Saturday September 13, 2008. I got to Squirrel Creek Park at about 9:45am. The fog had just lifted and the air was humid. After getting registered and my race number I checked out the start times. I was in the Men 35-39 group and my first thought was to keep pace with the slowest one. Once we started the race I knew that plan was not going to work. My run out of the park was a little slower than the first few kilometers on the road due to the loose gravel. On the road I was able to stay on the white line most of the time so I could better spot debris and have a smoother surface to run on. I tried to body sense as best I could to keep good Chi Running form. The km markers seemed so far apart I thought they must be wrong. I was so glad to see the water station, but found it was harder to run and drink from a paper cup than I expected. I had already passed a couple of walkers and was now gaining on a few slower runners. As I was coming up to the 5k turn-around I recognized the runner now in front of me as Lori who I had run with before. I knew her pace would be pretty close to mine so I tagged along behind. At the water station we were both in need of some walking paces. After a minute or so we were back to a slow but steady running pace. I had to keep telling myself “just a few more steps” for the last 2k. As we reached the gravel I was so focused on the finish-line and our quickening pace that I barely noticed the change in texture. We were in an all out sprint before I knew it. I was now using my calf muscles and pushing hard from the balls of my feet (opposite to the Chi method). With the risk of passing out I pushed to finish a stride ahead of Lori at a time of 1:05:30. Now I knew I needed to cool down slowly so I continued with a slow jog through the wet grass followed by a walk to the water jug. Walking and sipping the water had me back to myself in no time. Although my time was nothing great, I felt good about finishing a 10k race barefoot. My plan now is to continue to increase my running frequency and distance. I am also trying to stay barefoot as much as possible so that my feet will not be the limiting factor on longer runs.
Tuesday November 11, 2008.
My Plan is working out well so far. Last night at the Pub Run I ran the 10k route in 50 minutes. The increase in speed could be attributed to trying to warm up in the blowing snow or that Curtis was setting the pace, but the fact that I could do it without the same sense of exhaustion as I felt after the MAD 10k gives me encouragement that I am making some real progress.