When I was in high school, I ran cross country and track all four years. By my last season of track, in the spring of 1999, I had run races in a lot of strange conditions. There was the time I dropped out of a race due to an asthma attack, when I was a freshman. There was the time I didn't drop out of a race even when I should have, due to an asthma attack, and had to go to the hospital afterward. Four years running through hip-deep mud at the Trask Mountain Assault Invitational. Four years running through shin-deep sand at the Seaside Invitational. Doubling up on the 1500m (one mile) and 3000m (two miles) races in one track meet, then running the JV 4x400m relay after that for "fun." Almost four years having never been forced to run the 800m (half-mile) race at a track meet, until one day my senior year my coach made me do it just to see if I was good at it. I wasn't. I think my face says it all.
My senior year, during a 3000m race, I came across a new challenge at an invitational meet at Lincoln High School in Portland, Oregon. I was only 1.5 laps into the race (out of 7.5) when the runner behind me spiked me with her shoes. You see, track shoes have spikes on the bottom of them, and sometimes you can extend your foot stride a little bit and "inadvertently" spike the leg or heel of the runner in front of you. I didn't really care so much because that kind of thing happened all the time. What I did care about was that in spiking me, the girl had managed to dislodge my shoe from my foot. I ran a few surprised steps with it hanging half off my foot and then did what seemed like the only option at the time: I flung it off my foot in mid-stride.
I ran the rest of the race - six laps, a full mile and a half - wearing only one shoe, the other foot completely bare (I didn't wear socks with my racing spikes). And it was a race, not a leisurely jog, so I was running fast.
Have I mentioned that tracks are made out of what is basically roughly texturized, grippy rubber? At the speed I was running, for the length I was running, I was generating a lot of friction between my bare foot and the rubber track. I didn't notice it much during the race, but not long after I crossed the finish line (in fifth place, if I remember correctly, ahead of the girl who spiked me), I realized I was injured. Injured bad. The bottom of my foot was one big blister, as if it had been burned.
I don't think I could run well for a few days after that but my foot did heal up remarkably quickly, considering. Looking back, I wonder if it wouldn't have made more sense for me to just stop and put my shoe back on, and then continue running. It seemed so out of the question at the time. But in the end I was left with a fun story about running 1.5 miles barefoot on a rubber track, so I guess it all worked out OK.