Favorite Pastime - Resting!

Favorite Pastime - Resting!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Two Early Christmas Presents!

Merry Christmas Barefooters,
(a little early I know!)

New Half Marathon BPR
November was a great month for some early Christmas presents!  I received both a new BPR (Barefoot Personal Record) in the Half Marathon and finally achieved induction into the 50Sub4 Marathon Club after an 8 year quest.  Also, in between these two gifts, I got in some excellent European runs while on a business trip mid month to Germany and Austria.

The month began with the Indianapolis Half Marathon on Nov. 5 with my team the CUMC Running Angels.  We were running once again to raise money for World Vision to provide clean water to African communities.  This was our second year as a team and was also my third time for the event.  However, this was the first time I ran the Half Marathon instead of the Full.  I decided after last year's thrashing in the Full Marathon I would limit it to the Half and later also to use it as a tune up run for my full marathon at the end of the month.  The weather was absolutely perfect with dry conditions and 44 degrees at the start. 

I ran with headband and gloves and it turned out to be good decision.  I never felt overly warm but stayed comfortable the entire race.  I got many comments as always on the barefoot thing but kept the conversations short and did my best to keep my head in the game.  I got early on into a pretty solid 7:50 pace and basically stayed there the entire race.  I hit some rougher pavement around miles 8-10 but still pretty much stayed on pace. 

I knew as long as I kept my average below 8:08 I could get a PR and as it turned out that was not hard to do at all.  This was definitely a "Good Day" since PRs, even BPRs, have not been that easy to achieve in the past!  As I was the first one in our group done, I hit the massage tent before going back to the World Vision Team tent.  Once there the participants get announced and welcomed into the tent by stating how many people they provided water for.  My total this year was $1125 so 22 people were served...THANK YOU ALL FOR THE DONATIONS!!  Then I enjoyed the unlimited Donato's pizza and waited for my team-mates who began coming in one by one.  Pretty much everybody had a good day and we celebrated a post pizza party with a trip to Westfield for another breakfast!

Then about 24 hours later I jumped on a plane and flew to Europe for a 10-day 3-location 2-country business trip.  I arrived early Monday morning, rented a car and drove to Munich Olympic Park for a nice "knock-out-the-jetlag" run in the misty rain.  I had to wait for two more co-workers to land and then we drove up to Regensburg.  We stayed there two days where I got in a bridge run each morning.  On Wednesday we flew over to Warstein area and each of those two mornings I got in runs both to and around the local lake in Mohnesee.  After that, we flew back to Munich were we stayed the weekend and I got a nice Saturday "long" run around the Isar River in downtown Munich.  Not a big fan of Munich as I stepped on a broken beer bottle and pulled at least two pieces of glass out of the right foot. 
On Sunday we drove to Austria and upon arriving in Villach I met my friend Anthony for a quick run on the Drau River path before sundown.  Anthony used to live in Livonia MI and I've run with him there but now has relocated to Villach so I always have a running buddy there now too!  The next morning it began snowing early so I got in a snow headlamp run on the same path before the workday began.  I also got to experience "thunder snow" which was a first although I never saw any lightning.  We then travelled back to the Munich area and I got in a run in Unterhaching prior to my flight back on Tuesday. 
After Dinner in Cocoa Village

Once back in Indiana I got in a few pre-Thanksgiving runs and tapered for the Space Coast Marathon on Nov. 26.  I flew down to Florida the day before the race and Earl the Pearl (Earl Strong) picked me up at the airport.  We went to his daughter Brittany's house in Titusville and visited with family before going to the packet pickup in Cocoa Village.  We had a nice dinner with Earl's family and then made our way to the hotel for the night in Cocoa Beach.

Cocoa Village FL
The next morning Earl and I boarded the 5am bus for Cocoa Village and got ready for the 6:30 am start.  The half marathon started at 6am but on the other half of the course so that "thinned the herd" significantly prior to the marathon start.  The roads were very smooth on the first half of the race and a little bit rougher on the second half.  But even though it was rougher AND hotter on the second half there was absolutely no way I was going to miss my 4 hour marathon and fail at FL for the 3rd time this year!!  I went out with the 3:55 pace group led by Scott from Miami (originally Edinburgh Scotland) and hung with the group for the first 2 miles.
3:55 Pace Group at the Start
Space Coast Marathon -Packet Pick Up
  However, it was remaining pretty congested in the group and as a barefoot runner I need to be able to see the road and move side-to-side as needed.  So I ran ahead of the group starting at the 2.5 mile mark.  I dropped my pace down to a pretty consistent 8:40 from the groups 8:58 pace and got ahead of them by about 2 minutes at the turn (approx. 6.5 miles)  I held that pace through the first 15 miles or so and then started paying back the bank...not a good strategy for making a good time, but I have played this game many times before and was hoping not to give back to much time.  My miles slipped above the 9 minute pace at around 17 miles but I kept doing the math and didn't let myself slow too much.  At mile 24 Scott and his now much smaller 3:55 pace group came along and encouraged me to hang with them for as long as I could.  I said "Sure, just don't get more than 5 minutes ahead of me!"  I ran a faster mile 25 with them () but then let them go and ran a slower mile 26 () but just fast enough to still pull out a 3:55:53 finish.  I was VERY happy and so glad to finally capture this elusive State of Florida and complete the 50Sub4 quest.
Scott - 3:55 Pacer
I hung out at the massage tent, by way of the beer tent, and relaxed for about an hour until Earl came in.  We snapped a few pics in the heat and made our way back to the bus to get to the hotel and get cleaned up.  We took a quick stroll on the beach before going out for one last meal before he took me to the airport for my evening flight out. 

50Sub4 Finisher Shirt!
Once back to work I submitted my times and photos to the 50Sub4 Club and by Wed. got the notification that I was accepted into the club as the 101st member.  I knew that I missed the top 100 as I would have been the 92nd member had I completed the circuit at Disney back in January.  Oh well...I kind of like the 101 number!  Thank you God for the amazing healing powers of this body and for these early Christmas Gifts of running accomplishments.

Everyone enjoy your December, some time off and some cooler barefoot runs!

God Bless You All,

Barefoot Dan

(November Mileage = 145.71miles)

Getting Hot After the Race\

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