I'm still running barefoot, but I can only comfortably manage two runs a week without shoes: one 2.5 and one 5k. My callouses are thick but they don't seem to be getting any thicker. It's like I wear them down as fast as they grow which does seem to make sense given the rough asphalt on the Centennial Trail from Riverfront Park to Mission Park.
However, I have a theory. I think that since I wear shoes during the day--you know, one of those silly work requirements--the heat and moisture trapped there keeps the callouses soft so that when I run at lunchtime the softer tissue wears away faster than normal.
Yep, I thunk that up all my myself. That's genius with a hard "g".
So I'm putting my theory to the test. Come Monday I am gone for three weeks. I have a conference in Arizona next week, a conference in Washington, D.C., the next, and then a backpacking trip the third week. For the next two weeks I can get away with wearing sandals. That will allow me to keep my soles drier and presumably tougher. I'll let you know how that works for me. During the backpacking trip the terrain will determine whether I'm barefoot, wearing sandals or wearing boots. I'll play that by ear. My brother, John, already told me that he's not carrying my sorry ass if I hurt myself by doing something stupid like walking barefoot in the mountains. Brotherly love in response to brotherly insanity.
See that dark line on my right big toe? That's a splinter from one of the wooden bridges in Riverfront Park. I also had one in the ball of my foot but it finally worked its way out. I was going to dig them out but stopped. They didn't hurt and digging into the thick skin would just expose tender skin. So I left them to come out on their own with time. It's been an interesting summer.