18 September 2011

Naked Feet

I’ve been enjoying Vibram runs on the regular. I find my feet feel lighter, my form is vastly improved, and it requires less socks to wash. Okay, the last part is not why I wear them, but I like wearing them.

During the Burning Man 50k, I had a pair of old sneakers I was running in. At Burning Man, I generally wear a pair of sneakers that I was planning on tossing near the end of its life, and after running all week, throw them out. I planned on doing that with these shoes…until mile 12.

The shoes felt tight, and it felt like a massive blister was forming on my big toe. I wasn’t sure if there actually was one (You know how you never can tell?) but when I started altering my toe, I decided something had to be done.

I removed both my shoes and continued running in socks.

The playa surface is rather soft, most of the time, so except for two sections in Deep Playa, I was great. It felt heaps better than running in those wretched shoes (which, for the record, are in a landfill somewhere near my friend’s mom’s house in Santa Cruz where we left our garbage), though the blister slightly hurt. When I finished, I removed the sock and saw an incredibly massive and disgusting blister close to the size of my small toe attached to my big toe. Ow.  (This required the medical tent and a patient boyfriend who helped me clean and wrap it all week.)

But I ended up running about 17 or 18 miles in just socks. After, I was completely fine (except the extra toe…), no intense calf pain. I realized my Vibram runs of 11 miles this summer really helped. Basically, most runs under 10 miles or 11 miles, I’d run in Vibrams. My lunchtime runs I ran in Vibrams. This all helped prepare me to run more than half of an ultramarathon in just socks – and to have a blast while doing so.

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