Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Race Week: My Humps My Humps My Humps

Here we are, midweek of Race Week, and the weather forecast has proved to be a flip-flopper. Remember when I said it will be completely different than it was last week, when called for low 60s and rain on Race Day? My forecast was proven correct just a couple days later, when that same website predicted mid-60s and sunshine for the Akron Marathon. Today, we're back to low 60s and rain.

I've been rather lucky without dealing with such Race Day humps as bad weather. My marathons have been especially fortuitous without so much as a scattering of rain drops. Last year, I was expecting showers and even created a trashbag rain slicker, but the rain never arrived. Luckily, I still have that modified trashbag to use this year.

Yesterday, after reading a tale of two barefoot marathon wins, I had the thought, 'You know, cluck it, maybe I should just run the marathon without shoes.' Granted, my longest barefoot run this year was five miles and my longest ever was 10 miles, but this is the year if ever there was a year when I could focus on taking it slow. First, there was taper sickness and now the madness.

Of course, I haven't practiced at all running barefoot on the Towpath, which makes up a three-mile stretch from about miles 11 to 14. If you remember last year's race, I picked up a pebble in my shoe during this stretch, which forced me to stop and lose my pace group. The crushed limestone surface of the Towpath is anything but smooth and would require some serious focus to run it barefoot.

As I considered this option, I decided to make it a goal next year to get comfortable running barefoot on the Towpath and similar terrains. For this year's race, though, I'll stick to shoes, my new Altra Adams.

Packet pickup is Friday. And then one last hump to traverse.


Anonymous said...

Early in my barefooting, before opting to use barefoot running merely as a training tool, I had thoughts of running Houston barefoot. But knowing there is one particular street that is not conducive at all to barefoot running, as well as the general condition of some of the other roads quickly diverted me from that idea.

Jess said...

I couldn't imagine running down my block barefoot, let alone a marathon barefoot!

Good luck with dealing with the taper -- you're exhibiting classic taper-symptoms this week: Checking the weather constantly and feeling a "wee bit icky." Stop looking at, take two Advil, and all will be fine!

Robin said...

No whining about rain - embrace it. We're from Northern Ohio, the gray and rain capital. Good luck this weekend and have fun at the pinning ceremony for your 5 years.

BrianFlash said...

Ditto what Robin said! I ran Flying Pig in Cincy last year and it rained the entire way. One thing, once you get wet (first five minutes) you are wet and at that point it doesn't matter.

Good call on sticking with the shoes. Continue working the transition and run that marathon shoeless next year.

Nitmos said...

Um, is no one going to comment on the fact that he kept a "modified" trash bag around for a year? Really? I believe there's an A&E show for folks like you.