I got up this morning and put on my running shorts and top. I had checked out the gravel on the pathway going to the Savoy Orchard Days 5k last night and thought it was too rough for my feet to run in my new barefoot running Vibram Five Finger shoes. So, this a.m., I headed out in my old running shoes. They felt funny on my feet. I could feel how my heels sunk into them. Where the balls on my feet were felt elevated versus where my 4th and 5th metatarsals were. I had been mildly supinating when I'd been running in them to alleviate some of my back issues. I didn't know this, of course, at the time.
They felt heavy. "I don't know if I can do this." I thought.
Then I saw a guy run by me on his way to the 5k in his Vibrams.
"Eff this! I am not a wuss."
I went home. I got into the Vibrams and I went to the race check in. People stared at my shoes. A couple of college students from the apartments talked about them. I heard phrases like, "Barefoot is supposed to be your truest running form," and "They can't possibly have any arch support." But no one asked me point blank about them until after the race. We lined up. I was in my usual place well behind the real runners (who warm up for 30 minutes before a 5k -- which takes them 18 minutes to run?) and in front of the obvious walkers.
The siren goes off and I start to run. I used my eyes to avoid any giant rocks. Once we got onto the pavement, I felt my left calf tighten a little bit. "You're just warming up; it'll be okay."
And I ran. The volunteers in the Prairie Fields neighborhood weren't actually Prairie Fields neighbors. I found that strange, and kind of unneighborly. (They weren't Prairie Meadows folks either, by the way.) Instead they were Lincoln Challenge Academy kids. I thanked each and every one of them as I jogged by. There were a few folks out cheering on family members. I saw my friend Susan and her son, which was nice. At mile one, I checked my watch: 10 minutes even. Not bad. At mile 2: 20:28. Still Happy. There was no walking. No cramping. I passed a woman around mile 2.5 while greeting some of the volunteers. Her response, "You are far too chipper." And then I smiled. I was back. I was me. Nothing hurt and I was happy.
At the end, we had to haul ass up the giant sledding hill behind us. I loved that part. It made my left calf unhappy for about an hour after the race, but when I saw the clock at the top of the hill when I started my ascent it said 31:14. So my guess is I finished in just over 32 minutes. I didn't glance at my watch until after I finished and got a water bottle and started to visit with another mother I knew running the race.
For my first race since running the relay in the marathon last May, I was pretty pleased. I was also pretty happy with my Vibrams. Anything that has no pain makes me pretty happy these days. Well, that and running 5ks in my own freaking backyard. How convenient is that?
Next week, I'm running the women's fitness race. X-man is going to do the 100-yard dash beforehand. Anyone else going to be out there?
After that I'm scheduled for a 10k in Montreal in mid-October. I'm hoping to have worked up to at least 5 miles in the Vibrams by then. And I'm looking into the new fall/winter models that are supposedly lined with smartwool. :-)