Sunday, 6 November 2011

Feeling a bit of a fraud

You may have noticed the title change of my blog.  I had a good summer slowly building up the barefoot mileage, then work got busy, the nights started closing in and I was running in the dark, and the weather started getting wetter. Instead of spending maybe 50% of my runs barefoot, it was down to once a week and then once a fortnight, and then yesterday it was my first BF run for a month. 

It was cool and damp from overnight rain, and I went out to run on the 10k course for the new year's eve race I do.  My feet felt tender on the first mile of chip-and-seal tarmac, and the second mile was easier as was the third.  There's a bit more chip and seal after mile three then it settles down to decent tarmac after that.  About there my feet really started to hurt and the pace slowed.  I stopped briefly at about 3.5 miles to check my feet and found nothing obviously wrong so carried on but still slower and with feet getting sorer by the yard.  About 4.5 miles in I noticed that my left foot was bleeding from a burst blister, and that I had more coming.  I kept giving myself targets to get to, promising myself a rest at the top of the 15m high hill on the course.  I didn't get that far though, being forced to a walk before the base of the hill.  At teh top, I trotted again for a bit, but was forced into alternating a slow, painful trot with an even slower painful limping. 

By now I was entirely despondent, and thinking about ways to make the pain end as quickly as possible.  When I got home I found a very good collection of blisters and blood blisters on each foot. 

That really made the decision for me.  As much as I want to be running barefoot, I simply don't have enough time to devote to it over the winter to be able to get the technique good enough to stop this happening each time. My thought process on this is that I can't run truly BF enough to iron out the flaws in my technique, but that they are not severe enough to affect me in huaraches.  The wet ground doesn't help as it magnifies those technique issues and we're now heading into another damp cold northern european winter, so it's only likely to get worse if I keep putting in just one or two BF runs a month.

I want to keep running, but I can't be taking three days off for my feet to heal after every BF run.  I'm also thinking longer term that I'm aiming for my first ultra distance in July next year, which I'm planning to do in huaraches, so I need to be comfortable in those over long distances anyway.  They are slightly more forgiving of form mistakes, but not entirely.

Today (Sunday) I have at least three good sized blisters or blood blisters on each foot, of which I've drained the worst.  If I hdan't I'd only be able to hobble along and I have to drive up to Teeside today for work tomorrow.  There is still enough discomfort to stop me running or riding today but much less than yesterday

I'll pick up BF again when I have more time to spend on it, probably starting back at a couple of miles again until I get the technique issues ironed out.

Well, enough of that, this week has not been too bad otherwise.  I've been recovering from this cold, so not pushing it too hard, but I'd managed a few sessions during the week in amongst the work commitments.

Monday was up to Aberdeen in the evening, ready to take the first flight north to Kirkwall on Orkney and then a car adn ferry ride to the island of Flotta, to carry out a visit to the oil terminal there as part of my emissions verification work for EUETS.  It was a good visit with much better weather than last time I was there, still windy, but nice and sunny for early November.  The place is very beatuiful, but can be very bleak in poor weather.   With just an overnight trip I took the minimum and just did some bodywork exercises in my room in the evening. 

The flight back to Aberdeen on Wednesday was delayed, so I didn't get anything done that evening. 

Thursday and Friday I managed two runs, one in the Merrell Trail Gloves, the other in the home-made huaraches.  Both a shortened version of my usual route, just easing back after the cold.  I'd forgotten my HR strap, a great big Doh! moment for an HR capped training phase, so ran by "feel" instead, keeping it comfortable.

Thursday 4.31 mile / 33:2  1) 7:44  2)7:57  3) 7:55  4) 7:29  5) 2:20 / 0.31 mi / 7:37

Friday 4.48 mi / 33:31 / 7:29 average  1) 6:38 2) 7:48  3) 7:37  4) 7:43 5) 0.48mi / 3:44 / 7:45
 I think the GPS may have shorted the first mile as it was the reverse of Thursday's route and didn't feel that quick

Saturday's debacle
t) 5.68 mi / 52:14 / 9:11 / A142 / M154 (adjusting strap)
1) 9:02 / A138 / M154 
2) 8:23 / A146 / M149 
3) 8:34 / A146 / M150 
4) 0.59 / 5:12 / 8:49 / A 146 / M150 accidentally pressed lap button during a quick stop
5) 8:59 / A134 / M149
6) 11:04 / A139 / M 149 
7) 0.09 / 1:00 / 10:28 / A138 / M141

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