Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Running barefoot on obsidian

Freshly paved roads are not only very smooth, they are blacker than older pavement. The asphalt coats the exposed surface of the crushed stone at first and it is black. After use, the exposed parts wear-off the tarry stuff and expose the less dark stone.

We have a lot of fresh pavement in our neighborhood: The city just installed sewer lines and when they finished they repaved all the roads. Also, a new bike path has just gone in nearby and it too is freshly paved.

Another thing about fresh pavement is that it becomes highly reflective when it is wet. It is flatter than old roadbed and there are fewer voids for the water to collect in, so the water can form a flat sheet.

I worked from home today, so I got to run on these roads. It was also raining really hard, so the roads were like big black mirrors. Also, on these at-home days I have made a habit of wearing my 5-fingers. They are more foot-glove than running shoe. You feel like you are barefoot but with extra strong thick skin on the bottom of your foot. Not only are they fun to wear but they make you a stronger runner too.

On a day like this, with normal shoes on a normal road, I think I would have been lucky to turn 8:30 miles. As it was, I was full of enthusiasm and really enjoyed the outing. I ran a little over 4 miles at a 7:26 pace and loved it! Actually, I probably did sub 7 for much of the run since I started out uphill and stiff from sitting at the computer for the first mile.

If all runs were like this, I would either injure myself or become very fast, all in short order.

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