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.
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