Friday, May 26, 2006

Roughing It

I ran yesterday along a new route, about 5 miles, across the bridge connecting Washington State and Oregon. The surface was mostly rough with some stretches of really rough. We have cement sidewalks here in the Northwest with a corrugated pattern etched in, probably to help friction when the slime and mold grow. The corrugated edges are usually very rough and sharp.

I ran over them by really focusing on my form, being careful not to reach my feet out too far in front, and relaxing-relaxing-relaxing. It worked! Surfaces that used to slow me down and make me walk were manageable and I didn't have to stop at all.

The highlight of my run came when I passed a lady escorting two blind people, teaching them how to maneuver in a downtown city setting. She saw me and yelled, "ARE YOU CRAZY???" She was pretty upset for some reason. I guess working with the blind makes you very concerned about hazards, and going barefoot was out of reach of her acceptance levels. I replied to her, with a big smile, "Nope! I'm happy!"

A bike rider saw me running across the bridge that connects Washington and Oregon. He asked me if I swam the river and was running back. That would justify my bare feet, I suppose. I told him, Nope, I'm just running!


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