1st Race

"That's gotta hurt." It's the most frequent comment I hear as I'm running barefoot. Today's 5K race was no different. It was a charity run to support the local hospital with a fantastic turnout and really cool, cloudy weather. Forty-eight degrees Fahrenheit is not my ideal running temp without the sun. I wore long sleeve and long legged tights under shorts and a long sleeved shirt and a wind breaker with gloves. I was a little concerned I might overheat but I never did, except for the gloves. When it was time to line up, I slipped my shoes off and got my first foot numbing. As I said before, foot numbing is not a bad thing for a barefooter. It keeps the little things from overshadowing the more important things like form and pace. Form was very important this time because my left ankle is sore. I didn't want to complicate the glass story by mentioning that my ankle was sore too. I rested it Friday by not biking or running. It was not back to normal this morning, but it felt better than it felt Thursday.

I'm not a track star. I'm a mid pack runner. I ended up with an 8:22 pace, which I am happy with in the beginning of the season. I was passed by many at the beginning of the race but I was thrilled to return the favor in the second half of the race. About the middle of the race, one of the behind my back commenters sidled up and asked about my bare feet, assuming I was either in a great deal of pain or had inch thick calluses. I explained that I was comfortable and my feet had been desensitized by practice and technique. He wanted to know if there was any benefit, to which I replied, "Not paying for shoes." I also told him the latest glass story.

In the last kilometer I knew I had the juice for a kick. Barefooters don't increase their stride when they want to speed up, they pick up their feet faster. If I lengthened my stride I wouldn't be able to maintain the form to land forefoot first. I passed a dozen runners at the end.

My only injury was a bloody toe pad on the sore ankle foot. I think it is due to adjustments I made for my ankle. I was comfortable the entire race. I enjoyed the food at the end; clam chowder, gatorade, yogurt and oatmeal cookies at 10 in the morning.

Here is a map of the race.


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