Monday, May 9, 2011

Rusty Nails, Glass, and Thorns

Barefoot runners always hear people warn them about stepping on rusty nails...or glass...or thorns.  I run mostly on trails so there aren't many opportunities for nails, rusty or clean.  Glass is not a major threat either.  There are lots of thorns on my local trails...I've already had three poke through my shoes and into my foot!  These are long thorns--more than an inch--and they are sharp!  Here is an example of one that got me during the 7-Day Stage Race in 2009.

We have eyes for a reason and as long as we pay attention to our surroundings, barefoot running is pretty darn safe.  If I see a piece of glass, I step around it.  Same goes for nails, or dog crap, or thorns...if I see them.  Saturday I was running barefoot and stepped on a thorn.  It wasn't a super long one, but it stuck in the ball of my foot and hurt enough to make me immediately stop and look at my sole.  There it was, stuck right in the pad under my second metatarsal.  I pulled it out and cut my run short.  At home, I washed up the area, poured some hydrogen peroxide over the foot, then swabbed the area with anti-bacterial ointment and covered it up.  It hurt a bit yesterday, but seems fine today.  I ran both days...with shoes.  No need to be reckless.  Point is, it's OK.  I stepped on a thorn, pulled it out, and I'm OK.

This guy took a video of himself jumping on glass barefoot.  Lots of rocks, gravel, and glass...and he was fine.  I'd like to work my way up to that level of "fitness"--or is it stupidity?  Anyway, the 1-minute video is interesting. The human foot is amazing.

PS:  What hurt more than the thorn this weekend was ManU defeating Chelsea in the English Premier League.  Looks like the Red Devils will reclaim the EPL crown.  Chelsea had a good season...and they'll be back strong next year. Like the thorn, it hurts, but you move on.

4 comments:

Jess said...

Ouch ouch ouch! You're a stronger soul than I...and I'm ok with that!

Janice said...

People always ask me 'what about glass?' I find I have a good scanning pattern and pay attention to the surface I'm on. It makes running more interesting. So far I've been luck and have avoided glass:)

Ian said...

Dare I make a comment on the PS!!!

Chris said...

@Jess
The pain was temporary, the story will live forever!

@Janice
That's why we have eyes. Best we use them to see where we are stepping. Running is more interesting, and tunes us into our environment, when we are sensitive to our surroundings.

@Ian
No comments needed. ManU ruled the day. Poor Chelsea.