So, I didn’t do it. I ran 30.7kms instead of 42.2. For lots of reasons, the least of not which was my lack of training. here is my entire training log for the last 6 weeks.
|March 27 – Rest||March 28 – rest||March 29 – rest||March 30 – rest||March 31 – rest||April 1 – rest||April 2 – rest|
|April 3 – rest||April 4 – rest||April 5 – 4k||April 6 – 6 hills||April 7 – rest||April 8 – rest||April 9 – 10k|
|April 10 – 32km||April 11 - rest||April 12 – rest||April 13 – rest||April 14 – rest||April 15 –rest||April 16 – rest|
|April 17 – 21.1kms||April 18 – rest||April 19 – rest||April 20 – rest||April 21 – rest||April 22 – rest||April 23 – rest|
|April 24 – rest||April 25 – rest||April 26 – rest||April 27 – rest||April 28 – rest||April 29 – rest||April 30 – rest|
|May 1 – 30.7 kms|
Like, a REAL lack of training. I dunno, life has been pretty rough in general here at rancho Z, but I shouldn’t have that many excuses. So now you know why I was so thrilled with the distance yesterday and not all bummed out. I went as far as I could go, and not a step further. I found out where my limit is and where I can go in my fitness and in my mental strength. The 30.7kms is a bigger deal for me than the 32 on April 10th, because this run was ALL barefoot. every step. Yeah. Check this out. At the start, just prior to step #1 of this Barathon. Hah! another new BF word!
And just so you know, it was not warm at all to start, as indicated by the frost on the car when I headed out. Yeah, starting temp: 1c – 34f.
Heading over to my run, I found myself so nervous that I actually got queasy. That hasn’t happened before. I guess my body was more afraid of this run than my mind was. I got to the start line. Everyone was there.
To be fair, Run buddy Susan showed up, which made me very happy. We stood on the line. watched the clock strike 8am and we were off!
Here is the video from the mass start!
Thanks very much to Susan, she ran with me for the first 10k, at her 10k race pace (I think she was sandbagging a bit, as she was talking the whole way, without any difficulty. I think your sub 1hr 10k is just around the corner Sue! We had lots of laughs for the first part of my run.
Susan pointed this scene out as we were running. Everyone knows I carry my camera, so she was like, Aren’t you going to take this picture?
When we returned to the start/loop/finish area, Traci and Andrew were waiting for me with a change of drink bottle, and some chapstick, and then Run buddy Tammy was ready to go for the long 18k out and back into the most scenic part of todays run. A bunch of the run looked a lot like this:
My Shout out goes to my amazing support team. I actually get a little emotional thinking about the support I get from Traci and Andrew on an ongoing basis, not just in running, but in general life! But Sunday took the cake. They showed up at regular intervals, having new Nathan bottles ready for me, a handful of gels and chomps, the tube of chapstick and dry BondiBands for my choosing. I saw them 6 times in the last 21kms. At every stop, the boy would ask “Are you having fun on your marathon daddy?” yeah, I sure was! It was just really incredibly nice to see them so much. The run got an A+ for that reason alone.
Tammy and I carried on through the rolling west end of Fish Creek Park. I had a cool moment when a runner that was coming at us says “Hey! Are you Neil?, you are amazing!, i knew it was you! I follow you!”. That was pretty cool, my first total stranger recon! Tammy just laughed because she had been subject to all the silly comments I get as I run by people, and then this happens.
I liked it.
Tammy was here for todays run as a test of her funky IT band, and unfortunately she had some trouble with it about 9k into her 18k run. I was actually surprised at how good I felt through the first 19kms, but as we approached 21 I started to feel the bottom of my feet and i had some weird fatiguing in my lower legs. The really good thing on this run was that my heart and lungs were never really taxed, it was my strength and soles that gave up on me in the end. Tammy toughed it out for the complete 18k (against my scolding), and I started to struggle a bit at the 25k mark. We had just passed a group of about 1000 (seriously) charity walkers, and I was feeling a bit out of sorts.
I was feeling ok, but had started to feel the twinges of cramps in my hamstrings and quads. I tried to drink well, but it seemed I was on the edge of some issues. Tammy had pulled up at about 25.5k (14.5 for her) and I carried on.
Out of absolutely nowhere it felt like I was hit in the back of the leg with a full swing 9 iron. I jumped about 4 feet in the air and stopped dead. I couldn’t move. The pain was almost too much to bear, and I yelled out “OH MY F**King GOD”. I gathered myself as best as I could and tried to get some motion, and tried to walk it out. It was in the very bottom of my hamstring, centered right above my kneepit and the worst pain I’d ever remembered. Tammy caught up to me and was concerned, but I knew if I kept moving I'd probably be ok. Sure enough after a couple minutes of walking and rubbing and stretching, it just went away. This was at 26k. I went off running again, feeling actually pretty good.
At 27k it was my other leg. Exactly the same, except this was the 7 iron. This time it seemed to take something extra out of me. I started to feel an abrasion on the bottom of my left foot and I thought I might put on my 5’s at the end of this loop. I also started to feel tired. I Gu’d again, and guzzled the rest of my GuBrew and pushed my way to the checkpoint.
I finished the 18k loop, swapped my bottles, drank a big gulp of water Traci and Andrew had for me, and just headed out. ‘Back in 40 minutes’ I told Traci, as this was a 5k loop. It was ok, I was moving along fairly well for the first k, but I was having a hard time maintaining my pace. I bared down a bit and focused on my posture and cadence, and that seemed to help for another k, but it was just up ahead that I was in for a pretty good punishment. This loop leaves the pathway and goes on roads for 1.5k and then back to paths. I must have forgotten that is was just barely spring here and that these roads were still completely covered with sanding chips.
Might as well have been knives. For a little while there were tarred strips in the road that I was able to run on but for the most part there was a complete covering of this sharp gravel. I ran on. My pace dropping from about 6:45 per km to 8:30. I was just picking my way, but it seemed when I only stepped on one tiny rock, it felt worse than a whole footful.
Then I just couldn’t take it anymore. I walked along the edge where the grass met the gravel. There was no where to escape as the gravel was pushed into the grass, but at least the grass gave a tiny bit of relief. I finally made it back to the pathway on the other side, but for some inexplicable reason the path was covered in the same gravel. I tried to run again, but I was feeling crampy in my legs and my feet felt like hamburger.
The gravel that was on this bit of pathway gave me the opportunity to make a very smart decision. Quit. Pull the chute. End the madness. I pulled my phone out of my Nathan Belt and walk off the trail and Called Traci.
Heh. No Answer.
I texted too (‘call me, i’m fine, i’m just done’), then I realized I had Tammy’s # so I called her and she had just left, but turned around to go tell Traci to call me. Traci did check her phone and get back to me, but not before I filmed this.
I’m glad I did this video, it sort of feels good to remember that moment and how at peace I was with it. I quite enjoyed the 10 minutes of just sitting and relaxing waiting for my ride, but the best was when Traci pulled up and Andrew says from his car seat “Daddy, your marathon was amazing, you won!”
I sure did.
We got back to the parking lot and Traci had a full recovery picnic ready for me, including Turkey wraps, Chocolate milk, bananas, Granola bars, Doritos, water, and other stuff. After a few more leg cramp issues I was finally able to sit down and relax.
I did get a good post run shot of my feet. See the marks from the gravel? yeah, it sucked. On a normal run, I can handle that, for short periods of time (running across a street) but I think after so much barefoot running, my feet were just hypersensitive.
Here is what it looked like after an hour and a shower at home. Not bad considering. Barefooters talk about ‘Leathering’ up their feet. Do things like keeping your feet out of water (shower, not bath) walk on rough surfaces and try to keep the skin really dry. This allows the foot to toughen and be ready for such punishment. I have a winters worth of skin softening shoe wearing. I think this run will go along way to evolving my ‘leather’. They look a little swollen coz they were. I wore some socks for the rest of the day, as they were tender. I think in the future, I will plan my long race attempts for the fall, when my feet are at their summer prime entoughen!
The little guy was so proud of me.
Traci and Andrew packed up our picnic and and went home, I got in the car, did some facebook updates then headed out too. I was only a few yards out of the park when I started to dread the ice bath at home. Then it struck me that I was next to a glacial river that was just recently covered in ice.
That’ll do! I walked down the boatramp and stood up to my buttcheeks in the 45f water for 15 minutes.
Still not as cold as the water that comes out of our taps here in Calgary. I cleaned the hottub today and this was the temp at startup. It’s no wonder I cringe at the thought of (no)Ice baths.
I also got a really nice Bondiburn! Can you see that? I had lots of comments at work today.
This run was part of my Virtual Marathon. I ran the half on the 17th, and this run this weekend for a total of 51.8km and a time of 6:08. That qualifies me, even though I said I’d do it all in one, I was happy to have the half to fall back on. I am receiving some great reports for the VM, and this is one of my fav’s.
This echo's a familiar sentiment all across the board of participants. You were happy to have 2 weeks to get the distance and it was nice to have to motivation in a somewhat awkward time of the year for races/ training. Great job to everyone who played! Get your reports in, I’ll wrap the prizes up by next weekend to give everyone a chance to get their poop in a scoop!
I can’t wait for the second annual 10-10 Virtual race. You choose the distance! 1k, 1m, 10k, 10m, 100k, 100m… you get the idea. Some people did 4.2 10ks! By then I should have 500 followers, so the prize pool will be that much better! Oh, if you played in this Virtual Race and haven’t followed me officially yet, why not?