I raced my second race barefoot last weekend, at the always fantastic Virginia Beach Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon. The course is, as advertised, flat and fast–I was thrilled to finish 5 minutes faster than last year!
My Vibrams were simply fabulous on the course. Despite the lingering effects of the bout of plantar fasciitis that ended my hopes of running in 2010’s Surf City Marathon, I experienced virtually no foot pain after the VB half–nor after the 5K I ran in them in May. I was recovered–at least in terms of the “OMG my quads are stiff!” post-run turmoil–fairly quickly, too. I credit the shoes–which I had a chance to brag about repeatedly during the race (so many people asked about them). I really believe I wouldn’t be back to long distance runs had I not switched to Vibrams. So, if I haven’t testified to the fabulousness that are Vibram Five Fingers enough, allow me to do so here. The experience was just fabulous. Even more fun? I walked right into the ocean–shoes and all–after the race.
Way better than an ice soak!
During the last LSD run (ahem, that’s Long Slow Distance, you heathens) before the half, I ran in the Vibrams. The weather was terrible–heavy, heavy rains. I was particularly pleased that I could run in the rain in the Vibrams without slipping (I’d been a touch concerned about that) and–better–without having to worry about the dreaded soaked sock.
My training for this half–as well as for the one next month and the marathon in November, had not been going particularly well. I’ve missed more midweek runs, largely owing to exhaustion, than I should, and the LSD running has been both slow (I know, I know, it’s supposed to be) and difficult, so the ease and speed (for me) of the VB half was uplifting. I’ve found that I need to remind myself that I am no longer running FOR something–other than running. In other words, running for the sake of running, rather than sobriety, weight loss, or whatever. I realized that without running just for the hell of it, I was likely to give up running when I succeeded in whatever I was using running for.
Bad idea. Running is a goooood thing.