snowy so the training has been a little on the "light" side.  However, I am doing well in making an effort to get back to a daily routine when possible.  Back in my shod days, I would train 6 days a week, Monday through Saturday, and take Sundays off.  But, for the last year and a half, with barefooting, I have been only training every other day so this has been a big adjustment going back to daily running.    
"Amazing Grace" Wind Chimes

I have also continued to enjoy the daily aspect of training following the passing of my father at the end of last year.  Running is such a great stress relief.  Friends and family have been very supportive through it all.  My Disciple Bible Study class helped tremendously by giving me a sympathy gift of "Amazing Grace" wind chimes which I hung out by our hot tub.  Now as I soak in the hot tub after my barefoot runs, I'm able to reminisce about my Dad as I hear the wind through the chimes.  Hopefully the weather will begin to warm up soon and I can get in a few longer workouts, as I train for a race or two later in the year.  The return of dry pavement will be nice as well.  Still, I do thoroughly enjoy the 4 different barefoot seasons here in Indiana.

Stay Warm Barefooters!

Barefoot Dan

January Mileage = 40 Miles

Week 1 = 0, Week 2 = 6, Week 3 = 15, Week 4 = 5, Week 5 = 14

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