Yes, yes I know 42km = Marathon…..but my oh my 42km sounds rather epic today!
Well the race commenced in good conditions for marathon running- in fact perfect weather conditions.
Real barefoot marathon…Nooo it was far from idyllic road conditions. Why? The road was wet. wet. wet. My so carefully engineered tape simply soaked itself off at the 3km mark. Gone. But actually was no issues.
Yes, peoples my feet help up brilliantly. Soft, and wet, so you know when you lay in the bath too long – that wrinkly foot syndrome? Uh uh. That was me today. Now take that water logged wrinkly foot out of the bath – do not dry it.. and walk it on the tarmac… Enough said!
However did that affect my ability to run barefoot – real barefoot? Nope. Not at all. BUT it did affect my time. Lets be honest. I (& Cara) aced a PB (1.52mins) on the first half, even managed to run up the Heart Break Hill that was freaking me out.. By the time I got to Kings park, my feet were still wet and had not hardened up at all. So the road surface through this 5-7km stretch (I do not run with a watch so cannot tell you exact distance) was rough. Seriously farm road style rough. My running Partner, Cara who runs with New Balance Vibrams, could feel how rough the surface was through her shoes. I simply had to slow it down. Like right down. But I kept running and got through it. Admittedly the hills were getting to me, so lets put 50% of the blame on my inability to conquer hills. So at this point I lost my pacing gait…
Once through this section, I felt relief, and was actually surprised that my feet were holding up absolutely fine. So taking it much easier through there was the sensible thing to do.
And then we hit Underwood Drive – up the hills and down the dales…Another rather rough road. Again I simply could not run it fast as my soft wet feet were feeling it then. And the hills were just eating up any gains I had made in the first half…I also forgot to take my food at the 30km mark, and so struggled with muscle fatigue particularly from the 35km mark, my one leg kept spasming, and well quite frankly the first marathon was giving my fitness level a run for its money.
But finally across the line! In One piece. Got to a massage table yay!
Therapists thought I was joking when I said I had just run over 42km in my real barefoot style. The ladies had to have some one else tell them before they believed me, and snapped my feet (roughly 10 minutes after the finish).
And of course none of this would have been possible with out my running partner, Cara Dorman, who has supported me every step of the way. Cara runs in New Balance Vibrams, so this was a massive run for her too. Cara aced a PB on this run (her second marathon) and deserves an awesome thumbs up! And now for Tough Mudder in 2 weeks.