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Blue skies and bloody trails

November 22, 2014

This morning’s run near Irvine Park started out so well . . . a crisp (So Cal crisp: 60 degrees F) fall morning, lovely trails through coastal-sage-scrub-covered hills, so many plants sprouting back into growth in response to the brief rain a couple of weeks ago.

My body was humming along, running smooth and strong (and slow, but still fun). My mind hummed as well, considering all kinds of ways to respond to the latest though-provoking post by fabulous Chris at Barefoot Beginner: list why you run . . . then . . . think about why these reasons matter. (Similar to the “so what” factor we discuss in Creative Nonfiction class all semester.)

Cruising up and down the Barham Ranch ridge trails, I was making all kinds of connections between barefoot running and nature writing and learning to play ukulele late in life . . . the sort of thoughts that seem so profound as they float along next to your smooth-moving bare feet. And then . . .

But first, let’s pause to appreciate the day thus far:

Mallow sprouting after fall rain.

Mallow sprouting after fall rain.

Lemonade berry about to bloom.

Lemonade berry about to bloom.

Black sage greening up again after a long summer of brown dormancy.

Black sage greening up again after a long summer of brown dormancy.

Darkling beetle feasting on coyote scat (full of toyon berries).

An early Thanksgiving feast for Darkling Beetle feasting on coyote scat (full of toyon berries).

Someone had set this bottle next to the trail; it reminded me of Wallace Stevens' poem "Anecdote of the Jar."

An unnaturally emerald bottle next to the trail–which got me pondering its relation to the  Wallace Stevens’ poem “Anecdote of the Jar.”

I love my Nathan hydration vest's capacity for taking trash from trail to can.

(I love my Nathan hydration vest’s capacity for taking trash from trail to can.)

An altogether lovely day, lovely run, lovely, lovely, lovely . . . and then . . .

An altogether lovely day, lovely run, lovely, lovely, lovely . . . and then . . .

A rock friend looking for a friendly "hello."

A rock friend in the trail greeted me with a silent “hello.”

But I was a bit too busy in my head, and stubbed the crud out of my foot.

But I was a bit too busy in my head, and stubbed the crud out of my foot.

One person's bloody mess is another's (my) photo op. The red was so brilliant . . .

One person’s bloody mess is another’s (my) photo op. The red was so brilliant . . .

. . . so brilliant, so profuse . . . so painful . . .

. . . so brilliant, so profuse . . . so painful . . .

My Wilderness First Responder training kicked in (actually, it was already goin' . . . I'd packed my running pack with extra water, tape, and a knife).

My Wilderness First Responder training kicked in (actually, it was already goin’ . . . we were taught to hit the trails prepared, so in my hydration pack was extra water, tape, and a knife).

I irrigated the wound (OUCH), then used my bandana (only slightly contaminated from my allergic schnoz) and stretchy kinesio tape and made a bandaged.

I irrigated the wound (OUCH), then used my bandana (only slightly contaminated from my allergic schnoz) and stretchy kinesio tape and made a bandage.

In the 1.5 miles it took to slowly jog back to the car, the tape lost its adhesiveness (of course, my shoddy bandage job might have been to blame as well).

In the 1.5 miles it took to slowly jog back to the car, the tape lost its adhesiveness (of course, my pain-crazed bandage job might have been to blame as well).

Made it home, using my big toe instead of my forefoot on the gas/brake pedals.

Soaked the sore foot a while, then cleaned it some more (OUCH).

Covered the owie with a sock and shoe (sigh).

And spent three hours in my community garden. Hobbling, but able to dig and rake still.

Now to wait till it heals and I can hit the trails again . . . I hope not too long . . . one thing that continues to amaze me about my barefoot-strong feet is how their excellent circulation helps them heal super fast.

Bare toes and sunset(And yes, my tetanus is up to date.)

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Joe permalink
    December 2, 2014 5:38 pm

    Ouch. Hope you are healed up by now. I most always carry a small first aid kit and sandals when hiking barefoot. They came in handy once when I got a deep cut on a sharp rock.

    Anyway – it’s finally raining in SoCal!!
    Hope you will you be posting a muddy barefoot hike video soon!
    joe4702

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