Favorite Pastime - Resting!

Favorite Pastime - Resting!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Triple Record Breaker! - 90 Mile Week, 252 Mile Month, and 20 Mile Training Run

Good Morning Barefooters,

Barefoot in Austin TX

I've been enjoying this late Summer with some barefoot long runs and setting some new records at the same time.  I continue to be amazed at this body God has given me and it's amazing power to heal and recover.  If you would have told me I'd be able to do this distance back when I started barefooting just two years ago I would have laughed.  To think that I've been able to ramp up from just a mile or so every other day, to actually surpassing both my weekly and monthly totals IN SHOES is not only incredible but definitely a gift from God.
The month started off strong with a week where I just continued to push and push and ended up with 70.08 miles which (I thought) beat my all time record with shoes.  I celebrated and relaxed by running only 17 miles the next week.  Then the third week I put in a respectable 40 miles or so and was feeling pretty good.  So last weekend, I began to wonder, "Hey, what about trying to break my monthly total in shoes as well."  This was not quite as easy to research since my running logs keep my weekly totals but not my monthly.  I had to dig back through 18 or 19 years worth of Excel files and even went back to my paper logs in the early 90's.  I had to do a lot of manual adding and/or reworking of the totaling columns to get my monthly totals.  Surprisingly I was coming up with some high (but beatable) totals.  First I found a 192, then a 196, then 199...uh oh a 209, and then 215 and finally the high of 221...when all of a sudden I made a horiffic discovery.  That 221 month back in Sept 1996, also included a week when I ran all seven days of the week, starting with a half marathon race on Sunday, full week of marathon training, and a 23 mile long run on Saturday which gave me a 75 mile total for the week.  This was indeed rare, even back then because I have always taken Sundays off.  The only time I run on Sunday is when the actual race is on a Sunday.  But since my spreadsheet only totals Monday through Saturday, I had missed this higher total when doing my research for the weekly record.  So I hadn't broken my shod weekly record afterall...I was still 5 miles short!  Oh no!  Most people would probably say "oh well, nevermind the stupid record"...but, of course, I couldn't let it go.  It's kind of like a sickness!
So, I did the math, taking Sunday off, 6 days to run (once per day), that's about 12 to 13 miles per day...yikes...I thought, well, I'll just take it one day at a time.  Of course, since it was August, it was also hot so I would have to run in the early cool of the morning...before sunrise.  That meant headlamp and flashing taillight...and watch out for rocks in the dark!  To further complicate matters, I had a business trip planned to Austin TX for Tues-Thurs. with early morning flights and meetings, so that meant VERY early morning runs.
Smooth sidewalk in Austin TX
I was also worried that I wouldn't be able to find a good smooth piece of pavement in Austin to do these long runs on, but my prayers were answered after quite a long search I found a nice stretch of sidewalk in an industrial park just 3/4 of a mile from my hotel.  Surprisingly, the temperature in Austin the first morning was actually 2 degrees cooler than back in IN, but still 72 degrees.  The first day in Austin netted me 15.3 miles but the second day I only went 14.1, as I began to get a sore spot on the ball of my left foot.  The concrete was a little more abrasive than I had thought.  At the time, it felt like disaster and I was sure I wouldn't be able to continue the high mileage when I got back to Indiana.  To make matters worse the flight back on Thurs was delayed several hours and I ended up switching airlines which ended up loosing my bag.   No big deal, usually, but the bag had my headlamp and my Garmin w/chest strap in it!  Oh well, on Friday morning, I got up early and with the feet still very tender, I thought, it's now or never, and I'd take them to the breaking point with at least my 9.5 mile loop.  They still felt "ok" so I extended to 12.65 (still my shortest total of the week but it poised me well for the record attempt on Saturday since it put me over the 70 mile mark with still one more day to go.
So this morning I woke up VERY sore and stiff, but figured, worst case, I'll go out and run 6 to beat it by 1 and then go from there.  Well, I kept praying, and He kept answering and I extended once, twice, three times to go a full 20.18 miles (which is my longest ever barefoot training run...I have gone barefoot longer but only in a marathon race, not in training).  Again, I couldn't even believe it as I was doing it!
Here are the log entries for the week: 

13.772:10:100:09:2760MonWestfield IN - 5:47 am
14.362:21:540:09:5373TuesWestfield IN - 3:37 am
15.32:33:540:10:0472WedAustin TX - 3:37 am
14.12:32:130:10:4879ThurAustin TX - 2:18 am
12.652:07:000:10:0263FriWestfield IN - 4:40 am
20.183:30:570:10:2772SatWestfield IN - 4:22 am

And even though I felt like giving up at least three different times this week, He never gave up...I was glad to have stuck with it, the weather held out (no rainouts) and the body just kept recovering.  I'm pretty stiff and sore while writing this but believe it or not, the feet don't have even one blister.

Half Week =34.86, Week 1=70.04, Week 2=16.94, Week 3=39.68, Week 4=90.36 miles
August Monthly Total = 251.88 miles

* Week 4 and Monthly total break my previous records IN SHOES of 75miles and 221miles resp.

Barefoot running is a pretty good metaphor for life...just take it one day at a time, and you never know what you might achieve!

Praise God.

Happy Barefooting,

Barefoot Dan

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