Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Ugly Toes

The official Bloomsday results are in and my time is listed as 1:03:47.

I finished ahead of all men aged 75 and over--except for one--so...yeah...I have that goin' for me.

Now that Bloomsday is over I can concentrate on barefoot running. Geoff, our oldest, suggested I practice strides on grass and check the grass stains to check my foot strike. I tried that out at Riverfront Park yesterday but it didn't work. I probably need a field with denser and longer grass. Between rotted leaves and aerator plugs my feet just got dirty. So I focused on landing on the mid to front of my foot for a while. Front felt better. I also take a shorter and faster stride, keeping my body over my foot as it lands. It's much different than the long strides I'm used to taking and more difficult to do when I'm running up/downhill. After practicing and warming up a bit I took the north-side path to GU and circled back across the bridge and past the condos on the south side of the river alternating between grass and pavement along the way. My soles started to sting after about two miles so I put my shoes on. And went right back to landing on my heels. Landing on the forefoot seems an easy adaptation when I'm barefoot but takes more effort and concentration when I have shoes on. We are creatures of habit.

One surprising thing I noticed is there are muscles in my lower leg that apparently haven't been getting much use. They were fairly tight and sore yesterday and this morning so I gave them a day of rest. The soles of my feet are thickening, but in a different way than I expected. Rather than a rigid layer of calloused skin they're becoming more like soft leather. The family is unanimous in saying they look gross. I don't think they look bad. Besides, it's not like any of them have to rub my feet.

Tomorrow I expect I'll be splashing in the rain. Ought to be fun.


Jacque Hendrix said...


Can I have some toast with that jam?

Spokane Al said...

I was going to suggest that if you just stay consistent, in twenty years or so you will be on the podium. However, I have learned that as I age up, the faster guys in my age group continue to age up as well.

Anyway, nice job - next year will it be barefoot?

Hank Greer said...

No promises as to running barefoot next year. My plan is to see how it goes during the summer.

I think my best chance for getting on the podium is to lie about my age.

janet Parks said...

Your uncle and I saw a few marathon runners last year without shoes in so. calif. when greg ran his marathon. I thought they were crazy. I can't believe you are trying this. Are we really related?? Don't you want to stay in the will??

Hank Greer said...

Keep me laughing, Jacque. It takes my mind off the pain.

Hank Greer said...


Yes, we're related. Um, I'm in the will?