Sub 7

I thought it would be cool to wear my Nike Free shoes barefoot when Sue and I ran in Hamilton on Saturday.  The hot sun certainly called for shorts; bare feet seemed to be the next step.  But barefoot in a shoe is not quite the same as barefoot not in a shoe.  After our speedy and sweaty 8 miles, I hopped in the shower and yelped out loud.   Excruciating pain shot through my left foot from the underside of the smallest toe.  Doing my best to keep my balance on one leg in my old, slippery porcelain bathtub, I lifted the foot, turned it upside-down, and examined the toe.  I discovered a round, red, fat, burst blister.  It was only about the size of a pencil eraser, but felt as big as the Grand Canyon.  I stood there whimpering like a puppy until the exposed skin adjusted to the hot soapy water.   The pain subsided a bit; I hobbled out of the shower, dried off and dressed my feet carefully in soft, soft socks and the widest shoes I own.

Sunday was a bust for running; I had not packed running clothes to take to my parents’ house.  I knew I would not have time to run, even though it is such a wonderful stress reliever for me.  I thought Monday might work, but the early rain put me off.  Instead, I hiked in Dogtown with my friends Jane and Judy a little later in the morning.  We followed narrow and twisted paths through the woods, fording streams and enduring some serious drizzle for almost three hours. The toe was fine.  Roomy hiking boots and soft SmartWool socks protected the tender spot.  Tuesday morning presented with heavy rain, so I opted for the crazy workout I wrote about in the piece Intense and Flavorful.

Wednesday morning I did the Mom shuffle, then tied my sneakers, put on music, and headed out the door.  I ran about two blocks and realized I was not quite ready to run— the toe was already throbbing, and to be honest, my butt was killing me from the P90X workout I did on Tuesday.  I turned off the Nike+iPod and walked back home.  I was looking forward to a nice long visit with my friend Judy from Newton.  She came just as I had finished setting up for our lunch.  We drank a cup of tea, then walked my 6.8 mile running route, thus I have managed to get my exercise all week despite the toe.  It’s just that I want to run!

This morning I wrapped a soft Band aid around the toe.  I slipped into medium-weight wool socks, my tights, a couple of top layers, and tied on the Nike Frees.  I headed out with low expectations.  Even so, I started off fast.  The toe was not painful.   The air was spicy and fragrant with earthy spring smells of mulch, flowers, and moist soil.  I kept up the speed, deciding to go for the medium loop.  I knew I could slow down or walk back if necessary, but my body was practically singing out loud with joy with each step I took.  My ankles, knees and hips felt springy, the muscles in my legs flexed elastic and strong.   My lungs filled over and over with the morning air, and my mind melted into the pure pleasure of fluid motion.

I ran 5.7 miles and set a new personal record for mile speed.  I am proud to say I clocked a sub-7 minute mile.  Just by a breath, it’s true; nonetheless, it is far more than I expected.  My average speed for the run was 7’34” min/mi.  After four days of not running, today was like coming home.

Explore posts in the same categories: Run notes that run into life, Training

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