A sudden family medical emergency knocked me out of the New York City marathon last November. In this New York Times blog post today, I explain what happened and why, instead of targetting another marathon, I’m headed into the Maryland woods tomorrow for the HAT Run. And for some eerie reason, I’ll once again have a barefoot brainiac on hand. I was going to run New York with Dr. Daniel Lieberman, Harvard’s “Barefoot Professor,” and for HAT, I’ll be accompanied by Dr. Peter Larson, the who’s done such great work on his excellent Runblogger site. And to clarify: by “accompanied” i mean, “hope to see him before he dusts me.” Just look at this guy. He literally is a poster boy for silky smooth style:
Naturally, Peter and I quizzed each other about what we’ll be wearing. I was all set to go with a new minimalist shoe that’s just come out, but after running a practice 14 miler on the race course, I couldn’t wait to get them off my feet. Too stiff, too slidey-into-the-toebox. Surprisingly, I’ve found that the most comfortable trail shoe I’ve yet to come across (and believe me, I can’t believe I’m writing this) is none other than Barefoot Ted’s huaraches. BFT gave me a pair right before I paced him at Leadville last year. I had zero intention of actually wearing them, but just to be polite, I slipped them on for a little test run. They felt so light and flexible and secure, I never took them off for all 4 hours on the dark Colorado trails. Once I got home, I tossed them in a corner and forgot about them… until the new shoes cramped my toes and I remembered how sensational the huaraches felt. I’ve done just about all my runs in them for the past 2 weeks and I think I’ve got the lacing figured out. That’s the challenge of huaraches, but also one of their great satisfactions: they’re cut specifically for your feet, and how you lash them on is a personal choice you make from dozens of possibilities and experiments. When you get them just right, they’re truly yours.