Screw Shoes

Eleven and a half months ago, the evening before Caren Jew and I do a ridiculously tough winter training run on Massanutten Mountain, I find myself inserting 10 sheet-metal screws (#6, 3/8th inch long) into the soles of an old pair of shoes. It's a test of the (in)famous "Screw Shoe" recipe for safer running on ice. The trick seem to work: hex-heads of the screws stick out and provide decent traction. (My only fall is on some slick leaves, and it's a minor one onto my backside.) When I get home and take inventory, however, 3 out of 10 screws from one shoe are missing in action, and so are 4 of 10 from the other. Apparently they work themselves loose during long runs. Fortunately I bought a box of 100 at the hardware store—at this rate I'm ready for several hundred more slick miles. Whew!