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Ramping it up with some chip seal

March 11, 2009

barefoot-running-march-11-09-006 Burke Gillman Trail  with Medea                                                                                                  Photo by: Patti

Feeling much better today and my thoughts are to push up my mileage to see what the future may hold for my first barefoot half  marathon. I came to a number of six plus miles and that just about doubles my normal mileage that I have been doing regularly. I realize that this is not a slow and easy upgrade and there may be some consequences to this decision. I am ready to live with the results because in ten days I will be running over 13 miles and I would at least like to prepare the best I can in the short time that is left.

Patti, Medea and I started the run on the Burke Gillman Trail and the surface was to be a surprise and it sure was. The fist 3 miles was rough asphalt and chip seal and this was quite the experience. My feet knew they were alive and the gait altered to compensate. A slower pace for starters and I really had to work to relax. It was a difficult warm up for the right ankle and it took about a mile to settle in. The nice thing about running on such a stimulating surface is getting off of it. The next three smoother surface miles were pure joy. Gliding along working on hip placement, speeding up, and slowing down. It felt nice and I could run a long time on this surface, but that little voice in the back of my mind was saying,” You know we have to run back that way!”  What can I say? The voice was right the second time through that section was more stimulating than the first and staying relaxed and in good form was difficult. When the relaxation goes things tense up and get overworked and this is when the trauma  occurs . I can feel everything, my feet, my ankle, even the snot running down my nose onto my lip that I didn’t bother to wipe because  the fire that started at my feet and ended in my head had my complete attention.  This is not a good space to be in for a long period of time and the sensation is telling  me to slow down take it easy the feet are not ready yet, the body is not ready yet, slow down, relax or suffer the consequences.

Thanks to that  little push from the ego today the feet are sensitive and the ankle is sore from the new surface and the extended miles.  The skin faired well with no blisters or tears. This was a first, I had a small rock embedded in my heel at the turn around that my wife was able to remove with some work. It was just like the elephant with the thorn and the mouse that pulled it out. I professed my gratitude  and said,”If I can ever be of help please call on me I am forever indebted to you.”  She just laughed and smiled. That look on her face and the smile was the blue ribbon today. Thanks Patti your time is the greatest gift of all.

Fear is the only real challenge in my mind. There are as many types of fear, pride and ego are the ones that are driving me right now. I believe that fear is a cancer and left untreated it will try to eliminate all fun and love. My challenge is to accept my fear and rise above it and treat it with love. Love conquers fear always and that is that. In this situation I must let go of the outcome and love the journey or I will loose no matter how great the outcome.  I feel better and more centered just saying that. I  have fun and I do my best.  When I run for fun and leave out personal achievement it is always fun and freeing. When I add in the other stuff running is just a common chore or dreaded task. I need to question myself, why run a race? Is it for achievement or for fun? This race was entered for an achievement, but it will be finished only for fun.

I will  leave off with this comment for today. Forest Gump was asked, “why are you running across america?” His answer, “I just felt like running.” That sums it all up the purest form of running is just running because it’s fun. There is no reason, no personal best, and no blue ribbon the prize is in the journey and if you are missing that you may be lost.

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