McNamara and I went out for a six-mile run today over lunch. The weather was beautiful and sunny. (This was a simpler time, before the fabled DC Quake of 2011.) I’ve been completely barefoot for well over a year now — and I have to be for the next year since I’m participating in the University of Delaware barefoot running study.
About five miles in we came across a driveway that had just been repaired with asphalt and tar. There were no cones up or tape preventing us from running across the driveway. And, to be honest, we were so engrossed in conversation that we didn’t pay much attention.
Unfortunately for me, the tar was still quite hot and, as we ran across it, big chunks of asphalt and tar stuck to my feet. I got the asphalt off soon after, but some of the tar stayed on. It wasn’t too painful, but I’ll be honest, it was less than ideal. And even after much scrubbing in the shower, the evidence of my foolishness is plain to see:
The moral of the story is twofold: When you’re running barefoot, pay close attention to where you’re about to step! And second, after all the hundreds of miles I’ve logged sans shoes, I’ve never been injured. Sure, I’ve done dumb stuff (like run across hot tar), but I’ve never been sidelined — and my feet feel better than ever. Back in the ol’ thick-soled shoes days, I’d hurt my knees on occasion and once blew out my IT band. Running barefoot makes you strong. Just pay attention!