Sunday, June 24, 2012

Barefoot 10K

Oh my goodness I am so excited to write this post. If you are friends with me on Facebook I am sure you've seen all of my postings about this weekend's awesome run. I don't have many photos of the race so you'll have to look at the same ones again (Sorry, have to figure out how to run and take pictures at the same time).

So Saturday Kyle and I woke the kids up at the crack of dawn and piled them into the van. It was pouring rain and coldish. I was running my first 10k and Rebekah and Abi were running a girls 1k. It was the Starbucks Run For Women. This was a run totally on pathways and what we thought would be a easy course (note it was NOT). After the Millarville Half I was really aching to get out of my shoes and do a race barefoot. I have been running some barefoot and I spend all my time barefoot around the house and the yard. My furthest distance before the race was 4.5 miles. I figured I'd carry the invisible shoes if it got to be too much or if the course was just too rough.

The rain stopped just as the festivities got under way. One of the race officials came over to me and asked if I would be on camera saying why I was running and that he wanted me to get my picture with Catriona Le May Doan, the Olympic Medalist for Speed Skating who was the special guest there. I guess the tutu caught his eye. I was really out to have a good time. It seems to me that so many people take races so seriously and I know that I'm not going to win. The tutu helps me remember that this is fun. Really I pay good money so that I can run these races so I should really enjoy it. We listened to a great speech by Catriona and then did a short warm up.

I did all of this barefoot standing in the soaking wet grass. Oh man it felt so good. I got a number of weird looks and some questions about if I was actually running the race barefoot. Overall I think that being barefoot actually kept people away more than caused them to be curious, either that or the tutu made me look crazy.

We walked over to the start and bunched up with our estimated finish time. I have never run a 10K but I was hoping for 60 minutes or less, given that I thought it was a pretty easy course. The only worries I had really was the start. So many people in clunky shoes and my defenseless feet. I was worried someone would stomp on my toes and I'd be hurt before things even got started. Things turned out great and I didn't even get a nudge. When I was standing at the start line a couple of ladies standing beside me asked me about my feet. I told them that I often run barefoot but that this was my first race barefoot. They mentioned that they saw a guy running downtown barefoot even through the winter. This made me laugh because I am sure that it is our friend Paul, or one of the other barefoot runners that Kyle runs with. It seems that the group of barefooters running around downtown are starting to get people's attention.

Anyways the run was great, the pathways were wet and covered in puddles, and worms I must add. The puddles were amazingly warm, it felt so great to run through them. Stepping on the worms was an interesting experience. The race had a number of big hills. Running up was good and running down was ok. I found it challenging to get my feet turning over fast enough as well as dodge the many people putting on the brakes as they ran down. I played leap frog with a couple of ladies up and down a couple hills. They would get in front of me on the up hill and I would zoom past on the down hill. It was fun and we chatted for a bit on the straight away. They commented that it was amazing to watch me run down hill with no shoes.

I was not prepared for the hills, oh man.  I haven't been running much. I am dealing with a number of chronic conditions and pretty much chronic pain so I have been taking way more rest days. I will post soon about my new diagnosis and what on earth I am going to do to keep running. To keep it short, I have trouble eating and digesting foods of all sorts, and I have constant GI pain. Good times I know. Anyways with all of the troubles I have been having I wasn't really running my best race. The beauty of it was that I could just enjoy being barefoot. Seriously there is no rush or crazy push to be the fastest, I was out finally running bare and enjoying the sensations. The only problem I encountered was after the turn around. There are some pretty big hills to get down and by this time the 5Kers were heading back some of them walking 3-4 across the path. I had to break often  on the downhill when no one would move over. Seriously there are no brakes on bare feet running down crazy steep hills. I am pretty sure that the last 1.5 miles of down hills braking and weaving caused me my blisters. The last stretch was hard. My feet were done and I was getting so tired. I finished in 1:01, really not bad after all. Run Keeper Race info. I finished 24th out of 122 in my age group, and as Kyle says I was first in the barefoot division.

I had some blisters on my feet and they were pretty sore afterwards. But now on Sunday they are super happy and looking to get out again. I had Kyle take a picture of my feet after the race, I am almost embarrassed to post it because of the blisters, I know barefooters aren't supposed to get blisters, but hey I guess I can only get better.

There you have it, my feet post 10K on wet pathways, up and down crazy hills. All in all I am super pleased.

I had a nice surprise at the end of the race, while I was waiting to cheer my friend across the line I saw Maria!! I didn't know that she was running this race and I cannot tell you how excited I was to see her. We grabbed a quick picture of our beautiful faces and our feet, cause that's how we roll. Maria has been such an encouragement to me. She is relentless in her running and seriously puts me to shame with the miles she runs. It is super sweet to have another minimalist/barefoot women as my friend. Thanks Maria for all the encouragement. You Rock!!!

Thank you all for the messages on Facebook and the comments of the blog, I cannot believe how supportive you all are. I am a happy happy barefooter, and I am looking forward to many more miles run and maybe even a few more races run barefoot.


-Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. Popped over from Liz's Prior Fat Girl post on before and after guys have a great story! Congrats and keep up the great work!

  2. Robbie-Lynn, you and Kyle are amazing people, and are setting such a great example for your kids! I really admire how you are getting them involved, because they will enjoy it if you are enjoying it with them! It was such a boost to see and hear you at the finish line for this 10k! Was not expecting that at all, and it really gave me a mental boost. I found this race really really difficult, not just because of all the hills, but because of the 100% humidity as well. I realize these are things we can't control, but they still presented challenges. I was in awe at how strong your bare feet looked after pounding out this 10k in the wet and muddy pathway, having to dodge stubborn people who didn't feel the need to share the path. Keep on running, and thanks for sharing it with us on your blog!

    My next half is the Dino Half in Drumheller on Sept. 9th. Won't you consider it? It's a good place to bring kids too for camping etc. It has elevation in the beginning, then levels off, and downhill to the end. Spectacular scenery in the reviews.

    Oh yes, that pain on the ball of my foot is caused by a wart..of all things. So I'm hoping to get rid of it asap. How silly lol. Cheers!

    1. Oh man I cannot believe that a wart was causing that trouble. Rebekah had on on the ball of her foot that became a blister it was very painful for her to walk. We got rid of it with apple cider vinegar and duct tape. Worked so well.

      We would love to do the Dino half it looks great, we've wanted to since we saw the medals last year. Lol. Our priority is being at church though. Maybe next year we can take our holidays in drumheller. That would be fun, camp and run a half. Woohoo.

      I think we may try the Dino run, it is run through the U of C campus looked great. I may try that as my first barefoot half. It is supposed to be flat and fast, but I'll believe it when it see it. Did you see Neil's post about the barefoot/minimalist division at the Rock the house run on sept 23. Should be fun. Kyle and I are sad to miss it but it should be a great time.

  3. Congratulations on your great race--I think your time is phenomenal! LOVE the tutu--your smile made ME smile!!

    Keep up the great work and I will pray that the pain and troubles goes away without having to sacrifice your FUN racing.

  4. Thanks so much. Things are getting better. I saw a Naturopathic Dr and am starting an armload of things to help heal my poor tummy. She is also having me increase my protein so that my muscles get more food to repair them. I am so hopeful that things will get better and I will enjoy running for a long time.