Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My First Barefoot Run

I love the sound of rain in the morning when I'm all snuggled up in my warm bed. The only problem with that lovely sound is that it makes it very hard to get up and go running. I love to just turn my alarm off, roll over and go back to sleep for an hour while listening to the sound of rain on the roof. This was especially true yesterday morning because I had planned to go to a nice grassy feild and have a go at barefoot running! I was so excited about this plan, but when I heard the rain, thought about how cold that wet grass would be on my little (I use that word loosly) feet and about how I'm still trying to get over this cold, I decided running barefoot in the grass just wasn't a good idea this morning and happily went back to sleep.

When I actually got up, I still had the idea of barefoot running in my head, (we were listening to Born to Run right before bed) so I decided to go to the Holliday-Lions Rec Center where I could take Elle to the childcare and run on their indoor track. I just had 4 miles on my schedule so that's not bad to do on a track, and I even brought the Garmin so I could use it as a timer/lap counter which was very nice since it's 15 laps to a mile! Ug.

I went up to the track, self-conciously took off my flip flops and just started running. I felt like everyone on that track was looking at me, and I even heard someone say, "look at that." when I passed them. After a couple laps, one guy even asked me what the benefits of barefoot running are so I slowed down and breifly exained what I've learned to him. I told him how it's better on your joints and it makes you have good form and strenghtens your feet and stuff like that. He asked me if I'd researched it a lot and I said that I had, then he asked me how long I'd been running barefoot and I had to tell him this was my first time. I wish I'd been doing it for years so I could tell him how great it's been for me, but I just couldn't. He told me good luck, and I started running again. Most of the time, I was was the only one running on the track, everyone else was walking. So I got to pass them all a lot and let them stare at my feet.

Other than feeling self-councios, which I pretty much got over after a few laps, it was really fun running barefoot! I felt like a kid who was just running for the fun of it. Kids don't care if they have shoes on or what kind of shoes they have one. When they feel like running, they just run. It was awesome how I didn't have to even think about my form or what I did with my feet at all. I kind worried that I would be thinking about how my feet were landing the whole time, and have to be really careful, but I didn't really have to think about it at all. It was actually really nice not to have to think about my feet. I didn't have to worry about my shoes rubbing or my blisters hurting, or even landing the right way. Even the blisters I had from Saturday's run, didn't bother me at all when I didn't have shoes on. The only thing was that, after a while, the rough track was starting to rub on my feet and I worried about the bottoms of my feet being raw for my 14 miler on Wednesday.

I ran 2 miles barefoot, then stopped and put my shoes on to do the other 2. While I was running I could feel muscles in my feet and legs working harder, or in a different way than they're used to, but I felt pretty good. I finished my 4 miles, and did a couple 2:00 intervals.

Total Distance: 4 miles
Total Time: 39:55

When I was almost done, this guy came on the track and he was running really fast! One time he passed me and I tried to keep up (like I do sometimes swimming), but I just couldn't. I still marvel at how people can be so fast! Even though I've gotten faster, it still seems totally out of my reach to run at say, a 6:00 pace for any length of time. Is there anyone out there who can run that fast who used to run 10:00-11:00 miles? I'm still searching for that person, and when I find them, I hope I can get the secret out of them.

I went home and soaked in a hot bath, then rubbed my legs, tortured myself with the foam roller a bit, and put my compression socks on. I was pretty sore for the rest of the day, but I wasn't sure how much of that was from Saturday's hard run and how much was from running barefoot.

A day later my calves are still pretty sore, but I didn't get nearly as sore as that first time I ran in Pete's Newtons for 2 miles so I really think my Bioms have been a great transition. I'm not totally ready to go barefoot, but I'm a lot closer than I was a few months ago. I'm not sure if I'm sold on running barefoot all the time, but I'd like to do it once a week or so (probably in grass would be nicer) and I'd like to get an even more minimalist running shoe when it's time to buy running shoes again. Who knows when that will be.

Today I went swimming and timed my 1500 to see where I'm at because, oh yeah, I have I mentioned St. George Tri is on Saturday? Yay, my first race of the season! I'm so excited! Right now the forecast for Saturday in St. George is a high of 91 degrees! Yikes. And I won't even be finishing until around 11:00 so I need to be ready for a hot run!

Anyway, today's time wasn't my best, or my second best, but it might have been my third best, and I guess that's pretty good.

Total Distance: 1500 meters
Total Time: 30:40

I'm starting to get pretty nervous about my tri on Saturday. I just need to remember that I'm doing it for fun. I know I can finish, and I know I'm not in the best biking or swimming shape, but this is just for fun. I just hope we actually get to do the swim. After the last 2 years, you can see why I'd be nervous about that, but I'm giving this race one more chance.

I hope my legs aren't too sore for my run tomorrow. This might not have been the best week to try out barefoot running....

1 comment:

  1. Good and interesting post! Thanks for sharing!

    Cheers from Tokyo!

    "XTB" Xavi.