Monthly Archives: July 2011

I Needed That

I anticipated that I was going to have a great run…. The jury is in….that run was WAY better than I had anticipated.


Part I – Heat and humidity – It’s difficult to delay a start time when you’ve been anticipating running all day long.  AT 7 pm, I could no longer hope that the heat index would drop to a reasonable level.  Even with the heat, the anticipation put a spring to my step.  It felt like one of those times when I’m playing with the kids in the yard and they are chasing me with water balloons.  I replayed that visual because it was just fun to imagine the boys chasing me over the bridge armed with latex bombs.  In time, I decided that it was wiser to discard the image or I might find myself running home to bombard myself with water balloons just to escape the sweltering conditions.   

Part II – Beast – Oh, yes, I let the beast out.  I ran.  I leaped.  I took turns at dangerous speeds and angles.  I dodged vehicles (not literally, so you can relax).  When I wanted to go faster I just did it.  I laughed in the face of danger (stones and rocks).  I conquered the urban jungle.  I was the monkey, the eagle, and the lion.    

On good thing about not running with a garmin or a watch is that when you perceive yourself as running fast, you get to go on believing that you were.  You can’t take the wind out of your own sails by checking the digital information and discovering that you, actually, were slow.  Without the digital data, I can keep my runner’s high intact.  

Part III – Play Ball –   Recently, The Urban Runner challenged us to climb a tree during our runs.  As I, the beast, entered the park, I began prospecting for my challenge tree.  Howbeit, the prospecting was short-lived. 

Which tree?

This plentiful park hosts our little league baseball fields.  Empty baseball fields flood my mind with childhood memories.   I was lured to the field to relive a particular memory.  Like Fields of Dreams, I entered a different time and place when I passed through the fence opening.

My Field of Dreams

I swaggered up to home plate staring down the pitcher.  (I ignored the real life guy that drove up in the truck looking at me strangely).  I got into my batter’s stance.  The pitch came in to the sweet spot.  I swiftly swung and hit that imaginary ball over the heads of the outfielders.  I took off for 1st as the ball rolled out to the fence.  I headed to 2nd where a glance toward the outfield told me I could make it to third.   I took a wide turn around 3rd and knew I could stretch this baby to a homer.  One hard smack of my foot on home plate brought the team out of the dug out as I cheerfully jogged back.  Illusory high fives were given as a big smile sat upon my face.   

Then I made a loop through the out field.  The other team’s number three batter was up.  I had to be on my toes.  Wasting no time, the fictional batter hit a hard one.  It was high in the air making a long arc over the infield.  I kept my eye on it.  Running. Running.  It was between me and the center fielder.  I locked my visual on it.  Kept. My. Eye… mit out, opened, my feet pounded the grass.  I moved by instinct.  There was no need for thinking.  I stretched further, leaned… then smack.  Two inches from the ground the ball was encapsulated in my mit.  I totally robbed that batter of a spectacular triple hitter.  Who-Ya!

Back to the tree climbing, I put one barefoot on a couple of trees but didn’t feel ready to master them.  Maybe next time.

After a home run and an outfield steal.

Part IV – Walk – No matter how much I intend to run the entire time when I go smiley I walk.  Turns out, I don’t care that I walked a portion of my run.  It still felt good.  I picked my feet back up after a while but only as I felt like it. 

Part V – Pool –  Sweet delightful cool water (89 deg F) after a humid, hot, but utterly delightful run.  I really enjoy swimming in my running gear. 

Five different parts adding up to one heck of a smiley run that went way beyond my expectations.  Boy, did I need that.  I might not even bite anyone’s head off at work today.


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Filed under Barefoot, running, swimming


My mom used to say that getting ready for an event was actually more exciting than the event itself.  That it was the anticipation of the event that made the event.

I am anticipating many events right now.  Maybe that is why I am having trouble thinking clearly.

1. Six Flags Great America

2. Sisters Bash (gathering of all the girls in the family)

3. 20 year High School Reunion

4. Wheatland

5. My next run

Truthfully, 4 out of 5 of these events seem to be so far out into the future that they just don’t seem real. Tonight, though, I will run.  I will run long (or short).  I will run fast (or slow).  It will be scenic and perfect weather (or boring and hot and humid).  I sit at my computer with great anticipation for my evening event.  Not once has the anticipation of a run outdone the run itself.

I hope you can anticipate having as much fun as I am going to have tonight.

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One Run

I feel like I’ve turned my back on a lover.  I feel guilt.  I feel… like I wish the rest of the world would go away so that I could get back to running.  I shouldn’t whine so much and should spend my efforts making the time to go run.  But, really, with heat index of 112, it’s not going to happen this week. 

So, I’ll look back fondly on my one run in the past week and a half.  I’ll think about the tingling of the asphalt.  I’ll remember the expansion of my lungs.  I’ll follow the path of the sweat beads.  I’ll picture all the churches in town.  I’ll make sincere promises to Run, my lover, that I’ll sneak away from the life I’m married to just as soon as the opportunity presents itself. 


A view from one run.


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A Grand Summer Run

Parameters of a Grand Summer Smiley Run
Day: Wednesday
State: Illinois
Temperature: 86 deg F
Time: 7:45 pm – 8:10 pm
Shoes: None
Outfit: so little you’d call it a swim suit
Route: 75 ft circle

You’re asking yourself how a 75 ft circle could be a smiley run. If you aren’t, you should be.

Resistance: 4 ft of water
Water temperature: 92 deg F

So, yes, I was wearing a swimsuit.

I created one heck of a whirl pool for the kids on Wednesday night. I ran hard in the hot pool for at least 20 minutes. It was like a workout I’d never gotten before. My legs ached like I’d run 10 miles when I went to bed. The kids had so much fun playing in the whirlpool current that I smiled every minute of that run.

Who says you have to run on pavement or dirt? Isn’t summer grand?

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Which Way?

Which way should we go?
I wasn’t really worried, just sort of tired of crawling over downed trees and getting scraped by the wild raspberry bushes. It was still early morning with the sun low on the eastern horizon making it easy to know ultimately which direction we needed to go in.

We’d started on the minor trail about a half an hour earlier. Our objective was to assess how much damage the tornado had done to the trees and trail. I was still thinking I’d get a run in around the lake after we made it through the tornado ravaged trail.


Another 15 minutes later, we had no idea how to get back to the trail. I searched in one direction while my husband went in the other direction. Neither one of us getting out of sight of the other. In the end, we only traversed about a tenth of the trail and found ourselves back where we started from trying to circle around the piles of downed trees. Being back on the main trail took away any ambition to assess further. That trail is closed, possibly forever.

At that point, I was thinking I’d gotten a pretty good workout climbing and balancing on branches and bouncing trunks. I wanted to run some but a trip around the lake was far from an option.

Which way to go now?

I’d had enough of wooded trails for the day. Although I would expose my barefooted self to plenty by running through the camp, it was all I wanted to do. I started up the boardwalk in my bare feet and smiled at the freedom to move unrestricted again.

That night, the camp boss, Andy, family friend and hubby’s boss (although hubs is mostly a volunteer), was the only one to notice/ask.

Do you always run barefoot?
Yes. I do.
Wow. I couldn’t do that.

My brother-in-law quipped in with, “I couldn’t run with shoes on!”

You know, I’ve never thought I couldn’t run. I’ve never thought I couldn’t run barefoot. Maybe that’s why I can because I think I can.

Hundreds of trees destroyed in a tornado, 1 humid barefoot run on a boardwalk, sand, gravel, and pavement, 1 short barefoot conversation, and 1 person who has found her way.

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Filed under Barefoot, Michigan, running

Toe Ring

Sure, the day wasn’t anything like we had imagined.

Sun, sand, swimming… was what we imagined.

Instead… Rain, lightening, shopping…

But, we had fun!

When I was 17, I bought a toe ring. I wore it for about 10 years before it fell apart one day. I was older and didn’t feel a need to replace it. I had kids and all.

Since it was raining today, we ditched the beach and headed into town to shop and eat. My husband said he just felt like buying something. The mood was starting to infect me also.

The first shop we stopped into was a typical souvenir, tourist shop. However, the foot shaped jewelry display in the case caught my eye. I thought fondly of my young years wearing a toe ring. Suddenly, I felt a tingle as I decided that I would buy something, a toe ring. After all, I’m a barefoot runner. I feel the urge to celebrate and display the engineering marvel called my feet. A bit of jewelry seemed to make perfect sense.

I scanned the rings to find MY design. Quickly, I located the etching of a hand and foot print. I pretended to look over all the other designs but I knew that the footprint ring was already mine.

You can’t see the etching in the picture. It’s neither here nor there because the ring is for me and I know the etching is there.


Just above my foot to the right, you can see K-man diving through the water.


Filed under Barefoot, Michigan, personality flaws, travel