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As I was running along the tow path last week, there was a funny feeling in my right foot. Not really funny more like sharp localized pain. Nothing to really stop for but as the run continued I felt that sharp pain agian. It felt like a duck had reached out and put a boulder in my shoe. I could only imagine the size of this thing poking around in my shoe trying to find a way through my sweat soaked double layered anti-blister socks. The problem was that a rock of that considerable size may not need to make it all the way through both layers it could do the damage before the socks are torn to shreds. But all of a sudden the boulder is gone. It must have made its way to my imaginary over arched arches. I can run along.
Later on I notice that not only is the boulder gone it has been joined by its bigger and sharper cousin and maybe a couple little brothers. I may say little now but by the feeling I have at impact they are just a fraction of an astronomical unit smaller.
This is about the time that I remind everybody that the Tow Path is crushed limestone. This is one of the most fantastic surfaces I have ever run (or biked) on and will never remove it from my planned routes. The problem with the crushed limestone is there are lots of rocks.
Eitherway, I have found that every stride is becoming hindered by having to climb a set of boulders upon impact. Now comes the worst part. I will have to stop at one of the many benches along the tow path and removed the shoe to get these geological phenomenon out. If you have noted in previous entries there has been nothing but bad luck with removing a shoe mid-run and trying to get it tied/fit right for the rest of the jog. It never quite feel like the other shoe and can make an otherwise great run into a mediocre or even bad run. But the fates are on my side. The left shoe has rased the boulder detection alarm. I am in luck this excavation will take place with some symmetry. I will have to take both shoes off for the needed relief.
I find the bench (thanks park planners) and have a seat to facilitated the procedure. As I take off the left shoe I look and shake and a small pebble like object comes down and out. It is a mystery because the boulder in question is nowhere to be found. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention but now it is out and all is good on the left. Now the multiple stone right. (Kind of like talking about kidney stone surgery) The shoe comes off and I am paying attention this time. A number of little pebbles not much larger than a grain of sand come tumbling down to the heel. I reach in thinking that my boulders are embedded in the fine injection molded sole of my newish running shoes. Yet there is nothing. I noticed some sweat had escaped my cap and dripped on to my glasses. So I check them to see if I am seeing things wrong. Then I really look at the little pebbles and recognized there are two little brothers, the big enforcer cousin and their leader sidding at the heel of my shoe. How can this be. Is there some sort of compression of the time space continuum that has changed the physical dimensions of my boulders. They are mine now that I have invested so much time in their removal along with transporting them a mile away from their origin. Maybe my brain has gone wacky from all of the running and I need something to drink. Either way I am now sure that these little nothing of rocks are my boulders. My feet sure understand the implications of running on them no matter the size.
Now no matter the size I am sure that the constant compression/release that is my stride has magically turned normal geological events on to small specks of rocks. My boulders.


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