"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible." ~ T. E. Lawrence
I’m convinced that my feet are long dead. After all of the 4″ heels that I’ve propped them up on, all the rock shoes I’ve crammed them into, and all the hiking shoes that have made callouses thicker than rawhide – yes my feet have long since died and gone to purgatory. I’m not sure what they did wrong but this weekend those poor feet of mine slipped into the 5th circle of hell. My feet are very angry at me, they’re paying for it and so am I…
Saturday morning I met up with some girlfriends to run the local Haggen 2 Haggen 5K! This was the 19th running of this event. It starts at a local chain grocery store at the south end of Bellingham, runs through the downtown area and ends at another location for this same grocery chain. There must have been around 1,500 participants this year with walkers starting a half hour before the runners. I just wish it didn’t start so darn early in the morning! Okay, maybe it’s not that early. But I don’t think it’s any secret that I’m not a morning person and had it not been for the motivation of going running with friends, I may not have swung my doomed feet out of bed that morning.
Barefoot shoes are great! If you like to run trails in the summer they are dream come true! Super lightweight, decent traction, ultra breathable, and allow your feet to build muscle and run as nature intended. I’m a fan. But barefoot shoes are best eased into, a key point that I neglected to recall on my beautiful Saturday run… It’s been so cold in these parts that I put my barefoot shoes away in October and my toes haven’t heard tell of them since. So when I busted them out of the ol’ closet on Saturday I probably should have done some walking in them before taking them out for a 5k.
Us girls met up bright and early, shivering in the chill morning air, looking at the clouds overhead and hoping the skies wouldn’t open the floodgates on us. We waited with hundreds of others near the finish line, getting anxious when our cellphones declared that we should have started minutes ago. But soon enough the crowd ahead started to shuffle forward, then to walk, and finally to break into a steady jog. The uber-runners streaked past on the outside like greased lightning while the rest of us huffed our way up and down the steady hills.
Traffic downtown was at a standstill, for us! I don’t know why, but a part of me loves doing these races downtown when the streets get closed down. Running along a car lane and “owning” the road like that is a bit of an ego rush, I suppose. Normally I’m trying NOT to get run over when I run or ride my bike. But this time, the runners ruled the road! I’ve been that car waiting for the runners to go by too, so I know there are two sides of it – I just like being on the side that gets road rights.
By this time my left foot felt like it was being poked with needles, centralized but multiple needles. There had been some tiny pebbles in my shoe apparently, I felt them during the first mile but thought it was a small thing and I didn’t want to have my friends wait for me if I could tough it out. So I ran. And I ran. And the needle sensation increased with each footfall. During the last half mile of the race I finally gave in and stopped to clean out my shoe. And there it was, the beginnings of a not so lovely blister. Back on the shoe went and we pounded into the home stretch with everything we had left in us. A great run wrapped up!
Back home and hobbling around, I decided to figure out just why a little blister could have my foot so angry with me. Under the main blister I discovered 4 mini blisters, each no bigger than the head of a pin. It’s day two of recovery and my foot is still vengeful of how I mistreated it. I’ll be gimping around for another few days, including the hike that I’m supposed to do tomorrow with a friend. The moral of the story, children, is this: be kind to your feet and they will be kind to you. Oh, and run lots with friends because it’s way more fun!