Mmm. not been a good day today. Not sure if I am over reacting or not.
Decided I needed to work on my speed as I have dropped my pace a bit since training for the marathon.
Joined up with the running team I was training with at the beginning of the year. Majority of them know me and know I run barefoot, and aside from initial re-actions, all accepted my methodology once they realised my bare feet was no impediment to me or them. So all in all an accepting group of runners, if not necessarily approving. (this team is linked to a sports shoe & training store hence the lack of enthusiasm for my style).
Well today is the first day of sprint season training. We head off for tempo runs with a small hill on the up & fast down hill on the return. I am keeping my tempo at a fast (for me) 4:05 min /km split, but as I do not have a running watch I am hanging just behind the leading 2 men to get their readings. (confirmed for me at the finish).
The rest of the group were a fair bit back. I do not know these two gents – they are new since I last was with them all in February of this year.
As we approach the return base, Gent One turns around and says my feet hitting the pavement makes a slapping noise and it is annoying!!! Now I happen to know I actually run pretty light on my feet and that particular trait has often been commented on by others that they can barely hear me, so it was a double shock.
I was right on their rear end to listen to their pace feedback..but seriously? Down hill sprints on cement paving and you do not like the sound of my feet?? Or is that you do not like the idea of a barefoot running woman sitting right on your tail? – Something I would not normally highlight (woman) but it was more the tone of the remark and the dirty look than the actual remark that got to me.
Needless to say for the rest of the tempo runs I held back at a 4;30 pace with another considerate lady in the team.
I felt terrible and through out the day the feeling has not faded.
Now as I do have to do some training in shoes, my plan was to do one day a week barefoot interval sprints, and one day a week (when we do grass work) as a standard shod runner in my vibrams. I am now in two minds to flaunt it to these two gentlemen that I am a barefoot runner, AND I can maintain pace with them.
However the runner in me is a polite, company enjoying, group participating individual, and I do not aim or intend to push my style or opinions onto anyone who is not interested in them – those of who are will talk to me directly or read my blog!
So I will stick with my game plan, as it is my training plan for my running calender that counts.
Sorry for the vent, but there are down sides to barefoot running, trust me!