I can't believe I just typed the word "tootsies."
There is some evidence out there that the best way to avoid running injuries is to condition yourself to run barefoot. The idea is that supportive shoes allow the muscles and connective tissues in the foot and lower leg to weaken, and they allow you to run with an unnatural stride. Barefoot running strengthens these muscles and makes you pay more attention to the feedback your body is giving you, which allows you to make adjustments before you get injured.
Since my marathon hopes this year have been dashed anyway, I decided there was no better time to start over and condition myself to run barefoot. So last night I headed to the nearest high school track, which I figured would be a good surface for my first barefoot run. I had been doing more barefoot things lately, even walking around the neighborhood, so I figured a relatively cushioned surface like a track would be doable.
You're supposed to start with very short distances, like ¼ mile, but I figured I could handle a little more. So I ran a full mile, and I think some of the people there were looking at me funny. But it was fun, until I realized that I was getting a lovely crop of blisters on my feet. So the lesson here is that when you are trying something new and someone says to start slow, you should listen or you may end up walking like a duck for a couple days.