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Barefoot, Marathon, Road Running

Barefoot and on the Athletics Track – Condescension and tact..

Good afternoon.  A post a little out of whack, just like me!

So, given my increased speed gain with interval training that I went through on a 6 week course,  I decided to continue with this.

I meandered down to our local athletics track where this training is carried out on a weekly basis.

Hmmph.  I am weird….Or not?…Ok, so I suppose I was at an ATHLETIC STADIUM TRACK.  These are serious athletes committed to training…Various mixed groups use this tracks including veterans, field athletes, triathletes, professional athletes, wannabees..mommies running groups, and so on.  The group I was training with fits into the “serious athletes” category..

I arrived at the group late, mainly because I could not find them, and they had all been for their warm up.  So I had to head off on my own for a couple of quick rounds.  Then Coach says -okay every one change to your flats…  Umm, yes.  Well..I actually do not have any shoes, but do you like my red toe nails?  At this point I get some rather weird looks when others realise I am joining them.  I see a girl I recognise from a previous training group, who clearly remembers me, but instantly distances herself from that connection..sad face..

Ergo no one speaks to me for the whole session.  Until the very end when one friendly chap confirmed I was the Dale-Lyn registered for the 6 Inch Trail..  Yay, some one is not embarrassed..   Okay, I get it – you go against society norms you will get a reaction.  I am not hurt/disappointed/emotionally damaged and whatever other politically correct or emotively charged issue could be derived from this, other than a slight embarrassment at being slighted like that. Big girl sniff.

Now to the running.  On a track.  Covered in blue carpet.  (Astra?).  Very flat, very smooth, no traction… I need those barefoot soles described in any barefoot shoe experience advert…….Start off with a 10k average pace for a couple of laps, then up by 80% and down to 60% so on for usual interval.   Usual average 10k pace?  Yup, I was at the back of the pack, and my 60% average pace was tracked at 4:04 min per km.   My 80% at 3:25 min/km and my “average”  at 3;50 min/km.  W.O.W.. I was at the BACK of the pack.  The running club advert says – “All levels and paces catered for ”   Yuuup.  Sure..

This was my first attendance at a track training session.  Very uncomfortable, and probably not the place for a barefoot runner.  Two days later and I am still thinking about if I will return.  The track is too smooth.  Now I know why they say they need spikes to run on a track…I do not even have any shoes remotely fit for use on this.

By the way, the next day I thought I would try the same clubs group social road run.  Got there a few minutes earlier, recognised a couple of faces from Tuesdays efforts, got even more condescending dirty looks.  And I decided to leg it.  Went back to my car, and headed off to my usual Wednesday night run club.  Awesome, people know me, are comfortable with me, and just accept my barefeet for what they are.  Barefeet.

About Dale-Lyn

Hi, I am in my mid forties and run barefoot. Mostly really barefoot, sans any form of foot protection. My claim to fame for this blog, is that I have run my first full marathon completely and really barefoot, in a respectable time of 4:16. Scroll through my posts and enjoy them - all with a good sense of humour too. My story is simply my story of running barefoot, brought about by all the various questions people ask me. I am not a specialist of any sort or any particular athlete or doctor or guru. I am an average woman who runs barefoot, enters a few club runs and a few fun runs. I run races from 5km to marathon. I love trail running, and include chats about my trail adventures. To date, although I only started running end of August 2013, I have done nearly 2000km, of that at least 1500km in barefeet. Real barefoot. No minimalist shoes. Although when I do run in shoes I use my zero drop mimimus ones (haha - they are my ONLY pair of running shoes..) The blog tells of my journey through life, on the road, barefoot. The journey my real barefeet go through when they connect with the road. The emotions my real barefeet bring out - in me, in passers by, in fellow runners. The aggressive reactions and debates as to the well being of the real bare-feet I run in. The passive acceptance of my real bare-feet and their exposure to the elements. The humour to show those real bare-feet of mine are not just a piece of running equipment, a statement, a leftie or a rightie, but real flesh and blood feet with real issues. An interesting post note..I commenced my first active run in August 2013 progressing sporadically. But it really was only from May 2014 that I started running on a consistent and slightly more serious note and slightly faster than walking pace. I am scheduled to run my Comrades Marathon in May 2015..that is a massive progression from walk/shuffle er um excuse me look at me run.. to aiming to run a World famous Ultra. Some one pinch me please!


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6 Inch Trail Marathon

Trail marathon in the SouthDecember 21, 2014
And here comes another one

Comrades Marathon

Up run Comrades Marathon in Durban South Africa 89kmMay 31, 2015
The big day is here.

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