Favorite Pastime - Resting!

Favorite Pastime - Resting!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Something Scary for Halloween!

Happy Halloween Barefooters,

So since it's Halloween, let me show you something scary and gross! 

This morning during my 10 miler, at about 8 miles, I turned to look for traffic behind, took my eyes off the road in front of me for half a second and stepped on something (maybe a rock?!) very hard with my left forefoot.  It hurt like you wouldn't believe!  I limped the last two miles home, hoping to sort of shake it off.  I said a quick prayer that I wouldn't hit anything else in the exact same spot, which would have taken me to my knees.  Sometimes after hitting something hard like that it can take a few strides, or sometimes up to half a mile, to get everything feeling all right again.  But not this time!  I stopped to look at it a couple of times with my headlamp and it seem to just be a blood blister, but each step was increasingly uncomfortable and I began to actually change my stride to find a better landing zone (never a good thing!)  When I got back to the house I was not encouraged.  What I saw was about a dime size blister forming and starting to throb.
Halloween Injury...ouch!

Now it's mid morning as I write this and it is still throbbing inside my shoe.  Not only that, I'm now walking with a slight limp!  Normally this wouldn't be so bad, but what makes this such a "scary Halloween surprise" is that I'm supposed to run the Indy Monumental Marathon in 5 days with Team World Vision on Saturday.  I was planning to only run 3 days this week (Mon 10mile, Tues 8mile and Wed 6mile) and then take off Thurs and Fri completely to be ready for Saturday...but now it looks like I will be taking the WHOLE week off and then just hope and pray to be ready to go on Saturday.  Don't get me wrong, it's not the end of the world, but definitely not the way I wanted to taper for this race!  Oh well, up until now it had been a great October for barefoot running...how fitting that this happened on Halloween!

I started off the month with a nice high mileage week of 77miles followed by a week of tapering to get ready for the Duke City Marathon in Albuquerque.  This would be my 3rd (and hopefully final) attempt to get the ever elusive New Mexico Marathon under 4 hours for my 50Sub4 quest.  Linda and I flew out on Thursday afternoon and made a nice 4-day weekend out of it.  We explored Santa Fe NM on Friday which was a short 90 minute drive from our hotel in Old Town Albuquerque.  We enjoyed the Georgia O'Keefe museum in Santa Fe as well as some other museums, shopping and excellent restaurants.  Santa Fe is quite an eclectic mix of arts and entertainment so my artsy wife Linda was right at home, and I didn't mind it either!
Chillin' at the start
El Pinto Restaurant
 On Saturday we took it easy and went to the race expo at the Isleta Resort and Casino...but I should have stayed away from the blackjack tables! The expo itself was nice and Linda did a little shopping for her upcoming race.  For whatever reason, I forgot to buy energy gels at the expo which I would live to regret at the race the next day.  After the expo we explored Albuquerque a little more and found a really nice restaurant, El Pinto...if you are ever there, I highly recommend this place!  We then drove the course to get a feel for the surfaces and I was not impressed, but felt that anything had to be better than the horrible surfaces during last year's "fail" at the Shiprock Marathon in northern New Mexico.

4 Hour Pacer - Group was a "little" fast
Sunday was race day and we got an early start and arrived downtown with a good parking spot so I could relax in the couple of hours leading up to the 7am start.  I was glad the start was at 7 since the predicted high that day was 80.  Morning lows were in the lower 50s and once the sun came up it would be getting hot fast.  The first two miles were on city streets out to the Bosque Trail, a bike path along the Rio Grande.  The streets were pretty chewed up but I was able to find some decent sidewalk sections alongside.  The problem was that even when I found some otherwise smooth sidewalks, they always seemed to be littered with debris and pebbles.  Not so bad on the trip out, but I knew it wouldn't be fun after 20+ miles coming back.  At mile two we got onto the actual bike path which again was pretty smooth but always seemed to be littered with pebbles.  I got lots of the usual barefoot comments but no sympathy (and I didn't expect any!) for the rougher surfaces.  Most shod runners just sort of look at me and probably rightly think "Put on some shoes you dummy!"  For the most part during the first half of the race I was able to keep pace and actually put some "minutes in the bank" which I would definitely need in the second half.  For the first half I maintained a very respectable pace, somewhere around 8:35/mile or so, but then I started paying it back slowly.  It became a little tedious in the second half doing the math to know how much I could slow down knowing that it would get really slow toward the end.  As it turned out, I didn't slow too quickly and my first mile over the dreaded 10:00/mile pace was not until mile 23 and even then, I kept them all under 10:30.  I knew I was slowing when the 3:45 pace group caught up to me at around mile 15.  The scariest moment was when the 4:00 pace group caught me, and then passed me, in the last mile, but they were actually a little ahead of their predicted pace.  Also, I knew I had a couple of extra minutes to spare as I had delayed my start at the beginning to let traffic clear and hadn't run through the first timing station (chip reader) until 2 minutes after the start gun sounded.  All in all, I still cut it pretty close with only 3 and 1/2 minutes to spare, finishing in 3:56:29.  Plenty of time!  Whew!  Linda was happy that we didn't have to come back a 4th time to New Mexico, although we really do like it here.

Yay!!  Duke City Complete!
So now I have only one more state to go (Florida) in the 50sub4 quest to get all the states under 4 hours.  Again, the plan is to run the Disney Marathon in January to complete the circuit, but this is God Willing, of course, and barring any injuries like the one I have throbbed on my left foot right now!  Still as I look back over this 5 year odyssey and the number of minor injuries and subsequent gross pictures I've posted on this blog, I still must say they've all been "skin injuries" and I have not had one significant structural injury (tendon, ligament, bone) since the stress fracture in the 2nd metatarsal as a result of barefoot running (and again, I attribute that stress fracture to the switch back and forth to Vibram 5-Finger shoes) in the beginning. 

So yes, I am still a strong proponent of Barefoot Running, even though this week I'm limping!

Best of luck to all my World Vision Team-mates in your races this weekend.
(still not too late to donate, click here!)

God Bless,

Barefoot Dan

October Mileage = 196.31 Miles

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