Friday, March 4, 2011

Why walking on goat head thorns are not good for you.

Last week I decided to strengthen my feet by walking barefoot on gravel.  It's supposed to be good for loosening tight and scar tissue damaged muscles.  I live near a major rail road track crossing in the Bay Area.  Rail road track areas always have a lot of gravel and rocks on each side.

When I arrived at the rail road tracks, I shucked my shoes and started walking.  I lasted 2 or 3 steps and quickly hopped back to the road.  I stepped on a goat head thorn.  These things are nasty.  There are tiny ball bearing sized round thorns with a bunch of sharp needle like thorns sticking out.  They are hell on bicycle tires.  My kids and I get flat tires like clockwork every time we come near a goat head.  I was fortunate that the goat head did not puncture my  foot.

I cannot figure out why God made goat heads & poisonous snakes.  I have been tormented by goat heads for years.  They stick to the bottom of running shoes and make a clicking noise on the pavement while I run.

After leaving the goat head infested gravel, I remained barefoot and started running on the road.  The longest that I have ever run barefoot is about 3 minutes.  My feet have become very tough on the bottom as I have been running in huarache sandals for the past month.  I ran for another 25 minutes and it really felt good.

Yesterday, I grabbed my huarache sandals and carried them in hands while I ran around the neighborhood barefoot.  I was mindful again of the goat heads.  I stay clear of the rail road track area.

What I find so interesting is that I feel like there is less chance of getting any injuries because one has to run light footed.  My strides is about half of what it used to be-but much quicker! 

I feel like a sneaky cat while I am running unshod.  I have scared a few people because they do not hear me coming.  I have to be extra careful because them goat head thorns blow off peoples lawns onto the road.

This barefoot running this was sort of an accident. I was getting tired of running in shoes that weighed close to 1 lb each and a  friend asked if I ever heard of Vibram 5 Fingers.  Nope, never heard of 'em.   I looked online and found out that former Olympic marathoner, Mark Sisson wears them.  I bought some and then rest is history.

My biggest fear about running shoeless are goat heads and glass.

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