my running adventures – barefoot or otherwise
Yes. Puzzling. After a day away from the chalkface on a course that really was useful, challenging and mildly inspirational, I slammed back into the demands of my teaching job in style, cycling in to work in the morning to face a deluge of work I was now behind on. It is a kick in the teeth isn’t it, when that happens? You put yourself forward to develop yourself and then get hit from both sides – the work you missed doing because you’re on the course, and also the extra work generated from stuff you learnt on the course itself!
Anyway, today was a themed World War II day at school which presented more issues to do with covering classes, arranging different breaktimes, hosting our guests who were delivering the day, keeping colleagues happy, dealing with e-mail overload, etc. To top it off, I knew I was going to be doing about 2 and a half hours of non-stop talking at parents’ evening after school before making the decision to either cycle home or run home.
Parents’ evening went pretty well, and the fine drizzle that had accompanied me on my cycle in, in the morning had now stopped. I was buzzing, one parents’ evening down, one to go (tomorrow night!).
So, I decided to run home. This wasn’t just due to the euphoria of parents’ evening going ok, but was more to do with my excitement at running again in my new, lightweight minimalist-style running shoes I’d bought with my birthday money in January – Saucony Fiya (silver and red) running shoes, which cost just £24.99 from Wiggle (reduced from the RRP of, ahem, £59.99). They look good and they weigh nothing at all.
I was energised by getting an opportunity to break them in again. I’d only done one run in them previously, a training run of 13.1 miles which came after wearing them for various sports coaching times etc, so I felt I’d worn them in a bit before I did that longer run. I set off at a decent pace and surprised myself to hear that the largely downhill first mile I’d completed in 5:55! I’d either completely ruined myself already, or I’d really benefited from the recent training runs on more difficult terrain wearing heavier trainers. I kept at the same kind of pace as I still felt good as the gradient settled out into flatter ground. My route to and from work is generally uphill to work and downhill from work and is concrete pavements all the way.
My next miles were: 6:06, 6:29, 6:31, 6:19.
I was so pleased I’d managed to carry on to 5 miles, as at the 4 mile mark I was ready to stop. It still amazes me how stubborn I can be in order to carry on, like I did after I hit the wall in the Belvoir Challenge at about 9.5 miles. Suffice to say, my time for 5 miles of 31:20 is safely a PB for me. But how strange that I ran a PB after such a long and tiring, demanding day…
I stopped almost straight away as I was pretty close to home at this point and wanted to get some barefooting in, despite the darkness of my surroundings at what was coming up to 7pm now.
I ran barefoot for 4:39 and covered 0.53 miles – the longest duration and distance I’ve run since I re-started my barefoot running adventure following the blister issues of Barefoot Running Exuberance Syndrome (BRES) in early January.
My feet felt alive and tingly again as I wiped my feet and put my socks and trainers back on. It is such a nice feeling to be contacting the ground with the skin on my feet. I can feel my soles getting tougher and more able to cope with the undulating and unpredictable terrain.
My next run is scheduled for Thursday morning to work, generally uphill and I’m thinking of making that a slower recovery-style run this week, and will experiment with making the same run my ‘effort’ run next week to see what kind of time I can get on the more demanding uphill route. I’ll let you know how it goes in future posts.
In the meantime, check out this link – hilarious interview with Mo Farah from a wildly incompetent interviewer: