Favorite Pastime - Resting!

Favorite Pastime - Resting!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Barefooter's Winter Mantra: "Numb Feet are Dumb Feet!"

Hello Barefooters,
I hope everyone is surviving this cold weather and staying safe out there on the frozen roads.  Personally, I'm struggling with this weather myself, but did manage to run 19 days this month for about 47 miles.  Two of those runs were indoors on a treadmill while I was on a business trip to Chicago last week.  And of the 17 outdoor runs, only 7 of them were longer than 1 mile.  That's right, 10 of my runs this month were shorter than 1 mile!  I know, it hardly seems worth it to go out and risk frostbite on those cold and snowy days, but it was more for my mental state than my physical state!  There is something about suiting up and braving the elements, even if its for only 0.3 miles just to say that you did SOMETHING for the day.  I just hate putting down a ZERO for the day.  But, on those days when the temperature never got above 10, that's exactly what I did.  Even in this "polar vortex" winter, it seemed that the highs did usually get into the survivable range most days.  On those short days when I was only able to go 0.3 to 1.0 miles I ran straight out of my garage and then back to the Hot Tub afterwards and sat on the edge with my feet in the 101 degree water, usually for the same number of minutes that I had just run.  So if I ran 3 minutes, I would sit with my feet soaking for 3 minutes before I went in to change clothes and then get in the hot tub for real...which is my normal daily routine.  This way, the feet always get the best chance to recover.  It's a real learning experience to know what the feet can withstand, but you need to remember the barefooter's winter mantra:  "Numb Feet are Dumb Feet!"  Even still I did suffer some minor frostbite, which usually turned out to be a like a minor burn which then flaked off the top layer of skin...the problem is that area is then even more tender and susceptible to damage until it gets built back up again...same as if you get a blister and then need to take time to let it heal.

7.5 Mile Barefoot Run in January!
Even still I did get in a 14 mile run on Jan 1st to commemorate 2014 of course!  Then on Jan 13th, on a rare 40degree day, I was able to run 7.5 miles, but after all the time off, ended up getting an overuse blister on the ball of my left foot.  This took some time to heal and toughen back up, but I had lots of easy or ZERO days to rest and heal.  The best advice I can give you is to let your body be your guide and don't take too many unnecessary chances.  The difference between getting in a half mile or a two miler won't be worth it, if you end up with major frostbite or blisters, stress fractures or other overuse injuries due to running on numb feet. I used some of my "off" time to consider how to apply my new skills and decided to sign up for a late Spring marathon.  I signed up for the Colorada Colfax Marathon in Denver Colorado on May 18th.  Colorado is one of those 5 states I need to repeat to get my "50 Sub 4" badge.  The 50Sub4 Club is a club to recognize those who run a marathon in all 50 States in under 4 hours.  So far there are only 52 members who've completed the circuit.  I sort of gave up on it 2 years ago when I got injured prior to the Casper Wyoming Marathon.  Then, I took up barefooting and began to recover, while the speed went out the window.  Now, hopefully the speed has returned enough to try to re-attempt these last 5 states, which are:  CO, WY, NM, FL, and DE (by the way, I already repeated VT, in 2010 although with shoes).  These sub 4 hour marathons without shoes may be difficult but we'll see how it goes.  It's not worth it enough for me to ever put back on shoes, so I'll just HAVE to get faster!

Stay Warm Barefooters!

Barefoot Dan

January Mileage = 46.88 miles

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