Saturday, July 26, 2008

My longest barefoot run yet... by 16mi

Today was my first serious long run completely barefoot. I ran just over 16mi barefoot in Central Park. This is a big jump up from the longest barefoot run had done before at 8.3mi. Its a jump up from also the longest vibram run I have done at 12mi. The run was just fine. The barefoot part was definitely wasnt the limiting factor. I was just getting tired due to the heat and started getting blister pain on nipple and decided to quit. Neither is related to barefoot. I, in fact, was running almost minute faster at 9-10mpm in last few miles than first half at 10-12mpm. 

I ran a lot on rough surfaces including coarse pavement as well as gravel. It hurt every now and then a bit but I did not get any blisters or punctures at all. The sole of the feet is still pretty soft and thin but I guess its tougher than it looks. Or perhaps it really is all about the form and not surface though I am not buying it yet. Also I think I ran my FASTEST pace barefoot ever on my run down the harlem hill on grass but unfortunately, I had my GPS on stop mode for that mile by mistake and I did not actually record it. Too bad. It felt so good run fast on soft grass after tortuously slow 8mi before. Its a little hard controlling myself once I am on grass especially downhill. I am rationalizing it by thinking that varying pace every now and then is not such a bad idea.

The long run also puts me in nice position to finish the week with another 6miler tomorrow with weekly mileage of 40 overtaking the current PR of 39mi in 2007. How exciting? Next week is the formal NYRR long run in the park and I am thinking of doing it barefoot. Ironically, ALL my runs this week have been barefoot and not vibram so this will in fact could qualify as my "breaking the shod PR" event. But I am still going to wait (see my experiment in couple of posts before) till I break a shod race PR just to be sure.

I iced my legs and they feel fine. I don't remember how 16miler felt last two marathon trainings but I suspect I was limping around. I am NOT limping around today at all which is unusal to say the least. Also I did thorugh "pain test" by pressing on various portions of foot and there is no sharp pain so I dont think I have any injury building up either. I am now looking forward to a more consistent 16-18mi long run next week though I may carry my vibrams in hand to be safe. 

Oh btw, I went running past Apple store at the south east corner of Central Park to check out the iPhone crowd. The line was shorter than I expected..may be 30 people. I think I also ran past ABS morning live TV show so you could have seen me running barefoot on National TV today! I think I will keep my distance next time. I wouldnt want to be grabbed by the "TV people" and have sponteneous interview about barefooting.

BF in NY for 284mi

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