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Barefoot in Mexico

March 30, 2009

cabo-3-29-09-006Gritty sidewalk

Cabos San Lucas running barefoot 3-30-2009

It is great to be in some warmer weather for a change of pace. The Sun was just peeking up and the waves crashing into the beach was lure enough to get me out of bed after a long travel day yesterday. It just feels like one should be up early running around playing and I can lay around later after I take care of the body and mind.

All of the different surfaces here are really quite the experience for the feet. I have no clue where to run or what to expect, but I have gained confidence that I can move over just about any surface that I could face. This is a good thing because running here would take all the skills I had.

I started off the run on the beach in front and did not last too long. The sand is ankle deep and very course with chunks of coral. The sand felt really good massaging the arches of my feet and is a great way to give the bottoms a quick exfoliation. The sand is good for a change but I think it does little for working on the running form. So, I headed up to the stairs which had some nice running sections between flights. I was still right by the beach and the texture was like 80 grit sandpaper. I ran up and down and up and down doing some sprints while alternating form work in. After about 20 minutes I transitioned back to the beach and finished with more sprints on the grass. There is nothing like grass after working on very tough surfaces. Pure joy describes it and you go from Volkswagen to Ferrari with the increased speed and comfort.

Patti and I went back to the villa and had just missed Judi out for a walk. We took off out the door and tried to catch up. I wanted some more barefoot running and I got it. Out to the main road and the asphalt is best described as…rocks. This stuff is mean and it tested me to my limits. Trying to land softly is a must and I was quite surprised I could run on this stuff. This was by far some of the most challenging terrain I have encountered for asphalt. You could call it chip seal, but chip seal is chips and this stuff was small rocks. Running on the crushed rock trail at home still has it beat because of how sharp the rocks are. Enough of my whining, on we went as I danced the dance looking for the smooth spots and running in the gutter was pretty good at least it was smoother.

As you could guess running in the gutter is probably not that safe and you would be right. I keep a close eye on the road when cruising along and sometimes the pokies are just too small to see. I was greeted with what felt like a sharp rock and that is normal for barefoot. I just keep going and it will drop off in a couple of steps, but this was not the case this time it kept hanging on. Just like a flat tire on the freeway during rush hour, you don’t want to pull over and stop, but you know if you don’t you might end up on the five o’clock news in flames saying, “I don’t know what happened it just burst into flames!” Yeah right buddy here’s your ticket for being a moron. So, I pulled over and put my foot up on the jack and gave it a look. Hmmm, not good, not good at all this is a first. I had stepped on a small little spring that was broken and of course the pointy end was stuck in the ball of my foot. “Shit!” I thought of all the countries to step on a piece of nasty steel well, let’s try and pull it out. I seemed like it was corkscrewed into my foot so I worked on it a while and it finally let go with fight. I was not sure that it did not just break off and there was a little blood to add to the sinking feeling. Poke, poke, prod, squish, hmmm it feels like I got it. Oh well, no more pain and I’ll be dammed if I’m heading for the ER here I would probably have to bargain for my services, I’ll take my chances and see how it goes on with the show.

We never did catch Judi and my feet were telling me time for a siesta gringo, so we headed back to the villa. The injury never really bothered me and the run was a great learning experience and reinforcement to the progression of the feet and form. I covered terrain that was a challenge and the looks I got from the locals were priceless. “What happened to your shoes amigo?” I just smiled and said, “I had to sell them to get to Mexico.” “Really, would you like to buy some new ones?” I must be loco, but what the hell, I’m having fun running in the spring stepping on springs in Baja. Adios amigos!

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