First, I am self conscious. I hope when I am out running in my bare feet or socks that no one notices. I know this is bad. I know that I shouldn't care and really I don't or I wouldn't be even doing it. But when people DO notice, I'm not sure how to respond to their questions without getting into an hour long conversation. Then there's the city worker that sees me running barefoot and looks at me like I'm stupid and asks, "Aren't your feet cold?!" What I want to say is, "more than you know buddy! It's 32 degrees out here and my toes are going numb and any second now I'm going to stop and put my socks on for a minute to warm back up." But no. I don't want to appear stupid or anything so I simply say, "they're not too bad. They really warm up after a while. As long as I keep moving." Lies.
So now, number two: I've turned into a liar as well. Like when people ask me if it hurts. I want to say, "YES! My feet sometimes feel like they are raw. And when I stepped on that rock that I didn't see, oh man. That was pain! And the different types of ashpalt... there are more painful kinds than others." But no. Instead I say, "When I build up the mileage slowly it doesn't hurt. You get used to it." And it's mostly true.
Number three: I am a wuss. Since the temperatures were in the teens I didn't even attempt barefoot or sock running. But after reading a few hard core barefooting blogs, I decided to give it a shot. I overdressed so the excess heat would head down to escape out my feet. I checked the weather. 32 degrees. I decided to wear socks. It had been 2 weeks after all since I had been barefoot. I headed out. It was slightly snowing. The ground was wet with puddles. I passed the bus stop where two of my children were waiting. One called me crazy and I wondered what he thought about his friends seeing his mom out in socks in this weather. About 1/2 a mile in I started to question my own sanity. My socks were completely soaked and were sloshing with each step. My feet were feeling raw already. But I continued. At about the mile point I was almost in tears. My feet were very cold. The raw feeling was going away as was all the feeling in my feet. I contemplated calling a friend to come pick me up. I started hoping for someone I knew to pass me and take me home. But even if someone did pass me, they'd never stop and offer me a ride. I stopped for a minute to walk. That did not help and I knew it would only make getting home take longer. So I pressed on. I thought my feet were starting to warm up but I was mistaken. I think they were just getting to a more numb point. The snow started to turn to bits of hail. As it stung my face I thought to myself, "perfect, that completes the experience." I started counting the blocks until home. I dreaded looking at my feet for fear of blisters. And once I finally made it through the door, I let the tears eek out. Not only was I in pain, I was disappointed. I was a wuss. I changed socks, put on my Newtons and headed back out to complete the 2 1/2 mile loop again. My feet had started to sting in the house and I knew that once they fully warmed up it was going to hurt.
After I got home the 2nd time and examined my feet, I was surprised to find 0 blisters. They just felt horrible. The stinging did come and baby, it wasn't pleasant to warm those little toesies up again. In looking at all three of my issues, I think they could be boiled down into one. I have some serious pride. I don't want to look stupid, weird, bad, or call for a ride home even though I'm in major pain. I've got some things to work on personally as well as physically.
So, I think my barefoot days are over again until spring. Maybe if it was dry it would have been better. Maybe if we get a nice warm spell I could try it again. But for now, I'll stick with the Evo's or Newtons. I wonder how water socks would do in the wet and snow. Any advice?
Oh and before I forget... because I already did once.... I found a great way to make a blue slushy. Just take a water bottle, fill it with blue Powerade, go for a nice long run in 12 degree weather, and presto! You have a blue slushy! This really happened last week. CRAZY, huh!