Monday, October 5, 2009

The Next Thing

I'm still hungry.

This year has been a revelation. I have run farther and I have run faster than ever before. But I want more.

So what do I do now?

I am still beyond the four-hour barrier, onward swims my white whale. If it were not for a wedding, I very well might have signed up for the Columbus Marathon. But alas, it was not meant to be. Instead, I will return to Cleveland.

In years past, I ran the Cleveland Half Marathon, but I didn't this year because of financial circumstances. To make up for my absence, I shall run two halves in 2010. And yet again, I will be looking for that sub-four performance.

But what shall I do until then?

Autumn has arrived in Northeast Ohio. The weather has cooled significantly. Excepting today, this week's weather forecast calls for cold rain. That rain will turn to snow in no time. My body feels a bit worn down after an eight-miler on Sunday, and I feel the slight tickle of potential H1N1 in my throat. All of which gives me an idea: let's run barefoot!

I've been consulting with southofthecliff, who just wrote maybe the most brutal race report ever, and he says the best way to get started with shoeless running is to go out on a rest day. Normally, I would have run three recovery miles today. Instead, I'm going to take a lap or two around my block and dirty up my soles.

If this experiment succeeds, I hope to add one day per week of barefoot running to complement my training. I'm not ready to sacrifice my soles to the Shoeless Society quite yet. Besides, I just got a new pair of racing flats. And besides besides, if you think I'm running barefoot when the snowflakes come, you're just dumb.


Ms. V. said...

I just don't really understand barefoot running. At all.

joyRuN said...

I'll be interested to see how you make out with this experiment.

I've been running in the Nike Frees to start building up whatever muscles need to grow so that when I finally make the leap to barefoot, I won't be hobbling around.

Good luck!

Junk Miler said...

Thanks for the shout out; now's as good a time as any to say I'm not a doctor, I'm just some dude.

The chill might make the first few outings a little tough, but I can't say for sure. That might be a good thing - forcing you to keep your cadence up and lift the feet instead of stepping. This will be my first winter barefoot, and I'm in NC. I guess wear a warm hat, etc. I'll pull together some info. I expect there to be some aqua sock days.

joyRuN - you might find you enjoy the Frees, but it's not at all like going barefoot. There's nothing to prepare for. Once you take off your shoes, you're starting over.


I predict Ms. V. will be running barefoot at the Leadville 100 next year.

The Enthusiast said...

Barefoot, eh?

What if you step on a chipmunk barefoot? That would be gross.

(I have a fear of crushing chipmunks on the towpath while running - there are always dead ones all over the place and I refuse to believe the cyclists and biking enthusiasts did all the damage.)

S said...

I volunteered at a 10 mile race over the weekend and there were a group of barefoot runners running the race. Their feet were disgusting by the end (and the one guy stepped on glass that was in the make sure you avoid that). Good luck!

X-Country2 said...

The barefoot running cult is WAY worse than the church of Garmin. Just sayin. :o)

Jess said...

BF running, eh? Next thing we know, you're gonna be skipping showers, growing your hair out, buying up patchouli, and munching on granola. Dirty hippie ;)

Junk Miler said...

X-Country: maybe, but it's a hell of a lot cheaper.

B.o.B. said...

I am very unsure about the whole barefoot thing. I just really like shoes. I am a female. That should really sum up the whole shoe thing.

Hope you don't have the Pig Pox.

Ms. V. said...

I'll be running barefoot. Huh. I hear a challenge.

Anonymous said...

Barefoot running is the next "pet rock" and some day you refer to it as fondly as disco music.

Anonymous said...

Barefoot running is the next "pet rock" and some day you refer to it as fondly as disco music.

Aileen said...

Barefoot something I am not sold on. If I tried barefoot running, even out in the suburbs, I'm 100% sure I'd step on something that would really, really hurt. But hey, whatever floats your boat!