Surface Energy

The first time I truly felt like a runner was the day that I went running in the rain. On that day, going running was more important than what was happening with the weather. Since then, most of the time, I go running despite weather conditions.

The weather the other day was peculiar. Describing it as partly cloudy hardly begins to do it justice. At dinner, a down-pour rain drenched the trees standing in direct sunlight in the front yard. The windows of the house showcased a brilliant blue sky in the short distance while over head was a multitude of cloud layers from shades of dingy grey to snow white. That morning, I had pitched that I would run depending on the weather. It was sort of hard to decide on yes or no when every type of weather was happening at the same time.

The rain was long past by the time I put away my dinner dishes. Yet, the sky had turned permanently grey and rain water laid in pools all over the roads. Bad weather or good weather, it was time to become a barefoot runner that runs on wet roads.

It was truly a unique experience. I can’t be sure if the cold rainwater on the pavement numbed my feet or if the surface energy of the water filling the crevasses pushed back on my feet but those roads felt smoother than a freshly paved baby’s bottom. I ran for miles but never felt the abrasive affects of the pavement.

At first, I was nervous about running through puddles. After all, there must have been tons of hypodermic needles and shards of glass washed into the gutter during the five minute down-pour. The unexpected pleasant feeling of running over water covered roads gave me courage to splash in the puddles. I was fortunate as those puddles were fantastic. With each step, the water reached up and tickled my legs. Even the sound of my foot hitting the water and the water landing back on the ground was relishable. Better yet, two steps after the puddle my feet were as dry as just before going in. From that point on, I hit every puddle along School avenue and marveled that I didn’t come across a single shard of glass while I ran.

As a barefooter, I spend a lot of time considering the surface I run on except I hadn’t considered what it would feel like to run on watery roads. This surface made my legs feel light and energized as though they bounced back with every step. My skin felt protected on the bottom and tickled on the top. I was neither hot nor cold in the fall weather. Therefore, I give the wet road/sidewalk surface a two big toes up endorsement!

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Filed under Barefoot, Lessons learned, running

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