So this has been an interesting week, since last Sunday when I ran the entire Treherne Half Marathon barefoot on gravel to the dismay of a lot of people, and accepted an invite to join a friend on an excursion to Bismark, ND to run there on Saturday, I have found out alot about the resilience of my feet and body in general.
Lets start with Sunday, after I finished the half, my feet were a little tender, ok that would be an understatement they were down right sore. After running 13.1 miles on gravel (with about a mile reprieve on asphalt) that was very understandable, I figured I would have tender feet for a couple of days. I was wrong within hours my feet were back to normal, my calves were a still a little tight the next day and my big toe was still sore from my toe drag at mile 10 or so, but other than that my feet felt fantastic. Also note my toe healed up nicely in a couple of days. I was even able to do some trail running Monday night out at Kilcona Park with the WH3 barefoot and it felt fantastic, no ill effects of the race the day before.
But just to be on the safe side, I did not run the rest of the week, since I committed to going to Bismark with Mike (from See Mike Run), I wanted to ensure my feet were ready for what I was thinking was going to be a fast half marathon. Nothing like a last minute decision to run a race, within the last two weeks I have signed up for 2 runs at the last minute (Treherne the Wednesday before the race and now Bismark the day before). The crazy thing is that on the trip down to Bismarck, I was contemplating running the full instead of the half because I didn't know what I would do waiting the extra approx 2 hours for Mike and David to finish after I was done. So as we drove the 450 miles (not km's eh Mike) to Bismarck I tossed the idea of throwing caution to the wind and running the full marathon around. So here we are driving for about 7 hours to an American city, trying to figure out what race I was going to complete. We arrived in Bismarck around 6 pm and headed straight to the race pick up / registration area which was located in the mall which was adjacent the Scheel's (a really cool sports equipment store similar to MEC and REI). Still completely undecided which way I was going to go, I started the registration process and got to the run selection and checked Full, I thought why not you only live once, right?
Now lets put this into perspective for all you runners and non-runners out there:
- I have not ran more than 16 miles since June 17th in one shot (only adding 10.2 miles onto of my max run, no problem).
- I haven't trained for a marathon at all and definitely not at race pace.
- I was still battling my breathing issues, carried my puffer through Trehere just in case and would do the same here.
- There was a killer hill to tackle not once but twice (1.5 or so miles up at a 5% grade incline)
- There was chip-seal on the course
- There would be off and on rain throughout the run and a pretty good head wind
- Of course I was running barefoot
That all being said, I was pumped to get out there and run. It was really interesting, as I was registering, one of the ladies behind the table noticed my Vibram shirt and mentioned that her son runs in them, and Mike mentioned that I actually run barefoot and would be running tomorrow that way. That was when all the hoopla started, all of a sudden they were quizzing me so they could write down my bib number, my name and contact info on a separate sheet, for at the time some unknown purpose. It really didn't hit me until the next day what it was, but I will expand on that later. I just answered their questions, smiled and we headed out to go check in at the hotel and then off to Olive Garden for some pasta and beer (a traditional pre-race feast).
Mike was up at around 5:00, I dragged my butt out of bed at around 5:20 and David fell out of bed at about 5:35, a quick shower, dress and prep for run and we headed downstairs to hit the continental breakfast and a coffee. Met some other runners from Ohio and Kansas who seemed a little over dressed to me wearing touques, tights and heavier running jackets, but they were ready to 'Get 'Er Done!' (That one is for you Mike). Here I was planning to wear my shorts, tri shirt (which is sleeveless) and my arm sleeves for the start, along with my bare feet, must be a Canadian thing, overheating is not a good thing in my mind. Anyway, we piled into the car and headed out to find the run, thanks again GPS for pointing us in the right direction. About halfway there we picked up a runner who was walking along the side of the road looking rather chilled. He in fact was from Houston Texas, and was only wearing his running gear which consisted of a muscle shirt and shorts, he was very grateful for the ride. He was unaware how far it actually was from the hotel to the start line so we were glad to give him the opportunity to warm up before running the full marathon. As we arrived we started to get ready, I took off my long sleeve shirt and my VFF's but left my Injini toe socks on to keep my toes warm, I did get some looks from other runners as I was walking around in socks (just wait till those come off, hee hee!).
Barefoot: 2.35 miles
The drummer on course kept a good beat
Young guitarist, sorry so blurry tried to snap photo as I was running by.
This was the path were on for the majority of the race, not to wide but it was doable.
Me before heading up the hill, this was around Mile 5 .
Harpist at the university grounds, very nice lady.
A look from the plateau behind the U of Mary down into the river valley