A week ago, I shifted into panic mode. I spent an entire sleepless night trying to figure out how I could possibly complete the marathon barefoot as well. I calculated that I had at best a 30% chance of making it through the entire marathon barefoot. After looking at it that way, I discarded the idea of running it barefoot. I was going to have to be happy with running the 5k barefoot and the marathon in my rapidly decomposing Vibram Five Fingers. I had put them through the dryer (bad idea) and then the oven (even worse idea) when I was trying to dry them out faster. All I ended up doing was melting the glue. Damaged or not, it greatly increased my chances of completing the marathon.
On Monday and Wednesday, I took runs on the gravel on top of Krannert. I also ran with a friend 3-5 miles.
I stretched every day. I drank water whenever my body indicated the slightest bit of dehydration. I ate well.
Paying so much attention to my health really boosted my mood. There were so many other benefits beside running that I feel I need to continue these habits. One of my friends noted that I was farting rainbows and sunshine on my twitter.
The only health factor that didn’t go too well was my sleep schedule. I tried to sleep earlier to wake up earlier, but ended up just sleeping more. So for the week before the marathon, I was sleeping around 12 hours a day. Night before the 5k was interrupted by partying, and I couldn’t sleep. My mind was in high gear. I was way more panicky about the 5k than the marathon, because I’ve walked marathon distances before, but the 5k would be my first official race.
I met up with Dave Xiao and his friends and chatted to get through the nerves. I waited in the 8 min/mile corral. And then we were off…
The beginnings to races are slow affairs. There’s not much space and people are getting up to speed. For a barefoot runner, the first mile on that route was really rough terrain. After that, though, I was able to loosen up and enjoy running…and run fast. The exclamations of, “Barefoot!” that followed me only served to drive me faster. I was going to represent barefooters, dammit!
So I ran the 5k in 22 minutes and 39 seconds, placing 206 out of 4211, running 7:17 miles.
I made it mine. I took home some of the dirt and dust in a torn blister on my toe, so I guess it made me its own as well.
That blister would worry me coming into the marathon the next day…