Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Second Run this Week

I decided to go out again today. It was cooler, 39 F (3.8 C) but no wind or rain to contend with. I intended to run one of my favorite routes along the waterfront in downtown Portland, Oregon. Usually I just run one loop, which is 4 miles. This time I felt really good so I added an extra loop, winding up through the streets in the business districts. My total distance on this run was 6.2 miles. I got lots of stares. The only comment I heard was from another runner. He called out, “Hey Abebe Akila! Ghetto style!”

I get some serious inquiries about barefoot running sometimes, so I made some business-sized cards that I carry with me. Once in a while I hand one out if someone seems interested in knowing more. My cards say “Barefoot Running” with a pic of some bare footprints, my name, and the words “Natural! Fun! Healthy! Strong!” I was going to give one to the “Abebe Akila” guy, but it would have taken too long to dig one out of the plastic bag with my gloved hands.

I noticed that I could handle some gravelly sections quite well by making sure I placed my feet straight down gently with no lateral force. My ability to handle the rough stuff may have been helped by a dietary experiment I have been doing. Someone suggested adding ground flax seeds to my diet for the good oils they contain. I have been trying this for the past 3 days and I believe it makes a difference. The skin on my feet seems to be more supple without losing any toughness. The skin seems to mold itself around bumps and lumps better with less pain.

Happily running barefoot in the great Northwest!

Vancouver, Washington

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