And so I went with No. 1. As a cautionary measure, I asked the increasingly silent Enthusiast to haul my Brooks in her bike bag. We went to the Summit Metroparks Bike & Hike Trail, which seemed like the smoothest surface on which to attempt my longest barefoot run to date.
Furthermore, this 10-miler was scheduled to be a tempo run, which means something close to an eight-minute mile pace. Now, long distance I can do. Fast (-ish) I can do. Barefoot I can do. But all together? No can do.
But I have a better idea today than I did yesterday. The challenging thing was maintaining my form, particularly a fast foot turnover, after about five miles (my previous longest barefoot run).
The problem is that I'm still learning to run barefoot, and I'm relying on what Malcolm Gladwell described as "explicit" knowledge in his New Yorker article "The Art of Failure" (Aug. 21, 2000).
After I reached my previous limit of barefoot running, I had to think too much as I continued onward. As the miles ticked by, I had to constantly monitor my form mentally, which in turn caused me to slow down. If I sped up, my form would go out of whack. At one point, the Enthusiast even said, "Your feet sound different." I was slapping my feet and not picking them up fast enough to run smoothly and pain free.
And then there was the unexpected gravel sections on the otherwise asphalt path. Those were tough. I ran through these three short sections on the way outbound, but had to walk them on the way back.
The result: 10 miles at
tempo marathon pace (9:00/mile).
We're Out of Vanilla
For many of my generation of running bloggers, he was the first blogger we read. He also made the first comment at Booze Hounds Inc. He was the first to challenge me -- and lose. He came out of the closet as the guy who wrote "Cleveland Rocks," and five months later his blog went to pasture. Long spells of silence with half-assed posts sprinkled in weeks and months apart. Yesterday, he called it almost quits -- quits for now. Just in case he didn't want to quit for good, Half-Fast is closed for business until he decides he wants to declare otherwise. Goodbye, Ian. You'll always be Vanilla to me. May you ever run well and drink well. Cheers!