Thursday, August 19, 2010

Learning the Unknown

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!


Ian said...

Thanks, although it feels a bit like a eulogy. The one thing I’ll always regret is being the first to comment on your blog and encouraging you to keep going.


Anonymous said...

The result: 10 miles at marathon pace (9:00 per mile).

Sweet! Barefoot Booze Hound - showing up at a race near you!

Jess said...

Awesome job at the 10 miler! Great pace for doubling your longest barefoot run.

Jess said...

Great job that you were able to finish that barefoot 10 miler!

MCM Mama said...

That's an impressive jump of barefoot mileage. I'm not that brave - I still haven't passed the 5K mark myself.

Junk Miler said...

Glad it went well. I would feel a little responsible if it sucked.

I know you would have rather been faster, but you just spent an hour and a half running barefoot. That's awesome.

I didn't get below a 9 min pace until my first barefoot 5k; I just took off and got a blister right away, but didn't want to slow down, so I had to figure out how to keep going without making the blister worse. Necessity is the mother of invention, etc.

misszippy said...

I think you are doing an amazing job at transferring to BF. The pace will come with time, I'm sure, and then you will be breathing down Josh's neck!

Junk Miler said...

That would make me feel a little uncomfortable. Not that there's a... ugh. Stupid Seinfeld.