On Sunday October 3rd , I ran the Run for the Cure 5k run and it was a good 5k test for me. The air temperature for the race was about 8°C and I decided to run about 3 to 4k to warm up and do some stretching before the run. The Run for the Cure is more of a run than a race for most of the participants. The start was quite slow with many walking groups of people in front. I’m sure for most of the people there it was the first time they had seen anyone running barefoot. I got lots of cheers and supportive comments from young and old, both racers and spectators which always makes it more fun for me. I don’t know what my official time was, but I would guess it was around the 23 minute mark. This showed me that I had regained much of my speed for short distance races since the fibula break. I iced the ankle when I got home and it gave me a few painful twinges over the next couple of days, but overall it felt pretty good and I was able to get out for a few longer training runs.
Early this summer I decided to register for the Oasis 10k Zoo Run after one of my running friends told me how much fun they had running it the year before. She told me that she and some friends ran it all dressed in costumes of a common theme. When she told me they were going to dress as monkeys this year I ask if I could join them as Tarzan since it would be a costume that would fit well with my barefoot running and also their monkeys. The thought of running through the zoo wearing not much more than a loin cloth seemed like a better idea in the summer than the 16th of October.
The temperature was a bit of a concern as the race day approached, but the morning ended up being 5ºC and sunny. The logistics of the costume with the temperature, running and the new chipped bib they were using for this race were mostly just improvised at the last minute. I changed into the costume in a very busy public washroom in the zoo (not a good idea) and as soon as I came out people were turning their heads, hooting and commenting. Being the only barefoot runner in all the races I have run had prepared me for this kind of attention somewhat. I was being asked to pose for photos with people I didn’t know as I tried to make my way to the start of the race. I was lucky to find one of my monkey runners in the starting line and was happy that I only had a couple of minutes to shiver in the cool morning air before the race started. Once the race started I was getting cheers and comments of support from both spectators and runners I was passing. It was great and I didn’t even notice the temperature any more. The race was a little different from other 10k races I have run with the costume and the twisty, hilly zoo path we were running, but all of the comments, cheers and hoots of support just pushed me to go faster and keep going. I found myself so drained by the end that I didn’t even have much of a finishing sprint and I didn’t even think to look at the clock for my finishing time. Due to some problem they didn’t post the times and so it wasn’t until I got home that I found that I had bested my Milk Run time for this year. My chip time for the Zoo Run was 49:25 as compared to my 50:17 Milk Run time.
Prior to getting injured, my 10k PB was 47:08 and my 5k PB was 23:07. Since the injury my 10k PB is 49:25 and my 5k PB is still close to the 23:07 as well. So as I look at my races since my fibula break, I am encouraged that both the healing is going well but also the injury for the most part hasn’t had any lasting effect on my running ability.
Oh bye the way, we won first prize for our costumes at the Oasis Zoo run.