Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Snow on my Footies: Barefoot adventures continue

So it's official. If there was any doubt in your minds before, I will be the first to admit AND clear up that I am pretty much certifiably insane. Admitting I have a problem is always the first step, right?

So Tuesday's adventures...me: longing for the humid perfect bliss of a beachfront run on the sidewalks of Maui, I finally bit the bullet today and trekked out to jog in the snow. I bundled Holden in his snowsuit, hat and blanket (with lovey en tote); put a few strips of duct tape on two renegade socks (no matches to be found in the sock basket) and ventured out into the cold with the jogging stroller (ugh!) for about 20 minutes of non-stop comic relief. At least I was laughing at myself. The neighbors were mostly pointing with quizzical looks on their faces.

And so it begins:

Plod plod plod... (that's the sound of me trying to run, but speedwise, as I've mentioned before, I'm more of a jogger.)

Plod plod plod.

This isn't so bad. My feet aren't even cold.
50 yards later:

Dang it! Stepped in a stream of water on the asphalt...but no worries. My socks are still dr... Wait, socks are soaked through.

Squish squish squish.
Plod Plod Plod.

My feet are as wet as a toddler fighting potty training, and now weighted from the drenched socks covering my feet. But, I think, at least the duct tape is keeping the hard and tempestuous pebbles from bothering me too much.

Plod plod, squish squish.
Forget this!

I rip of my socks and have a go sans socks, just barefoot. It's a little chilly but manageable.
Plod plod, squish squish...plod, plod, plod.

It's barely been 10 minutes and my feet start going numb (did I mention there is snow covering the houses and shrubberies with slush and water all over the asphalt?)

Something inside tells me I'm making an asphalt of myself. Hmm, what's that tingling in my right pinkie toes? I might have to do something about that.

I try to change my thought process. But since my feet are wet, the mini pebbles from the street are sticking to the soles of my feet; so I am now 'pounding the pavement' with little pebbles on either side of impact.
I bet if I were an enlightened yogi I could run barefoot in the snow. They can walk across coals. This can't be that different. I just need to use my mind and the power of positive thinking!

plod plod plod

My thoughts turn to the sidewalks of Maui, remembering running beach side with the scent of salt air mixing with the humidity of my body that proves both warming and cooling...

No wait, that's not so much cooling as ... FREEZING! My feet are freezing!

And I begin to wonder if I can do permanent damage to my ped-phalanges. How long does frost bite actually take to set in?

I pause... give up, try and 'dust off' the little pebbles (not as easy when your feet and the pebbles are wet) and put the cold socks back on. But now the duct tape has lost it's adhesive capabilities, due most to the snow and water. I laugh at my predicament, thinking that I am officially crazy. Who does this?!?!

Plod plod plod... squish squish squish. Squish & plod some more.

Then, like a Spring miracle, as if a higher power is trying to communicate directly with me, the clouds part and the sun shines. (And the details are a little fuzzy, but I think the birds actually started singing the Hallelujah chorus at this part of my run.)

Maybe the running gods are sending me a message! Perhaps I am not certifiably mental after all.

plod plod...plod some more.

The sun feels divine, and I shed a layer. I am a piece of work in cut off gray sweat pants, soaking wet socks with pieces of duct tape hanging on by a thread, and a short sleeve bright red "Marion College" t-shirt I inherited when my volleyball coach was cleaning out IWU's Phys Ed closets.

It feels so nice out here, I skip out on the first turn to take me home and opt for a longer route back. And then the hail comes...


I pull the cover of the jogging stroller over Holden, making sure he's covered and not being pelted by the present from the running gods, who obviously sent this package as a course correction for my misguided thinking.

Seriously, what kind of a nut-job does this?
I put my jacket-like layer back on and take a few more steps.
Squish Squish Squish. Really, it's just too much squishing.

So I shed the socks again, and try out the sidewalk (not as many pebbles). The hail stops in time for my second-to-last hill climb, but the slush on the sidewalk was unavoidable.

"Oh that's cold!" I exclaim out loud to Holden as my toes and heels are covered with what looks and feels like a pina colada slurpee on the pavement. Little Bits doesn't respond. He's bundled and silent, probably contemplating the ridiculous nature of his Mommy.

Can't you just hear him?
"OK Mom, I didn't make a big deal about it when you tried to start potty training me at 6 1/2 months... nor did I cry when you put tangerines in my Easter basket when all the other kids got chocolate and candy. I did not snicker when you made me popsicles out of breast milk. In fact, I even ate the organic birthday cake you baked when I turned one...but this? This is getting ridiculous."

Speaking of ridiculous: you know that tingling sensation people get from running, when the endorphins shoot through their body and they feel a surge of overwhelming shakti energy?

Yeah, I mostly just felt tingling in my toes... right before the cold numbing set in.

We were almost home. One more hill, a right turn a few more strides... on our way to the garage to put away the jogging stroller and then....

Some lady stopped me on the street to ask for directions. GAAAAH!
"Excuse me? Do you know where [this] is?" She looked down at my feet, gave me a puzzled and frazzled look and waited for my response.

I tried to help.

Her 20-something daughter gave me the stink-eye with a look that I could only interpret as 'seriously mom, that chick isn't even wearing shoes... how can she be trusted?!?!'

But I did my best, sent them on their way and finally made it inside...to dry, warm, slippers.

Hope the weather's above 40 degrees tomorrow. Could be a great day for another run!


sarah said...

K Suite- I have always known you were crazy . . . BUT now I beginning to think maybe that lady who stopped you probably shouldn't trust you!! LOL.

You are a hoot. Can't believe you run bare foot. I need more info about this. What are the pro's. My hubby thinks permanent damage will be done (but what does he know?). Hey, if the pounds are shedding, who cares how you run right?

Miss ya like crazy. would do anything to go on a run with you and our babies in the Cove. One day I hope. keep it up.


Lisanne said...

You are crazy! Barefoot and snow, nuts!!

WIKKY said...

All I can say is WOW.... What a woman you are!!! There is only one Sabrena Suite Mangum in the world. There should be so many more to make me smile even bigger than I am right now!!! You are great! Holden is one lucky dude!!!
Keep it up, just without the frostbitten toes!!!

Erin said...

You are hard core my friend. That's why I love you- you are unstoppable! And hilarious. I laughed so hard at this!

So we haven't talked about meeting up in Utah next week... please tell me you'll be around???!!!! I get in to SLC on April 14 and am staying through the 17th. I really want to see you!! Let's talk before I leave and make sure I have all your contact info etc. so we don't miss each other.


Melissa: said...


I used to go without shoes a lot in high school, Sam's friends used to tease me a lot about that. I used to think about the Indians (Native Americans/First Nationers... you know)- and how they had tough feet and could run through the forests and not make a sound... But I never actually went running barefoot, let alone in the SNOW. I always put my running shoes on.

So. Awesome.

Courtney said...

So yesterday I got on the treadmill in just socks because I didn't want to put shoes on..and wow I felt like my calf muscles were on fire... is there some benefit to running without shoes? why do you do it?

mrs. farlanderz said...

oh man your blog is such pure entertainment! I love it!
I don't think you're crazy, I think you are passionate and at times have a taste for a bit o- eccentricity - 2 things I think we have in common.
and let's face it, there is nothing wrong with a little crazy. the best people are completely nuts. the rest of the world just doesn't get how wonderful being a little coocoo can be.

3703 said...

Did you put duct tape on the bottom of the sock? Is there an earlier post that I missed where you explain this?

Where did you figure out this method, please tell me more. It's not like I want to do it though, I just want more information to confirm that I don't want to do it.