On more than one occasion, I left the road to run in the still-dewy grass that lines the shoulder of the street. As soon as I stepped onto the grass, my stride opened up and I just started flying albeit just for short stints. Grass is just amazing on bare feet. This is a two-edged sword, however, because returning to the pavement brings you harshly back to unforgiving reality. Form immediate has to tighten up, but that's the way it goes. The only really rough spot for me in the race was one windy, narrow connecting road that was tree lined and beautiful, but a tractor had criss-crossed the roadway several times as it entered and left adjacent fields leaving debris everywhere. I had to do a little dance to kick off some passengers on a couple occasions which I am sure was amusing to those running behind me.
I wound up finishing 36th out of about 160 runners with an official time of 49:29.
My feet post-race:
Right Foot: Sorry if you're grossed out. The white you see is old blisters or calluses (on my big toe). The race removed some of the skin from the old blister on the ball of my foot that has been there for about two weeks. I learned the hard way never to remove skin from a blister on your foot unless there is some specific reason you have to.
|The left foot looks a bit better than the right, but both feet feel fine. Honestly, neither foot was ever in real pain, nor is either one sore or even tender now. Woot!|
Other observations about my race:
- People start off way too fast. It's fun picking off people at mile three that blasted past you out of the gate.
- I could have run faster. I was neither fatigued or in pain as I crossed the finish line.
- The toughness of my feet are the primary limiting factor for my running speed and distance. I am not sure if the weight of shoes would have affected me all that much, but the extra protection would certainly have improved my ability to move swiftly over most of the road surface. Thus is the life of a barefoot runner.
- The increase in mileage in my training has certainly positively affected my fitness. My pace felt easy despite being quite a bit quicker than my tempo runs (-15 to -20 sec/mile)
A few notes on the race overall:
- The race was well attended and well organized by the Clarksville Running Club.
- The atmosphere was welcoming and lighthearted.
- I got an awesome chair massage after the race from one of the staff at High Pointe Rehab.
- Sango United Methodist was an awesome host.
And now..... I have a date with this guy: