Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Squishing mud 'tween the toes

I had to return some rental skis that my kids used to the MWSC at Pineland so I used the opportunity to run the trails. The trails are drying out nicely and there is, effectively, no snow. Twin Brook last night had much more snow.

The goal today was to do everything but Oak Hill, starting from the Visitor's center, then campus loop, River Valley, Valley Farm, back to River Valley, and back to the Visitor's center. Everything felt great until about 4.75 mi in, at the bottom of the River Valley loop, I thought I had sand rubbing between my big toe and it's neighbor toe. It wasn't sand but fresh tissue from a blister that I must have given myself last night at Twin Brook running with wet socks in shoes with too tight of a toe box (inov-8 mudroc 280). Other than once when I ran with no socks, I have *never* had a blister, and I praise Wright Socks for this history. Long story short, in the span of two minutes I went from cutting my run short and skipping the River Valley loop, to walking, to walking with bare feet, to running with bare feet.

Running on the trails with bare feet felt great, especially the cold wet mud oozing past the blister. I stayed on the River trail at the yurt, expecting to just cut the run short, but then I crossed a few sections with loose gravel so decided to exit the trail into the fields. The first 1/4 mile was open field - no trails and running on the grass felt great. So I decided to stay in the fields and I cut back down toward the yurt to do the "Field loop". Every so often, a turgid blade of grass would spear the tender, fresh blistered skin, which didn't feel so great! I stayed in the fields on the way back to the Visitor's Center, or the side of the road when I got back to the campus (the road had a lot of loose gravel too). In the end, I got in about 1 mile less than I wanted; 7.5 miles total with the last 2.5+ miles barefoot.

I often close my runs at Community Park in Falmouth with 1 mile at a fast pace on the soccer fields, which helps to build foot strength. So today was an unexpected foot strength session, but not quite as pleasurable as running on a Falmouth soccer field barefoot (yes, we have *really* nice fields).


  1. I hadn't thought of running barefoot to change things up a bit and enjoy that free feeling....I think I will try it. I did try it once on the beach but agrivated the archilles because of the soft sand and no pushoff.

  2. running barefoot is great for the mind and body (see all of Chuck H.'s posts) but do *very* short runs at the start because you will strain your running muscles different from what they are used to (e.g. increased stretch of the calf muscles and achilles tendon).