Thursday, April 05, 2012

Running is more fun barefoot.

I did this post before but never got around to actually posting it. So this is from March 16th.

Today was crazy beautiful out. It was 10ÂșC and the sun was shining when I left for my run. This is my first long run in training for my first full marathon. Kyle and I have our sights set on the Edmonton Derby Marathon in August. It should be fun. We are hoping to make a weekend of it and leave the kids with my parents. Looking forward to the Expo and watching my cousin run the 5K.

This will be a short post because I left it way to long and now I forget a lot of the details, having 7 kids does bad things to your memory.

Anyways first off I dressed like Rainbow Bright.  Super colourful and happy to run. I love that it was so warm that I could wear my shorts and that I could wear my Lemings (Stems) without socks. I ran my favourite bike path run, that goes along two man made lakes and through some natural areas. It is super sweet to have such nice paths right out my back door. Kyle and I have looked at moving a number of times and now that we run, running paths have a big sway in where we go. We are super blessed to have lots of options to run around our neighbourhood, even if every run is a hill run.

Sunny face and weird smile. Pictures of the sweet path. The path here was bare and dry and super smooth so I couldn't resist taking my shoes off and running bare. Sweet! The only downside to my Lemings is that they don't fit well in my fuel belt, so I had to carry them in my hands. Super weird look I am sure. There were lots of people around the lakes and a  number of elderly ladies shook their heads at me as I ran past. There was water to run in and mud to muck it. So much fun. At one point I had to hop off of the path on to the grass beside because there was a huge puddle of toxic looking water full of who knows what, that I didn't want to run through. The result ...
Super muddy legs. Actually the mud from the wet grass splashed up and even got my shirt muddy. This picture was after I had tried to clean the mud off with some snow. I decided to put my shoes back on because this side of the path was in the shade and covered with slush and snow. Finished my run, 8 miles total and 2 barefoot. It was great. I got home and hopped into the bath with some warm tea. The tub was covered in mud after my bath. I am so happy to run. I felt like a kid running through puddles and mud. It was great. I am hoping for lots more warm weather and many more mile run barefoot.

 Oh yeah I forgot that this was the anniversary of when I first started running. I started the Couch 2 5K program on March 16th 2011. My first run. I am amazed at how far I've come in a year. Comparing stats: last year I weighed 210lbs, I was 5 months into losing weight and had lost 50lbs already. I was dead scared to run outside incase anyone saw me. I stuck to my treadmill. I thought that the 30 second intervals of running were torture and couldn't imagine ever running for a full 30 mins. Now in 2012 I am down to 140lbs, I have run 2 half marathons and I run 5K easily without even really thinking about it. I run outside without shoes, in bright colours, covered in mud basically demanding that people look at me. I am no longer scared to be seen running. Even though I am still not the fastest lady around I am getting faster and I am loving every second of my runs. (maybe not every second but most) I am so grateful and blessed to have found this new life. It has given me the energy and drive that I have need to get through the other hard things in my life. I am thankful to God that He has given me a body that can bounce back after 6 pregnancies and a decade of unhealthy living, not without some reminders of where I've been but with a sense that I have been to the other side and this life is so much sweeter.


Long run in the sun

Crazy Medusa Hair
We have been having the best weather ever. Saturday was warm, like shorts and t-shirt warm, which in Calgary is really anything over 10°C. The kids had choir in the morning so I had planned to run home from church on Sunday, but the weather was calling my name. It was too beautiful. I couldn't waste the day. I packed up my things and I was heading out the door the second Kyle got home. I decided to run along the river towards downtown. I have longed since last summer to run from Edworthy park to downtown.

I decided that I was going to try and get in some barefoot miles but I wanted a light backup shoe to put on in the places where the path is very rough. I packed my invisible shoes, and Kyle's KSOs. I was going to hook the shoes into my fuel belt. At the last moment I decided to ditch the KSOs because they were weighing my belt down and I didn't want to be that heavy. I tucked my invisible shoes into my belt and headed off barefoot and feeling very light.

I ran towards Edworthy Park first and encountered lovely smooth pavement for the first while. It was great fun, there were so many people out enjoying the beautiful weather. The paths were quite packed and at times I had to run along the grass you get around large groups. My feet felt great, I am amazed at how much more I love to run without shoes, even minimalist shoes. The downside to beautiful weather this early in the year is that the paths aren't cleared of the tiny painful rocks that the city uses as traction during the winter. I encountered small sections of these tiny rocks (pea gravel I think) again and again. At first I thought about stopping and putting on my invisible shoes but then my pride overruled me and I ran on. I didn't want to have everyone see that I had to use shoes just to get past some silly rocks. The first section was intense. I told myself to relax and let my foot spread out so that I had the most surface area spread out. With each section I felt less pain and I really started to get a hang of the technique of running over the sharp little rocks. I got to the park and had to turn around to head back towards downtown. I ran over the sharp rocks and felt like a stinking rock star.

2 miles barefoot

I continued towards downtown and the path changed. It went from smooth new pavement to old worn down broken up chip seal. I haven't run on this kind of path yet without my shoes. I didn't think that today was the day to do so. I grabbed out my invisible shoes and slipped them on. I had pre-tied them so it was simple and easy to get them on. Automatically I felt the protection for my feet but I also noticed that they felt floppy. It almost felt like I had to scrunch my toes to keep the shoes on. I had them tied on quite tight and the strap was bugging me a bit. Not much at the start of the run but by the time I was done running oh man my feet felt that strap. I ran another 2 miles felling great. I saw lots of different runners and noticed that most looked in pain, like they were training really hard. Now I don't train hard, in my opinion. I run for fun and don't like to be uncomfortable while I do it. I think that is something that drew me to barefoot running. I was smiling from ear to ear just taking in the beautiful day and feeling so grateful to be running. I took my shoes off again as I got closer to downtown and the path changed to smooth new pavement again. I ran across the new peace bridge. It was so crowded that running on the sidewalk was nearly impossible. I had to run in the bike lane. The sidewalk was super smooth and felt amazing to my bare feet and the bike path was rough but not unpleasant. I ran across and just past and then I turned around and headed back to my car. As I ran back a group of teen boys were skateboarding on the path and they high fived me and asked where my shoe were. I pointed to my invisible shoe tucked into my belt and kept running.

2 miles barefoot again.

I put my invisible shoes back on and started running down the beat up path again. Nothing really interesting to tell except that I really wanted to take my shoes off. The toe strap was starting to hurt and the tops of my second and third toes were hurting from scrunching my toes to keep my shoes on. By the end of my run my feet were sore and I wondered what I was thinking. I ended up with some pretty intense blisters right where the toe strap is on the bottom of the shoe. I also ended my run with the bottom of my foot covered in blood. The strap had dug into the space between my toes and cut it open. Ouch!! So now I am on the look out for a very light pair of shoes to pack with me when I run barefoot. I picked up a pair of Vibram Seeyas earlier this week but I haven't run in them yet. They are definitely light enough and they feel good on so I am hopeful that they may work.

Here's a lovely picture of my feet post run. The first foot had no problems, the second is my bloodied foot. Yikes.

So there you have. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this run. I am hopeful that I may be able to run the Harvest Half barefoot. I would love to do it barefoot. I am going to make sure to be careful and not over do it because I really really love running barefoot.


Posted using BlogPress from my iPad